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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Experts weigh in on what you need if quarantined for coronavirus

With the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) the odds of getting quarantined continue to increase.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark — As coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads across the Natural State, many people are heading to the grocery stores to stock up on necessities.

One of the top items being cleared out is toilet paper.

Experts say there are other things to consider having at home for a quarantine situation though.

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A coronavirus quarantine is much similar to preparing for a natural disaster, but there are some differences. 

“This isn’t going to be disaster driven so you’re not going to be as short-changed in that situation you are more than likely going to have power,” said Melody Daniel with Arkansas Emergency Management.

Daniel says it's important to stock up on things like water, changes of clothing, toiletries, blankets, flashlight batteries and other items that could be useful in case of an emergency.

While toilet paper is flying off the shelves, experts say food, at least two weeks' worth, should be a top priority. 

Daniel says if money is an issue and the cost of stocking the pantry could be overwhelming, there are ways to work around that.

“You know you might need to work with your neighbors, your friends, your family members, you might say 'I’ve got enough food for this week but for next week when my paycheck hits let me give you some money and let you pick up those groceries',” Daniel said.

 5NEWS spoke with Emily Cross, who traveled to Italy to study abroad, but her trip was cut short because of the virus.

“At the time it seemed really unfair but now we kind of see the situation kind of escalated and it is for our safety,” Cross said.

Cross is now a week into her quarantine and says those who have to be quarantined should consider ways to keep yourself busy, like board games and books.

“You can kind of start to go crazy a little bit but really it might be a good time to just relax and you know catch up on some things that you’re needing to catch up on,” she said.

Daniel says if you are worried you might need to be quarantined at some point, consider specific things you might need to survive at home.

“If you’re prescription needs to be refilled go ahead and refill it, call the pharmacy, explain to them 'hey I am in this self-quarantine, so and so will be picking up my medication',” Daniel said.

Daniel suggests preparing food items like soups or stews that can last a long period of time and reheat easily.