Prepare Your Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak

As with any disaster, preparation is critical. So even though it’s unlikely – staying positive here – that any of us get sick, it’s best to be prepared.

For me, this isn’t about doomsday planning. It’s about breaking down something scary (getting sick) and having a plan for it. That’s about all I can do to feel like I have some control over the situation.

Gather Supplies

First things first, make sure you have the right supplies in your home. Let me be clear – I don’t want anyone to hoard anything, ever. Please don’t panic buy. I can only speak for my experience in the Palm Beach area, but supplies in stores are sufficient. I really hope that’s the same for where you live.

Supply Checklist

Pain and Fever Reducers

Cough Medications

Tissues

Thermometer

Sick-friendly Food and Drinks (bland foods, tea, broth, sports drinks)

Prescriptions and Vitamins

Two-Week Supply of Food and Beverages

Hand Sanitizer

Soap

Cleaning Supplies

Homemade Masks

Disposable Gloves

Store Supplies

It’s likely all the medical items won’t fit in your bathroom. Declutter a less used, yet easily accessible closet in your home. Organize your supplies in clear, stackable bins and be sure to label so everyone in the family can find them.

For the pantry items, put the sick-friendly foods into a separate bin so that family members don’t “enjoy” them without you knowing. Only break out the bin in the event you need it. You can always donate items to a food bank later this year.

Make it Easy to Disinfect

Keep disinfecting supplies in high traffic areas around the home so family members can quickly grab them. Put Clorox wipes (or available disinfectants) and hand sanitizers by the front and back doors, all bathrooms, and the kitchen.

Set a daily reminder on your calendar to wipe down commonly touched surfaces like light switches, doorknobs, countertops, bathroom surfaces, and electronics like phones and remotes and appliances. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends wearing gloves when you disinfect your home.

Prepare if Someone Gets Sick

In the unlikely event someone in your home becomes sick, have a plan in place before that happens. The CDC recommends keeping that person separate if possible with his or her own bedroom and bathroom. The recommendation is that both parties wear a mask when interacting and limiting interaction as much as possible.

Go a step further and plan to set the sick person up with everything they need to stay comfortable. Set-up an end table or small temporary table with all the supplies. Supplies include: a mask, tissues, medications, a trash bin with disposable trash bag, extra trash bags, personal comfort items, a water bottle, snacks and thermometer. They might also want books, magazines, a television or other electronics at some point.

The CDC recommends having the sick person periodically disinfect the space to prevent the spread. So make sure they have disinfectant wipes or cleaners and hand sanitizer for when they need to leave the space.

Stay safe! Stay home! Stay happy!