Health Advocate Blog

Plan for the unexpected

The ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic presents ongoing uncertainties, reminding us that it’s more important than ever to take preventive steps to stay healthy, and to also make plans in case someone gets sick. Read on for key ways to keep healthy, as well as to prepare yourself, your family and your household in advance of illness.

Remind household members to practice everyday preventive habits. This includes frequent hand-washing, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and cleaning frequently-touched surfaces.

Stay abreast of outbreaks in your area and follow recommendations. Heed current rules for social distancing, mask-wearing, visiting business establishments and events, travel, etc.

Keep medical information handy. Include your updated health insurance card, medical history, list of medications (and allergies to medications), doctor contacts, emergency contacts and if you have it, a health directive.

Compile a list of personal contacts and organizations. List employers, teachers, as well as those that provide health care and counseling services, food and other supplies you may need as well as drivers, the local public health department, etc.

Talk with your family, a trusted friend or neighbor to discuss your plan in case of a community outbreak. Review the needs of everyone, including who will look after your children and pets, should you be hospitalized.

If applicable, know your employer’s emergency plans. Learn about sick-leave policies and telework options for workers who are sick or who need to stay home to care for sick household members. If your child’s school is planning to open in the coming weeks, find out about temporary early dismissal and online learning opportunities, for example.

Plan ways to care for household members at greater risk for serious complications. Consider choosing a room to separate someone who is sick from the healthy household members. Talk to your health provider about monitoring symptoms.

For up-to-date information about prevention and planning during the pandemic, visit

For state-by-state information about outbreaks, visit: