Preparing for an emergency is smart, coronavirus or not

The American Red Cross says it is always a good idea to be prepared for any emergency, including the worldwide coronavirus epidemic. That is why the organization is encouraging people to take the appropriate precautions when it comes to protecting themselves and their families.

"We want to make sure that they have some basic household items like detergent, diapers if you have small children, bathroom items," Michael Devulpillieres of American Red Cross of Greater New York told FOX 5 NY. "You also want to make sure you have a 30-day supply of prescription medication."

Officials say it's also important to have other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, cough and cold medicine, stomach remedies, vitamins, and water. Be sure to stock up on cleaning supplies, too, and routinely wipe down surfaces both at home and at work.

In addition to stocking your household with extra supplies, the Red Cross recommends preparing your other family members, like children and older adults.

"Planning is really key, particularly for your elderly loved ones, so you want to make sure you have a plan in place for them in the case that they get sick," Devulpillieres said.

Teach your children good hand-washing habits and learn how schools, daycares, and nursing homes will handle a possible outbreak.

Lastly, be sure to follow the guidance of trusted health organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And don't panic.

The American Red Cross is working closely with local emergency officials to monitor the situation and is also sharing preparedness tips via social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and


Get breaking news alerts in the FOX5NY News app. It is FREE! Download for iOS or Android