Anyone who has been potentially exposed to the novel coronavirus is being asked to self-quarantine for 2 weeks.
Many people have begun stockpiling supplies, fearing for the worse.
Although the risk of contracting the disease is still very low at this time, here is a guide to help you prepare for possible quarantine.
1. Don't panic. Assess what you already have and get rid of things that you don't need or are no longer edible.
2. Protein sources like canned fish (tuna, salmon and sardines), canned meat (chicken and turkey) and canned beans; canned and frozen vegetables and fruits; whole grains, including bread, rice, quinoa and whole wheat pasta; and healthy fats like olive oil, nuts and nut butters. Canned soups and canned pastas like ravioli are also a good idea.
3. Also purchase items like jerky, dried fruit, popcorn and protein bars. Peanut butter and powdered milk should also be on the list.
4. Fresh foods with the best longevity include root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions. Eat these first before turning to the canned goods.
5. Other food items include cereal, applesauce, stock (chicken, beef or vegetable), baby food and formula (if needed), eggs, and seeds (chia, flax and hemp).
6. Frozen foods including basic bean burritos, waffles/pancakes, and frozen pizza (in addition to vegetables).
7. Prolong the shelf life of other fresh foods like cheese and dairy by limiting the number of times you open the items after purchase. Less exposure to the air means longer life.
8. Prepare large batches of foods like chili, pasta sauce, meatballs, soups and similar freezer-friendly items and put in the freezer.
9. Keep in mind that many products are edible after the printed expiration date. However, don't eat anything whose appearance has changed dramatically and has an unusual odor.
10. Avoid too much sodium, which can be dehydrating and cause fatigue and dizziness. Look for low-sodium options when stocking up.
11. Make sure that you have enough water. Experts recommend having a gallon of clean water per day for every person (and pet) in the household. Instant tea can add some variety to your hydration if you get tired of plain water every time.
12. Purchase a small supply of Pedialyte or sports drinks to keep on hand as a source of calories and electrolytes if someone becomes sick and loses their appetite.
13. Don't forget things like sweets, coffee and tea. They may not be absolutely necessary, but they can make a big difference in your mental health and morale during an emergency.
If you aren't going to be able to get to the store for a couple of weeks, you should also consider stocking up on a few household items.
- If you have small children, make sure you have plenty of diapers.
- Laundry detergent and dish soap.
- Cleaning supplies and disinfectants.
- Bath soap and feminine care products.
- Toilet paper, paper towels, napkins and tissues.
- 30-day supply of prescription medication.
- A first-aid kit that includes things to treat common injuries, including cuts, scrapes, swelling, sprains, strains and more. That includes antibiotic ointment, gauze, bandages, thermometers, scissors, eyewash and tweezers.
- Over-the-counter medication, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines and vitamins.
- Contact lenses solution if you wear contacts.
- Hearing-aid batteries if you wear hearing aids.
- Entertainment items such as books, board games and puzzles, cards, coloring books and crayons, arts and crafts supplies, yarn for knitting and needles, or anything else that you enjoy doing or you have been wanting to try.