Preparing for the potential of a quarantine or self-isolation is more than stocking up on toilet paper, bread and milk. What should you be doing to prepare and to make sure your family is ready?
Preparing for Food & Home Needs
- Practice good personal health habits. Get sleep, eat healthfully, exercise, reduce stress and follow your doctor's instructions for caring for any current health conditions. "The virus is transmitted by contact with infected surfaces and in the droplets from an infected person," said Michael Bayci, emergency preparedness manager for Franciscan Health in western Indiana. "Regular hand washing and social distancing is far more effective at stopping the transmission of disease."
- If you have a chronic medical condition, make sure you have enough medications and any needed medical supplies on hand for at least two weeks in the event of a local quarantine or self-quarantine. Look into your insurance plan as to whether mail order options for routine medications are available if needed. "Planning ahead and being proactive is important, not only at this time," said Denise Garner, PharmD RPh, system manager of Franciscan Health's outpatient pharmacies. "It always helps to plan ahead so you don’t run out."
- Consider having on hand pain relievers, a thermometer and disinfecting wipes, Garner said.
- "I recommend people seek reliable and accurate sources for guidance and they do so regularly as recommendations are changing frequently given our daily increase in knowledge on how to combat the illness," Bayci said. "I personally recommend only the WHO, CDC and ISDH sites for this information."
- If you or your household members are at increased risk for coronavirus complications, please consult with your health care provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 coronavirus.
- If a family member has symptoms of the coronavirus and hospitalization is not medically necessary, home care is preferable, if the individual’s situation allows. Patient guidance for home care is available on the Indiana State Department of Health website. "A large influx of worried well taxes our resources and takes us away from caring for those who are ill," Bayci said. "Individuals who don't have a fever and aren't short of breath should stay home and manage their symptoms as noted in the ISDH linked document."
- Have a current list of emergency contacts for family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
- Make sure you have enough pet supplies to last the duration of the quarantine.
Preparing For Work
- Learn about your employer's emergency operations plan. Discuss sick-leave policies and telework options for workers who are sick or who need to stay home to care for sick household members. Notify your workplace as soon as possible if your schedule changes.
- In the event your child’s school or daycare is closed and you are still working on site at your job, make arrangements for child care.
Preparing For Spring Weather
As we're headed into tornado season as well, take these additional preparedness steps:
- Know where you are going to go for updated weather information. (Because severe weather still happens.) Whether it's a NOAA weather radio, local media, or the internet, it's important to check back to a trusted source frequently for updates on the weather and local road conditions. Monitor local conditions either via local news outlets or the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Make sure you are prepared for power failures with extra batteries for flashlights and your weather radio.
Check out more preparedness tips as well as coronavirus myths from the World Health Organization on our Pinterest board.
By Robbie Schneider
Social Media Manager