GET YOUR PANDEMIC EMERGENCY KIT READY
The key to surviving a pandemic with the minimum effect is to be prepared. It is even more relevant if there is going to be a lockdown.
To prepare for a pandemic and a possible lockdown, you have to put together an emergency kit and store essential supplies.
An emergency kit you should have before an outbreak
Before there is even a worldwide outbreak, you should have the following items in your emergency kit:
- Purchase and keep some prescription medication and over the counter medicines. Prescription medication includes any form of medication that you would typically take for your existing condition. Over the counter medicines include analgesics, antiemetic, stomach relievers, antihistamines, vitamins, etc. Take good note of the expiry dates for your medication and make sure to renew it at least 30 days before it expires.
- Ask for copies of your medical records from your physician. These can be very useful to first responders in the event of an emergency during a pandemic.
- Keep a list of emergency numbers for the different government departments.
- Store reasonable quantities of tinned or dry food and bottled water.
- Store sanitary and hygiene products.
- Have a First-Aid kit readily available- usual antiseptic, bandage, gloves, scissors and plaster bands are essential to attend to any bumps or bruises while confined at home.
- Household spares and DIY kits can also become handy if you need to replace light bulbs or conduct minor repairs. So, it is always advisable to buy in advance the right type of spare bulbs which you use at home as well as the standard batteries for household equipment. A general DIY toolkit can also be of essential help since hardware stores would most likely be closed during a lockdown.
Refill and update your emergency kit during an outbreak
Once a situation is declared a pandemic, refill and update your emergency kit according to the type of situation. The following items must be checked and be available if possible:
- A thermometer to control body temperature. If you live with other people, it is best to get a digital non-contact thermometer. Don’t forget to also buy spare batteries for your digital thermometer!
- Hand sanitizers and liquid soap are a must.
- A backup glucometer to measure blood sugar if you or any member of your family has diabetes.
- One-time use only surgical gloves.
- Sanitary masks, if agents of the outbreak are transmissible by air or droplets. Pay attention to the health authorities and get the right sanitary masks they recommend.
- Food to last you for a week or two. When storing food for a pandemic, always make sure you think of other people as well. Do not overbuy to the extent that you create shortages for other people.
- Update and refill your medication. Add other medication that is related to the outbreak as instructed by the authorities.
- Ingredients from alternative medication can also be useful during a pandemic. Get lemons, honey, ginger, cinnamon, mint leaves, essential oils, and other natural agents known to have healing or antiseptic properties.
- Entertainment material. Depending on your interests and the number of family members, books and magazines are always a good option. Board games and group games, as well as other entertainment activities for multiple people, is also an excellent choice to keep.
- If you have pets, do not forget to buy pet food.
- You should also get some stationery and other office-related supplies just in case you have to self-isolate and work from home.
- If you can afford it, an Air-Purifying respirator can be a good and useful investment.
When preparing or refilling your emergency pandemic kit, remember always to check expiration dates for perishable items. Do not also forget to think about other people, meaning DO NOT OVER-BUY.