Spring is here and so is Corona Virus. We saw the panic over the contagiousness flu, then over toilet paper and now we can not find a mask from here to Timbuktu. Being prepared for an emergency is the best way to calm the panic before it get the best of us. What do you do to prepare for something when we had no warning. This is why they are called emergencies. They are time sensitive and they are very emotional. Panic does not help.
I see some folks criticizing others for hoard shopping as it is called when someone exits a store with a cart full of toilet paper. But you almost feel sorry for that person who may have real emotional struggles going on even if there house were filled to the maximum capacity with toilet paper. We really do not understand what some people struggle with. How do we prepare and how much consumables do we accumulate and how much is enough.
There are some great website out there that educate folks on emergency prepare. Ready.gov is a fabulous site that gives hints and safety guidelines for getting prepared. They have helpful guides for kids and elderly. The best thing you can do is educate yourself about emergencies and how best to be prepared. 911 and first responders usually have their hands full when there is a community, statewide or national emergency as we all can see. If you educate yourself and prepare for the things you truly need, you should be better prepared than will experience less stress.
Use what you buy and buy what you use. If you do not use hand sanitizer, then you may only need one bottle and not an entire cart of the stuff. If you drink a lot of water, than you probably need a larger stock pile of water jugs. If you have children, pets, are a caretaker or have kids, than your supply amount will be larger than those who live alone. Remember its not a bargain if you do not use it. Try to avoid buying something because you are in panic mode. Those ready made meal kits that are sold online are not for everyone and tend to be very expensive. Be practical. How long does it take for Fido to go through a bag of dog food. One month. OK. Than you dont need to guy 5 bags of dog food.
Be practical in your purchase. If you need to evacuate, you can not take it all with you. If you are preparing for an evacuation, you are better off traveling lite. If you are preparing for flu season, then you will might want to get a larger supply of certain things. Before flu season, It buy Benadryl, cough drops and Puffs Plus Tissues. Those are my go to. Then I buy two boxes of chicken soup packets. I do not buy things I do not need or use. I have gone from buying tomato cans to buying tomato cartons. The tomato and the tin can react over time and I dont want to get sick and I dont want to miss the expire date. Glass jar items last longer than cans also. If you want to stock pile, the cans tend to have the least shelf life. I store pouch items inside plastic containers to keep out the critters. II freeze many things simply because I use some but not all and the package is so large. For example flour can be frozen, seasonal avocados can be frozen.
Water does expire in that the taste is not as appealing after about 6 months. Be sure to rotate any stored water jugs or bottles. There is a very faint expiration date on most items. Re-write the date with a sharpie. You are more likely to pay attention to it.
If you are only buying items in stock pile quantity to stock pile it, you are missing the point. Use the items. If you want to replenish as you go, great. But dont store it for that "What if day". To buy something and never use it is a waste of money and product.
1. Make a list of items you definitely will need and consume on a daily and monthly basis. What is your budget?
2.Don't go overboard on spending. Be practical. Can you make some consumables stretch farther? Can you grow your own? Can you freeze some of it?
3.Rotate the things you buy and use. Mark the date in large sharpie ink so you can see when its about the expire.
4. Use the items. Dont just buy them to stock pile them. Get in the habit of using what you buy. See if a neighbor wants to trade or have the items you found you reallly never use.
5. Donate the items you realize you never use. For example some sanitary items can not be donated or used by shelters but animal shelters just might be able to use the perfectly good items. That is true recycling.
6. Dont panic. We all learn from emergencies. Emergencies teach us how to prepare for the next emergency. Even the most perfect emergency has issues and flaws. Stay calm. Communicate if you have needs. Ask questions. Take notes as you go how you would prepare for the next emergency.