Some emergency situations result in the need for social isolation to protect oneself or others. If you find yourself in this situation, having a fully stocked emergency kit and a few other essentials can take some of the stress off the situation.
Reasons for Social Isolation
There are a few emergency situations that can prompt social isolation or quarantine. Things like bio-terrorism, worldwide pandemics, or simply getting sick with an illness can prompt one to stay home for prolonged periods. In other cases, you might choose to self-isolate if it’s in the heart of cold and flu season and you are susceptible and at high risk for complications from those illnesses. At those times you may find working from home the best choice if possible.
Another reason for social isolation is government mandates and recommendations. These are rather rare depending on the area of the world you live and generally occur doing nationwide epidemics such as COVID-19 which has become a pandemic.
Whatever the reason for social isolation, having a stocked emergency kit will be helpful in keeping you out of the public for a while.
Preparing for Social Isolation
Don’t wait until the crisis happens to prepare if possible. No one imagines getting told they shouldn’t or can’t leave their home for an extended time. If you have no emergency stock and suddenly find yourself homebound, it can be an even scarier situation.
Preparing for isolation is another aspect of needing an emergency kit and an emergency plan in place. When preparing to hunker down, make sure you have all the items stocked in your emergency kit. Gather information about how long you may have to self-isolate. Will it be just a couple of days while recovering from the flu, weeks, or even months to curb the spread of a pandemic?
Once you have an idea of what you are preparing for you can begin gathering the supplies you need.
Social Isolation and Your Emergency Kit
You should already have a basic emergency kit in place. If you don’t, make sure to gather those items first. Once you have those things you can build from there to be prepared should you need to stay home for a while.
There are a few extra things you should have on hand before going into social isolation. Make sure to get enough to last through the duration of the social isolation. The things to get in addition to your basic emergency kit are:
- Extra food
- Pet food and supplies
- Paper products
- Cleaning supplies
- Personal hygiene items
There may be other things you need to consider getting so you can minimize your trips out in public or stay in altogether. Each person’s situation is slightly different so be sure to get those things as well.
Preparing for Social Isolation vs. Panic Buying
Buying for emergency preparation is different than panic buying and hoarding. Get what you need for the duration you plan to stay to yourself. If that is two weeks, plan for a couple of weeks of meals and get what you need for those. Picking up a few extra things to prepare for the unexpected is okay. But if the experts are saying prepare for two weeks, don’t buy two months worth of stuff.
Buy what you need and, if possible, buy it over time so you are prepared when extreme situations occur rather than trying to figure out how to get it during the crisis.
Social isolation can be lonely and even increases the chance of premature death. Kids might feel the effects if they can no longer attend school or hang out with friends. Older adults living alone might miss the interaction they once had when they could go to coffee with others. Finding ways to stay connected should be part of your emergency plan.
If you have kids, schedule a time for them to make video calls to friends and grandparents. Before entering into isolation teach older adults how to use technology. Then they will still be able to visit with friends and family.
Finally, take care of yourself. Make sure you stay healthy mentally by taking time for yourself if you are suddenly home with kids and teaching them. Or if you are alone, find fun activities to do. Play a game, take a walk in the wilderness, do a puzzle, or binge-watch Netflix. Whatever you enjoy, besides hanging out with others beyond your immediate family, do it.
Not waiting until the emergency is at hand is the key to getting through any crisis with less stress. Come up with an emergency plan before you ever need it and begin getting the things for our emergency kit. When things do happen, don’t panic, put your plan in place and adjust as best you can until things settle down.