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COVID-19 Survival Kit: Food, water and gear you’ll need to prepare for the pandemic

Sightline Media Group, LLC writes about products and services to help our readers navigate when shopping online. Sightline Media Group, LLC may receive a share of revenue from our affiliate partners if you purchase products or contract services through our links.

If you’ve been following the news, COVID-19 has been dominating it. You’re worried, understandably, and are wondering how to get through this without you or your family getting sick – or worse.

Here’s the thing, you can get through it, and it isn’t hard to be prepared in case you need to shelter in place for a couple of weeks. It takes a few simple steps.

The first step is: Don’t panic. This means no freaking out, no selling off your stocks or cashing in your 401(k), no running to your local FFL to stock up on ammo or to get the baddest-looking rifle you can get, and no running for the hills.

Instead, just stay calm, keep a level head, and you’re ahead of the game.

After you have vanquished and banished panic, your next step is to keep clean. Sanitation is one of the biggest factors in limiting the spread of disease, be it COVID-19, the flu, or just a common cold.

Wash your hands, avoid touching things as much as possible (including your face). Have plenty of cleaning supplies on hand: Cleaning sprays, paper towels, toilet paper, and Clorox wipes, among other things.

Also, think about items for personal hygiene: Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and soap.

Food for Sheltering in Place

After making sure you can keep things clean, the next step is to be sure to have plenty of food on hand. Now, on some level, you want stuff that can last.

While there are excellent freeze-dried food options, and you can also buy civilian MREs, both of which are good choices, the most cost-effective approach is to simply get more of the non-perishable food you already are eating.

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If you like canned pasta, get it. A few extra cans of your favorite soup won’t take up too much space, either. Like SPAM (the meat, that is…)? Buy some extra. Your kids like tuna? Get a few extra cans.

Even canned beef, turkey and chicken are excellent sources of protein when you’re sheltering in place.

Don’t forget to stock up on the snacks, too. Also, pick up some drink mixes like Tang, lemonade, or Kool-Aid, just so you can mix it up.

It's usually best to shelter in place during a pandemic. (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)
It's usually best to shelter in place during a pandemic. (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)

Do not forget coffee or tea for those who can’t get through the day without it.

Non-perishable food will last a while. Plus, when the crisis is over, if you just get extra stuff you normally eat anyhow, you’re not stuck with stuff you won’t eat.

The same is true for the non-human members of your family. Whether it’s a cat, dog, fish, rabbit, or guinea pig, make sure they can get through the crisis with a full stomach.

First Aid and Emergency Kits

Then, look towards getting a good supply of over-the-counter medicine to handle the minor illnesses that will still hit. Have on hand pain relievers, cough drops, cough syrup, and even a first aid kit. This will help you minimize the need to go to spaces where you may be at a greater risk of infection.

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Make sure you have plenty of your prescription medications, too. If you can, get a 90-day supply, and get refills. Again, the same is also true for your pets. Have their medication – prescription or non-prescription.

Power and Communications

After that is done, you will want to keep your communications up. Have your cell phone fully charged, get some portable external batteries, and get some of solar-powered portable chargers.

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A full gas tank in your car can also give you a means to charge cell phones and tablets. Also have plenty of alkaline batteries for flashlights and portable radios.

But if you have to strike out on foot, make sure to build a suitable go bag in case disaster strikes. (Photo from Getty Images)
But if you have to strike out on foot, make sure to build a suitable go bag in case disaster strikes. (Photo from Getty Images)

If you can, get something like a MiFi to be a backup wireless network so that you can watch Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime to occupy your mind. A good wireless connection can also help you keep up with work or keep in touch with family elsewhere in the country.

Water Supply

Then, of course, there is water. Have a good supply of bottled water, one gallon per person per day. For a two-week supply, bottled water can be the best option, especially if you can supplement with things like soda, fruit juice, or Gatorade.

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If the crisis goes longer, you will want to have the means to filter and purify water. A few filters can go a long way, and you can also use bleach.

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The fact is, it is easy to have the supplies to not just get by, but to thrive (in a relative sense), through something like COVID-19. You don’t need to be prepared for a zombie apocalypse – you just need to use a little common sense.

Sightline Media Group, LLC writes about products and services to help our readers navigate when shopping online. Sightline Media Group, LLC may receive a share of revenue from our affiliate partners if you purchase products or contract services through our links.

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