Due to experience around Nashville, TN I’ve prepared a few things. I’ve got a few gallons of gas stored and cycled regularly because if someone says there’s potentially going to be a shortage, there is the next day as there’s a run on the gas stations. We’re talking 5 gallons as a note.
If there’s a chance that hand soap might prevent a deadly disease, it’s going to be gobbled up and unavailable for months. Or, like the closest neighborhood store to me did, they’re going to purchase it the instant it comes in to any store at $1 and resell for $7 to a retirement / assisted living community.
Toilet paper hoarding was one of the more stupid things I’d seen. People willing to fill a garage with TP and screw their neighbors out of anything, throwing elbows, but not concerned enough to investigate something like a $29 after market bidet which cuts down on most TP needs. They’d fill a room out of panic rather than investigate the problem (which was them,) and solve it.
The instant the storms hit they’re out there buying up every generator and sump pump within 400 miles and then realizing they can’t use them because there’s no gas, no electricity to pump the gas, they didn’t get extension cords, and most of these sit on a truck or in a garage for the remainder of the time that they might be useful somewhere.
But, this isn’t about one person stockpiling for disaster, although I’ll admit I’m sort of stockpiled for disaster, along with actually having talked to the neighbors about it and worked out some plans with them in the events of power failure, food hoarding, etc. Their house floods, we’ve got space and some baby supplies. My internet goes down, they’ve got a different type of provider and I can jump on there and keep working. My crazy man security cameras? Pointed enough into their yard at their request that we share.
On the phone side, I’ve got a host of power banks and things that store power and they’re always ready. I’ve got power bank/tire inflators in my cars because I use them on a regular basis and can turn these into power in an outage.
Work out a plan, share that plan
You’ve got neighbors, you’ve got friends… back when I was with a group called Beer Church Nashville (the original one, not the national one that came to town later,) we did a game where we invented a scenario (usually zombies,) and figured out what would be needed.
Saw half of the scenarios we planned for happen. Fires, floods, gas hoarding, baby supply hoarding, tornadoes, food hoarding, fights outside of stores before they opened up, inability to make or receive a call, text, email. Really was surprisingly depressing that all these apocalyptic scenarios we had planned for happened during what mostly could be considered weekend inconveniences for the majority of the population in the area.
Make sure to share your plans… you’re not infallible. Things like storing a generator in a basement that’s prone to flooding might be caught. Or storing a generator in a basement that you can’t open the door if ice comes down might be pointed out. Or having plastic sheeting near a sump pump pit. Etc. Real things that can be spotted by others that you can’t see because you live with the stuff and have tuned it out.
Plan to help more than yourself
There’s no real altruistic effort, however make plans if you can to be able to help others. Even if it’s for your own ego boosting reasons. Just do it and don’t question too much if you’re just self serving. It’ll serve you.
And finally, you’re preparing for a week or two collapse of services and power. I can not stress enough how absolutely useless a $110 bucket of prepackaged food generally is. I don’t even know where to start on this but let’s just say keep a few cans of beans, corn, and whatever you might want to live on for a couple of weeks stashed away and routinely swapped out.
That swapping out is vitally important or you’re going to find yourself on the receiving end of botulism or other food poisoning a few years from now when you actually need it.[Ready.gov]