In the United States, almost no one was truly prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, even though the virus had locked down other areas of the world and was quickly spreading. Now that we all understand the devastating impact a pandemic can have, we need to be better prepared next time.
Keeping your family safe is the number one priority. But how can you prepare your home and family for the rest of this pandemic and any global health emergencies in the future? Here are some tips for pandemic readiness.
Have A Family Emergency Management Plan Ready
Even without the possibility of more pandemics on the horizon, it’s important to prepare for the worst, even as you hope for the best.
Tragic events like mass shootings and devastating natural disasters are on the rise. Some areas of the country, such as the South, experience tragedy almost every year due to hurricanes and other storms. The most devastating storms cause hundreds of billions in damages and kill thousands of people.
A solid family emergency management plan will help you whenever an unexpected tragic event, natural disaster, or other event occurs. Everyone in the family must agree to a protocol that they will follow if a disaster occurs or a storm is coming.
Communication is key, as is ensuring that everyone shelters in a safe place and take safety precautions. Your plan will depend on the unique needs of your family, your region, and other variables, so start talking about your emergency plan as soon as possible.
Practice Budgeting Ahead of Time
One sobering effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the number of people who have been laid off or placed on furlough and find themselves suddenly unable to pay the bills. Millions have filed for unemployment, and many are worried about losing everything.
Although many people are living paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford to lose any of their income, everyone can benefit from learning to budget and live on less. You can help prepare your family for pandemic-related income loss by practicing budgeting ahead of time so you can put more into the bank for lean times that might be on the way.
Have an Agreed Plan & Rules in Place
Everyone in the family needs to be involved in disaster preparedness planning to ensure that everyone will follow the house rules during a pandemic or other event. It’s important to not only look up and follow guidelines from the experts but to agree as a family on what precautions to take.
Ask yourself some preparedness questions. What kinds of groceries will you keep on hand as staples or emergency food and what will you stock up on in case of emergency? When will you start wearing face coverings? What sanitation steps will you take when someone goes out of the house? What kinds of outings will be permitted?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions. A lot will depend on the pandemic itself, the individual members of your family, and the potential impact on others. You need to establish rules based on guidelines but tailored to your family’s needs.
As Schools Go Online, It’s Important to Understand the Benefits
Families with children not only have to figure out how to work from home if they can, but also to incorporate childcare and education into their daily routine. Schools have largely been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but some have started to go online.
Don’t panic if your children need to learn online, even if they’re older and preparing for college. There are lots of benefits to learning online, including allowing students to explore new topics they may be interested in, do their schoolwork on a flexible schedule, and give them the opportunity for deeper understanding. Students may be able to learn at a pace that works for them, and they’ll stay occupied during pandemic confinement.
Have Copies of Your Health Records on File
If the worst should happen and someone in your family is affected by the pandemic, it’s important to have all their health information at your fingertips so you can provide it to doctors immediately. Quick action can make a big difference in a patient’s outcome.
Doctors are overwhelmed during a pandemic and it’s important to make it as easy as possible for them to provide care to you or your loved one. Having your health records on file is a simple thing you can do to help protect your family when a pandemic threatens their safety.