Preparing for an emergency or pandemic is easier if you're organized with a home quarantine checklist. Your emergency stockpile should include everything from food to first aid, plus a few items you may not have thought of yet.
Start With a Food Stockpile
Your food stockpile should include all the essentials to meet the nutritional needs of everyone in your family. You can learn more about how to stockpile food in an emergency and what types of food to include. Think dried items like beans and rice, as well as frozen foods to last you through an extended quarantine period.
What to Stockpile in an Emergency or Pandemic
Once you've handled the food stockpile, it's time to think about the other essentials. You never know what will be in short supply during an emergency, so it's important to stock up on everything you can. Print this handy home quarantine checklist to help you get organized. If you need help downloading and printing the file, check out this helpful guide to Adobe printables.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Supplies
In a quarantine situation, you'll need products to help you disinfect your house. These include the following:
- Bleach - One large jug should be plenty to make a bleach solutions to disinfect your home.
- Disinfectant wipes - These are helpful for surfaces like doorknobs, purchased items, and grocery packaging.
- Disinfectant sprays - Cans of spray disinfectant are great for fabrics or textured surfaces.
- Rubbing alcohol - You can disinfect with alcohol or use it to make your own hand sanitizer.
- Paper towel - If you follow good hand washing protocol, you may choose to use paper towel to dry your hands. It's also helpful in normal cleaning.
- Regular cleaning supplies - Remember to purchase an extra month of regular cleaning supplies, such as toilet bowl cleaner, all purpose cleaner, floor cleaner, and more.
- Detergents - Don't forget to pick up extra of your regular dish soap, dishwasher detergent, and laundry detergent.
Because some regular household items may be difficult to come by in an emergency, it's a good idea to get a few basic survival supplies and other things. You can also minimize trips out to the store if you pick up the following:
- Batteries - Choose sizes you use regularly, such as AA.
- Light bulbs - Make sure you have enough on hand to replace bulbs for a month or two.
- Fuel - Keep car gas tanks full, and pick up extra fuel for gas grills and heaters.
- Cash - If you have the ability, take a little extra cash out of your bank account to keep on hand. Do not empty your account, however, since keeping cash at the bank is much more secure.
During a quarantine, you won't be able to get out easily to pick up medications. If there is a pandemic, medications used to treat it can also be in short supply. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about getting a supply of prescription medications, and pick up these over-the-counter items as well:
- Pain killers - Pick up ibuprofen and acetaminophen to treat minor aches and pains, as well as fevers.
- Cough medicine - Be sure to get cough medicine for the various ages in your family, including children's cough medicine if you have kids.
- Cold remedies - Get decongestants, cough drops, sore throat sprays, and any other cold remedies you usually use.
- Vitamins - Make sure you have enough multi-vitamins for everyone in your family, especially if you are concerned you may not have a balanced diet in your food stockpile.
- Immune system boosters - The evidence for immune system boosters like vitamin C, echinacea, and zinc is controversial, but if you feel these are helpful, you should pick some up.
- First aid supplies - Don't forget to prepare for minor emergencies during your quarantine with supplies like bandages, anti-biotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide, and more.
Heath and Hygiene Supplies
Getting out to get personal hygiene and health-related items can be challenging when you are quarantined. Try to keep the following on hand in your emergency stockpile:
- Soap and shampoo - Have an extra bottle of shampoo and conditioner on hand, as well as extra soap, body wash, razors, and anything else you use in your daily hygiene routine.
- Hand soap - Clean hands are of the utmost importance during a pandemic or disease outbreak. Have extra hand soap in your stockpile.
- Hand sanitizer - For times when you can't wash your hands, purchase sanitizer to have ready. If you can't find it in stores, make some DIY hand sanitizer.
- Masks - If you suspect you may need to care for a sick person at home, have a few masks on hand to protect yourself. You can make your own mask if supplies are short.
- Deodorant - You'll need an extra container of deodorant, as well as any other personal care products you use on a daily basis.
- Toothpaste and dental supplies - Pick up an extra tube of toothpaste, some dental floss, and any other dental products you use.
- Toilet paper - During an emergency, toilet paper can be in short supply. Have several rolls on hand so you don't have to leave the house.
- Tissues - Have a box or two of tissues on hand to cover colds and allergy season.
- Feminine hygiene products - Make sure you pick up your preferred feminine hygiene products, such as sanitary napkins and tampons.
- Incontinence supplies - If someone in your home struggles with incontinence, have enough supplies on hand to last for at least a couple of weeks.
- Diapers and baby items - Pick up diapers, wipes, baby food, formula, and any other necessary baby items to last for the quarantine period.
If you have pets, be sure to pick up enough food and supplies to get them through the quarantine period. You don't want to have to leave the house to get these necessary items:
- Pet food - Have dry food and any wet food you need for dogs, cats, birds, rodents, and other pets.
- Litter and bedding - If you have indoor cats, you'll need cat litter. Caged animals like rodents also need bedding.
- Treats and toys - Make the quarantine period fun and reinforce training by including treats and toys.
- Medical treatments - If your animals take medication, stockpile some extra in your emergency supplies. Don't forget to include things like flea and tick repellent, heartworm treatments, and other medications.
- Grooming supplies - If you need to wash your pet or clip nails or coat, have the tools and supplies you need on hand. You may not be able to take your pet to the groomer for a while.
If you have some space around your home or the ability to drive to remote locations, you can improve your quality of life with a few outdoor supplies:
- Weather-appropriate clothing - Have rain or snow jackets, boots, mittens, and other gear on hand to allow you to be outside safely and comfortably in any weather.
- Recreation supplies - Store some things to do outside, such as lawn games, camping equipment, fishing gear, and more.
- Wood for campfires - If you have a firepit or campfire ring, pick up some extra wood to enjoy campfires.
- Sunblock and insect repellent - Include sunblock and insect repellent to protect yourself and your family when spending time outside.
- Gardening supplies - Planting a garden is a great choice during a pandemic, since it's an outdoor activity and gives you a source of food. Pick up seeds, tools, and anything else you need to start a garden if you have the space and desire.
Being quarantined for an extended period of time can be difficult emotionally. Social isolation and a dull routine can cause people to struggle. Boost morale by including a few fun items in your stockpile:
- Small toys for kids - Pick up a few little toys, such as cars, action figures, modeling clay, puzzles, and bouncy balls.
- Outdoor fun items - Since you may be spending a lot of time outside, be sure to get some sidewalk chalk, bubbles, a lawn sprinkler, and anything else that people will enjoy.
- Hobby supplies - If you enjoy any crafts or hobbies that require supplies, such as painting or knitting, pick up some extra supplies so you can work on new projects during your quarantine time.
- Books - Although you can get new books electronically, consider picking up some favorites for everyone in your family. You can give out one each week to help keep spirits up.
- Holiday needs - If you will be quarantined during a holiday, stock up on the supplies you need to make this time as normal as possible for your family. Think favorite Thanksgiving foods, Easter candy, Christmas cookie supplies, and more.
Take Some of the Stress Out of an Emergency
A home quarantine checklist can help you keep track of supplies and know what to stockpile in an emergency. Be sure to check your supplies regularly to make sure you are using them before any expiration dates. Rotate new supplies in as you use older supplies. That way, you'll have what you need exactly when you need it, taking some of the stress out of an emergency like a quarantine or pandemic.