Establishments may be opening, but the COVID-19 pandemic remains to be a real threat in our midst. While it definitely does not help to panic, it is crucial to keep stock of pandemic essentials so you’ll always be prepared.
Bonus: These essentials will prove to be helpful not only for the pandemic but also for other unforeseen events. Think of these supplies as part of your all-around emergency bag!
1. Face Mask
Surgical face masks do a great job at protecting you from droplets, so you have to keep a supply of them at home and even in your car. After all, masks are required almost everywhere you go. Aside from disposable face masks, it also helps to have a supply of cloth face masks that you can just wash after wearing. Make sure you choose thicker cloth masks with pockets where a filter can be inserted for maximum protection.
2. First Aid Kit
Pandemic or not, you should always have a fully-stocked first aid kit at home. But because it can be more challenging to refill your first aid kit nowadays, be sure to review all your supplies and medicines and their expiration dates. If you have daily medication, get a fresh stock to avoid running out. Don’t forget to keep a thermometer or two, too.
Food is most probably on top of your shopping list right now, and while there is no need to hoard, it does help to start building a supply of food that won’t go bad easily. Canned food is okay, but it’s not your only option. Dry food like rice, pasta, popcorn, and beans will remain good for a long time. You can also stock frozen vegetables and fruits. In fact, any kind of food with a long shelf life would be great to add to your shopping list.
Also, don’t forget the treats! A big part of your grocery list, of course, would be essentials, but comfort foods like chocolates can be good for your mental health. Shop in bulk, if you can, at least every 2 to 4 weeks to minimize your trips outside and your exposure to other people.
4. Soap, Rubbing Alcohol, and Hand Sanitizer
These three just might be some of the most important things you should always have a stock of, even if you’re at home all the time. Make sure you and your family are as clean as possible to keep germs in check. Washing your hands should be taught to your kids as your first wall of protection, and only use rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer if hand washing is not possible.
5. Cleaning Supplies
Aside from keeping your hands clean all the time, don’t forget to clean your house, too. You don’t need to hoard cleaning supplies, but it surely helps to have a stock of the essentials like dish soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper, wet wipes, and disinfectant sprays. Be diligent in cleaning the high-traffic areas and surfaces, wash your worn clothes as soon as you can, and keep your shoes outside.
6. Disposable Gloves
You might not need to use disposable gloves daily, or even when you go out, but gloves made of latex are important in minimizing your exposure to germs and pathogens. Wear gloves when cleaning your house or when touching something coming from outside like a package or your mail. Also use gloves when taking care of someone ill.
7. Face Shield or Goggles
Face masks do a great job at protecting you from viruses, but you can double the protection by also protecting your eyes. You can do this by wearing a face shield or eye goggles, which protect your eyes and the exposed parts of your face from droplets.
8. Health records
Another essential item that should be present in your pandemic-preparedness kit is your health records. If you can, get copies of your health records from your doctors and, if you had been confined recently, hospitals and emergency rooms. Store them and scan them into your computer for electronic copies.
9. Household Plan of Action
Completing your pandemic essentials list is your very own household plan of action, which is basically a plan preparing you and your household in case someone in the house gets sick. This will tackle where the patient would stay and how they will eat, bathe, etc. The CDC recommends a Household Plan of Action here, which you can copy and modify according to your needs. Your plan should also include a list of important documents, such as your medical ID, your insurance information, and emergency contact details.