Are You Ready? Learn More About Shelter-In-Place

Updated: Apr 1, 2020

With the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, many Americans are finding themselves unprepared and are rushing at the last minute to stock up and protect their loved one. The truth be told, if you haven’t already been preparing, you’re probably behind the eight ball. However, all hope is not lost.Sometimes the best way to stay safe, is to plan. But the truth is, preparedness and safety can be overwhelming.

Where do you start?

For the most immediate concern, protect yourself and others from contamination.

  • Clean your hands often and use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Begin social distancing. Avoid public places, large groups, and for the most part stay home when possible. This is where shelter-in-place prepping comes handy.

  • Stay home is you are sick and wear a MASK to avoid spreading colds & flus (including COVID-19) to others

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily


So now let’s talk about the long-term approach, Shelter-In-Place preparation. Shelter-in-place can mean many things, but in general it means to seek safety within the building one already occupies, rather than to evacuate the area or seek a community emergency shelter. In short, it means stay home. Sound familiar? When preparing for emergency situations like we see ourselves in today, this is always a good place to start. Your plan A options should always be to prepare in the home first, then to evacuate (aka bug-out). Here are some resources to get you started with your preparations.

Basic Needs and Supplies:

Water and Non-Perishable Food:

  • 1-2-gallons of water per person per day

  • Life straws AND other water purification methods (boiling, chlorination's, distillation, filtration)

  • 2000 - 3000 calories of food per person/per day

  • Alternative cooking methods (indoor preferred – burners, etc.)

  • Pet provisions (if needed)

Note: see here for recommendations on how to build your storehouse

Shelter Options:

  • Designated shelter room in the home

  • Back-up shelter options (tent, tarps, etc.)

  • Energy source (generator, solar, etc.)

  • Heat source (low visibility to the public)

  • Light source (with low visibility to the public)

  • Battery-powered or hand cranked flashlights, or glow sticks

  • Cache of office supplies (notepads, pens, markers, etc.)

  • Fire extinguisher

  • Pry-bar (for opening doors that may have been damaged or blocked by debris)

First Aid Supplies:

  • Extra prescriptions medications

  • Adhesive tape and bandages in assorted sizes are on-hand.

  • Safety pins in assorted sizes are in the shelter.

  • There is a supply of latex gloves in the shelter.

  • Scissors and Tweezers are available in the shelter.

  • Antiseptic solutions and antibiotic ointments are in the emergency kit.

  • A supply of moistened towelettes are on-hand.

  • A supply of non-prescription drugs and vitamins (e.g. aspirin and non-aspirin pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medications, antacids, syrups of ipecac, laxatives) are available.

  • Petroleum jelly is available in the emergency kit.

  • Eye drops are available.

  • Wooden splints are included in the emergency supply kit.

  • Thermometers are available.

  • Cotton towels are available.

  • Fold up cots are stored in the shelter.

  • There are first aid handbooks in the shelter.

  • Fire extinguisher, blankets, Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

Security Equipment:

  • Device/smart phone capable of receiving NOAA and local news updates.

  • Cell phone, two-way radio, crank operated radio, HAM radio or satellite phone

  • Firearms

  • 1000 rounds of ammunition per firearm

  • Other forms of defensive protection (Knifes, Bows, pepper spray, pellet gun, etc.)

  • Extra set of car keys in emergency supply kit

  • Cash, coins, or precious metal. (preferably silver or gold)

  • 3 ml plastic or plywood for window coverings and vents

  • Blackout curtains or other solid window coverings

Sanitary Supplies:

  • Toilet Paper

  • Paper towels.

  • Disinfectants.

  • Chlorine bleach.

  • Plastic bags.

  • Plastic sheeting (preferably, pre-cut to size to cover any windows & doors and labeled).

  • Duct tape for sealing cracks around doors and windows.

  • 5-gallon bucket (with Lysol, nytril gloves, toilet paper, liners, paper towels, hand soap, & chem packs)

  • System/plan in place for waste removal (local park or nearby trash bins)

Hygiene Items

  • Clean delicates

  • Personal clean wipes

  • Washcloth

  • Fingernail Clippers

  • Comb

  • Razors

  • Toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Toothbrush

  • Soap

  • Shampoo/body wash

  • Female hygiene

Air Purification:

  • N95 mask for all members in the household

  • N99 mask for all members in the household

  • P100 Respirators for all members of the household

  • Extra filters

Situational Awareness:

  • Neighborhood population

  • Refineries or other hazardous locations nearby

  • Local parks

  • Local water sources

  • Local food supplies

  • Other

Please share this article with loved ones you want to help prepare for the days and weeks ahead.

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Author: "Stitches" SPRO