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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So you’re late to the party!

Good thing you’re here!

I’m hoping that our expert longtime preppers will put some basic ideas here for Covid19 preps for the ultimate beginner, keeping in mind that most people don’t have lots of experience or money to burn.


* My first tip* if your local Costco/Sam’s club is a zoo, try Dollar Tree. Ours have special Covid displays with things like hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, lysol concentrate, and shelf stable food.

I’ve been pleased to find that a lot of their food products (generic spam, canned clams, shelf-stable milk that tastes good) are actually made in the USA!

If you want, you can order by the case online and pick up at your local store for free or ship to home for a cost.


***TOP 10 TIPS***

1. STOP and BREATHE. Prep don’t panic. Panic makes people do stupid, dangerous things.
Stop. Breathe. Think. Plan. Prepare.

2. Practice good hygiene.

Out and about? Cover your cough. Don’t touch your face.

Can’t find hand sanitizer? That’s okay! Be sure to have soap on hand. You can even try a recipe from a reliable source. (D)

Wash your hands WELL with soap and water. (A) This works better than hand sanitizer! No running water? No problem! (B)

3. No mask? Practice social distancing. CDC recommends staying 1-3 feet away from others. Wave instead of handshakes.

4. Remember kids, pets, and any seniors who rely upon you when planning. Medicines, special foods, litter, diapers etc.

5. WATER
Chances are you’ll get a little warning before losing municipal water supply if it does happen.

Before losing water:
-Wash out and fill old bottles (soda pop, juice, etc.) with tap water.
-Look into buying a filter if you have a pool or hot tub, and be sure it’s topped off.
-Look into buying a Water Bob. It’s basically a water bladder with hand pump for tubs.
-Most homes have 50 gallons of fresh water in the hot water tank.

If you’re going to be losing water service soon:
-Fill EVERYTHING with water: sinks, tubs, coolers, pitchers, pots, pans, buckets.
Remember that bleach and boiling can be used to kill germs in water (C)

6. FOOD

If possible, buy extra of what you and your family normally eat and rotate stock like at the store.

7. Don’t forget basic household safety like batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. First responders and medical personnel may be stretched thin.


8. If you choose to use a mask, understand it’s limitations. Don’t allow it to give you a false sense of security. Be sure you’re wearing and fitting it correctly. If you choose to use gloves, practice taking them off without touching the contaminated outside.

9. Personal hygiene

No TP?
*Try looking into a bidet or even a “peri bottle” like they give to new moms.
*If you choose to use other paper products: Kleenex, paper towels, IRS tax code book, etc. be sure to put a plastic bag or lidded trash can nearby so you don’t ruin your plumbing.
*Another option may be family cloth. (E)

No baby wipes?
DIY with paper towels and baby bath. (F)

(A)https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/fact-sheets.html

(B)https://www.cdc.gov/safewater/publications_pages/tippy-tap.pdf

(C)
https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2017/10/08/fact-sheet-how-make-your-water-safe-drink

(D)
https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Guide_to_Local_Production.pdf

(E)
https://redandhoney.com/how-to-get-started-with-family-cloth-and-why-you-might-actually-love-it/

(F)Complicated version in video link. Just take the basic idea and use watered down baby bath instead.
https://youtu.be/jTjQVx9qN9Q

***Helpful Printable Online Books***

1) Hesperian Health Guides “Where There Is No Doctor”, “Where There Is No Dentist”, “Sanitation and Cleanliness” and many many more. Starting at 95 cents for a PDF.

https://store.hesperian.org/SFNT.html

2)Food Storage for Emergencies from University of Utah Extension Office. How to safely store foods at home, nutrition of shelf stable foods, etc. FREE!

https://extension.usu.edu/foodstorage/ou-files/Food_Storage_Booklet2.pdf
 

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Wildlife Proctologist
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2,216 Posts
So my best advice is pause and make a plan then start with buying more of what you normally eat and rotate it. Once you have a few months of of food in the que then start getting the LTS and shelf stable foods. Don't panic and buy dumb stuff, rather follow a plan.
 

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Crazy Cat Lady
Plan to Alamo at home.
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15,985 Posts
Ditto buying what you eat.

I wouldn't worry so much about hand sanitizer products in this instance. Just stay out of the public as much as possible, shop at off times at Walmart, whatever if at all possible. Put in for medication refills if possible.
 

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Sinner w/ a great Savior
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Oh no! You're late to prepping and all the grocery stores are emptying out! What now!?

* First, stop. Breathe. This is serious, but life will go on. Read Psalm 91. Go do it. Okay, are you calm, thinking clearly, are you ready?
* No sanitizer or gloves? Wash hands frequently. Soap and water is still an excellent defense. Stop shaking hands. Go to elbow bumps or Japanese-style bowing instead of handshakes. Keep your distance. DIY hand sanitizer.
* No masks? Even a cloth over your nose and mouth will help you remember not to touch these areas, which is one of the most common ways to be infected. And this homemade mask is somewhat effective. See also this. Could also print one. Masks you make at home do help.
* If possible, if there's still _anything_ in the stores to buy, emphasize stocking up on all kinds of common first aid and medical supplies. From what we know about the early days of the virus the hospital was a bad place to be. Emphasize this, even more than food; If the virus hits heavy, we know from Wuhan you probably still will be able to get food from the stores. You put on your mask, you get in, you get your food, you get out, you wash hands, done. But if you have to go to the hospital for any reason -- say, a broken leg -- you're likely to sit around for hours and hours in a crowded hallway with coughing people. So any kind of medical supplies helps. Books like "Where There Is No Doctor" may help keep you out of the hospital. It's an $8 PDF.
* Most houses have about 50 gallons of water already stockpiled in your water heater. There's usually a valve at the bottom, and the water is pre-treated tap water. At a gallon a day, this will keep a person going for almost two months. A family of four, almost two weeks.
* Pool shock can be used to sanitize water.
* Simple flour, oil, and salt, heated for 30 seconds in a pan to make flat bread will provide a lot of necessary calories to get anyone through the initial crisis. More details
* In most houses you have enough materials at hand to store another hundred gallons or so in minutes, without using your tub. More details
* Potato chip bags and cardboard can be turned into a solar oven to sanitize water and cook food. Potato chip bag solar cooker Cardboard solar cooker
* An insulated box with hay, old shirts, foam, etc. can be used to conserve cooking fuel. Integrated Cooking Method
* Discarded Gatorade bottles and plastic bags can be used to sanitize water.
* Tin cans can be used to make an improvised stove heated with twigs, for sanitizing water and cooking food. More details...
* No toilet paper? Try this. Or this.
* The solar yard lights at Dollar Tree can be indoor lighting at night. As a bonus, if you look for the ones with AAAs inside (twist the top in the store) they can be a solar-powered battery charger. eBay has AAA-to-AA and AA-to-C/AA-to-D adapters, so you can adapt upwards, although the amount of energy a NiCad AAA holds is miniscule. But low beats no. eBay also has AA-to-USB adapters such as these which will charge your phone in a pinch. If this item is sold out, search Emergency AA USB.
* No bleach? Make it from salt.
* Exercise. Knowledge. Both (can be) free, both are invaluable, right now, for handling a crisis. Bonus: Play audiobooks while exercising :D:
* Watch videos or download free ebooks on wild edibles and trapping.
* While it's thought of as nasty to many Westerners, eating insects is accepted (and even considered a delicacy) in many cultures. Plenty of fat and protein to keep you alive. I consider that not my plan B or plan C, but my plan Q. It is an option. Search Google for entomophagy.
* Honey can be a natural antibiotic, and help cuts and burns heal. But it must be authentic honey; Counterfeits are becoming a thing now. Buy locally if you can.
* Nervous about intruders and you don't have access to guns? There are other improvised weapons you can use or make. It's hard to beat a good firearm but that's not your only choice. Google improvised weapons.
* Your car plus a $40 800W inverter can power your fridge for a long time. More details...
* No running water? A "tippy-tap" hand washing station can be scrounged from things around you, and you can wash your hands without touching anything. Very sanitary, and easy to make. Helps tremendously to cut down on infections. See this and this. For the toilet, drain your toilet, put a trash bag in, tape around edges, poop only, pee outside or in a separate bucket (if you can ladies), cover the poo with sawdust, straw, leaves, or dirt. Without pee in it, the covered poo won’t smell too too bad, and you take it out in a day or two.
* No running water? A pair of black buckets will give you a ten minute shower. By showering in the evening, you go to sleep clean and warm :) Google DIY solar shower.
* Got acorns? Can be made into flour. Leach tannin from acorns in a stream or cold water. Or toilet tank can leach and there’s little bacteria risk when using the upper tank. Change water when it darkens. Leach several days. Taste after three days, if still bitter keep leeching. Google leaching tannin from acorns.
* No running water and got a lot of diarrhea? This was a trick I learned from the Ebola crisis: Cut a hole in a cot, put a bucket underneath. Make a cot from a sheet or even plastic. Use baby wipes if you can.
* If you have access to frozen foods but are concerned about electricity running out, Google solar dehydrator. Make them yourself and they dry food.
* Spray paint “quarantine” on a sign on the fence to keep people out, even if not sick :)
 

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Banned
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There is a unfortunately, little that most normal people can do. With kids in school, work in offices, the most effective measure, isolation, is simply not going to happen for most people without a government order.

Now, having enough food, water, etc to stay home if you are ordered home is a great step and by all means, do it.

But for most people asking how to start preping for Corona is like people in cities asking how to start prepping for the collapse of civilization. Its just not feasible with that kind of lifestyle.

The thing is, prepping is what you do with your life BEFORE SHTF.

So I would say, the very first thing you have to do if your committed to this is flip the switch in your head that says the kids have to go to school and you have to go to work, go to social engagements with your friends, etc.

If you can flip that and truly decide that you will allow yourself to cut yourself off from all that then its not hard to know what to do.

Survivalism is nothing more than internalizing civilization. Taking what you used to go OUT to get, and bringing that in, under your roof.

Become your own grocery store, your own fire department, your own hospital, your own police force, etc.

Stock your pantry like its a small town grocery store. Think of the things you would need to go buy on regular basis and stock your shelves with them.

My wife and I call our stored food "The Store" because that is how we stock it and how we treat it. It doesn't require elaborate planning or packaging. Its just moving some small part of your local grocery store's inventory, into your inventory.
 

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Live Free or Die
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So, when does everyone plan to start wearing their masks? I might buy some cheaper masks to wear as a statement, but I need to save my N95s until I need them unless I luck into a larger stock.
 

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As others have said but it is exceptionally valuable to know: first start buying what you know you (and your children) will eat when the chips are down.

Also, all of us acting-cool people had at one stage in our past, never prepared. Not an iota nor even a smidgeon. It is not a character defect to start from scratch.

Furthermore, we'uns can't even agree amongst ourselves about the best method of preparations. Simply starting preparation is a major step forward in being prepared and it's incremental, not all at once.

Finally but not trivially: this forum is very good to learn what to do AND what not to do; and most importantly, how to think critically and reason your way to a solution that works for you and you alone.

All the best and we will see you on the other side of the apocalypse!
 

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So, when does everyone plan to start wearing their masks? I might buy some cheaper masks to wear as a statement, but I need to save my N95s until I need them unless I luck into a larger stock.
Personally, I'm only gonna start wearing masks outside and around and about, when it's statistically evident that a substantial minority of people are asymptomatic carriers, plus there is a likely smaller minority of high-volume virus-laden-droplet expectorators. I believe I will know it when I perceive it.

I intend to avoid medical facilities as much as I can, but when the Schumer hits the Fantail, I will not be venturing anywhere near crowds inside or outside Emergency Rooms unless I have to, without first donning The Mask.
 

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Museum Piece
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So, when does everyone plan to start wearing their masks? .
The CDC just announced that from Nor Cal to North of Seattle is now an infection zone. For those of us that live in this area. Yesterday is when you them.

We just did our last shopping in any stores. Mrs Wire will be wearing masks as of Monday. If the school dist says she can not, see will come home.
 

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I am interrogative, yes.
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Don't forget your pets: food, water, treats, games, toys, shampoo, towels, clothes, medical care.

If they're due for shots in the next few months, consider getting them now. If they need prescription meds or over-the-counter meds, stock up now.

Make sure their needs are covered in your family's first aid kit. Some items to consider: antiseptic wipes, gauze, bandages, vet wrap, sterile saline solution, styptic pencil/powder, antibiotic ointment, muzzles, medical tape, tweezers, scissors (to trim hair/bandages), thermometer, cold packs, emergency blankets.
 

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Ignore the long lists. Clean your house and cook dinner. You'll figure out what cleaning supplies are needed. You'll realize what food is needed to throw together meals. Do not run out and buy things because you read a master list. You'll end up with pile of old crap that's not edible, wont work, or is dangerous. That's my advice and its actually just what any adult that's living alone should do anyways.
 

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spirit animal / unicorn
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So, when does everyone plan to start wearing their masks? I might buy some cheaper masks to wear as a statement, but I need to save my N95s until I need them unless I luck into a larger stock.
Hard to say. There are a lot of good reasons for and against.

The right time to have em is whenever you're exposed to the virus. And if you spend a lot of time with someone who's at much greater risk of dying from it than you are (elderly/ill), your lack of using gear at the right time endangers them.

I think that the people who are telling us not to buy masks are definitely giving us bad advice--

I think the only thing that's keeping them from restricting it more or even outlawing it is there are still a lot of snobby / classy / rich people out there who will think it's absolute hogwash and get really p.o.'d if that happens.

The elites at the top of society and government can't / won't restrict it more because they're going to bring too much of the anger of their own peers down on them.

Reminiscent of the "walls don't work" arguments. Just because there's a way to use a mask stupidly doesn't mean I shouldn't have a mask. If that's the concern, then teach me to use the mask the right way. Don't just cause me to be totally without protection.

Sunday: China throws masks companies into emergency mode to produce more masks, and solicits donations of protective gear from around the world. Not only on a state level, but also individual medical workers get on social media and do this
Monday: FBI orders $40,000 of masks and hand sanitizer for FBI agents
Tuesday: Trump says you don't need a mask
Wednesday: Trump uses war powers under constitution to get 3M to make more masks
Thursday: New York Times says you don't need a mask and that Trump causes coronavirus
Friday: Executive branch of federal govt starts preparing to buy $1 billion of PPE
Saturday: Surgeon General tells every American in an all-caps tweet that we shouldn't buy masks and that we're screwing up virus-fighting efforts

I know that's not an exact, real timeline, but... I think the inconsistency and the violation of common sense is enough that most people aren't really dumb enough to get fooled.

Trump, The New York Times, the Democrats, the Surgeon General... they're all a little bit too much the same thing...
 

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Detailed Bug in tips: http://wordsalad.info/
Info on cooking, where to get water, how to use water filters, food you can keep without refrigeration, DIY stoves to cook on, keeping warm using various methods, how to stay safe being around people, and much more. Images are all embedded, just download and print this one file. Lots of 5 gallon bucket ideas, also how to make a quarantine room.

I find old documentaries on WW2 cooking to be valuable in saving fuel and using more primitive methods. One of the best series is "Wartime Farm" on Youtube with Ruth Goodman.
 

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Live Free or Die
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Detailed Bug in tips: http://wordsalad.info/
Info on cooking, where to get water, how to use water filters, food you can keep without refrigeration, DIY stoves to cook on, keeping warm using various methods, how to stay safe being around people, and much more. Images are all embedded, just download and print this one file. Lots of 5 gallon bucket ideas, also how to make a quarantine room.

I find old documentaries on WW2 cooking to be valuable in saving fuel and using more primitive methods. One of the best series is "Wartime Farm" on Youtube with Ruth Goodman.
Water is definitely not an issue. I have 2 life straws and 2 sawyer minis. I can even distill seawater if necessary.
 
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