How to prepare your home and family, if new virus spreads

A lone container of water sits on otherwise empty shelving at a grocery store in Anchorage, Alaska, Sunday, March 1, 2020. The new coronavirus keeps turning up in more places and health experts say it's wise to prepare for wider spread. People shouldn't panic or hoard large amounts of supplies, they stress, but some common-sense steps that are useful for any emergency or disaster such as severe weather can help get your home and family ready in case you need to hunker down. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
A lone container of water sits on otherwise empty shelving at a grocery store in Anchorage, Alaska, Sunday, March 1, 2020. The new coronavirus keeps turning up in more places and health experts say it's wise to prepare for wider spread. People shouldn't panic or hoard large amounts of supplies, they stress, but some common-sense steps that are useful for any emergency or disaster such as severe weather can help get your home and family ready in case you need to hunker down. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

As the new coronavirus keeps turning up in more places, health experts say it's wise to prepare for wider spread. But people shouldn't panic or hoard large amounts of supplies, they stress.

So what should you do?

Some common-sense steps that are useful for any emergency, such as severe weather, can help get you and your family ready in case you need to hunker down.

More than a dozen states have COVID-19 cases. An outbreak "could last for a long time in your community," the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns in its preparation advice.

A good way to think about planning, says former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, is "if you had to be quarantined for 14 days at home," how would you cope?

TALK AND PLAN

Start by talking with family members about how to take care of each other, discuss emergency preparations with neighbors and investigate resources such as food and meal delivery services in case you can't go out for food, the CDC and others advise.

Consider options for working from home, if possible, and what to do if schools or daycare centers close.