These are unprecedented times as we all are faced with new rules and restrictions that have demanded a complete readjustment of our daily lives. In the face of that it is always best to be prepared – control what we can in preparation for what we can’t. Below you will find a compilation of information, resources and recommendations for water and food sourcing and supply, how to handle possible utility, service and logistical disruptions and a whole section on ideas for staying balanced and entertained in and around the house.
Water and Food
1. Consumption - There is no scientific formula for the recommended amount of water you must consume a day. There are, however, guidelines as you’ll see below.
a. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
- Men: about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) (.8 gal) of fluids a day
- Women: about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) (.6 gal) of fluids a day
o According to the Mayo Clinic, “Pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.4 liters) (.52 gal) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 liters) (.68 gal) of fluids a day.”
2. Purifying water – In the event that you need to purify water for consumption or cooking purposes there are a couple ways to do so: boiling, using liquid chlorine household bleach or using a water filtration system.
a. Important/Warning: These methods only work to remove viruses or bacteria from water. Do not ever drink water that may have come into contact with oil, chemicals, poisonous substances, sewage or other contaminants. Never use or consume water that is dark colored, contains solid particles or has an odor. Cloudy water should be filtered before purifying with either method.
b. Water sources: Tap, Streams, Ponds, Lakes
- To filter cloudy water Use coffee filters, paper towels, cheesecloth or a cotton plug in a funnel. Repeat as necessary until the water appears clear.
c. Boiling: Bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute and allow to cool before drinking
- At altitudes greater than 6,562 feet (greater than 2000 meters), you should boil water for 3 minutes.
d. Bleach: Use fragrance-free liquid household chlorine bleach (such as Clorox or Purex). Check the label to make sure the concentration of bleach is between 5.25 – 8.25%.
- Place the water in clean container
- Using chart below for reference add the correct amount of bleach
- Stir thoroughly
- Allow to sit for at least one hour (60 mins) before using
e. Filtration: Use care when selecting a filter.
o Look for a filter that has been tested according to the EPA Guide Standard and passed.
o For a microfilter, meeting the EPA Guide Standard means removing 99.9% of protozoa and removing 99.9999% of bacteria in all required water types.
o MSR Guardian Purifier - LINK
o Sawyer MINI Filtration System - LINK
1. Calories – Always check with your physician and/or a registered dietician to make sure that you’re meeting your needs and not interfering with any medical issues or treatments before undertaking any significant dietary changes. The following information is purely meant to be informational only and a starting point for further self-research.
a. There are several factors to consider when figuring out the correct daily calorie intake for yourself. Age, gender, height, weight and activity level should all be taken into consideration. Pregnant and breastfeeding moms have special considerations as well. The charts below are estimates only as put forth by the USDA. You can access the full chart HERE, which will also include estimates for children starting at the age of 2 and adults 71 and up.
- Males : The reference man is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 154 pounds.
- Females: The reference woman is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 126 pounds.
2. Macros - We’re talking about Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fats. What kind of balance are you looking for here? Again, there are many different individual factors that go into the “perfect” macro ratio for each person including but not limited to: activity level, personal goals and genetics. Additionally, different diets promote different ratio percentages. See a few examples below.
a. Federal Dietary Recommendations:
- 45 to 60 percent carbohydrate
- 20 to 35 percent fats
- Remainder from protein
b. Mediterranean Diet:
- 40-50% carbohydrate, primarily from vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, grains, not from sugary sweets
- 15-20% protein
- 35-40% fat, mostly as plant-sourced fat
c. Zone Diet:
- 40% carbohydrate
- 30% protein
- 30% fat
d. Specialty Diets such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, keto and others should be well-researched.
3. There’s an App for That - A great app for tracking what you’re eating daily is My Fitness Pal, it has a free option, but offers more details and support for a small fee. You can track your water intake, macros (editable to your needs/goals) and comes with a huge catalog of recipes, restaurant meals and grocery items with macro and calorie breakdowns for each. Check it out HERE.
4. Other Resources – Additional diet resources can be found through the CDC and health.gov websites.
a. The CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity has a whole section on eating well with many resources leading off to similar topics. Link HERE.
b. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. Link HERE.
- Vegetarian Diet Recommendations. Link HERE.
c. CDC page on Water Intake. Link HERE.
5. Bonus Tips – Additional tips to help maintain a healthy diet and fitness plan.
a. Stay Active: get a solid understanding of what your local and/or state government has ask of you during these times and stay within those parameters
- There are a LOT of free (or close to it) at-home workout programs being offered out there right now. Find something you like and drag along some family and friends for some virtual accountability.
b. Set up a Schedule for Yourself: schedule mealtimes, snacks, desserts, happy hour - keep yourself accountable (share with friends and family if that will help) and avoid grazing.
c. Don’t: avoid your favorites and/or comfort foods, but also don’t let them take over. Schedule them in your meal plan in and around lots of good and healthy stuff.
Prepare for Interruptions – Essential Services & Daily Life Patterns
Examples of essential services, these should remain in working order during ‘shelter-in-place’ orders, curfews or other efforts to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Executive governance • Healthcare • Fire and police protection • Provision of clean water • Basic sanitation, including sewage and garbage removal • Maintenance of communication infrastructure (e.g., telephone system, radio, internet) • Maintenance of utilities (e.g., gas and electricity) • Provision of food and other essential goods • Transportation • Road maintenance/repair • Banking • Payroll departments • Tax collection
1. Interruptions of Power (this is an essential service)
a. Have on Hand:
Candles (emergency candles
Flashlights/headlamps with working batteries
Back-up batteries of correct size
Emergency Radio, Hand Cranked and Solar. Example HERE.
Stand-alone solar charging panels. Example HERE.
Propane for cooking
Briquettes for cooking
Remember gas stoves will still work when the power is out. You will just have to light the stove manually
If you can’t find batteries and you have kids, many of their toys have batteries for use in an emergency
2. Interruptions of Cell Coverage (this is an essential service)
a. Write down important numbers usually stored in your phone
b. Do not let your phone run low on charge
c. Heavy cell and internet use during these times might slow service
d. Hardwired stand-alone phones will still work - cable provided phones will not work in a power or cable outage. Example HERE.
3. Interruptions of Water (this is an essential service)
a. Purchase bottled water (or jugs) (limits most likely in place, grab a package every time you go grocery shopping)
Goal: stockage for a 7-day period is usually more than adequate
b. Wash out 1 or ½ gallon water jugs. Fill them with water and freeze, if the power goes out they can be used to keep food cold and you can drink the water once it melts.
c. Fill the bathtub with water. This water can be used to flush the toilet or to wash with.
WaterBOB – water storage - LINK
d. Buckets and coolers can be used to collect water when it rains
e. Refill water bottles and store them.
f. Water Purification Kit – Example HERE
g. Iodine Tablets – Example HERE
h. See Water section above for purification methods
4. Interruptions of Logistics
a. Stock up on food items that can last a long time (canned and jarred goods, packaged foods, frozen foods, etc) Recommended: 2-week supply
b. Cleaning supplies, paper goods – these are items that are most likely to have purchase quantity limits on them right now. Purchase what you are allowed each time you’re out shopping.
c. Warning against over-stocking certain items: specifically those needed by medical personnel - Executive Order issued 23 March 2020 LINK
d. Focus on canned and dry goods
1. Mandatory Shelter Directives (think internal recreation and games/books)
a. First: Understand what exactly your ‘shelter-in-place’ or ‘curfew’ means, hours/times, what is and isn’t allowed, etc. and abide by these (do your part).
b. Get outside: No one ruled out your yard or porch. Getting outside and in some sunshine should be mandatory during these times. Walks around the neighborhood, with your kids, dogs, etc. Maintain small groups (less than 10 or what has been mandated by your city/state gov) and at least 6 ft of distance.
c. Books: Tackle that pile that’s been waiting for your attention or ping friends/family/the social media world for ideas and favorite (consider starting a book club group on FB for example). Kindle and audio books also.
d. Puzzles: The bigger the better
e. Legos: You’re NEVER too young for these. Go big and stay home.
f. Cooking: Whether it is or isn’t your thing you have time now to learn or try out new recipes - order a cookbook, search around online, ask your friends for their recommendations.
Extra History on You-Tube
Learn a language (apps: Duolingo, Memrize, Babble)
h. For the Kids/Family:
Video games (put limits on screen time)
Scavenger hunts (inside or outside)
Get your neighborhood engaged and start window hunts (my neighborhood has a new item we’re hunting for every week, this week we’re going on a bear hunt and putting teddy bears in our windows for kids walking by or driving with the family to search for),
Helping with cooking
School work (lots of teachers/schools are working on setting up distance learning)
i. The Household To-Do list: No avoiding it now, organize...everything. Weed out.
Inside To-Do list
Outside To-Do list
j. Keep in Touch:
Develop a list of people important to you
Share phone numbers and email addresses
Establish call/visit times - everyone’s mental health is key right now
k. Hobbies: Now might be the time to go public with that hobby you’ve rarely had time for. Dust it off and share with the virtual world.
l. Stay Balanced – Don’t over-do anything right now. This isn’t the time to over-work yourself from home, do not binge on the news or social media, do not fire sale everything you have in your house (can’t have crowds anyway). If you need to schedule strict news times, then be done. Make sure you’re getting outside and doing some form of exercise (walking, yoga, etc), eat and drink with respect to yourself. Reach out to others, but also have some quiet time to yourself.
DISCLAIMER and Hold Harmless
Disclaimer: LSDS™ gathers information from multiple sources and offers insight and perspective to travelers. Sources cannot be validated for accuracy in every instance. Travelers assume all risk associated with their travel and are responsible for the decisions associated with travel and for their own safety. Users of this reference document agree, to hold harmless LSDS™ (LLC) its employees and clients associated with any risk or injury incurred during travel.