If someone in your family becomes ill, it may be necessary to put them into quarantine. Of course, you want to take care of your loved ones, but you also want to minimize infecting people who are not ill.
1. Find a space
If you have a recreational vehicle, a pool house, garage apartment, detached garage, or guest cottage, you’ll have an easy time converting it into a quarantine area. You’ll start by cleaning out the area to make room for people who are ill and sealing off any exits and windows with plastic sheeting and duct tape.
You’ll also want to create a sign for the outside of the door that lets everyone know this area is for quarantine. This will keep unsuspecting people from becoming accidentally exposed to the illness you’re trying to contain.
Next, you need to create a sanitation station just outside the quarantine room so that you can put on protective supplies, dispose of used supplies, and wash your hands. This will help minimize exposure for people who are coming in and out to help those who are ill.
If you don’t have a shelter already in place, you do have other options. One thing you can do is set up a tent outside of your home. This should be near enough that you can get to it easily, but not directly attached to the house. For example, ten feet away in the backyard is a perfect spot.
For a tent, you’ll need to do your best to seal off areas, but know that you won’t be able to completely seal it effectively. The idea, though, is that you have created a separate area. In the case of most illnesses, very close contact is needed to transmit disease.
3. Equipment for communication
Regardless of the structure that you use, you need to make sure that you have equipment available for communication. The simplest system is a set of walkie-talkies that allow you to communicate without being in the same room.
If those in quarantine are well enough to take care of their needs for food and sanitation, you’ll want to provide plenty of supplies in the quarantine area for them. If not, you’ll need to create a system to deliver what’s needed while wearing protective clothing and avoiding exposure.
Once you know that a pandemic is possible, begin to prepare these areas. Once someone is already sick, it might be too late to get everything set up. If you’re already prepared, you can take care of anyone who is infected immediately and minimize exposure to others.
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