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Coronavirus UK: How to prepare an emergency kit for coronavirus or any other health crisis

woman at home in her kitchen

What essentials should you have at home? (Picture: Getty)

As the UK settles into life in lockdown, most of us are looking at the spending the next three weeks more or less indoors, only leaving the house to purchase essential items.

However, to avoid any coronavirus contact, some people have been ordered to stay at home for the next 12 weeks.

Those deemed clinically vulnerable – such as people undergoing certain cancer treatments or suffering from severe respiratory conditions – have been instructed to ‘shield’ themselves from the virus by staying at home and avoiding face to face contact with others.

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People who have symptoms must also stay at home for seven days and those who live with them must stay at home for fourteen.

So whether you’re shielding yourself, looking after someone else, or just want to be prepared for any potential outbreak, what items should you have in your house?

Ill woman looking at thermometer at home

Having a thermometre at hand could prove useful (Picture: Getty)

What to put in a coronavirus emergency kit

It’s important to have in a range of non-perishable goods and medicine, should you struggle to get out.

Here are the items The British Red Cross recommends putting in an emergency kit.

Please note that these are items generally deemed to be useful in any emergency, not specifically for coronavirus.

  • A list of emergency contact numbers. This should be a paper copy, in case your mobile phone loses power.
  • A battery-operated torch and spare batteries, or a wind-up torch.
  • Battery-operated radio and spare batteries, or a wind-up radio.
  • Any essential medication and a first aid kit.
  • Three days’ supply of bottled water and ready-to-eat food that won’t go off.
  • Copies of important documents, such as insurance policies and birth certificates. Keep these in a waterproof bag.
  • Pencil, paper, penknife and whistle.
  • Spare keys to your home and car.
  • Spare glasses or contact lenses.
  • Baby and pet supplies if needed.

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Other useful items could include a thermometer to check your temperature, as a high temperature is one of the most prominent symptoms of the virus.

Tissues and toilet roll are other items you might want to stock up on, but only responsibly, ensuring you do not buy any more than you would need for 14 days.

Coronavirus testing kits – which will be available ‘within days’ from Boots and Amazon – could also be a useful item to have on hand.

And then of course, there are the other items which will help you retain your mental wellbeing while in isolation – be that a pile of good books, an updated Netflix subscription or some paints or pencils.

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