Covid-19 Prep – What do you need?

Covid-19 Prep – What do you need?

We've been asked by many people, what do we need to do, and how can we prep?

Based on both Civil Defence, Survive-IT, and peer discussions, we've put the following together to help you figure out what you need to be doing.

When it comes to viral pandemic what you need in your ‘kit’ is a bit different to a typical disaster kit, because you are staying home not evacuating.

That said there is a need to have an evacuation kit ready, as natural disaster can still happen.

The basic approach for Covid-19 is to have enough on hand that you can stay home through a 14-28 day quarantine period. The big one is food followed by cleaning products.

Longer puts pressure on the supply chain and deprives people of doing the same, so be sensible. The experience to date is showing that a well-managed supply chain is able to keep up and online shopping options now available should be able to meet additional needs.

What do you need for two adults: (scale as appropriate for your needs)

  • Food – focus on what you would normally use, as you don’t want to be wasting this either. Also to you want simple meals, if you are sick or the power is out it needs to be easy
    • Tinned foods:
      • Tomatoes
      • Lentils
      • Baked beans
      • Spaghetti
      • Corn, whole kernel/creamed
      • Chickpeas
      • Chilli Beans (Nachos and Mexican dishes)
      • Soups - Chicken, Tomato, Vegetable, Pumpkin. (used as soups as additives for other dishes you make)
      • Vegetables – as you won’t have fresh veggies from week two without deliveries. (also see our post on prep in relation to contamination risks)
      • Peas or frozen if you have a freezer
      • Meat and meat meals, with no freezer storign meat is a proble, tinned meat meals if you can't go without. Frankly when I ate meat these were nasty, I don't expect they ave changed much.
    • Staples
      • Salt
      • Pepper
      • Tomato Paste
      • Mayo
      • Jams
      • Marmite/Vegemite
      • Peanut Butter
      • Nutella
      • Honey (spreads, sweetener, and cooking flavouring)
      • Tea
      • Coffee
      • Hot/Cold Chocolate powder
      • Breakfast cereals
      • Tomato Sauce (easily added flavour to any dish)
      • Soy Sauce
      • Worcestershire Sauce
      • Fish and Oyster sauces need refrigeration
    • Pasta:
      • Spaghetti
      • Spirals and other shapes to keep things interesting. Especially if you are including the kids.
    • Rice – Basmati tastes good and is universal for many meals
    • Noodles
      • Singapore
      • Udon
      • Hokkien
      • Flat noodles
    • Packaged flatbreads – typically have a decent shelf life
      • Tortillas
      • Naan
      • Chapati/Roti
      • Soft Tacos
      • Tacos
    • Vegetables that keep well without refrigeration
      • Potatoes
      • Kumera/Sweet Potato
      • Onions
      • Garlic
      • Pumpkin
      • Swede and turnip (not my personal favourites)
      • If you can find Be Fresh, it will help extend the life of veggies in the fridge
    • Sauces
      • Pad Thai, Honey Soy, Coconut Curry, Teriyaki Beef, Sweet & Sour – pouches, easy to cook and tasty meals
      • Stir fry – bottles and pouches, bottles need refrigerating
      • Maggi recipe bases, yes, cheating as a cook, if you’re short on time or sick, easy throw it in a pan and get a tasty meal.
    • Fluids
      • UHT Long Life Milk (often cheaper than the fresh stuff)
      • Juice
      • Soda
      • Alcohol
    • Baking products
      • Flour
      • Sugar
      • Yeast
      • Baking Powder
      • Baking Soda
      • Cocoa
      • Vanilla Essence
      • Premix baking products, be aware many need fresh eggs.
    • Freezer – if you have one
      • Meat/Seafood - While nice steak is the likely preference. Smaller less focused cuts can be more versatile
          • Sausages – energy-dense and easily cooked on an open fire. Beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and also vegetarian options
          • Mince – beef, chicken, or lamb, versatile in many dishes
          • Chicken - wings, nibbles, pieces.
          • Chicken Thighs – won’t dry out as much as breast nor will it disintegrate and is versatile for many dishes.
          • Fish – battered/crumbed
          • Prawns – versatile for Asian dishes without taking up a lot of space
          • Burger patties, easy to use and quick meals, though see contamination risks on the uncooked aspects mentioned above.
          • On the vegetarian side of things, Quorn is an excellent product that is frozen and can be used as a meat substitute, both in mince and cubed forms.
      • Eggs, yes, eggs. Cracked and pre-frozen then packed into a snap-lock bag, means you can have ‘fresh’ eggs for baking purposes.
      • Vegetables, probably the most useful approach. Both usual western-style vegetables, as well as Asian stir fry bags.
      • Bread – sliced, buns, bagels
      • Chips/Wedges/Fries (if you have space, these can help with the variety of living out of tin cans)
      • Ice Cream and Deserts, there needs to be some respite from being sick and on a restricted diet ;)
    • Snacks
      • Biscuits
      • Crackers
      • Chips
      • Nuts
      • Scroggin
      • You get the idea, dry foods that will last and won’t be harmed if open for a bit
    • Baby Food
    • Pet Food
    • As it is coming up Easter time, Easter Eggs… For the kids!

If you don’t have a freezer or home delivery options, you may have to consider vegetarian options as meat won’t last long enough in the fridge. Many of the Asian flavour options in the list are reasonable alternatives for vegetarian dishes.

As a Waikato farm boy turned vegetarian for health reasons, it’s not a difficult transition for a while and it won’t kill you either.

Also, bread, if you don’t have a freezer you have a similar challenge, thus the flour and yeast in the list above, track down and print off a bread recipe you can use. Maybe take it for a test drive or two, to ensure you know what you’re doing.

  • Toilet Paper loosely 30 rolls per person, not packets! (worst case and can be used in addition to tissues, and also to extend the life of surgical face masks (not the N95’s) as a damp catcher inside the mask)
  • 4-8 boxes of tissues each
  • Sanitary items, tampons and pads. (Also useful for injuries and wound care if needed)
  • Bleach, unscented and Sodium hypochlorite based. Useful for both cleaning and sterilising water – 2-4 litres
  • Handy Andy, floor cleaner and excellent for dealing with sick, well-trusted product for clean up.- 1-2 bottles
  • Toilet cleaner – 2-4 bottles
  • Dust Masks – a combination of surgical and N95/P2’s, do not use N95/P2’s with vents on sick people! Depending on intended use, and if you can get them, 
    • N95/P2’s - 10-12 per person.
    • Surgical masks 5-10 per day depending on use and contamination. (the technical medical advice is changing these every 20 minutes as they become a contamination risk once damp)
  • Disposable gloves (infection containment)
  • Goggles sealed eye protection. (infection containment)
  • Work Gloves – latex and leather depending on the job required.
  • Water – a couple of 20L containers full, easy to have on hand and refill, useful if the water supply is disrupted, or your water tank runs dry.
  • Hand cleaner – bar soap is the best thing with good handwashing technique for Covid-19
    • Bar soap, 1 per person per week is plenty. So about 8 bars needed for 2 people and that’s probably still too much.
    • Softsoap – normal soap cleaner type.
    • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer – also has a similar problem to Antibacterial soaps if overused.
    • Anti-bacterial products are not helpful for Covid-19 specifically. Additionally, with frequent hand washing, they may increase infection issues as they will damage your natural bacterial flora that protects your skin.
  • Prescription medicines
    • Also medicines for Covid-19 infections.
    • Lozenges for the throat.
    • Pain medications. If you are going to have enough paracetamol or ibuprofen on hand for someone for 2 weeks you need 114 tablets per person of each, based on 8 x 500mg paracetamol or 200mg ibuprofen tablets per day for 14 days. So 3 boxes of 100 tablets for two people is plenty to start with of either. In NZ Chemist Warehouse has the generic 100 tab boxes at $2.99 with 1 box per person restrictions, though most pharmacies carry the Ethics brand at around $9.99 per box.
  • First aid kit very comprehensive to OSH standards 1-2 person
  • Cash – also a disease vector, but needed if there is banking system disruption.
  • Walking shoes, warm clothes, raincoat, headwear
  • Games & Entertainment
    • Cards and board games
    • Books
    • Comics
    • DVD’s yes, old school, Netflix may not be available)

There is a possibility, though unlikely based on China’s experience, that water, power, and other services could be disrupted.

Additional precaution items: (needed for the evac kit as well)

  • BBQ or Portable Gas Stove – Your gas hob may not work if the power is out.
  • 2x LED Torch Including Batteries
  • Gas or LED lantern, able to light a large area with minimal energy needed.
  • Radio plus batteries.
  • Spare Batteries.
  • Candles – large and will stand without falling over, burn time around 19 hours.
  • Box of Waterproof Matches.
  • Firestarters, you may not have the energy to cut wood for kindling.
  • 3x Lightsticks minimum of 12 hours of light for each stick
  • Aquatabs, a box of 50 tabs will treat 50 litres of water
  • Rubbish/sanitary bag large and strong – will make an emergency toilet

What do you need in addition for a full evacuation kit: (Again the 2 person approach)

  • Backpack/rucksack (24 litres)
  • 9 litres of water for each person (3 litres per person x 3 days);
  • Copies of important documents
  • Multi-tool 14-in-1 knife and tool set – has many essential tools
  • 2x Emergency food rations (enough for 3 days for 2 people)
  • 2x Poncho emergency waterproof over garment
  • 2x Emergency survival sleeping bag
  • Whistle – Emergency orange compact whistle
  • Braided line bright orange x 10 metres – many uses (the colour is helpful for visibility, other colours are fine)
  • Drink bottles (500+ mls)
  • Notebook and pencil

There’s a lot here and there is likely more that can be added, let us know and we’ll add these in.

Lastly, a comment on vegetarian. There is significant evidence that vegetarians do have a better response to infection with their immune system response. As animal products increase inflammation, they also increase the load on the immune system. Moving to a plant-based diet is an excellent way of reducing inflammation and enabling your immune system more resources to fight and infection or virus.

Just being very clear, this isn't about boosting your immune system above what is normal, this is about moving a depressed immune system towards normal.

Jon-Paul Hale

Written by : Jon-Paul Hale

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