It feels to me like the lull before the storm. And, while I can’t say what’s going to happen for sure, if we have another round of COVID-19 and/or quarantines as a result this coming winter then it would be a good idea to ensure you have the following essentials. Think of whatever it is you might need to see you through a minimum of a few months. And, while I’m sure you can figure this out on your own, here are my thoughts:
- Medications, especially Rx meds – anything and everything you and your family currently take to stay alive and healthy is good to have. Prescription medications will be at the forefront, but don’t ignore vitamins, herbs, OTC pills (there are a ton of these that could prove useful besides just pain pills), and even essential oils. Ultimately, though, if you take Rx meds then you need to have a heart-to-heart with your doctor to ensure they understand how important it is for you to have a month or two stockpiled, if at all possible.
- Personal hygiene supplies – I think we all understand how important toilet paper is these days, have plenty. Facial tissue and wet wipes can be useful on occasion too. And don’t ignore the many other crucial items that keep you healthy and clean, including bar soap and hand soap, deodorant, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash… even extra toothbrushes or replacement tips if you use an electric toothbrush, like I do. More shampoo and conditioner could prove useful to those who have hair, unlike me. Remember lotions and salves too. The same can be said for other very specific items, such as shaving supplies (e.g., razor blades, shaving cream) and feminine sanitary supplies.
- Cleaning supplies – This could include anything you might use regularly, from dish soap and laundry soap to supplies used to make DIY cleaners, such as white vinegar and baking soda. FYI, Dawn dish soap is also useful to keep around since a little goes a long way. The same can be said for bleach. I might also suggest disinfectant sprays and wipes, but these still seem to be hard to find. The same can be said for supplies like Isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. If you’re lucky enough to find any of these supplies, grab a few bottles of each. And if there are other specific cleaners you use–my mother loves Comet, for instance–then stock up on those while you can.
- Seasonings – Although I haven’t seen a run on seasonings yet, they sure do make most meals taste better. And because they last for years there’s no harm in buying more than you normally keep on hand. If you want to ensure they stay fresh longer then consider sealing extras in a Foodsaver roll or bag.
- Garage / vehicle supplies – This list could be numerous. Suffice it to say, consider anything you may need to keep your vehicles functioning (e.g., engine oil, coolant) as well as items to keep important tools running like your chainsaw… the lawnmower isn’t nearly as important no matter what your spouse says, lol. Fuel stabilizer would be useful too.
- Batteries – I’m mostly thinking about disposable alkaline batteries, particularly AA, AAA, and D-cell, but whatever it is that you use most–especially for survival gear–then be sure you have plenty.
- Miscellaneous items – There are any number of oddball items that we keep around that occasionally prove useful but could be in short supply, including eye drops, distilled water, disposable gloves, aluminum foil, freezer bags, propane, and the like.
Clearly, this list isn’t exhaustive, but it should be a good thought-starter for most people. And if you have specific items not listed above which you use regularly then be sure to stock up on those as well. Of course, everything could turn out just fine. I sure hope it does.
Considering how well we’ve weathered the COVID-19 storm thus far (with regards to the availability of items at the store, anyway) I doubt we’re going to have big runs on most of the aforementioned supplies. That said, there’s no harm in grabbing a few extras just in case. After all, it’s what we preppers do because we, unlike sheeple, think ahead and think for ourselves. And we plan ahead… just in case.