If 2020 taught us anything, it is that preparing for extreme situations should be done over the course of a long time. The people who grabbed 100 rolls of toilet paper at their nearest Costco in March didn’t do much other than leave people with limited resources. Not to mention leave an inaccurate image of what prepping looks like. It is not sporadically hoarding toilet paper, canned foods, and hygiene products.
Grabbing necessities during the months leading up to the nationwide shutdowns was important, but most people did it wrong. There are things that may have never crossed your mind that you will need to have to be prepared for unprecedented times.
Prepping is rarely a one-stop endeavor. Like anything, it is a practice, and the longer you do it, the better (more prepared) you will become.
Get Your Medication Early and Frequently.
For many people with compromised immune systems, they were unable to get medication during the pandemic. This could have been because they needed a ride from someone and they were not able to go, their pharmacy didn’t deliver, etc.
Going without medication can cause dozens of side effects, depending on the medication. Some of them are life-threatening. By getting your medication ahead of time, the risk of complications can be erased. Ask your doctor if you are able to get a 3 month supply, or keep a bottle in the cupboard for times you may not be able to get your prescription the day you need it. A lot of times, doctors will allow for a few months supply if you have a prescription.
If you are not worried about your own medication, there is someone in your life who needs the help! Check in with the older or compromised loved ones in your life, and see if you can set up delivery, automatic renewal, or be their designated prescription-picker-upper.
Skip the water bottles.
I remember when I was at Walmart preparing for the shutdown, per my mother’s request. As a 22-year-old, I wasn’t sure where to start. I went straight towards the water jugs. I grabbed two, a few cans of beans and vegetables, and left. Despite my feelings of confidence, a month later, I was left with no fresh food, and hardly any food fitting my strict dietary restrictions. The water jugs in my basement began leaking. Yep, believe it or not, water jugs get damaged over time, and usually have to be replaced every six months. I never once went thirsty during the shutdowns. My water was never shut off. In fact, homes that had their water turned off by the city of Detroit had their water turned back on during the pandemic. So, in short, disposable water jugs are not the best way to go when getting your home ready for a quarantine. Your best bet may be to get 5-7 gallon reusable jugs that are sturdy, and leak-free.
Go straight for the fresh produce!
To answer what I know you’re thinking… Yes, fresh foods do not last as long! My response to that? Canning and freezing are mind-blowingly easy and preserve nutrients for a great amount of time. I would rather buy fresh food in March and eat well in November than buy whatever is left at the grocery store (which, by the way, around here was all processed foods. I remember going to the store in April and the only vegetable was a shrink-wrapped potato. No joke).
Bustle and hustle!
This goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway. Supplementary income can make a big difference. This is one of those things you can’t shop for or even cultivate overnight. The side hustle that will really benefit you, even if it’s small, is the one that has been working behind the scenes for months or years. Mark Hutto, a well-known prepper in Southern Oregon, claims that buying and selling gold and silver is a great way to make money on the side (I will link his class here), and of course, stocks are a risky yet popular investment option.
Buy bags of soil.
By now, you’re probably about to exit out with the excuse “crazy prepper.” Let me assure you. I am a 22 year old girl from Detroit. I am not someone you would call a prepper, I am just a girl figuring it out on my own.So trust me, bags of soil are helpful. Let me tell you why. Not only are they wonderful for growing your own fruits and veggies, but they are also a great source of protection for your home. If you ever, God forbid, experience violence in your neighborhood, soil bags absorb dangerous flying projectiles. I know, you don’t want to think about that possibility. So maybe, just get some dirt with the excuse of adopting a new gardening hobby.
The prepping community took a blow in 2020 when people hoarded toilet paper in the name of the prepping community! I am here to tell you, preppers are laughing along with you. If you walk out of a store every week with three cans of beans and a few bags of vegetables, no one will think you’re crazy. And, the best part is, you won’t be stuck in the middle of a crisis with no food and surrounded by toilet paper. So, yeah, prepping isn’t always crazy. Sometimes it just means claiming your own independence and practicing simple things that could make you more comfortable in the future!