Got hand sanitizer? Got N95 face masks? Everyone knows there have been massive runs on both items as people began their coronavirus preparedness actions after the outbreak began. Both products have been flying off the shelves. People have bought piles of both products, leaving others scrambling to find any amid the dwindling supplies. For face masks, this presents a particular problem for healthcare workers.
If you are late to stocking up, consider what you’ve seen so far as a lesson – get what you need now.
Beyond Hand Sanitizer and Masks
The first thing you need to do is take a deep breath and relax. Pandemic panic won’t help anyone, least of all you. There is still time to prepare in a logical, methodical way. Still, you are wise to be reading this article now. You may not be ahead of the game, but you’re not a latecomer either.
There are many products you should consider getting now, in the event of a shortage later. The rush for these products is on. Someone has already published a Wuhan Corona Virus Survival Manual. Be smart. People will be looking for opportunities to get you to part with your money. Buy what you might need, but not more than that. To that end, let me suggest a shopping list that goes beyond hand sanitizer and face masks…
Coronavirus Preparedness Shopping List
Your first priority is staying healthy. This means things like avoiding large gatherings, practicing social distancing, washing your hands often, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. These are, without a doubt, your best defenses. Avoiding large gatherings may include avoiding stores, and shopping online. Here are some things you might want:
- Prescription Drugs – Do you take prescription drugs? News reports indicate that the coronavirus could lead to a shortage in prescription drugs. That’s because so many come from China, and production of everything made in China is now delayed. Renew any prescriptions you have now, and consider talking to your doctor about getting extra supply to have on hand – just in case.
- Bar Soap – Hand sanitizer is sold out, but bar soap is not. Scrubbing your hands with soap is the standard practice advised anyway. Want to make it more portable? Buy a soap container to go with it. Scrub hard.
- Multivitamins – It’s always recommended that people eat a varied, healthy diet over taking multivitamins; but for many people, it’s just less realistic. When you don’t have the time to buy and prepare fresh healthy foods on a daily basis, multivitamins can help fill the nutritional holes.
- Bleach – You need to keep your home disinfected – just in case. Bleach is selling out or running low in many places. If you look hard, you can still find it.
- Nitrile Gloves – Everyone is buying face masks, but it’s your hands you need to worry about the most. Strangely, people are not buying nitrile exam gloves at the same pace they’re buying face masks.
- Clorox Wipes – If you can still find them, Clorox wipes are an easy yet effective way of disinfecting surfaces. Use them often.
Prepare for Possible Quarantine
Quarantines are happening in some communities already. It’s entirely possible your community could be subject to one as well, OR – heaven forbid – you might contract the coronavirus and have a self-imposed quarantine. Either way, you should be prepared to stay at home for a period of time, potentially weeks.
The first thing that comes to mind here is food and water. The coronavirus doesn’t really pose any threat to water supplies, power outages, that sort of thing, so your supply of tap water should be fine. Water is critical to survival, but if you’re new to prepping and focusing on the immediate threat posed by the coronavirus, focus instead on food.
Already there are news reports of runs on grocery stores as those stores try to prevent panic buying. Costco, BJ’s, Sam’s Club, the checkout lines at these stores are only getting longer as more shelves become bare.
Your smartest move on food is to buy extra of the non-perishable food you already eat. This means going on your normal grocery store run and multiplying it by two or three times. This can be costly, but if you are only buying food that you already eat, the food (and money) will not go to waste.
Other Quarantine Items:
- Frozen Foods – You don’t want to stock up on foods that will go bad before you can eat it. Frozen fruits and vegetables will help you get around that. Their nutritional value is often just as good.
- COFFEE – The crisis will be a whole lot worse if you can’t get your morning coffee. Buy coffee in bulk.
- Powdered Milk – It doesn’t taste as good, but it’ll work in a pinch, and the shelf-life is significantly longer.
- Toilet Paper – Stores are already running low. You don’t want to be without toilet paper….
- Police Scanners – You won’t see this mentioned on many mainstream sites, but I’ve always recommended police scanners for times of crisis. They keep you informed on what’s happening in your community, allowing you to listen to police and emergency response personnel.
- Pet Food – Don’t forget your furry friend!
- Personal Hygiene Products – You know what I’m talking about.
- Entertainment – If you’re prone to boredom, prepare to go out of your mind if you’re stuck at home for a few weeks. Maybe there are some Netflix shows you’ll want to binge watch. Maybe you want to read more about prepping with our nonfiction and fiction books. Maybe you need a few board games like Risk and cribbage.
Prepare for the Possibility You or a Family Member Gets Sick
Prepare for the chance you might get sick. Covid-19 is dangerous, but the vast majority of people getting it have typical flu-like symptoms. If this becomes you, or a loved one, you want to try to stay away from hospitals, both so you don’t overload the system, but also so you don’t go and catch something else. Here are some things to consider – just in case…
- Tissues – These are running low in stores, too. Have you ever had to use toilet paper to blow your nose all day long? Your nose becomes raw. Toilet paper is softer. Alternatively, buy some of the handkerchiefs your grandfather used to use.
- Pedialyte – Got electrolytes? You’ll want them if you get sick. Pedialyte is the answer.
- Robitussin – Covid-19 will attack your lungs. You’ll want a strong cough suppressant that will also relieve chest congestion.
- Pain Relievers and Fever Reducers – Ibuprofen, Aleve, Acetaminophen, whatever your painkiller of choice is. In the case of fever reducers, it’s not uncommon for doctors to recommend alternating between Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen.
- Thermometer – Most households already have a thermometer for taking body temperatures; but if you don’t have one, get one now.
Practice Social Distancing
While it may seem like it’s every many for himself out there, we also have to remember that the best way to defeat Covid-19 is to work together. Stay 6′ away from anyone you suspect might be infected. If you’re sick – stay home!
Above all, remember that Covid-19 will pass… it might come back again, but it will pass…