Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Prepping for the Next Pandemic

Even though we are still in lockdown, our businesses and politicians are looking at opening up our city as soon as possible.  Not only does it take money to keep even the most minimal bills for a casino paid, the revenue from taxes on gambling and hotels is what funds the biggest part of Nevada's government.  Needless to say, people don't want this situation to drag on forever. 

So while (hopefully) we avoid the coronavirus this time around, I am pretty sure it will come back again (since it is a novel virus, it will pretty much go through all of the population eventually much like the flu).  And while this time we were blindsided by the pandemic and given only a few days warning that everything was shutting down, I definitely want to be better prepared for the next time something like this happens.  Here is what I am doing/starting to do/planning to do in order to be better prepared for the next disaster:

  • Get bidets for our toilets (probably a better long-term option than toilet paper and the people I know who have these swear by them)
  • Stock up on a reasonable amount of toilet paper (I probably won't give up this luxury all together and as soon as Costco has more in stock I am going to get several big packages of it)
  • Buy a freezer and fill it with food (we used to have a freezer when we had all of the kids in the house but with just the to of us, we decided we didn't need one.  I think we may buy a small freezer when they are back in stock)
  • Cook at home more often, even when all of the restaurants open back up (this is also a good way to rotate a lot of stockpiled food)
  • Do an entire home inventory of consumables and stock up on all of the items on my list (I already made the list and now as we shop I try to buy a few extra of each item which range from toothpaste to hair color to scouring powder, etc)
  • Get all of our legal stuff done ASAP (I need to renew my driver's license and do the annual registration for our car; I'm glad I already got my passport renewed instead of putting it off)
  • Stock up on hubby's prescriptions and look at all options for renewing them (we were literally given a few days notice that his access to free prescriptions would be suspended until further notice; we need to plan better in case this happens again)
  • Make hubby's doctor appointment as soon as possible (currently only emergencies are being seen at our military hospital so as soon as he can get a regular appointment with his doctor we will do this in case another shut down happens again)
  • Improve my health (I really need to improve my diet but we have been exercising every day so that's a good thing)
  • Completely stock our pantry and refrigerator (we are pretty good about this but from now on I will feel better with at least three of each item instead of shopping when we have half an item left)
  • Plant a garden, even a small one (we actually have two growing seasons in Las Vegas, in the spring and fall, so I should take advantage of this and plant at least a few things like greens and tomatoes)
  • Get out of debt ASAP (the car should be paid off soon and next up will be the credit card)
  • Put money in savings every month (we are kind of good at this but as soon as we are completely out of debt we can start saving even more)
  • Do all of our home maintenance projects (we need a new AC system, probably sooner rather than later, and there are several other projects we would like to tackle; these things are better done before another shut down happens)
  • Review and restock our first aid kits (fortunately we haven't been really sick during this pandemic but if it happens again I want to be prepared.  The first few weeks of this current lockdown we couldn't find any sort of medications in the stores!)
  • Do car maintenance (we haven't really drove the car much lately but I like to get the oil changed and basic maintenance done regularly; we will do these things as soon as things get back to normal)
  • Develop multiple sources of work-from-home income (everything is kind of at a standstill right now but any trickle of income is a good thing; I need to work on this!)
  • Get some things for home entertainment (we have been making due OK but it would be nice to have a sewing machine, some jigsaw puzzles, and I would also like to learn to play the violin so I will be looking for all of these things at the Goodwill when it reopens)
  • Get some emergency evacuation gear (watching things in the south with tornadoes all over the place reminds me that even though we don't have many natural disasters here, we should still have some emergency evacuation gear like sleeping bags, a tent, etc)
  • Buy more house clothes (that's literally almost all we have been wearing for a month so as soon as the Goodwill opens, I will be looking for more of this type of clothing)
  • Get a better water filter system (our tap water is awful and as soon as the quarantine hit, we couldn't find a single water filter system in the stores.  I've heard that whole-house RO systems are the best so I will look into this)
  • Get some hair clippers (again, as the lockdown drags on, everyone's hair is getting long and we can't find a single hair clipper to buy when there are usually several cheap sets at Ross and TJ Maxx.  We will definitely be buying one of these when they come available)
  • Pick up hard to find items as they become available (although we have hand sanitizer and bleach and a few masks, apparently it would be a good idea to have even more of these items on hand in case of emergency so when they come available again, I will definitely pick some more up)
  • Learn some new skills (soap making, canning, sewing...all of those old fashioned skills that I haven't done since my grandmother was alive could really come in handy in an emergency so I need to brush up on all of these skills)
  • Get our vaccines (I haven't got a tetanus shot, flu shot, etc. in years so I probably should get these and any other vaccines that I need before the next disaster hits)
  • Keep up connections with family and friends (ever since the lockdown we seem to be more connected with family and friends via calls, texting, FB messenger, Zoom, etc. than we ever were before.  We definitely want to continue this)
So that's my not-so-short to do list but I really want to make an effort to be better prepared for any kind of disaster that happens in the future!


  1. For drinking water, consider a big Berkey, maybe. I have about 14 bars of Dove soap that will last me the rest of my life. I never get it in water and keep it completely dry between uses, so I am good...lol. My stash of things was destroyed with my house! So, in a way, I am starting all over.

    All your ideas are great.

    1. Thanks! I've never heard of the Berkey and will check it out!

  2. I am going to get more TP and a better first aid kit with a backup of all of our regular OTC meds(keeping in mind expiration dates). We have a good first aid kit in case of earthquake but it could be so much better. And yeah, sanitizer too (haven't been able to buy that since March 10th)

    1. I haven't seen sanitizer either, fortunately we had a big bottle of it already but I definitely want to get more when it comes available again.

  3. That's a really good list. I am thankful that I had the foresight to stock up on things like pet food, laundry detergent, Lysol wipes and things like that way back in February. By the time I thought of facemasks, they were already becoming hard to find. I should have acted sooner on that one. I think everyone should supply a "Crisis Closet" or a "Pandemic Pantry" just as they would for a hurricane or earthquake, but more focused on long term sheltering in place. I'm not sure what "house clothes" are though. lol. I wake up, take a shower and put on jeans and a t-shirt just like any other day.

    1. We had always planned for things like earthquakes and storms but had never really thought of a long term shelter in place like what we are doing now; it's definitely a lesson learned for future prepping. Also, right now wee are living in workout wear like t shirts and sweat pants/stretchy pants. I may never go back to jeans and dressy clothes!