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Prepare now for shortages!

With cases of COVID-19 spiking in many parts of the country, a troubled economy, and civil unrest that likely will continue through election time, we are learning that shortages may become a fact of life. Our nation’s supply chain continues to be vulnerable to disruptions.

Now is the time to learn from history – recent history! What things were in short supply back in March? What shortages might you still be seeing in your area right now? Some parts of the country are experiencing odd pockets of missing items, some are missing large portions of stock and empty shelves loom large while in other parts of the country they are fully stocked – for now.

In some states, such as Ohio, there are rumblings that the state may go back into lock down mode with only essential businesses open and only emergency allowed for anyone other than essential workers.

In some places the civil unrest and violent clashes make it dicey to even go to a grocery store, and all signs point to it only getting worse.

You are not going to want to take a “wait-and-see” approach as that will mean you and your family will not be able to get needed items. The only time it is too late to start preparing is after the crisis has happened.

Five things you can do to start or improve your preparedness status:

1. Take inventory, what do you need to fill the holes in your preps? Have you let your inventories get low? When was the last time you stocked up on basics such as toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, trash bags, or shelf-stable food, what about baking basics like oil and yeast?

2. If you are concerned about making it to the grocery store for a big stock up, try shopping online at places like Boxed, Amazon and Walmart. Depending on where you live your local stores may also deliver, or you can arrange for pickup at the store where they load it in the cart for you.

3 Given the uncertainty that is plaguing our country if you haven’t already laid in a supply of long term storage food now may be the time to explore that option. Places like MyPatriotSupply, BePrepared or Augason Farms offer food with a 20-25 year shelf life so even if you don’t need it now, you will be ready for the next natural or man-made disaster to hit us.

4. Unless you have a source of water that doesn’t require electricity, to run you are going to want to stock up on water. The rule of thumb is one gallon per person a day for drinking water. This does not include water for cooking or hygiene. Water does take up a lot of space and is very heavy – but even just a minimal two week supply of clean water is better than the alternative. You also need to be sure your water isn’t going to make you sick. You can either boil it, or you can get water filtration systems, such as the Alexapure, that is available in several configurations.

5. Stop and think about your house and your neighborhood? How likely is it that the civil unrest will spill over into your neighborhood? How did your neighbors react to quarantine, did they exhibit hostile tendencies or make demands that you share anything? If the answer is yes, you may not be able to move right now, but that probably be a future consideration. In the meantime look into reinforcing points of entry and making them less appealing.

Taking even small steps towards preparedness can help relieve anxiety. Knowing that you have food and water set aside as well as items for hygiene can take some of the worry out of the uncertain future we all face.

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