This section is under construction/will be more varied in the future. As of now, this is specific advice concerning the current pandemic.
I’d advise everyone to get their Prescriptions filled, as the virus has now caused its first drug manufacturing shortage. If possible, see if a 3 month plan is available (or a higher dose to allow halving, giving an extra month).
Source: The FDA just announced the first drug shortage caused by the coronavirus, but wouldn’t identify the drug
Also, I recommend geting enough cold/flu medications if you do get sick. And don’t forget your furry (or scaly) friends. Get some extra pet food/accessories too.
If you have babies and/or young children, you should invest in an extra supply of diapers, wipes, formula etc.
Be sure to sanitize your phones! Washing your hands doesn’t do much good if your phone is nasty. It varies from device to device – alcohol/cleaning solution can damage some screens. So I’d advise to look up your specific device first! In general, isopropyl alcohol wipes work, as do general purpose cleaning wipes (PROVIDED it won’t damage your screen, see your individual device details) https://thewirecutter.com/blog/disinfect-your-phone-coronavirus/
The same goes for wallets, and car steering wheels – anything you touch regularly!
To those who are just starting their preparations, I suggest these simple beginnings; Water, Food, First Aid, Flashlight/batteries, Radio.
- Water: Best would be dedicated containers, but in a pinch, the 1-gallon jugs work just fine (just don’t last beyond a year or two) And they’re cheap! Aim for about 1-2 gal/person/day. *This is in case of utility failure- something that can occur in any disaster. While not an immediate threat in a pandemic, it is still a possibility as things progress.
- Food: Canned food is great! It’s cheap, lasts forever, but a bit bulky. Just buy a bit extra than you usually do (if you eat canned foods,) otherwise just put together canned ‘meals’ and go from there!
- First Aid Kit: If you don’t have any training, that’s fine- a typical wal-mart one will do fine. Maybe snag some extra medications that you may need (antibiotic ointment, allergy meds, etc.)
- Batteries/Flashlight- LED is a great option and cheap nowadays! -Radio- any radio off amazon/that can receive emergency channels will work. Goal is to be able to get information if the power is out.
I am concerned now of the capacity of our healthcare system. The numbers will overload hospitals and cause significant disruption and additional fatalities, as is seen in Italy. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/suddenly-the-er-is-collapsing-a-doctors-stark-warning-from-italys-coronavirus-epicentre
FEMA recommends 1 week of supplies for a general crisis – this would be a good time to make sure that’s in place at a bare minimum for any crisis.
A pandemic requires significantly more supplies than a week (months.) The discovered contagious incubation period, 9 day surface survival time, and confirmed human-to-human transmission is a disturbing find, and this continues further watching with caution. A high R0 (R-Naught), how many people are infected per one sick, is also rather high. Resources: https://www.ready.gov/kit