You can count on champagne prices to go up in December, stores to run out of generators before a planned blackout, and fuel prices to go up in a storm. No one can predict what item people will hoard, and every disaster seems to have one, but when herd mentality kicks in the more dire consequence is scarcity.
Canned food and bottled water is common. During the COVID-19 pandemic the run on toilet paper was first comical, then concerning as the shelves remained empty. This was followed by a run on flour and sugar thanks to all the shelter at home bakers.
In preparation for an expected disaster, avoid the crowds and start making purchases early. Purchase the things you truly need before emotion takes over. The barrier we all need to overcome is the concern that the event may actually not happen, or be as severe as predicted (remember the post about normalcy bias?). Don’t worry, these items are almost always non-perishable.
- Fill any prescriptions that are low.
- Check your freezer to see if you should stock up on anything.
- Stock up on pantry items, and don't forget coffee and fresh items like onions and potatoes.
- Stock up on essentials we often overlook like dish detergent, laundry detergent, toothpaste, shaving cream, hand soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels, and of course, toilet paper.
- If time allows, take care of any upcoming tasks like the DMV or school registration. If you go a week without power you’ll wake up every day wondering why you didn’t take care of these things when you had the chance.
- Finally, while you’re running around, be sure to fill up the car with a full tank of gas.