An alarming new study has found that despite the wave of panic buying taking place across the country, two in three Americans say they don’t have enough supplies to last three days in quarantine.
The study analyzed data from over 3,000 respondents and used the Department of Homeland Security’s recommendation to have at least three days of food and emergency supplies on hand at all times. According to the study, 72 percent of Americans didn’t have this supply before COVID-19 became prevalent. During the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, 66 percent still did not have this supply.
Because these Americans don’t have enough for three days, we must assume they’re grocery shopping more often. This presents a serious risk, especially considering that visiting public places puts shoppers at higher risk of exposure to the virus.
All this being said, it’s possible that a severe lack of preparation before and during the outbreak is resulting in the continuation of the virus over time.
Here is the three-day list of essential supplies the Department of Homeland Security suggests having on hand during an emergency:
- Water (one gallon per person per day, for drinking and sanitation)
- Food (non-perishable)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
- Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
- Manual can opener (for food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Here are the recommended additions to your three-day emergency kit:
- Cloth face coverings (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
- Prescription medications
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
- Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler’s checks
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
For more information on disaster preparedness, use these resources.