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There’s a difference between being panicked and being prepared. The CDC released a guide on steps to take to ensure you and your family remain prepared.

While it’s important to have a few essentials on hand, it’s not necessary to stockpile hand sanitizer or toilet paper. A better idea? Stock your pantry with some basics to last ~2 weeks in case your local area experiences a coronavirus outbreak. If you have what you need at home, you’ll at least be able to avoid going out in public and exposing yourself to the virus.

What foods to stock up on?

Yona Sipos, a professor of environmental and health sciences at the University of Washingtonā€™s School of Public Health, told epicurious, he suggests stocking up on canned goods, as they’re among the easiest shelf-stable food items to prepare.

Some canned foods to have handy include beans of various types, tomato products, soups, and canned squash (like pumpkin).

In addition, having some shelf-stable dry-goods are a great option. Include items like pasta, oats, nut butters, crackers, vegan bars, cereal, granola, and cooking oils and basic seasonings (i.e., salt and pepper).

Don’t forget to utilize your freezer space either! Frozen vegetables, potatoes, and premade food items are excellent choices.

It’s important to have a mix of ready-to-eat items that can be prepared with or without power (like canned foods) and items that may require a little more prep (like pasta).

Plan and Cook Smarter

Just because you’re stocking up for an “emergency” or pandemic doesn’t mean your food needs to be bland and boring. The Washington Post interviewed some chefs on tips for cooking and planning with preparedness in mind.

Padma Lakshmi told the Washington Post, “The first thing I would do, right now, before there is a panic, is start cooking.” She suggested choosing a day and batch cooking some family favorites to store in the freezer until they’re needed.

Preparedness doesn’t have to be crazy over-the-top. Simply having the right foods ready-to-eat or ready to be easily prepared is enough to be prepared and offers peace of mind.