Personal preparedness (COVID-19)
Everyone has a role to play in minimizing the impacts of COVID-19. There are practical steps that you and your family can take to prepare if COVID-19 starts to circulate in the community. As much as possible, Ontarians are encouraged to limit outings to essentials like going to work or school, picking up groceries, attending a medical appointment, or engaging in outdoor physical activity. For all outings, continue to practise COVID-safe behaviours like distancing and wearing a face covering. It’s important to assess your own personal situation and plan accordingly.
Here are things you can do to prepare:
- Make a plan
- Communicate with family, friends, and neighbours
- Prepare to stay home if you are sick
- Fill your prescriptions
- Make work arrangements
- Care for pets and other animals
- Stay informed
- Review travel plans
Make a plan
Create a plan based on your needs and daily routines, including having other options for child, elder, and pet care. If someone gets sick, have a care plan.
- Talk to people who might be able to help if someone gets sick.
- Make plans for your children or other dependents in case you get sick, for example, arrange back-up care for children.
- Identify agencies that may be able to offer help, whether for food, mental health support, or other supplies.
- Create an emergency contact list, for example, information for doctors, friends, family, community services.
- Make copies of crucial personal documents.
- Get to know and check in on your neighbours.
- Stay connected by phone or social media.
- Some people are at greater risk of health complications from respiratory illnesses like COVID-19 and influenza, for example, older adults and people with certain health conditions. Check-in on them and follow advice from health care providers.
- Share your plans, as this might motivate others to make their own.
- Talk about a buddy system in which you agree to check in on each other and run essential errands if you become sick.
Fill your cupboards now so you do not need to go shopping if you become sick. You don’t need to buy it all at once. Build your supplies gradually by buying extra items when you’re shopping.
Have a two week (14 days) supply of the following:
- Water: one gallon per person, per day
- Non-perishable, easily prepared foods for example:
- dried pasta and sauce
- prepared canned soups
- canned vegetables and beans
- Cleaning supplies:
- paper towels
- household cleaning products
- regular detergents for washing dishes and doing laundry
- plastic garbage bags for containing soiled tissues and other waste
- household bleach for creating a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water to disinfect surfaces (in the event you or a family member becomes ill)
- Hygiene supplies
- facial tissue
- alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- toilet paper
- feminine hygiene products
- Pet food
- Up-to-date emergency kit. Learn how to build an emergency kit.
- Chargers for cellphones to stay up-to-date on alerts and warnings
Learn more about what you can do to limit the spread of COVID-19 while shopping in stores or ordering food.
- Ensure you have enough prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
- Get refills with enough notice so that you do not run out of medication. Consider having an extra month of prescription medications if you’re able
- Over-the-counter medications can include fever-reducing medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Don’t forget products for children if you are a parent or caregiver.
- Think about what you will do if a member of your family becomes sick and needs care.
- Talk to your employer about working from home if you need to care for a family member at home.
- If you, yourself, become ill, stay home until you are no longer showing symptoms.
- An employee will not be required to provide a medical note if they need to take a leave due to COVID-19 (per the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020).
There is currently no evidence that pets or other domestic animals play a role in the spread of COVID-19. To minimize risk, keep pets away from people and other animals until more is known.
Learn more about how to care for pets and other animals during COVID-19 (Public Health Ontario).
- Stay informed by listening to news from your child’s school, getting to know your workplace’s emergency plans, and following credible sources of information.
While abroad, you may come in contact with the novel coronavirus.
Learn more about symptoms and how to protect yourself from COVID-19.
This item was last modified on October 16, 2020