For any number of reasons, people may have to spend more time than usual in the comfort and safety of their own homes. It could be the result of public health concerns, political issues, natural disasters, extreme weather, cold and flu, and more. Whatever the reason, it's always best to be prepared for any scenario.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to stay home for an extended period of time, there are a number of items that are important to have on hand. These are the things that will help you upgrade your lifestyle during the time you spend at home. Continue reading to find out what they are and if you can check any of them off your list.
Enough Food For Two Weeks
According to the US Department of Homeland Security, it's recommended that households stock up on around two weeks of food and water per person in the case of a recommended shut-in.
It's suggested that people buy non-perishable yet still healthy food, such as rice, beans, pasta, and oats, in order to maintain a healthy diet. However, it's also recommended that people don't neglect snack food and other treats that can help your mental state and morale during a quarantine. So, get snackin'!
A Supply Of Your Own Water
It's never unwise to have access to your own supply of clean drinking water. For most people, this means bottled water but others go as far as installing their own filtration systems for rainwater, lakes, creeks, or rivers.
Although the US Department of Homeland Security suggests a two-week supply, Dr. Manisha Juthami from Yale School of Medicine told Business Insider "We are fortunate to live in a country where most of the tap water is drinkable." However, those who live in rural areas with limited supplies should definitely store more than enough water.
Copies Of Your Medical Records
In the event of an emergency that requires residents to remain indoors for some time, it's recommended that people obtain copies and electronic versions of their health records from doctors, hospitals, etc.
This is in the event that a person needs medical care, they could provide a physician with all of the information that they might need to help. Many of those documents contain vital information that could be used if a person were unconscious or unable to respond to a doctor.
Mental Health Is Crucial As Well
Most people are naturally averse to being cooped up for extended periods of time especially within the same space. That's why we use prisons as punishment systems and start to go a little crazy after being confined for too long. One of the most important things to consider in these situations is a person's mental health.
While some obvious things to do might include watching television, it's also suggested that you have other forms of entertainment such as books or board games on hand. If you have children with you, it's extra-important to keep them preoccupied.
Take Stock Of Your Personal Medical Supplies
In a situation when you're advised not to leave your home, it might be difficult to get your hands on medical items that you might not have thought about before. These include medications, contacts, contact solutions, hearing-aid batteries, and more.
It also wouldn't hurt to purchase some everyday over-the-counter medicines such as pain relievers, stomach relievers, and fluids that contain electrolytes. Most people find it helpful to keep a supply of antihistamines on hand in case of an allergic reaction, and if you have a serious allergy always make sure you have an up-to-date EpiPen on hand.
Have A First-Aid Kit
While stuck in your house, if someone happens to get injured but doesn't need immediate medical attention it's a good idea to keep a first-aid kit nearby. A simple and well-maintained kit can provide a solution to a multitude of health problems ranging from cuts and burns to headaches and allergies.
You can either buy one at the store, online, or stock up over time with the essentials that you feel would best suit you and your family. Don't forget to add some antibacterial gels or sprays to your kit to ward off potential infections.
Try And Get A 30-Day Supply Of Your Prescription Medications
Marguerite Neill, an infectious disease expert at Brown University, spoke to the New York Times to inform people that they should almost always have at least a 30-day supply of their prescription medications.
Furthermore, the United States Department of Homeland Security recommends that people regularly check the number of their prescriptions to make sure they have a constant supply at home. Although many of these prescriptions have quantity limits, it's possible to ask your doctor for an exception during a time of need.
Have Enough Household Hygenic Products
Most families may only buy one or two bottles of hand or dish soap as they need them, eventually replacing them when they run dry. But if you're preparing to stay home for a while, it's worth stocking up on soap and household hygiene products.
On top of hand and dish soap, other important products include toilet paper, tissues, feminine care products, and diapers. It's also important to remember not to hoard essential items like these and only take what your family will need because other people need them as well.
Buy A Water Purifier If You Are Concerned About Tap Water
If you're still concerned about the amount of water that you have, there are alternatives to loading up on plastic bottles and jugs.
Instead of relying on single-use plastics, purchase a water purifier system so that you can purify tap water if you are concerned about the water quality in your area. On top of that, a Lifestraw can purify almost all water sources instantly, so you can pick one of those up as well.
Take Care Of Your Dog!
While people need a lot of things when it comes to being stuck inside of their house, lots of pet owners can easily forget that their dogs have needs too. At the top of the list is food, which we all know they eat a lot of, so it's important to make sure that they have more than enough in supply.
Additionally, it might be nice to buy them extra treats and some new toys to help them stay preoccupied. Finally, it's beneficial to try and get them some exercise by whatever means necessary.
Cat Litter Could Be Necessary Too
While cats are typically "hands-off" pets that don't require all that much attention, if you have an indoor cat, one thing besides food that you don't want to run out of is cat litter.
If you end up running out, this can create a significant problem in your house that might result in your cat going to the bathroom wherever it wants. Not only is this damaging, but it can also spread germs around your home, which is the opposite of what you want. It's always best to keep the cats happy by having more than enough clean litter around.
Don't Forget About Baby Products
Of course, if you have young children and babies, it's crucial to have enough of the seemingly endless products needed for a growing child. This usually means diapers, baby formula, baby wipes, bottles, and more.
Although most people already have more than they need in anticipation of a baby's many needs, it's always best to over-supply on necessities in case of the event that you can't leave the home for a while. Yet, again keep in mind other people need things for their babies too.
A Thermometer Can Come In Handy
Having a thermometer can make all of the difference, especially if there is a sick person around and you want to keep an eye on their condition. Unfortunately, the old "hand on the forehead" trick is not an accurate reading of whether or not someone has a fever.
However, a thermometer can give you a precise reading of someone's temperature to see if they are sick. That way, if there is a sickness in the house, you can take the necessary steps to keep it from spreading around everyone who lives there.
You'll Likely Want High Speed Internet
When you spend most of your day out and about, you likely don't notice how your Wifi works throughout the day. But when more than one person is home and trying to stream or use the internet, suddenly it could start acting up. It's a good idea to test your Wifi's capability right now to ensure that your connection is stable, and if it isn't you should get it dealt with ASAP.
Nowadays, it feels like the Internet is necessary for a variety of things— everything from banking to shopping to consuming content and news. It's a good idea to make sure that you have an option to connect with people online if and when you need to.
A Solar Powered Charger
During emergency situations or extended periods of isolation, it's important to be able to stay updated on the news and in contact with your loved ones. If you're locked down for weather-related reasons, it's possible that your power is going to go out for a period of time. The first electronics to die will be your cell phone and smart devices.
It's a smart decision to invest in a solar-powered charger that can power your devices during power outages. You can find these devices online or at any sporting goods store in the camping department.
Laundry Detergent May Be More Helpful Than You Think
Sanitation is paramount in a situation when you are staying in your home for a period of time but hand sanitizer and hand soap aren't the only things you need to keep clean. Having enough laundry detergent to last is essential as well.
It's important to wash off the bacteria that your clothing may have accumulated throughout the day. Another place bacteria can collect on fabric is in pillowcases, sheets, towels, and bedding. Washing these items regularly will help keep your home clean and healthy while you're spending more time than usual inside.
Get Some Exercise Equipment
Whether you're a regular at the gym or don't work out at all, exercise is a great way to improve your mind, body, and spirit. Especially in a situation when you find yourself inside the same place for a longer period of time than usual.
It's worth investing in some kind of small at-home activity that you can turn to if you start to feel stir crazy. For some people it's a yoga mat, for others it's a jump rope or small weights. Whatever your interest is, physical activity is almost always beneficial to your mind and body.
Always Have A Kettle
Even if you're not a coffee or tea drinker, it's never a bad idea to keep a kettle tucked in your cupboard. Aside from being able to make yourself hot beverages and instant noodles, kettles give you the ability to boil your water in the event that your water source is contaminated and needs to be sterilized.
Also, boiling water can have advantages for cleaning and sterilizing certain objects like toothbrushes, cutlery, and baby bottles.
Flashlights In A Waterproof Container
Most of us rely on our phones to use as flashlights in a pinch but it's important to have an actual flashlight somewhere in the home. It's also smart to store the battery-powered lights in a water-safe container in case of water damage.
Prepare your flashlights by keeping extra batteries stored alongside them in case you need to change them out. You never know when the power might cut out so it's best to have a light source in each room. And as a last resort, keep some candles, lighters, and matches in an accessible place in case of emergency— or Earth hour.
Get Dental Hygiene Supplies
It might seem silly, but it's never a bad idea to have plenty of dental hygiene products stored in your bathroom. You never know when you're going to run into some kind of tooth or mouth-related problem that requires a piece of floss or a swig of mouthwash to help you deal with it.
It's not always possible to get an appointment with the dentist when you need to, so it's smart to have some things that can help you provide the most basic cleaning care and maintenance work yourself. These things include toothpicks, floss, extra toothbrushes, mouth wash, and canker sore medicine.