How to Prepare for a Pandemic: Our Personal Cheat Sheets to Prepare for the Corona Virus
I never in a million years thought I would have to write a post about this. A pandemic? Preparing for one? Welp, as Italian citizens, we are now living in the middle of one and what better way than to help others around the world than to share exactly how we prepared for the Corona Virus?
Our family prepared for our lockdown and quarantine just about a week ago and I have all of my lists and receipts at hand. I figured…well…I got nothing but time so let’s share exactly what this vegan family purchased to set us up for success! My father is a very well prepared man as well (he lives in Chicago and is already set up for anything that can happen) and he helped us out with these lists as well. I sure do hope these help you out!
I want to make a few things clear here: Our family is as zero waste and sustainable as we can possibly get. We chose to purchase as much fresh produce as possible and then froze those ourselves to last vs. purchasing already frozen produce. If you are at all worried about the virus being on food, I highly recommend washing with castile soap like Dr. Bronners or even baking soda. Freezing your own produce is very very easy and a great thing to learn now that you have time to do so!
We also create all of our own hand soap, body wash soaps, and house cleaners using castile soap and vinegar. You do not need to fill your carts with a bunch of cleaning supplies from the store that are full of nasty chemicals. Castile soap has been proven to kill the virus and is a wonderful way to choose natural products for your home.
When preparing for a pandemic, the first thing you have to understand is that you will be preparing to stay at home. We opted to prepare for 2-3 weeks because our children were already showing signs of the flu and we did not want to put anyone around us at risk. I purchased fresh produce that I then froze and stored in my freezer-safe silicone bags. I also purchased a lot of fruit and juicing veggies to help my children kick the flu’s butt. The list below is just for the pantry, so dried goods. Think more along the lines of no refrigeration preparation.
I did not go absolutely crazy here as I am not a big fan of canned foods, but I do not have any problems buying a lot of bulk dried foods like dry lentils, dry beans, rice, quinoa, oats, etc. We all should have plenty of time to soak and cook our beans and lentils now that we are stuck at home, so if you can, opt for bulk vs canned. Another note, we are Vegan so keep this in mind.
P.s. our favorite way to cook all of our dried foods is to use an InstantPot. I swear by this thing.
Again, the canned goods can very well be bulk dry food and the canned veggies can very well be fresh veggies that are then frozen by you. Either way will work! Please do purchase some cans in case of a power outage though. I will say we have about 25-30 cans of various beans and veggies. As for canned coconut milk and tomatoes? You bet your butt we loaded up on those!!
A few extras on the list that are not mentioned but I do recommend are probiotics and prebiotics, elderberry syrup, oil of oregano, vitamin d3, and any other supplements that you need to stay at your optimal health.
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The majority of us have enough home good supplies to last us at least 14 days, so please do not lose your minds here.
This list is really dependent on your personal situation. If you are currently on medication, please stock up for at least 2 weeks. If you have a newborn or are pregnant, please be prepared for all that you will need; breast milk bags/jars, formula, cloth diapers, compostable diapers, disposable diapers, wipes, etc.
If you do not have a bidet (which I highly recommend), then you will want extra toilet paper but please, for goodness sake, do not hoard toilet paper. When choosing toilet paper, please choose toilet paper that is from recycled paper to avoid the destruction of our trees.
We like to purchase castile soap, baking soda, and vinegar in bulk for our cleaning and washing needs. You can clean the entire house, your body, your hands, and pretty much anything else you can think of with these three amazing natural products. Again, if you are stuck at home, you will have plenty of time to try these out all over your home and realize just how wonderful they are!
The Quarantines should only last about 14 days (as of right now) so please keep this in mind.
Do you know what I think is worse than actually being the ones who are quarantined and living in this real-life chaos? Those who are just waiting for it to happen. Those who are just waiting for this pandemic to strike their home and community and who are losing their absolute minds.
People constantly ask how I am so calm and collected while our country is exploding in this virus and I have to say….it’s because it is already here. We are living it. We are stuck at home and we are stocked. This is not a future, this is now. There is nothing more to worry about – we are IN it.
My best advice is to get prepared, calmly and with love. To start practicing the quarantine now to keep you, your family, and those around you safe.
Start homeschooling today.
Begin the garden today.
Start your spring cleaning today.
Stay home. Today.
Then breathe. Let it go. You are doing the right thing.
Lots of love from this locked-down family in Italy!