No one anticipated the explosion of the COVID-19 virus. However, we’re all feeling its effects.

Health and safety are at the forefront of everyone’s mind like never before, especially as there is no real end in sight for social distancing protocols. Here is how to keep yourself and your family safe while we wait for this once-in-a-lifetime event to pass.

Stock Up on Emergency Supplies

First, it is important to remember that a global health crisis does not prevent accidents, injuries, and natural disasters — tornado season is coming up and kids are still jumping on trampolines. Because of this, one of your first priorities should be to ensure that your family is stocked up on emergency and first aid basics. This should include antiseptics and wound care products but also things like firewood, gallons of water, and a flashlight. As for the latter of these, don’t stick with what you’d find at the dollar store. Look for a sturdy brand with a long battery life that can brightly illuminate your home in case of an unwelcome power outage.

Consider Your Excursions Carefully

As far as avoiding the virus, it’s best if you follow state, local, and federal advice. In most parts of the country, this is to sit tight where you are for as long as possible. Many areas have implemented shelter at home orders; others, the less strict safer at home request. This is not without reason, as the more people that stay in their home, the fewer cases of the virus there will be. The American Medical Association notes that an illness slowdown will keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed, meaning they will be able to give you their time and attention if you experience an emergency, such as a broken bone or heart attack.

Planning for self-isolation does require some preparation. To keep your family safe, you’ll want to limit your excursions only to those outings that are essential to your family. For many, this means going to the grocery store. If you have mobility issues, you might consider an electric scooter with seat.

Plan to shop for at least two weeks, if possible. Foods with a long shelf life should be your main priority. Of course, you do not want to live on processed, boxed foods. Produce, such as butternut squash, potatoes, and onions can last for months in a cool, dry place. Eggs, frozen meats, and dry ingredients, such as flour, baking powder, and sugar, will go a long way toward keeping you at home where you are safe during quarantine.

Read our guide here to food safety and coronavirus.

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Tackle home security issues

While crimes, such as robbery and rape, tend to be on the decline as people are shut into their homes, it is never a bad idea to spend some time ensuring your home is fortified. If nothing else, this can help you rest easier at night. Fortunately, many home security measures do not require an unnecessary trip to Lowe’s or Home Depot. Armor Concepts notes that simple steps, such as locking your doors and windows and trimming the bushes, are excellent crime deterrents.

Don’t Forget Your Mental Health

Keeping yourself safe is not simply a matter of avoiding the virus in creating a fortress. You also need to pay attention to your mental health as well as that of your children. One of the biggest issues facing many is depression that can go along with social isolation. Socializing during a pandemic is difficult, but not impossible. Social media and video-enabled smart home hubs can help you and your family stay connected to the people you love.

While no one knows for sure when the pandemic will come to an end, one thing is for certain. That is that the more we do to slow the spread is the best way to shorten the quarantine. So, keep yourself and your family safe by making sure you have plenty of emergency supplies, limiting your excursions, and staying connected to the outside world. By doing these things now, you’ll not only keep yourself safe but also contribute to the return of normalcy.