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The virus is all over the news. It is not about “if” but about “when” according to the CDC that the virus will impact all parts of the United States. Some regions in the United States are already under home quarantine. For other areas, the potential for a home quarantine is high. Supply chains are disrupted due to quarantines. So, how should we prepare for a home quarantine as we anticipate the virus coming to our communities? Are you ready for a month or two home quarantine?
According to Nancy Messonnier, the CDC head of respiratory diseases, “Disruption to everyday life might be severe.” (source)
Websites to Stay Informed
First and foremost, you need to stay informed. Here are a few websites to consider:
Latest US Government Information: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC site has a wealth of information including FAQ, symptoms, and government recommendations.
Medical Information and Symptoms: WebMD
Today, there is no vaccine. Medical experts are currently suggesting that a vaccine won’t be available until 2021. The best way that governments around the world have found to contain the virus is through isolation.
Are you ready for your family to quarantined at home for a month or two?
Now, we are not about hysteria. Additionally, we don’t want to spend a bunch of money of stuff that will be thrown away. This is a financial website after all.
Additionally, there are still some deliveries to houses. You won’t be completely isolated.
So, how can we responsibly prepare today?
Preparation Starting Today
Start putting together a list of what it would take to be self-sufficient for 2-3 weeks. These are items that you will use over time regardless if there is a coronavirus home quarantine mandated (well, maybe not the face masks).
Preparing early allows for wise spending. Preparation can be done on a budget. Look to buy items on sale. If the threat level escalates, so will prices. Now is the best time to prepare.
Think about spending an extra $15-25/week over the next month to prepare.
For example, this week plan to make an extra lasagna and buy an additional chicken on sale for the freezer. Next week look at the sales and stock up on a few more items.
Once the heightened concern is over, it will be time to work down the inventory.
Non-Food Items to consider for your coronavirus preparation list
- Medications – prescriptions and over-the-counter
- Basic first aid kit
- Toilet Paper (apparently, this is the biggest concern in the US!)
- Paper Towels (there
islimited supplies of this item too)
- Feminine Hygiene Products
- Dishwashing soap, Laundry detergent
- Garbage Bags (garbage collection might be sporadic)
- Anti-bacterial Wipes and Hand Sanitizer (good luck finding these or hand sanitizer)
- Masks (I am sure there are plenty of DIY homemade masks)
- Disposable gloves (for touching delivered items like mail)
- Bleach (bleach/water solution in a spray bottle to spray down items delivered)
- House maintenance items like salt for water softener
- Outside items: gas for lawn mower or snow blower, propane for the grill
- Entertainment (craft supplies, DIY project supplies like paint for painting the house)
- Pet Food
Food Inventory. Now would be a good time to go through your pantry and take an inventory.
Meal Plan. Layout a 2-3 week meal plan schedule.
Remember fresh items might not be always be available including dairy, bread, meat, vegetables, and fruit. This has been true in our local area.
Start making freezer meals. There are plenty of freezer meal recipes on Pinterest. Most freezer meals last at least 2-3 months. We might be in a situation where you eat the first batch and then have to re-evaluate the situation. So make what your family likes to eat!
Purchase pre-made meals/items. If your pocketbook is a little more flexible, consider frozen premade meals and meats from places like Omaha Steaks.
Stock up. This is not a full year stock up. It is gradually expanding your inventory to cover a few extra weeks.
Only buy items that you will use regardless of the situation.
If you will never eat canned tuna fish, don’t buy it.
Focus on non-perishable items like dry goods and freezer items. Consider:
- Vegetables and Fruits (frozen and canned)
- Frozen pizzas, chicken nuggets
- Frozen fries
- Ice cream
- Freeze meat
- Canned soup
- Frozen dinners
- Pasta and sauce
- Pancake and bread mixes (just add water variety)
- Beans (canned and dry)
- Snacks: Granola bars, apple sauce, popcorn, etc.
- Aseptically packaged milk
- Alcoholic beverages
- Powdered drink mixes
- Frozen juices
Gardening. If you can, this might be a good year to start gardening.
A Few Other Consideration
If a home quarantine starts in your area, here a few considerations:
Purchase Perishables with Longer Shelf Life
This really helps to stock up when you can find it. We have been under a home quarantine for a few weeks and these items are hit and miss in the stores along with anything fresh, paper products, and sanitizing products.
- Cheese and butter
- Potatoes, onions, squash, turnips, radishes, carrots and other root vegetables
- Alternative milks (soy, almond) have much longer shelf lives than regular milk, if not opened.
- Liquid eggs (in the refrigerator section in cartons) have a longer shelf life than normal eggs, if not opened.
Keep the Gas Tank Full
There will be little warning and probably long lines.
Cash is King
Having a few extra dollars on-hand will probably make sense.
Know where you want to be quarantined. Do you want to be quarantined at your summer cabin or at home? You might not be allowed back home if you are traveling.
Start Following Your Local Community Websites
The local websites will hopefully have the most updated information for your area.
We will hope that the virus doesn’t impact our communities, but hope is not a plan.
It is better to be prepared than be caught paying high hysteria prices during a quarantine is ordered by the government. Just look at the pictures from Italy of all the empty shelves at the grocery stores.
Taking a sensible approach will allow peace of mind and keep your budget in tacked.
This is definitely not the time to do a no-spend month.
When the threat level decreases, it will be time to consider a no spend week or two.
The most important thing is to keep your family safe. Remain vigilant and updated on the virus and your community.
Please pin this article for later reference.
Below are a few additional articles that might interest you. Both articles focus money during a home quarantine.
Take Care, WhipperSnapper Finance