Should I start stocking up on extra food and supplies?
Below is a brief summary of food and supplies you (might) need. For the full descriptions of each of these line items with further suggestions, click this link:
- 3 Weeks of Food – Dried, canned or jarred goods with long shelf lives such as beans, nuts, seeds, canned fish/meats, quinoa, rice, oats, and pasta. Root vegetables such as potatoes, beets etc. also have long shelf lives. Frozen or dried vegetables and fruits also can last for long periods of time. Fresh vegetables and fruit can stay good for the next week or two – see the next section below for preserving/monitoring fresher veggies and fruits. If you are unable to use the fresh fruits/veggies in time, you can freeze them as well. Additionally, an Instant Pot can be helpful.
- Water purifier or kettle/boiler – Instead of purchasing a bunch of plastic bottled water for the recommended two weeks of water in any emergency kit, consider a less space and plastic consuming option such as 1) water purifier, or 2) water Kettle/Boiler (unlikely to lose power).
- First Aid Kit – Here’s a cheap first aid kit on Amazon.
- A Plan If Someone Gets Sick – It might be on paper or in a Google spreadsheet, but please read, think about, and prepare a plan for what to do if someone in your house gets sick. The CDC has a Household Plan of Action list here. It’s also a great time to make sure your phone’s medical ID and emergency contact information are up to date. Make sure you have a good medical emergency plan in place, including the names/contact information of your doctors and a list of local hospitals and clinics that take your insurance (for others to reference if you’re ill).
- A Month of Needed Medications or Baby Supplies – refill medications, pick up baby stuff like diapers, or snag other monthly-use items such as toothpaste, toilet paper, and shampoo
- Soap and Hand Sanitizer – It’s tough to find both of these, but hopefully they’ll be in stock sometime soon. If you want to try and DIY it, here’s WIRED’s guide to making your own hand sanitizer.