Disaster Preparation Tips: 17 Ways to Prepare Before a Coronavirus Outbreak Occurs in Your Community, From the CDC by 30Seconds Health
A coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak could last for a long time in your community if it occurs, so it’s important to be prepared. “Depending on the severity of the outbreak, public health officials may recommend community actions designed to help keep people healthy, reduce exposures to COVID-19 and slow the spread of the disease,” states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Local public health officials may make recommendations appropriate to your local situation. Creating a household plan can help protect your health and the health of those you care about in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community.”
Here are tips from the CDC for creating a household plan of action:
1. Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan. Meet with household members, other relatives and friends to discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community and what the needs of each person will be.
2. Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications. There is limited information about who may be at risk for severe complications from COVID-19 illness. From the data that are available for COVID-19 patients, and from data for related coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, it is possible that older adults and persons who have underlying chronic medical conditions may be at risk for more serious complications. Early data suggest older people are more likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. If you or your household members are at increased risk for COVID-19 complications, consult with your health-care provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. The CDC will recommend actions to help keep people at high risk for complications healthy if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community.
3. Get to know your neighbors. Talk with your neighbors about emergency planning. If your neighborhood has a website or social media page, consider joining it to maintain access to neighbors, information and resources.
4. Identify aid organizations in your community. Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, health-care services, support and resources. Consider including organizations that provide mental health or counseling services, food and other supplies.
5. Create an emergency contact list. Ensure your household has 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.
6. Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. Identify a separate bathroom for the sick person to use, if possible. Plan to clean these rooms, as needed, when someone is sick. Learn how to care for someone with COVID-19 at home.
7. Learn about the emergency operations plan at your child’s school or child-care facility. During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, local public health officials may recommend temporary school dismissals to help slow the spread of illness. School authorities also may decide to dismiss a school if too many students or staff are absent. Understand the plan for continuing education and social services (such as student meal programs) during school dismissals. If your child attends a college or university, encourage them to learn about the school’s plan for a COVID-19 outbreak.
8. 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. Learn how businesses and employers can plan for and respond to COVID-19.
9. Stay informed about the local COVID-19 situation. Get up-to-date information about local COVID-19 activity from public health officialsexternal icon. Be aware of temporary school dismissals in your area, as this may affect your household’s daily routine.
10. Stay home if you are sick. Stay home if you have COVID-19 symptoms. If a member of your household is sick, stay home from school and work to avoid spreading COVID-19 to others.
11. Use the separate room and bathroom you prepared for sick household members (if possible). Learn how to care for someone with COVID-19 at home. Avoid sharing personal items like food and drinks. Provide your sick household member with clean disposable facemasks to wear at home, if available, to help prevent spreading COVID-19 to others. Clean the sick room and bathroom, as needed, to avoid unnecessary contact with the sick person.
12. Stay in touch with others by phone or email. If you live alone and become sick during a COVID-19 outbreak, you may need help. If you have a chronic medical condition and live alone, ask family, friends, and health-care providers to check on you during an outbreak. Stay in touch with family and friends with chronic medical conditions.
13. Take care of the emotional health of your household members. Outbreaks can be stressful for adults and children. Children respond differently to stressful situations than adults. Talk with your children about the outbreak, try to stay calm and reassure them that they are safe.
14. Notify your workplace as soon as possible if your schedule changes. Ask to work from home or take leave if you or someone in your household gets sick with COVID-19 symptoms, or if your child’s school is dismissed temporarily.
15. If your child/children become sick with COVID-19, notify their child-care facility or school. Talk with teachers about classroom assignments and activities they can do from home to keep up with their schoolwork.
16. Keep track of school dismissals in your community. Read or watch local media sources that report school dismissals. If schools are dismissed temporarily, use alternative child-care arrangements, if needed.
17. Discourage children and teens from gathering in other public places while school is dismissed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
The information on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.
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