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Making a Family COVID Emergency Plan

By staff
Read Time: 3 Minutes

Five practical steps to help protect your home during the coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus continues to have a serious impact in communities across Texas. Handwashing, wearing masks when you go out in public, and practicing social distancing are still critical steps to minimize the risk of getting infected or infecting others.

But, have you and your family made plans in case someone (or everyone) gets sick? Don't wait until it's too late! Have an emergency plan in place and ready to go. Here are five things you can do today:

Step One: Plan for the Children

Ask someone who can safely care for your children if the adults in the house get sick. Choose someone who:

  • Can and is willing to help.
  • Is healthy.
  • You can trust with your child.
  • Is not at increased risk of complications from COVID-19 (65 or older, chronic lung or heart disease, gets sick easily).
Plan for the Children

Step Two: Gather Support and Supplies

  • Reach out to friends and family in your community to create a support network of people who can help with care for your pets, run errands, shop for household needs, or pick up medicine for you while you're sick.
  • Make sure you have some basic cleaning supplies on hand to disinfect and clean your home, including soap, bleach, and gloves.
  • Make sure you have enough personal care items, like soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes to last for two weeks so you don't run out.
  • Talk to your health care providers about getting a two-week supply of all medicines you need and how to have refills mailed to your home.
Gather support and supplies

Step Three: Update your Family's Emergency Information

  • When you're sick, the last thing you want to do is hunt down a phone number. Grab something to write with and gather the following information:
    • A complete list of your (and your children's) current doctors, including how to contact them.
    • Your pharmacy's information, including contact information.
    • A list of all family medications and how to take each medicine.
  • Post this information in your home in a place where everyone can see it and be sure to update it if information changes.
  • Share this information with the people you have asked to help you.
  • Download an Emergency Information Sheet you can fill out, save, print, and share.
Update your Family's Emergency Information

Step Four: Everybody Can Help, Even the Kids.

  • Talk to the kids in your home about what's going on and how they can help you.
  • Show your children how to wash hands and practice social distancing.
  • If your child is old enough to wear a mask, which is age two and up, explain why it's important to keep it on when traveling outside the home.
  • Explaining what rules need to be followed and why they are important can go a long way in setting expectations and managing fears.
Everyone can help, even the kids

Step Five: Prepare for Two Weeks of Recovery

  • If you or other family members are sick, you'll need to plan for two weeks of isolation while you or they recover. Isolation means sleeping in a separate bedroom and using a separate bathroom if possible, using separate eating utensils or disposable plates, and washing bedding and clothing separately or in water as hot as possible.
  • The Center for Disease Control has detailed resources for families dealing with sickness. Here are some detailed links that can guide you:

Have a question about family emergency plans?

Contact the team at

This article was written by staff.

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