COVID-19 Preparedness Guide

What makes COVID-19 different from other natural disasters?

We’ve created a number of emergency preparedness resources to help you get yourself, your loved ones, and your home ready for natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, or tornadoes, but the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is of a vastly different nature than any of the disasters we’ve covered in these guides.

Instead of boarding up windows, packing essentials, and evacuating to safer ground, people are being asked to stay put and engage in social distancing, self-isolation (especially if you have travelled recently), and quarantine if you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.

What is physical distancing?

“Physical distancing” means minimizing close contact with others who don’t live in your household. This includes visiting friends and family, even in small groups for short periods of time. If you have to go out for essential food and supplies, the CDC and WHO recommend maintaining a personal distance of at least 6 feet from others at all times.

What you can do to help

Taking precautions to limit your contact with others can reduce the spread of the infection and prevent a serious outbreak from overwhelming local healthcare providers. Be sure to follow the CDC’s recommendations for preventing the spread of the illness at all times, even when you practice social distancing. This includes things washing your hands properly, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding touching your face.

For more information about COVID-19, such as symptoms, recommended prevention measures, and advice on what to do if you get sick, visit the CDC or WHO websites.

Who is the most at risk?

Weather-related natural disasters typically impact relatively limited areas, such as coastal areas. The entire country will undoubtedly feel the effects of COVID-19, with large population centers and rural areas with reduced access to healthcare predicted to experience the greatest disruption.

Regardless of where you’re located, some groups are at greater risk than others:

  • People who have recently travelled. Individuals who have travelled recently, particularly those who have travelled internationally, are being asked to self-isolate at home, even if they are symptom-free. This can make it difficult to access required food and supplies.
  • Immunocompromised individuals and those with underlying medical conditions. To safeguard their own health, these groups may be unable to leave their house to stock up on food and supplies for the duration of the outbreak.
  • Seniors. Senior living facilities, including both independent and assisted living facilities, are locking down across the country—visitors are prohibited, and incoming or outgoing moves are on hold. Seniors who need transportation assistance may also not be able to access the food and supplies they need.

TSI’s dedicated senior moves division has put a number of special precautions and rigorous processes in place to ensure safe senior moves. Call us if you’d like to learn more about how we can help.

  • Food-insecure people. As food drives are cancelled and people with greater means stock up on “essential” food and supplies, resulting shortages will have a severe impact on low-income, fixed-income, and homeless people who rely on food banks and other services to access food and supplies.
  • Students. Dorms, residences, and colleges are shutting down across the country, and students are being asked to return home as soon as they can. As travel restrictions begin to take effect, some students may be stranded far away from their hometown without adequate housing or supplies.

Need to move stuff fast?

TSI has introduced a simple, affordable Dorm Room Cleanout Solution. We will go into your dorm room, pack up and label boxes and other items, and get them to storage or back to you—whichever you prefer. See pricing and more details here.


Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) differs from other natural disasters in two main ways:

  1. We’re being asked to stay put and practice social distancing instead of evacuating to safer ground.
  2. The effects of the outbreak won’t be localized to specific regions—the entire country will be impacted.

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