Being prepared for an emergency isn’t just helpful, it’s the responsible thing to do. Emergency preparedness starts with you – do you know what to have on hand to make sure your family has everything they need for a public health or weather emergency where you need or are forced to stay at home.
What to Have on Hand for a Pandemic
Pandemics are defined as an outbreak of a disease across a large region or an entire country. They can be frightening and prompt stockpiling of resources and general concern over well-being, finances, and safety.
The key to easing some of that concern is to be prepared. You may have heard of Doomsday Preppers who are often considered to be extremely vigilant about preparing for pandemics and other disasters. While you may not need to stockpile resources for years at a time, having a solid supply of food, water, and medications to last 2-3 weeks is definitely a good idea.
We have put together a list of items that are great to have on hand and can help ease your mind knowing that you have the supplies you need available.
We encourage you to print it out, gather your items, and keep the list with the supplies so that you have a record of what you have and what you might still need to purchase.
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Emergency Preparedness Checklist
Multiply this list for each adult and teen in your home. For children, you have the option of cutting the number of items in half, but it’s up to you.
For a Two Week Emergency Food Supply
(Multiply each item by two for a month’s supply)
- Water – 15 gallons (Children, pregnant women, and the elderly should all have a 1.5x supply of water.)
- Coffee – 1 can
- Tea Bags – 1 box
- Powdered drink mix (tea, lemonade, fruit drink) – 1 box
- Electrolyte drink – 1 container
- Powdered creamer – 1 container
- Powdered milk – 1 box
- Sugar – 2 lbs
- Brown sugar – 2 lbs
- Jelly – 1 jar
- Honey – 1 jar
- Maple syrup – 1 jar
- Canned fruit – 7 cans
- Dehydrated fruit – 1 lb
- Canned vegetables – 7 cans
- Dehydrated vegetables (potato flakes) – 1 lb
- Canned chicken – 1 lb
- Meat (canned/dehydrated/freeze dried) – 1 lb
- Canned fish – 1 lb
- Powdered eggs – 1 lb
- Canned beans – 5 cans
- Canned soup – 5 cans
- Spaghetti sauce – 2 jars
- Rice – 2 lbs
- Pasta noodles – 3 packages
- Popcorn – 1 lb
- Cereal – 2 boxes
- Rolled Oats – 1 lb
- Pancake Mix – 1 box
- Peanut Butter – 1 jar
- Cooking oil – 1 jar
- Butter – 1 lb
- Mayonnaise – 1 jar
- Nuts – 1 container
- Crackers – 1 box
- Salt – 1 container
- Pepper – 1 container
Other Household Emergency Preparedness Supplies
- Prescription medications
- Cough and cold medications
- Anti-nausea medication
- First Aid Kit with bandages, medical tape, scissors, gauze, tweezers
- Feminine hygiene products
- Toilet paper
- Laundry detergent
- Liquid soap
- Bar soap
- Hand sanitizer
- Portable power banks (charged)
- Duct tape
- Trash bags
- Food storage bags
- Reusable ice packs
- Pet Food
- Baby wipes
- Baby formula
How to Store Your Pandemic Emergency Supplies
There are a variety of ways you can store your food and household preparedness items. In my experience, the best way is to store them in a waterproof container that has a tight latching lid.
Those large plastic tubs that you can find at big box stores are a sure bet as long as the lids hook on securely. You don’t want mice or insects sneaking into your supply.
It’s also important to keep a list of what you have and the date purchased in the tub with the items so that you know when they should be replaced. I usually just print out a second copy of the checklist and re-write the dates on it so that it’s neat.
Also, don’t forget to label your bin! I included a label printable with the checklist file so that you can print it out and tape it to the bin.
We like to have one bin that contains all of the supplies for everyone because it makes it easier to store like items and count them when we go to restock. Another option would be to have one tub per family member if that makes it easier for you to make sure there’s enough for everyone. You do what works best for your family though because you are the ones who will be using it.
Pets and Emergency Preparedness
When it comes to thinking about emergency preparedness it can be easy to inadvertently overlook your pets’ needs.
Here’s what you should have on hand for Emergency Pet Preparedness if you are staying in place:
Pet Preparedness Checklist
(Have enough for a 2- or 4-week supply.)
- Copies of vaccinations
- Waste bags
- Flea & Tick medication
- Leash or harness
If you think you will have to vacate your home, be sure to have a pet carrier or cage for each animal.
Activities for Kids During a Pandemic
Keeping kids calm and occupied during a quarantine can be challenging. No matter how old they are, your kids are sure to be filled with excess energy that needs to be burned off.
Check out this list of indoor movement activities to keep kids moving without driving you crazy. They get to burn off energy and you will, most likely, want to join them in some of the activities! Indoor Nerf Gun battle, anyone?
For those quieter times when it’s a good idea to settle down, this list of crafts can make use of things you already have on hand while keeping kids occupied. Remember, coloring is also always an option as well!
And to include some learning fun, take a look at the 101 Indoor Learning Activities for Kids. It’s broken down in ages from pre-school through middle school and includes everything from math worksheets to science experiments.
Getting through a pandemic or emergency is nervewracking, but by being prepared, you can ease the stress and make it bearable.
You can do this!