Posted by Dr. Thomas Horowitz

With the nation in the midst of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, natural disasters are presenting additional challenges in our daily lives. Active wildfires and hurricanes are impacting different parts of the country, making the need for disaster preparation more important now than ever before. Even the most well laid emergency plans become obsolete during a pandemic. It is important to review and adjust your emergency plan to incorporate COVID-19 safety measures.

Here are tips to help you plan for emergencies during COVID-19:

  • Make an evacuation plan and decide the secondary meeting place to regroup with your family or household members. Due to COVID-19, crowded locations should be avoided. While at the location, maintain adequate distance from people outside your household.
  • Pack your go-bag with new supplies. The go-bag must include:
    • Nonperishable food and water bottles (for at least two weeks). Remove any old canned and perishable food items.
    • Personal items like clothes (including sleeping gear) and copies of important documents.
    • Toiletries and sanitation supplies
    • Batteries for lights and radio. Do not store the electronic device with battery inside as a leaking battery can destroy the equipment.
    • Carry a back-up battery unit for your cellphone.
  • Due to COVID-19, it is important to carry face masks, gloves, hand sanitizers (with at least 60% alcohol), disinfectant wipes and tissues.
  • Pack your emergency first-aid kit. Review your current medication list and carry a two-week supply in your kit.
  • Have emergency cash on hand along with credit cards.
  • Carry all important contact numbers in an appropriate case (water proof and fire resistant if possible).

COVID-19 is still in our community and it may be with us for a considerable time. That’s why we must plan and prepare for natural disasters a little differently to ensure the safety of everyone.
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