What my family and I have done to prepare for the COVID-19 Coronavirus

My daughter playing the “Count to 20 slowly game” while washing her hands


I am not a public health expert, nor do I work in that field. I have, however, gone to extensive lengths to educate myself about preparedness in general. Below are a collection of tips I’ve sourced from the CDC and friends who work in the emergency management and medical fields. These tips guided what my family and I have done to prepare for COVID-19 and my hope they will help you too!

To learn more and stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 updates visit CDC.gov/covid19 or reach out to your doctor or local health department.

Here are the CDC’s prevention tips:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often 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
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The purpose of a facemask is to prevent droplets from sneezing and coughing from becoming airborne

Below are checklists of what my family did to prepare:

In case person-to-person spread happens in an area where you live and you need to shelter in place, ensure that:

  • You can make three meals a day per person in their household for 14 days
  • You have enough toilet paper and pet food (if you have pets) to last 14 days
  • You have enough medicine on-hand to carry you and your family for 30 days

If you or someone in your household were to get sick, do you have:

  • A working thermometer
  • Fever-reducing over the counter medications
  • Drinks with electrolytes like Gatorade or Pedialyte, if you have kids, to help address dehydration should you become sick
  • Broth, crackers, apple sauce, and juice concentrates – things that are easy to eat if you get sick
  • A room in your home where a sick family member can remain isolated to prevent spreading illness (with its own bathroom is best)
  • Cleaning supplies like wipes and unscented household bleach to sanitize

This is a long list of items, you don’t need to do everything right away. Chip away at this list over time and prioritize based on you or your family’s needs. 

Other important questions to consider for general preparation:

  • Do you have 8 glasses of water per person per day stored in your households to last 14 days?
  • Are you able to power your devices with battery power, or the ability to generate electricity, to stay safe and healthy during a power outage lasting more than 3 days?
  • Do you have physical copies of important documents like passports and the deed to your home, in your go-bags and digital copies stored securely using 2 Factor Authentication in the cloud?
  • Do you have enough money saved or cash-on-hand that you could easily access for emergency costs?
  • Do you have the proper insurance coverage amounts including protection from flooding and earthquakes on your homeowner or rental insurance policies?

Should you get sick with Coronavirus, here is what you should do.

Here is the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers.

If you found this information helpful, feel free to share it with others.

Lastly, please keep en eye out for your neighbors!