In the last week, the media has been reporting the certainty of another lockdown occurring in the next 3-4 months. While we may want to call foul and stomp our feet, this is certainly not the time to be unprepared for the possibility. While news reports have been calling for at least 4-6 weeks of lockdown with a possibility of it lasting longer, we can start (if you haven't already) preparing for this possibility.
We don't know how locked down we will be due to that information having not been released yet. However, we can look at other countries around the globe to know what could happen. While most states have undergone some sort of lockdown already, the rules were vastly different from one state to another. With the possibility of national lockdown, we can expect that the rules will be stricter with much different reasoning than a state would have for their rules.
(Yes, I realize some of you haven't come out of the first lockdown yet. Some of you have not experienced a lockdown yet. However you look at it, we need to be prepared for the possibility of a lockdown.)
You can expect that the scope of consideration for who will be essential workers will change greatly. The restrictions will be tighter and may not be lifted until a vaccine is issued. Traveling papers will more than likely be issued for anyone considered an essential worker. "Unnecessary service industries" will be stricter and fewer people will be working. More people than ever will be working from home.
You should be preparing for at least 4-6 weeks of being home at the minimum. A safer bet would be to prepare for 8-12 weeks of being at home. With travel more than likely being severely restricted, you should be considering several things. There could be supply disruptions from fewer people working. Items may be considered essential or nonessential and may not be available for purchase.
1. Having food for at least 4-6 weeks stockpiled at home. This will be the minimum you need to have stockpiled. Even though online retailers should still be shipping, relying on them to deliver in a timely manner should not be a given. At the beginning of this pandemic, online retailers were shipping very slowly or not at all.
Another consideration is that we don't know how this will impact grocery stores. Online delivery may still happen as well as Instacart and grocery pickup. However, this is also not a given and you should still have several weeks of groceries at home.
This should include:
- a full freezer of meat
- frozen vegetables and fruits
- canned vegetables and fruits
- rice and/or potatoes
- canned and/or dried beans
- oil (olive, coconut, vegetable, etc.)
- canned meat
- salt, pepper, spices, and herbs
- canned soups and broths
- pasta and pasta sauce
- macaroni and cheese as well as other boxed mixes
- baking supplies
- dried non-instant milk
- butter or margarine
- coffee and tea
- whatever your family likes to eat
2. Having non-food items stockpiled for at least 8-12 weeks. While food may be easier to obtain during this lockdown, non-food items may not be available. Many states had determined what was essential and nonessential to purchase during the first lockdown. The national government may or may not be doing the same thing. While you would think that some things would still be essential, there is no guarantee of what the powers that be will think of as essential.
You should be stocking up on:
- pet food and livestock feed
- baby items (formula, diapers, wipes, baby food)
- sanitary items for women (pads and tampons)
- paper products (stocking, not hoarding)
- shampoo and conditioner
- soap (laundry, dishes, body, hand, and more)
- disinfecting wipes
- hand sanitizer
- toothbrushes and toothpaste, floss, mouthwash
- cold and influenza medicines
- vitamins and herbal supplements
- clothing needs
- any gifts for birthdays or holidays that may occur during that time
- extra office supplies for online schooling and work
- anything else you use and will need
3. Get any vehicle maintenance done. While we don't know what this lockdown could affect, worrying about your vehicle if you need to go places should be on this list. You should have your oil change scheduled. You should replace your wipers if you haven't done so in the last six months. Now may be a good time to replace your tires. You should also be keeping your fuel tank full. You may also want to purchase some Sta-bil to keep your gas from getting old while your vehicle sits. While you may not be traveling much, having a reliable vehicle is still important as you may still need to go places.
4. Prepare your home for everyone to be home. If you think about the last lockdown, what made that better? Making sure everyone has their own space to work as well as relax can help with the overall stress. Also, making sure that everyone has what they need to work and play can go a long way towards having a peaceful environment. I would also recommend that you have posted schedules of when work meetings and school calls are taking place. This will keep everyone aware of what is going on. With everyone home, you may also want to start a chore list with assigned chores to keep the house tidy.
5. Increase your Wi-Fi signal in your home. With everyone at home, you will certainly have an increased load on your current wi-fi signal. Consider getting a wi-fi booster like Google Nest or NetGear Essentials Wi-Fi Range Extender to help everyone have better connectivity to the internet. If you haven't already, now would be a good time to increase your internet speed to meet the demand of the load it may have to take on.
6. Purchase supplies if you have an online or home business. If you are working from home already, you know what supplies you need to keep your business running. Whether you make things for Etsy, sell on eBay, run an office, or whatever you do from home, you will need supplies that may be considered nonessential or even may not be in supply to purchase. You should take the time now to purchase anything you may need to keep your home or online business running during the lockdown. This should also include printer ink, paper, padded mailers, boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and scissors.
7. Take care of any home maintenance. Do you have some things around the house that need to be fixed, painted, or just needs attention? Now is the time to get those supplies, call the repair people, and get those things done. You may not be able to go to the local building supply store to get what you need. You may also not be able to call a repair person in 3-4 months so get those appliances in good working order now.
8. Increase your home security. Desperate times will bring out the desperate people. Now is the time to make sure your home and outbuildings are secure. You may want to purchase a weapon and ammunition. You may want to put up alarms around your home and property. You may want to add extra lighting around your property. You may want to put up game cameras in areas you can't see from your home. You will want to practice some OPSEC and not talk about what you have. You don't want to brag about what you have all purchased and then wonder why you are having trouble.
9. Be prepared to share and help out your family and neighbors. Another lockdown can produce hard times for everyone. Helping someone out when they are in need is the right thing to do. While you may not want to help, you should remember that you would want someone to help you in your time of need.
10. Increase your self-sufficiency. What can you do for yourself? What can you grow in your home? What can you do to reduce food waste? What can you make from scratch? How far can you stretch a meal, a bottle of soap, and more? What can you reuse again? What can you fix or mend? The list goes on, but doing what you can for you and your family will help extend your resources and ease your budget a little.
While I hope these tips help to get prepared, it is time for real talk. Some of you are going to kick back at me hard and say this lockdown isn't going to happen for a variety of reasons. I hope you are right. Really, I do. However...
I would rather be prepared and ready for it and have nothing happen than to be caught unaware.
The fact is that we live in uncertain times with an uncertain political and social climate right now. Anything can happen including a lockdown. One political party is calling for a lockdown and has plans to implement it if they get the power to do so. The other political party has not really said one way or another if they will. If the numbers get bad enough, either party will be forced/pressured to implement a lockdown. Despite what we want, we will get to deal with the consequences.
The only natural thing to do is to be prepared. That prepping includes this too.
Thanks for reading,
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