Things to stockpile for emergencies
As of less than an hour ago (of the day I’m writing this), the World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared Coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic. A pandemic refers to geographic spread and is used to describe a disease or epidemic that affects a whole country, several countries or the entire world.
The implications of this new move are clear: it is time to take things seriously, especially if you or someone in your home is elderly or is immuno-compromised, has a history of high blood pressure or other pre-existing conditions.
However, I don’t feel like this is reason to panic. What is really important in emergency cases like this one, is to be prepared AND prevent.
Seeing as the pandemic is already happening, it might seem like you are too late to get ready for it, or that you should just run to the store like a headless chicken and ransack everything. But nothing is further from the truth.
Preparing and preventing
I have seen posts all over social media about stores having empty shelves of things that are truly, not completely essential right now. I mean, of course it is important to have what you need. And I will be the first one to tell you that it is always a good idea to keep enough of certain items available, in case leaving the house is impossible or not recommended.
But that doesn’t mean you need 30 cases of water bottles, sacks upon sacks of rice and/or beans, or enough toilet paper to paper the Vatican. It doesn’t even mean that you should spend ridiculous amounts of money overpaying for things like hand sanitizer, or masks.
What it really means is that, using your best judgement, you should purchase a little bit more than you normally would for you and your family, so that you have to go out to shop less frequently than usual. It means that if you would usually shop once a week, maybe you can cut back to every other week. That alone would help because you’d cut your contact with others in half, making you both prepared AND allowing you to prevent.
Now, What should you stockpile for emergencies?
Here is a list of things that are always good to have a few extras of, emergency or not.
- toilet paper
- paper towels-at a smaller scale (if you run out, you can always use homemade reusable rags)
- hand soap
- hand sanitizer
- OTC medications for cold, headache, stomachache, etc.
- hydrogen peroxide
- isopropyl alcohol
- facial tissue boxes
- triple antibiotic ointment
- feminine pads
- laundry soap
- dryer sheets (or make your own dryer balls)
- disinfectant wipes
- disinfectant spray
- dish soap
- baby wipes
- diapers (if applicable)
- uncooked rice
- canned beans
- canned fruit (better than no fruit, if unable to get fresh produce)
- Vienna sausages (Check out this recipe to make these)
- canned meats like tuna, corned beef (here is a great recipe to make it), Spam or any other luncheon meat, etc)
- peanut butter
- canned veggies
- jam or jelly
- dry oats
- granola bars
- basic spices/condiments like salt, pepper, sugar, etc
- shelf stable juice
- bottled water
- if you have extra freezer space, bread, milk, and extra meat, frozen veggies or other frozen items are good stock up options
Stocking up or preparing for the zombie apocalypse?
It is always a good thing to be prepared. But never go to the store in a panic. Craft your list carefully, and get what you need, but in a slightly bigger amount. For example, if you’d normally buy (1) 12-pack of toilet paper per week for your family, get 2 instead. If you’d normally buy 2 frozen pizzas, buy 4 this time. That means you will have extras, but your extras will not take over your home.
Use your extra stockpile in a smart way
Continue to do your menu planning as usual, and try your best to carry on as if no emergency was lurking in the horizon. Remember that you only bought extras in order to go out less, not to hoard. Remind your family as well.
Having extras of everything at home can seem to your family as little bonuses. Suddenly, they will be hungry every 30 minutes or so, and you might be too. Being stuck at home, with little to do, plus the anxiety and uncertainty of the situation can make any of us turn to food for comfort. Have a serious discussion with everyone and explain that things will be used as normal, or even more consciously so, than before. Explain that the extras are for emergencies, not to waste using or eating more than their fair share.
Wrapping it all up
When disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, tropical storms, or blizzards hit, we prepare. We should stockpile with the coming emergency in mind (if we have any sort of warning), because we truly don’t know how long we’d be forced to remain cooped up. In the case of a natural disaster, the stores could also run out, not only because of people preparing, but also because they were also affected, and lost all their inventory.
In cases like this COVID-19 pandemic, our best bet is to prevent. Prevent contact with others, or with public surfaces, where the virus could be lurking after a sick person touched it. And to prevent or avoid getting sick, we cut down on what we consider business as usual, by limiting contact with others as much as possible. And in order to do that, we must be strategic with how we spend our money and on what, with where we go and why, and with what to do with our resources.
Things to stockpile for emergencies
Tell me, what measures are you and your family taking to prevent this illness from affecting you? How and what are you stockpiling? I’d love to hear from you!
Stay home. Stay healthy. Stay sane. But above all, be kind to others and to yourself.