The threat is still growing but we can be ready to deal with whatever comes.

The COVID-19, has spread to more than 80 countries and territories around the world.

China ordered all companies in non-virus-stricken areas to resume operations, but local officials complained that many companies were unwilling or unable to resume business due to the lack of supplies to protect against the spread of the virus: alcohol, disinfectants, and protective masks.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the United States has risen to over 500 with 21 confirmed deaths.

Italy has imposed a virtual lockdown across the northern part of the country including the financial capital of Milan, in an attempt to try to contain the rapidly spreading coronavirus. The unprecedented restrictions will impact 16 million people and stay in force until April 3rd.

There is some good news. There are now over 1 million tests available to the medical community with more to be distributed this week. People are complying with self-quarantines minimizing the chance for the spread of the virus.

A few years ago, I wrote an ebook: Prep Not Panic that discussed pandemics, the history, preparations, self-quarantine and care of the ill. While researching I spoke with the Center for Disease Control to confirm what I was writing was accurate. I was told organizations such as these, government agencies, often keep their counsel fairly generic due to the huge variations in the ability of the population to prepare. They will only tell us the facts and briefly what we should be doing.  They will not give specific advice. So, let’s get specific.

We have all heard there has been a run on the stores, many of which now have empty shelves where water and toilet paper used to reside. It is always good to have a large supply of TP, it doesn’t spoil, makes a great item to barter, and the money is never wasted as you will use it.

Water is a different story when considering preparations in case a self-quarantine is necessary. Don’t waste limited resources on water. Yes, wells can fail, public water treatment plants may have a problem, but the chances are very remote. Should either of these happen they will not be quickly repaired as there will be no one to make those repairs, again, the chances are very remote. A little water is appropriate to have on hand for those who become ill. It is very important to keep a patient hydrated and an individual, disposable, water bottle is a good way to help prevent the spread of germs among family members.


A few years ago we spent an entire year on the Totally Ready Facebook page stocking our in home General Store with our General Food Storage Year Long Plan.  If you followed along you are well prepared to self-quarantine. For those who did not follow, here is what you need to know to be ready to feed your family for 2-3 weeks. In articles, the past few weeks I have listed items to purchase to be ready, please review those. The following is more specific for those of you still preparing and unsure if you have done enough.

For each adult you will need: 13 cans of fruit, 13 cans of vegetables, 9 pounds of protein, 9 pounds of grains and 5 pounds of milk and/or cheese.

For each child, who still eats like a child: 11 cans of fruit, 12 cans of vegetables, 7 pounds of protein, 7 pounds of grains and 4 pounds of milk and/or cheese.

A few tips:

  1. Do not forget snacks. Adults as well as children will be going crazy at home after a few days. If you store brownie mix as a snack, for example, be sure to store plenty of oil and eggs.
  2. Store what your family loves. If they love cold cereal and hate oatmeal, store cold cereal. Remember lots of milk, it freezes well or purchase shelf stable cartons. Nut milks do not count as either dairy or protein. For younger children evaporated milk is wonderful as it has milk fats necessary for growth and can be diluted if the taste is too strong.
  3. Dried and frozen fruits can be substituted for canned. A pound bag of frozen equals two 15oz. cans.
  4. Frozen vegetables can also be substituted for canned, a pound equals two cans.
  5. Fresh fruits and vegetables can, of course, be substituted but only if they are currently being grown and are ready for harvest in your own yard.
  6. Protein includes, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, beans and nut butters.
  7. Grains include, flours, rice, brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, pasta, pretzels, quinoa,  cornmeal, and cream of wheat, to name a few.
  8. Dairy freezes well so don’t be afraid to stock up on milk and cheeses.
  9. Remember to include the foods you would normally feed a patient with the seasonal flu, chicken soup, gelatins, the BRAT diet (banana, rice, applesauce and toast) etc.
  10. You can freeze eggs. Beat an egg and place it in a section of an ice cube tray, one egg per section. Freeze the eggs and when hard place them in freezer bags. When you need eggs, each block equals one egg.

You have heard the stories of people hoarding. I would remind you hoarding is buying more than you need and will use in a reasonable period WHEN supplies are limited. You are not hoarding when you purchase 10 cans of veggies when there are 50 on the shelf. You are hoarding if you purchase 10 cans when there are only 10 cans on the shelf and no more is expected. Be considerate when purchasing. Should we be called on to self-quarantine you will not want to be out stocking up with those in a panic who have done no planning and now worry about feeding their family.

Teach your family about pandemics:

I have spent a week with grandchildren as their parents traveled and I have been concerned about the talk among students in elementary through high school. Our kids were told their parents would get the COVID-19 because they were traveling, one student said her mom was pulling her out of school, another said everyone who gets it dies, another reported 2000 people in Washington have died. Help put an end to this disinformation and calm your children’s fears.

Talk to your children and grandchildren. Remind them how to properly cover a sneeze or cough and how to effectively wash their hands. Explain the novel coronavirus is new and that is why we are concerned BUT the medical community and the government are working on it, so you are calm, and they should be too. Educate them about the things you are doing to prepare, not because you are panicking but because it makes you feel safe to know you can care for your family if you should be asked to stay home for a few weeks to avoid becoming ill. If you are fearful calm yourself down too.

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more that we may fear less.” Marie Curie

Determine who will need help:

Now is the time to check with family and friends who may not have the ability to prepare. Help them prepare in their own home or plan your preparations so you can take them into your home. You may find some are not willing to leave their homes and they are also not capable of caring for their own needs. If you should need to take food to someone under these circumstances be sure to leave it on their doorstep, ring the bell and immediately leave. Ask them to count to thirty before opening the door giving you time to depart.

You may also consider preparing freezer meals to take to those in need. As you fix meals for your family make extra and freeze it. If a self-quarantine is ordered, take meals to the people you are concerned about, instruct them to freeze or refrigerate them until needed. You will now know provided them with a few healthy meals.

No trash pick-up:

Sanitation workers will be home caring for their families and protecting themselves from illness. Prepare by having extra trash bags on hand and plan for where they can be safely stored until services resume. Consider paper plates, bowls and cups that could be burned if you are living where this is possible, reducing waste.

Check with the schools:

Ask your local school district what plans are being made should a quarantine be advised. Will there be classes online, or books and worksheets to take home? Will the school year be lengthened, or hours added to the day to make up the time missed? All districts should be preparing now.

Check with employers:

Can you arrange for work to be done at home? What will you need to take from the office to your home to make this possible? Employees for Disney in Seattle have already been told to work from home due the number of deaths and persons ill in that area.

When to quarantine:

If you have been told to self-quarantine, do so immediately. You may be told you have a day to prepare or the order may be given of a curfew that same day to begin a community self-quarantine.

If you have been with someone within the past two weeks who has now tested positive for the COVID-19 it is time to self-quarantine. At this moment Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona have both begun a self-quarantine after a person they were in close contact with at the CPAC convention tested positive. They had both had conversations and shaken hands with the man. Be respectful of others and self-quarantine if this should happen to you. Remember, it can take two weeks before you show signs of the virus, but you may be infecting others the entire time.

Create a medical record:

Now is the time to prepare a medical record for each family member. These should be included in 120-hour kits so get it done now and you are ready to add them to your kits later. For each person include all medications being taken, including over the counter medications, with their dosage. Record all surgeries, allergies to medications and foods, diagnosed illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory problems such as asthma. Note if they smoke or drink alcohol. List their blood type. Include the name and contact information of all doctors seen by the family member and the doctor’s contact information. If you will be hosting a parent or other extended family or friends get them to fill out a health history on themselves now. When you call a doctor or the hospital for advice they will need this information.

Should you or a family member become ill call the doctor or hospital before going. They can then advise you where to go and they can be ready to test you when you arrive while also being prepared to protect their staff.

This threat will end. A vaccine is close to the test phase which has been cut from a 6-month testing period on animals to 6 weeks by Vice president Pence’s task force. A vaccine could be in production by early summer and ready for use by the public early next year.

Yesterday we were asked by a member of the Stake presidency to read and discuss favorite scripture stories with our children and grandchildren. We did that last night and had a great spiritual experience. Follow Come Follow Me as often as possible, ideally each day, or share inspirational stories from the scripture or your own family history at dinner each night. Reassure your family that Heavenly Father is in charge, you have done all you can do and He will do the rest.

Don’t forget to visit Carolyn’s Facebook page and the Totally Ready website for Coronavirus updates and help with your self-reliance goals. This year Totally Ready is concentrating on financial self-reliance with plans, and tips.