Most of us have spent several weeks ‒ OK, months ‒ sheltering in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Did it teach us anything? 

Let me tell you what I learned. I spent more quality time with my family. I called friends more often. I had time to read those books. I had time to plant a garden. I took needed time to slow down from the “normal” hustle-bustle. I cooked more from scratch and tried new recipes. And yes, I made banana bread.

While the pandemic brought many pleasant and welcome changes to my daily routine, it also reminded me how essential it is to be prepared for the unexpected. How many of us really have our house in order? Do we have the essential supplies and resources we need to ensure our health and safety should another wave of coronavirus surface this fall? 

 

Denise’s “Be Prepared for Anything” List 

Medical Preparedness

  • A week’s supply of medicine ‒ prescriptions and over the counter.  Don’t forget your pet’s medications!
  • An extra pair of eyeglasses
  • A list of all of your doctors and their phone numbers. Ask your doctor or insurance provider for a Vial a Life form to put on your refrigerator.
  • Legal paperwork such as an Advanced Directive. What would happen if you went to the hospital and you couldn’t tell the doctors and staff how you wanted to be treated? Who would talk for you on your behalf?

Home Preparedness

  • Two weeks of non-perishable (canned and boxed) food and water.  Don’t forget your pet’s food!
  • First aid kit  (Make sure someone hasn’t used the supplies and not told you!)
  • A few flashlights, including extra, fresh batteries on hand. 
  • Cleaning and sanitizing supplies. And yes, toilet paper.  (Don’t hoard, just be prepared!)

Communications Preparedness

  • An extra charger for your cell phone
  • A radio with extra batteries
  • Your relatives’ and important numbers and addresses written down in case you can’t use your cell phone
  • A supply of stamps, paper and envelopes for good old-fashioned letter writing

Mental Preparedness

  • Do you have hobbies to keep you busy? Perhaps stock up on those books and art supplies.
  • Call people every day and check on them
  • Keep a list of friends you can call just to talk. Don’t forget to write their numbers down!
  • Keep paper nearby to write down your thoughts as you go through the experience. (This is history in the making!)

The “new normal” is here. Things may look different than what we are used to, but we can carry these lessons from COVID-19 with us…and have comfort in knowing that we are that much more prepared for the days ahead.

Want to learn more? Join Denise for her Town Hall Talk: “Life After Coronavirus”, Wednesday, June 24, 1:30pm PT. Register today at 877-470-0390.

Denise Raach Doyle joined Wider Circle as a group facilitator for the Fresno/Bakersfield chapter in 2018. In her role, she puts her passion for helping others to work by connecting members for better health and social connectedness through neighborhood-based programs and education events. Denise is a certified FEMA Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) Educator and Consultant, a former Director of Education for the Institute of Technology, and holds several advanced degrees. In her spare time, Denise enjoys her family, her dog Eva, traveling, and perfecting the best chocolate chip cookie!