Just now I was reading this extensive list for Street Medics. I was amused by how much of it, in more domestic forms, I carry with me already as a well-prepared Mom of rambunctious kids in a hard and pointy world.
I had been thinking about making a list of items I take to protests the last couple of days anyway for my own records so I don’t have to remember what worked well and what didn’t. Then I thought maybe other people would also find it helpful.
So, here’s what I (usually) carry around that has proven to be useful specifically in Protest Mom situations, from smallest to largest receptacle (I always have the purse and then I pick the backpack based on the situation):
My (small) purse:
NLG hotline number
Tiny tents, 2-3 colored markers, stamps, envelopes
Very small ring-bound notebook, two black pens (precise v-point are my favorite)
Tylenol, bag of throat sweets (Mic Checking is hard on a throat), very sleek pack of cleansing wipes, tiny plastic tub with keychain that fits a tube of Neosporin and about ten bandaids (mix of flexible fabric and CVS colorful ones with antibiotic in them already—asking a crying kid which color they wants is a good way to distract them from OMG blood. Works for grown-ups, too.)
Lollipops (I don’t carry hard candies because they are choking hazards. Yes, I assume the average protestor is not going to choke. But I’m a Mom first, and I’d rather there was a handle at the end of any hard candy I hand out so I can reach in and pull it back out if necessary. …Also, who doesn’t love a lollipop?)
My pink flowery backpack:
Two bottles of water, one for me/my kid and one, factory sealed, to share with others
Finger food: (ie: sliced pumpkin/banana bread in Ziploc bags, apples, cold baked potatoes, pretzel rods)
Depending on weather: spare hat, scarf, umbrella, sunscreen
(In our house, before we leave for our next adventure, I mumble to myself, “Water, hats, sunscreen, snacks”… as long as we have variations of those things and my wallet, we’re good to go.)
When I participated in N17 and I wasn’t sure what would happen, I took
My Huge Red Rucksack.
It had the contents of the pink bag, plus: Several handkerchiefs in Ziploc bags, gauze bandages in small Ziploc sandwich bags, and two baby blankets.
I would like to recommend these wonderful objects to those who may not be familiar with them: they are usually cotton. They are big enough you can sit on one but small enough that they are extremely portable. They are sturdy enough they can swaddle a wriggling baby in them and hold it still, but-- assuming you have a sharp knife--you can cut it into strips for emergency dressings. And they come in soothing colors.
…I’ll add/modify to this list as and when I go. I’m not a trained street medic and I don’t think I’m a fast enough runner to be one. But I’m an excellent Mom, and these are the things I’ve found useful out there. Hope you’ll find the list helpful, too…