The County of Orange is encouraging residents to create a family preparedness plan in the event they are impacted by COVID-19. Family preparedness is a mainstay of planning for emergencies such as earthquakes and fires, and they are equally important during a health pandemic.
Parents and caregivers are encouraged to reach out to trusted family, friends or neighbors who may be able to assist, should a child’s parent or caregiver be diagnosed with COVID-19 and require hospitalization and/or isolation.
“We want families to be ready in the event a caregiver unexpectedly is diagnosed with COVID-19,” said Debra Baetz, Director of Orange County Social Services Agency. “By taking some simple steps, families can help alleviate the stress of an unforeseen health emergency and ensure their loved ones are cared for.”
Here are some important things to consider when putting together a family plan:
- Create an alternate caregiver list: Set up a roster of trusted adults who can step in to provide childcare, being mindful of the unique circumstances surrounding COVID-19. Choose individuals who are not high-risk and who would be able to accommodate an isolation area, should your child need it. Discuss the plan ahead of time with these individuals.
- Prepare documents: Write a letter authorizing your designated caregiver to seek medical treatment for your child, if necessary. Make copies of insurance cards and other important medical documents your alternate caregiver may need.
- Write down special instructions: Be sure to leave a “need-to-know” list for your alternate caregiver. This list may include information such as food allergies, needed medication, nutritional needs or limitations, or any other habit or routine that may help provide consistency of care to your loved one.
- Create a kid-friendly “go bag”: Being separated from a parent or loved one can cause stress and anxiety for your children. Pack a bag with some overnight essentials and include a special note from you, a family photo, a favorite book or other personal item that may help comfort your child. Be sure to also pack essentials including toiletries and clothing.
A family plan template to capture this information can be found at bit.ly/ocfamilyplan.
For more information visit ready.gov/pandemic.
For questions related to COVID-19, contact the Orange County COVID-19 Hotline at 1(833)426-6411, visit http://www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus, or follow the HCA on Facebook (@ochealthinfo) and Twitter (@ochealth).