PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — State by state, businesses and restaurants are reopening, and governors are lifting stay at home orders. Some experts are concerned about a spike in cases and there’s the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus this fall. As much as we are ready to put this pandemic behind us, what steps should families take and what do we still need on hand?

Over the past few months, even the mundane, like grocery shopping, has taken on new meaning.

Pittsburgh resident Valerie Eckley shared with Ivanhoe, “I’ve never been one to have like an emergency thing of food or anything like that. But I would probably consider that now, keeping a stash somewhere in our basement.”

Jeff Magill is manager of emergency preparedness at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Western Psychiatric Hospital, and an expert in emergency behavioral health and preparedness. For twenty years, he’s led responses to national and local disasters.

“But in terms of the scope and the magnitude, this one is certainly unprecedented, at least in my lifetime,” expressed Magill.

As the country begins to reopen, Magill suggests families continue to store everything they would need to be self-sufficient for at least three days or more.

“Luckily, we bought a deep freezer and extra refrigerator before all this happened,” recalled Emily Fiore.

Keep stocked up on non-perishable and canned goods. Canned meat, fruits and vegetables, and jars of peanut butter have a two-year shelf life. Restock your bottled water. Take this time to replenish the medicine cabinet and to refill prescription medications. Magill also says now is the time to re-evaluate how you get your information. For updates close to home, call your local municipal center, or go to their website.

“Oftentimes they do allow you to subscribe to a list so you can receive those alerts or emails,” clarified Magill.

Finally, Magill says it’s critical people keep washing their hands and maintain social distancing. To continue to bolster mental health, stay connected, and spend time outdoors.

The official website for the Department of Homeland Security has resources for continued family planning. For COVID-19, and other emergencies. www.ready.gov.