baby planner, nurse, &

Maternity concierge

already a member?

filed in

How To Prepare Your Family For An Emergency- Like The Coronavirus

Preparing our family for an emergency has been on my mind a lot lately, not only because of the coronavirus that seems to be sweeping the nation, but also because of the horrible tornadoes that recently hit Tennessee as well. Any given day we can turn on the news and see another scary tragedy after another, and if you’re anything like me, it can get your anxiety all revved up.

One thing that has helped me feel a bit calmer during these frightening times is preparing ahead of time. Below I’ll share with you how we prep our family and our home for emergencies…everything from viruses (i.e. flu season), to inclement weather, to house fires. Here is how you can quickly and easily prepare your home for an emergency so you can breathe easy….

{We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. To learn more about affiliate links, click here!}

Preparing our family for an emergency has been on my mind a lot lately, so today I'll walk you through how to prepare your family and your home.

Preparing Your Family For Illness/Quarantine

Let’s be honest, it’s not every day or every year or even every decade, that a scary virus sweeps the country and causes society to go on lock-down. We’re kind of in unfamiliar territory here. But, the honest truth is, every year we face cold & flu season which also can cause our families to get really sick. So, let’s go over what to have on hand in your home so you can face any sickness with confidence. Prepare to stock up on these items regularly or prior to flu season every year so that you’re super duper prepared and not overwhelmed.


First things first, every family needs soap during cold and flu season. Hand washing is the #1 way to avoid spreading illness from one family member to the next. So, stock up on hand soap and bar soap for showers and baths. Teach your kids to wash their hands when they come home from school, before they eat anything, and obviously after they use the restroom. Teaching them good hand hygiene from a young age will stick with them, and protect them from getting sick or spreading whatever “coodies” they bring home from school.

Paper Towels

Paper towels are what we use to dry our hands especially during cold and flu season. When we host holidays, I love having decorative towels hanging in the bathroom because they’re cute. But, honestly, they aren’t practical. After numerous hands using it as a towel, they become riddled with germs. So, we set a roll of paper towel out in our bathrooms and in our kitchen for guests to dry their hands with. It’s just plain cleaner.


I suggest you put together a “sick kit” for your home that can easily be brought out when one of you “goes down”. This kit should include a box of basic masks. Various viruses are considered to be spread through droplets that are sprayed into the air through coughs and sneezes. You may like a few masks lying around so you can protect yourself if your kiddo is throwing up or coughing incessantly. These will help protect you against the flu, RSV, and other respiratory illnesses. They’re just a great thing to have on hand.

{For coronavirus, health professionals are using N-95 masks, which are more protectant against airborne pathogens. I personally don’t think these masks are necessary for you to have in your home, unless you are painting or doing carpentry work or remodeling. And, currently, hospitals need all of the masks that we can get to protect ourselves against covid-19 patients, so please don’t stock pile these.}


It’s always nice to have a box of gloves in your sick kit for when you need to clean up messes… the poopy and pukey kind, if you know what I mean. Wearing gloves doesn’t replace good hand washing, though, so even if you use gloves to help you transport laundry to the washing machine or puke buckets to the toilet, always wash your hands afterwards.

Puke Buckets

And, while we’re talking about puke, let’s talk about having a designated puke bucket. You know how easy it is to get kids to the toilet everytime they feel sick….well, IT’S NOT!! We all know that they’ll just throw up wherever they lie if they are that sick, so have a bucket on hand to catch it all. I like these buckets that we use in the hospital that you can easily toss when you’re done and restock, or disinfect them and use them again.


Every home needs a good thermometer, and we especially like this one. It is accurate and really easy to use. Plus, you don’t even have to touch the person who’s temperature you’re checking…no more under the tongue or into the armpit we go! This one is so much cleaner. We love it!

Preparing our family for an emergency has been on my mind a lot lately, so today I'll walk you through how to prepare your family and your home.

Pantry Needs

It’s always a good idea to stock your pantry with those things you’ll eat if you ever get snowed in or sick enough where you have to stay home. We begin stocking our pantry/freezer in the fall before the snowy season hits. We love things like boxed Mac ‘n cheese, popsicles, saltine crackers, chicken noodle soup, etc. Make out a list of what pantry items you’d like to stock up on just in case you get stuck in the house, and replenish these items once or twice a year.


Don’t forget about the beverages you may need as well if you get sick or stuck inside. It’s nice to have some bottles of water available, just in case. But, what we really like to stock up on is gatorade and pedialyte to quickly rehydrate anyone who is under the weather.

Hand Wipes

Hand wipes are one of those items to have on hand (pun intended) while on the go during cold and flu season. Stash some in your car, in your diaper bag, and in your purse. They’re the perfect way to give yourself and your little ones a quick hand wash while on the go if you can’t get to a sink.

Surface Wipes

When we are sick, we don’t play around. We go straight for the Lysol or Clorox wipes. There are plenty of other surface wipes on the market, so choose which one best suits your family. I love these wipes for quick and easy clean ups, and they kill all the germs. They are a must-have item in my book.

Disinfectant Cleaners

Of course, household cleaners are another thing to stock up on in your home. It’s always best to have a basic disinfectant cleaner, some window cleaner, and bathroom cleaner. Often times, I’ll make my own cleaners using vinegar, water, and sometimes Dawn dish soap. I’ll share more of my favorite household cleaners later on the blog. So, stay tuned.


There are a few different medications we stock up on every year in preparation for sickness. These include, Tylenol, Motrin, Mucinex, a cough syrup, cough drops, and a cold/flu relief medication. If you have little ones, stock up on children’s Tylenol and children’s cough relief, and whatever medicines seemed to work for you in the past.

We also stock up on immune boosting items like elderberry, vitamin D, and Emergen-C.

Feminine Care Products

One thing you don’t want to be without during an emergency, is your feminine care products, am I right? So, check your stash every month, and replenish when you need to. Make sure you have enough to cover you for at least 2-3 months at a time.

Pet Supplies

Whether you live in tornado ally or are prepping for hurricane season, don’t forget about your pets. Stock up on food, treats, and any other items they may need if you happen to get stuck in your home for an extended period of time.

Healthy Meal Delivery

Something else you might consider trying, especially if you are trying to avoid crowded grocery stores and restaurants, is a healthy meal delivery service, like Home Chef. You can go onto their website, and choose as many healthy meals as you’d like for however many people that are in your home, and the ingredients and instructions are mailed right to your doorstep. They are quick and easy and cost-effective as well. Click here to enjoy $80 off your first 4 boxes ($20 off each box)!

Related Post: 5 Steps To Building A Joy-Filled Home

Preparing Your Home For An Emergency

Now let’s move into what to have in your home in case of an emergency. These are more items to keep handy and readily available just in case you need them. Let’s get started…

Home Base Binder

We have a Home Base Binder right in our kitchen that includes emergency contact numbers, our home address, our insurance cards, etc. This is a great thing to have if you have someone house-sitting for you or babysitting your kids or your pets. You can include whatever you want in there that is useful to your family…even meal plan ideas, birthday dates, a perpetual calendar, budget sheets, etc. But, this should also be the place where someone could find emergency information like dosages for children’s medications, where to find the fire extinguisher, how to shut off or activate the alarm system, and more.

In the coming months, I look forward to creating Home Base Binder printable sheets for you to use to create your own notebook of knowledge. If you have any thoughts or recommendations of sheets you’d like to see in your binder, let me know in the comments below.


Every household needs batteries, am I right? Figure out a landing zone for all of your batteries so that they are easily available in case you need them right away…like say your power goes out and your flashlight isn’t working. Been there, done that.


We have a basket in our linen closet that houses our flashlights and extra batteries just in case we need them. They’ve come in handy during terrible thunderstorms where we’re sure we’ll lose power. The point is to have a couple of great flashlights in your home, and placed wherever they’re easily accessible to the entire family.


Another item we keep in this basket is an emergency radio. Remember that blackout back in 2003, I think? I remember sitting in my car, wasting gas, listening to the radio updates. Ever since then, I’ve thought about how important it is to have an old-school radio in your home during times such as that. This is the one we like the best…it can even charge your phone!

First Aid Kit

A First Aid Kit is always a must in any house hold, and ours lives right next to that basket of lights in our linen closet. We leave the thermometer nearby, as well, along our “sick kit” that’s filled with gloves, masks, disinfectant spray, and puke buckets. We also have a plethora of fun bandaids for the kids and booboo bunnies for ouchies.

Fire Alarm

Take it from an old burn nurse, YOU NEED WORKING FIRE DETECTORS IN YOUR HOME! I can’t stress this enough. Check them every season and then check them again. We plan to upgrade our system to the entire Nest system in the future.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

And, along those same lines, every home needs a carbon monoxide detector. We can worry all we want about the crazy things that can kill us outside of our homes, but carbon monoxide is a silent killer that lives inside our homes. Snatch up this one that simply plugs into an outlet and protect your entire family today.

Fire Extinguisher

Lastly, get a fire extinguisher for your home as well. We have one for our kitchen (that’s specifically for kitchen fires) and a regular one. They are kept under the sink in our laundry room which is right off of the kitchen. Once again, pick a centralized location, and make sure everyone in your family knows where it is. Note: these are only meant to contain small fires.

Related Post: How To Simplify & Declutter Your Home

Simple Ways To Prep Your Kids For An Emergency

Now that we’ve talked about all of the things you need in your home to prepare you for an emergency, let’s talk about how to prepare the people in your home.

Run Through Emergency Drills

I think it’s important to sit down and have a talk with your kids about emergencies. Run through drills if you have to. I remember when I was little, we all knew in the case of a fire, to get out of our window and meet at a particular tree across the street. Talk through these scenarios with your kids in a calm manner. Teach them that preparation is necessary, and not scary.

Teach Them How To Dial 9-1-1

Now that homes rarely have a “house phone”, teach your children how to dial 9-1-1 on your cell phone. Show them how to get into your emergency contacts just in case, and let them practice (without actually dialing of course). Trust me, kids catch on to all of this technology stuff a lot faster than we do, so practice doing it yourself as well.

Teach Your Kids Your Address & Your Phone Number

Make sure your kids memorize your address and your phone number to share with first responders if they are ever lost or hurt, or if you are unable to share these things yourself (i.e. in a car accident, for instance). And, on that note, if you didn’t have your phone, would you know your husband’s phone number or your parents? We’ve gotten so used to the convenience of our smart phones, but what if it dies or is lost or broken? I guess it’s time for us all to start memorizing some phone numbers, am I right?

Meet Your First Responders

Every fall our local fire station hosts a “Meet the Firefighters” day. We used to take our nieces and nephews every year when they were young so they could try on the firemen’s boots, sit in the firetruck, and eat popcorn and donuts. They’d even let them shoot the fire hose! It was the perfect photo op for their Instagram-loving auntie and they loved it!

Really, though, it was also our opportunity to introduce them, in a fun environment, to the responders that may come to save their lives one day. I wanted them to not feel scared if they saw a firetruck or saw a firemen coming through their window to rescue them. Those days always ended with a discussion about what to do in an emergency, who to call, who to trust, etc. It was a wonderful time to discuss those things that are often times really scary, while sharing stories of all of the fun things we did that day.

Check your local community for opportunities such as this where you can take your children to meet doctors, nurses, firemen, first responders, and police officers.

Stay Calm

Most of all, sweet friends, stay calm especially when talking to your kids about any emergency. Preparation is key and having the items we need oftentimes will decrease our anxiety, but don’t forget your kids will pick up on your fears and worries. So, especially in these coming days with coronavirus everywhere on the news and the radio, take this opportunity to talk to your kids about emergencies and what to do. Reassure them that they are loved and safe.

So, I’m curious, what items do you need to add to your home today? Are you prepared for emergencies/sickness? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Preparing our family for an emergency has been on my mind a lot lately, so today I'll walk you through how to prepare your family and your home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *