COVID-19 has brought to light the stark reality that we’re never really as prepared as we think we are. Whether it’s an extreme weather event, a power outage, or, yes, a virus, having the essentials ready to go is important in the face of an emergency.
Fortunately, even though many are required to shelter in place right now, it’s still possible to get the things you need, even if some things are in short supply. We’ve compiled a list of things to consider when stocking up.
What items should you stock up on?
This really may differ depending on your unique situation, but in general, try to get as much shelf-stable and frozen food to last you for at least 14 days and up to a month. In general, you should just get more of what you would normally eat. This might include beans, rice, pasta, cereals, sauces, soups, canned fish, canned fruits and vegetables, nuts, crackers, and flour, although if you have specific dietary restrictions, keep those in mind when doing your shopping. Don’t forget to stock your freezer. Vegetables, fruits, meats, and bread are all prime candidates of things that can be frozen and that will be great additions to your dried staples over the coming weeks. And for your fridge, things like hard cheeses, eggs, and milk – regular or plant-based varieties – are good options that will last at least a couple of weeks in the fridge.
You’ll also want to stock up on basic household supplies – right now, toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizers, and cleaning supplies are all in high demand and may be hard to find. Try ordering online, or, if you are able to make a run to the store, go early, when the stores are likely to have just put their supplies out for the day.
Be sure to also remember any toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, bath soap, deodorant, and incontinence pads are things you don’t want to run out of.
In addition, if you can fill any extra prescriptions of necessary medications you take regularly, it’s a good idea to have it on hand so that you don’t find yourself short. Call your doctor to see if he or she can phone in a 90-day prescription if possible.
It’s important to note when stocking up to only get what you really think you might need during a quarantine time. Don’t hoard months’ worth of supplies, as it will create a shortage for others.
Finally, if you do need to make multiple stops (say to the pharmacy and to a grocery store) try to time things so you only have to make one trip. The whole point of sheltering in place is to limit contact with others so make as few trips to public places as possible.
Order supplies online if you can.
Ordering supplies online is a great option if it’s available to you. Services such as Instacart, Peapod, and Amazon offer grocery delivery to your doorstep, and even big-box stores such as Walmart and Kroger have grocery delivery or pick up available. If you’re over 60 or have a preexisting condition, consider this as an alternative to going into a store to shop.
There are also many companies that offer incontinence supplies online. Total Dry is offering a great package, which includes 14 days’ worth of incontinence supplies, as well as 2 KN95 masks and a pack of latex gloves. Check out our list of companies that deliver incontinence supplies to your home here.
Don’t forget about entertainment.
Finally, make sure to have some things to do to stay sane while you are stuck at home. Order a couple of good books online, or if you have an eReader, rent them for free from the library using the Libby app. While you’re at it, get a new game that you can play with the whole family, or pull out some old puzzles to work on together.
It’s not too late to prepare yourself for the unexpected. Use the tips above to ensure that you have what you need during this time. Then take a breath, relax and prepare to hunker down for a bit. We’ll all get through it together.
For a printable version of this list, click the image above.