Family Preparedness

Every Family Should Have A Plan

With COVID-19 being a growing concern worldwide and increasing numbers of cases throughout the United States it is important to prepare your family. Although the outbreak of COVID-19 has us on high alert it is important to be prepared as a family even after COVID-19 is no longer a concern. Whether you are a family of 10 or a family of 1, health should always be a main priority. There are many things that you can be doing and advising your children to do to stay healthy, such as:

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick. It is recommended that adults refrain from going to work when they are sick and that parents keep their children home from school when they are sick. The CDC recommends staying home until you are fever-free for at least 24 hours with no medication.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately thrown the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects such as doorknobs, handles on faucets, cupboard, and appliances, remote controls, phones, computers, and light switches.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Frequently wash clothes, sheets, and blankets.
  • Avoid wearing shoes in the house.

In addition to doing things to remain healthy, it is also important to create a plan for you and your family. This plan should include a list of supplies you may need, a plan for childcare in the occurrence of a school closure, and a plan for when you can no longer frequent work due to childcare for your children, sickness of yourself or a loved one, or closure of your workplace. A list of supplies is important in the event that you need to stay in the house, but also in avoiding large crowds. If there is a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, one of the last places you will want to be is the grocery store. While this list of supplies will vary from family to family, here is a basic list of crucial items:

  • Two week supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and non-perishable food items
  • A sufficient supply of your regular prescription drugs, along with a list of all medications, dosages, and any allergies
  • Other health supplies including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins
  • Paper and electronic copies of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other sources and store them together
  • Cleaning products, soaps, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant wipes
  • Toiletries such as toilet paper, tissues, and paper towels
  • Facemaskes. Note, the CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves. Facemasks should be used by people who are sick to prevent spreading germs to others.
  • First aid kit

Each household has different needs, take a look at this list and add things that are necessary for your family specifically. This may include things such as special dietary needs, households with infants and young children, and households with pets.

The CDC has released a plan and prepare list for families, which includes:

  • A way of getting up-to-date information about local COVID-19 activity from public health officials
  • Create a household plan of action
    • Take extra precautions for members of your household that may be at greater risk, such as older adults and people with underlying health conditions.
    • Ask your neighbors what their plan includes to ensure you’re not missing anything.
    • Create a list of organizations you and your household can contact in case you need access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources.
    • Create an emergency contact list for family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, healthcare providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
    • Choose a room, and if possible, a bathroom in your house that can be used to separate sick household members from others.
  • Discuss the plan with the members of your household

Think about your family’s health needs, vulnerabilities, and capabilities.  A plan will help keep you and your family safe.

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