DHS Advises Americans to Store Two Weeks of Food, Water for Coronavirus Prep

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security offers tips for planning for a possible pandemic in relation to the Coronavirus on a preparedness website.

Ready.gov now contains a topic titled, “Human Coronavirus — Know the facts about Coronavirus. Public health is everyone’s responsibility.” That website redirects to recommendations for how to prepare for a possible pandemic. DHS recommends storing a two-week supply of water and food. Officials also urge Americans to make sure they have all needed prescription medications filled for that time period.

People wearing face-masks visit a hand sanitizer station at Siam Paragon Mall on February 8, 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand. As Thailand confirms its 32nd case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and face mask supplies dwindle in stores, Thailand's Ministry of Defence assigned the Army's Medical Department, Phramongkutklao Hospital and the …

Specifically, DHS recommends:

Before a Pandemic

  • Store a two week supply of water and food.
  • Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
  • Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
  • Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference. Get help accessing electronic health records.
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

If a pandemic should break out in the United States, officials urge the public to take steps to limit the spread of the germs to prevent infection. Tips include staying away from those who might be sick, frequent hand washing, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your fingers.

DHS recommends:

During a Pandemic

Limit the Spread of Germs and Prevent Infection (emphasis below copied from website, not added by writer)

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

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