As many may be doing right now, we've been thinking about how to prepare for this outbreak we're experiencing world-wide. With so much information floating around, we decided to build an emergency preparation kit ourselves, and share the process with you. Below is how it went. If you have questions feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'd be happy to help if we can!
Be safe and healthy,
~Chef's Cut Team
Why Do I need an Emergency Survival Kit?
- As the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 continues to spread, voluntary and involuntary quarantines are likely to expand in the U.S.
- Thousands of people in the U.S. are currently under semi-voluntary and voluntary home quarantine. This typically lasts for 14 days in order to see if they develop symptoms and determine if they have been infected.
- If you are quarantined at home or need to exercise social distancing for a 2 week period (or longer), there are recommended supplies you will want to have stocked up in your home. These include dry and canned goods (with long shelf-life), household cleaning supplies, some first aid and over-the-counter medicine, and a 30-day supply of any prescription medications you may be taking.
Keep in mind, 14 days is likely the maximum amount of time you will need to have supplies for, so don’t go overboard with 3 months worth of toilet paper as some people are doing.
Below is the Emergency Survival Kit we put together in our office with details on each component we included.
We hope this helps you build yours!
Basic medical items and a month’s supply of any needed prescriptions.
Hand Soap – There have been several studies which show regular soap and water (wash for 20-30 seconds) has the greatest impact on cleaning the novel coronavirus from your hands. Make sure to wash the back of your hands, your thumbs, and under your fingernails as well.
An excellent video from John’s Hopkins Medicine on this can be watched here -
Pain Relief – Make sure to include over-the-counter pain relief and anti-inflammatory like aspirin or ibuprofen. Keeping in mind the pros and cons of each. *The CDC has recently recommend not taking Ibuprofen if you exhibit CV symptoms, so sticking to Acetaminophen is recommended.
Anti-acid, cough, and cold medicine – these are essential to store in case you get sick and they have very a long shelf life
Any regular prescription medication which you or your family may need. When we are quarantine or enacting social distancing, we want to avoid any public spaces.
Hand Sanitizer – 60% alcohol or higher is recommended. This is a stop-gap in the case that you can’t wash with soap and water. Travel size containers are ideal so you can carry them with you at all times.
Vitamins – since you may be inside more than usual and your diet may be restricted, you want to make sure you have the proper multi-vitamins.
First Aid – gauze bandages, antibacterial ointment, antiseptic wipes and non-latex gloves were all on our list. We actually just bought a ready made first aid kit which had everything we were looking for.
Surface Disinfectant – We decided on Lysol Disinfecting Wipes and Clorox Cleaner + Bleach Spray which we use to wipe down any areas where we touch often like doorknobs, sink handles, phones, etc. The CDC recommends to leave items "wet" for up to 3 minutes.
Other important items from the pharmacy you may want to consider
- Non-latex gloves (nitrile is most common)
- Razors & shaving cream
- Garbage bags
- Contact Solution (if you wear them!)
- Feminine supplies
Think shelf life here. Anything that won’t spoil and is very easy to store.
Snacks – Variety, variety, variety! Trust us, after a few days of quarantine, you do not want to be eating the same thing over and over. We bought Chef’s Cut Jerky and some sticks (of course!) in several flavors and types of meat. Our product is high in protein and low in sugar so will keep you satiated longer than something like chips or pretzels. We also stocked up on chocolate, granola, and nuts since they also have long a long shelf life and can easily be combined with each other.
Canned Tuna/Chicken – with a little mayo, mustard, bread and veggies you can do a lot with canned meats. Unopened, It stores for an extremely long time without the need for refrigeration.
Canned Beans – all those cowboys can’t be wrong. Canned baked beans go with almost anything.
Canned Soup – this is a must for any long-term food storage. I selected chunky soup so it's more like a meal.
Water - We drink filtered tap water here in NYC, so we don’t need bottled water. If you must buy bottled, the CDC recommends 1 gallon per person per day – Emergency Water
Gatorade – in the event you do get sick, drinks which replace lost electrolytes can be extremely useful. Gatorade or Pedialyte are good options.
Protein Shakes & Powder - These can be a great addition to your emergency prep kit as they don't require refrigeration to store. I included some OWYN - Only What You Need chocolate protein powder in my kit.
Other potential food and drink items you may need:
- Pet food
- Infant formula
- Your favorite Tea or Coffee
- Powdered Milk (let us know if you find any good ones!)
Lights and Power
While we don't expect there to be power outages due to this current emergency, we felt like really couldn't hurt to include the following items in our emergency preparedness kit.
Flashlight – it’s amazing how often this simple tool is overlooked. In case you do lose power, you don’t want to waste all of your phone’s battery using it as a flashlight! Store a powerful light with enough batteries to last a few weeks.
Chargers – There are battery powered phone and device chargers available which we strongly recommend having in case of emergency.
We bought a plastic storage bin to keep everything in. These are fairly cheap and easy to store. You can even stack them if you decide to build out additional kits!
Finally we decided to create a spreadsheet with expiration dates so we know when to pull any of the products out and replace them! You can use post-it notes as well.
Make sure to keep your kit stored in a cool, dry location and put a note on your calendar to review the expiration dates at the time of the product with the earliest shelf life date. So ours was the chocolate bars in 10/2020 and we put a note to review our kit on Google Calendar for 10/1/2020.
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