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Experts: Stock up but disaster supplies aren’t needed

Photo by Janelle Patterson Grocery stores remain readily stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables in Marietta throughout worries about COVID-19 community spread. Officials ask families to shop once per week to maintain social distancing.

How does a family prepare for a 14-day quarantine?

“You have to do what works for your family, a family of two to three people is going to be different than one of five to six members,” said Registered Dietician Kim Ambrose, a contractor with Memorial Health System. “And with so many people out of work right now… pick your battles.”

But remember, guidelines for disaster supplies are not based on pandemics.

“In a disaster, we’re looking at the potential to not have electric or gas, that’s why the push is for canned meat and soups because you could cook that over a fire,” Ambrose explained. “The gallon of water, per day, per person is if you would need to use a cup of that to boil pasta or if you have condensed soup.”

The Ohio Department of Public Safety recommends that families conserve one gallon of water, per person, per day for a 72-hour emergency stash.

It also recommends:

Ready-to-eat canned meats, soups, fruits and vegetables.

High energy foods including peanut butter and jelly, crackers, granola bars and trail mix.

Canned, bottled or boxed juices.

Comfort foods including cookies, hard candy, cereals, instant coffee and tea.

Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine encouraged the use of dried beans and canned beans by championing a black bean soup recipe Wednesday during the governor’s daily press conference.

“It’s very delicious, I made it for Mike and (me) last night, it’s very tasty,” she said, noting the recipe would be shared via social media.

But state officials are encouraging instead of panic-buying that people simply purchase the same foods usually eaten in a two-week period by your family. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted has continued to note throughout the week during daily press conferences that the supply chain to support grocery stores is continuing to operate well.

“If the store is out of rice or that pasta you like, try some other grain options, this would be a great opportunity to try some things,” said Ambrose. “My husband had no idea he would like quinoa until about two months ago when I made it and mixed it with couscous.”

Ambrose said to be cognizant of sodium intake, a common preservative in TV dinners and frozen pre-made casseroles.

“If someone is not to leave their house, and all they have is the Stouffer’s lasagna, make it,” Ambrose said. “In a time like this you kind of have to embrace the chaos a little bit, as silly as it is, feeling that ‘this is changing my routine and I don’t like it is OK.”

But following nutritional guidelines to still get in fresh fruits and vegetables is doable, she encouraged.

“You want to be choosy because of how long they last, but try grabbing potatoes, spaghetti squash, butternut squash and apples, things that may have a longer shelf life,” she said. “Casseroles are going to be cheap to make, with pasta and marinara and ground meat. You can do those fairly thriftily and you can make them and always freeze them.”

Most of all, she noted, experiment and make meals a time to connect with other family and friends.

“If you can, FaceTime and cook with grandma,” she said.

And as for toilet paper?

According to Charmin and MIT, consumers use approximately 8.6 sheets of paper per toilet use. This is a total of 57 sheets per day and 20,805 sheets per year (42 rolls of two-ply or 21 rolls of one-ply).

If a family of five all used the same bathroom for two weeks, they’d used 3,990 sheets in a two-week stretch, requiring four rolls of one-ply or eight rolls of two-ply.

Janelle Patterson can be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com

Ohio by the numbers:

Confirmed cases: 704.

Total tested: 14,764.

Hospitalizations: 182, 75 in intensive care units, 116 healthcare workers (16 percent.)

Deaths: 10, as of 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Age range: Under 1-year-old to 94 years old, median age 51, 70 percent over age 40.

Onset illness date range: Feb. 7 – March 25

Sex differentiation: 333 female, 371 male.

Source: Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, daily state press conference.