Never before has it seemed more important to organize your home for an emergency. While we are all dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, did you actually feel prepared to shelter in place? Should this re-emerge in the fall or should another disaster befall us, let me try to help you organize your home for an emergency with these helpful tips.
First aid kit – You may have a few items in the house already that belong in a first aid kit such as band-aids and antibiotic ointments, but you should also add items that the Red Cross recommends for a home. As an aside, while you are at it, you may as well assemble a duplicate kit for the car or camper if you own the latter.
In-home activities – Your home probably houses several books, movies, or video games to keep you and your family occupied for a bit, but when one is ordered to shelter in place, having a few other activities on hand will be viewed then as lifesavers. Coloring books have come a long way since we were children… both for our own and for us! Buy books to have on hand, or you may also want to print out pages to color in advance. Play charades, grow an indoor garden of herbs, do yoga with your family, organize a scavenger hunt. Having an indoor picnic or camping indoors overnight, watching old home movies, and hosting a dance party via Zoom or just with your family are all fine ways to pass the time. Planning these things — or directing the kids to do so — are healthy emotionally and mentally and have the added benefit of bringing the family together, creating memories to share for years to come. These are just a few creative activities to keep your family inside and to avoid boredom.
Stock-up items – We all know that there were shortages of toilet paper as well as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and wipes when COVID-19 first hit. When the immediate pandemic is over, make sure your home is stocked with those items. Were you prepared in terms of a well-stocked pantry and freezer? Hmmm… Grandma’s old adage about being stocked for three months rang true, didn’t it? Try then to keep at least two weeks of food and ingredients in your freezer and pantry to prepare favorite family dishes. Seriously consider prescription drugs for everyone in your household, food for your pets, and items you cannot live without. Why not involve the children and your spouse in this now at a “family meeting”? Make the lists and then shop for those items together to have everyone feel a part of the planning.
Checking on websites such as cdc.gov and local websites will keep you up to date on what is allowed in terms of sheltering in place, essential jobs, and up to date rules on just about everything. Knowledge and a sense of control when all around us seems so confusing are key when managing a crisis. These simple steps well in advance could just be the tickets. Besides, we never know when the next major snowstorm or Nor’easter will strand us inside…