Pandemic Preparedness

Take action to protect yourself and your family during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below are steps you should follow at home. You can find guidance for specific groups like businesses, schools and more on the Community Sector Support page.

Households 

Get your household ready. Some steps will be the same as preparing for other emergencies.

  • Store a two-week supply of food, beverages, and water, including food for family pets. Ensure an adequate supply of prescribed and routine medications are on hand.
  • Plan ways to care for those who are at greater risk for serious complications and who will take care of sick family members.
  • If you have family members with increased risk of getting seriously sick, check with your medical providers about symptoms and treatment. 
  • Create an emergency contact list of family, friends and neighbors.
  • Have a plan in case your childcare facility or workplace closes temporarily.
  • Choose a room in your home where a sick household member can be kept separate from the rest of the family. If possible, find a separate bathroom as well.

 

Disinfecting Your Home

Disinfect your home regularly to protect your family from the virus.

  • Clean surfaces that are frequently touched like tables, doorknobs, light switches and faucets with soap and water.
  • Use diluted household bleach solutions if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer instructions and make sure you have proper ventilation. Never use household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. 
  • You can also disinfect using EPA-approved products proven for use against the COVID-19 virus (e.g., Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Lysol Clean & Fresh MultiSurface Cleaner, Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Wipes).
  • If using an alcohol solution, make sure it’s at least 70% alcohol.
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially:
    • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
    • After using the bathroom
    • Before preparing and eating food
    • After petting animals
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands

Disinfection guidance (PDF): English | Spanish

Additional measures should be taken if a household member is suspected/confirmed coronavirus disease. For more information, see CDC recommendations.

 

During a COVID-19 Outbreak

  • Stay at home to stop the spread of the disease unless you are an essential worker. You can go out to buy groceries, walk the dog and enjoy the outdoors but follow social distancing guidelines by staying six feet away from others. Be sure your park or trail is open before you go.
  • Stay informed but limit your amount of news if it becomes stressful.
  • Stay in touch with family, neighbors and friends.
  • Take care of your mental health. Tips to Maintain Mental Health and Wellness (PDF).
  • Stay home if you are sick and isolate yourself from the rest of the family. If symptoms become worse, contact your doctor.