Last-Minute Coronavirus Quarantine Supplies: What to Buy (and Where to Get It) When the Stuff You Want Is Sold Out

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by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

Do you have the horrible feeling you may have waited too long to purchase supplies for the possibility of quarantine due to the Covid-19 outbreak sweeping the United States? While it’s true that shelves across the nation are bare in some departments, there are still options.

In this article, I’ll suggest some last-minute emergency supplies you can purchase in place of the ones you wanted if you’ve waited too late to shop. To do this, you may have to cast away your plans of being organic and healthful, and you may not get the exact household products you want. You’re stuck with what’s left at this point. So please don’t write to me, angry and horrified because I suggested conventional crackers instead of chia seed ones that were ground by the hardened lava of a Chilean volcano, okay?

If you’re looking for general information about quarantines, go read this article. For detailed information on general preparedness, check out this book.

Don’t panic – you can still do this. Remember that those of us who are well-prepared all started somewhere – and most likely the place we started was where you are right now: realizing at the last minute we didn’t have what we needed.

These are the suggestions I would use myself to put together last-minute emergency supplies.

Some general advice

Don’t be married to the idea of getting everything at one store. Most folks are flocking to Walmart but there are so many other stores out there where you can purchase what you need. Consider the following for some of your supplies.

  • Office supply stores
  • Dollar stores
  • Discount stores
  • Large pharmacies
  • Grocery stores (for things other than groceries)
  • Target
  • Big Lots
  • Hardware stores

Think outside the Walmart box when prepping for an emergency.

What to buy when the store is out of water

Here’s a photo of the water aisle at a Walmart near where my daughter lives.

  • Sports drinks (like Gatorade)
  • Flavored or sparkling water
  • Juice boxes or individual bottles
  • Juice
  • Soda pop (not too much though because that can be dehydrating instead of replenishing)
  • Vegetable juice
  • Premade iced tea

A good trick here is to go to the aisle where people get individually packaged stuff for their kids’ lunches. You’ll find all sorts of beverage pouches and plastic bottles of drinks here.

I warned you – not the healthiest, but healthy is no longer available. Trust me when I tell you it will be far better than having nothing available to drink. Oh – and don’t forget the wine. It won’t really rehydrate you, but you won’t care as much that you don’t have water.

Finally, use containers. You still have running water, right? Use vessels you already have and/or buy containers, wash them, and fill them up. No one is going to be sold out of containers unless you specifically look for “Water Containers.” Grab mason jars, pitchers, canisters, etc. Just make sure they’re food-safe and you’re good.

What to buy when the store is out of those meals in a box

Everyone seems to be looking for things like macaroni and cheese, hamburger helper, and ramen noodles. If this is something you desire for your stockpile, here are some options. (Some of these are healthier than the original.)

  • Get plain pasta and cheese powder to DIY your mac and cheese
  • Get powdered milk to use for when you run out of regular refrigerator milk
  • Instead of ramen, get angel hair pasta, cook as directed, and add some soy sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder
  • In place of Hamburger Helper and that type of thing, use regular pasta or rice, a few spices (like an Italian spice blend) and a half a jar of marinara sauce. For a creamy version, go with garlic powder, onion powder, and cream of mushroom soup concentrate.

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