As we continue to monitor the coronavirus outbreak, the CDC has advised Americans to prepare for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in their community. But there is no need to panic. This is similar to the type of preparation that is called for during large-scale weather events like hurricane watches and warnings.
As residents of the Gulf Coast, preparedness planning is an important exercise for all of us to practice. Consider this as your opportunity to itemize what you currently have in your home or apartment and then take small steps to fill in the gaps. During a health-related event, we are encouraged to compile a reserve of products in order to create social distancing, not because there is a shortage expected. Social distancing means efforts to limit where and when people come together in order to curb disease transmission. Hoarding supplies and stocking up on unnecessary items is not only inefficient, it’s wasteful and inconsiderate to the other members in your community.
In the event of a home quarantine, there are foods you can purchase in advance that experts recommend having on hand. They include:
- Nonperishable pantry foods to supplement what is already in your home. These foods can be anything from canned items such as tuna to peanut butter and crackers or granola bars. Chicken and vegetable broth are also shelf-stable items that are good to have in case of an illness.
- Water, fruit juice and hydrating drinks with electrolytes.
- Frozen foods including frozen vegetables and fruits, proteins such as chicken breast and salmon, and soups or stews.
Make sure you have a 14-day supply of common household items and medical items including:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers, and cough and cold medicine.
- Toilet paper
- Feminine supplies
- Cleaning products and disinfectants
- A two-week supply of diapers if you have young children, along with at least a two-week supply of formula and baby food
- Contact lenses and supplies
And make sure you have your home first aid kit well-stocked. Here are some great suggestions on creating one.