Here’s What 75 Preppers Learned During the Lockdown

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Author of The Blackout Book and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted

The lockdown that recently took place due to the pandemic was like a practice run for a bigger SHTF event. Many of our prepper theories played out and were accurate, while others weren’t as realistic as we thought beforehand.

People who weren’t preppers already learned a lot about why they would want to be better prepared in the future, but they weren’t the only ones who learned lessons. These preppers took a moment to answer questions about the lessons they learned during the lockdown. (Here’s an article about the things I learned.)

What did you learn about preparedness during the lockdown?


I learned two main things. First, I was very surprised at how strongly the isolation hit me. I am a person who is “energized” by interacting with other people. I knew that already, but I was shocked at how MUCH it affected me. Second, I got a taste of normalcy bias. I kept trying to see ways in which our situation was still “Normal”. As a school teacher of little ones for thirty years, I was pretty much used to switching into action immediately to deal with a crisis and putting my feelings on the back burner. So, I was shocked that it took me a couple of months to “accept” the changes in our lives and start looking for creative ways to make life work and meet our needs.


I learned it is so important to pay attention to what’s going on and stay ahead of the crowd. My husband and I were able to stock up two weeks before everyone else panicked. I also learned my plan of being stocked up and shopping only for replacements is a great system. For example I have 3 jars of mayo on the shelf, when I open one I put it on the list to purchase next time and replenish. Same with Costco TP. Every time I shop there I grab one package. We didn’t even go through half our stock pile and I was able to leave it for those who really needed it. I also learned to listen to your instincts, inner voice, the spirit, God or whatever you call it. I listened every time and we have made it through very comfortably. Also, look for opportunities to help others prepare. I have gotten several people to prepare seriously because of staying ahead of everyone else. I couldn’t have done what I did with[out] Daisy and her spot on articles. Like I said earlier, they kept me two weeks ahead of the crowd.


That individuals mental state can be intrusive to yours. For me-it preteen having her 1st period.


That things happen really fast. If you act when things happen it is too late. Act now.


That prepping is far more than one type of crisis. Organization of preps is vitally important ( I am still not where I need to be). Having a list of recipes and items needed helps with how and what to shop for. Alternative sources for cooking, cleaning etc. are important.


Being in a lockdown during the spring was great. House was cool and could bake. Once it got hot, there was no baking. Need to learn to bake more via the fire, not just cook.


I had anticipated shortages like food, soap, TP, and PPEs, but I underestimated how short in supply durable consumer goods would be – like the fact that freezers would pretty much become extinct, all gardening supplies, etc. Luckily, I had stockpiled seeds (although this year I brought veggie starts because everything started late this year.) It took until June to get the raised bed kits (industrial area, it’s not safe to grow anything you want to eat in the ground). Canning jars have also become in short supply. I anticipated has shortages, which did not take place – in fact, gas became dirt cheap with nobody able to go anywhere. I did fail to anticipate that the border would be closed for half a year! Living in a border city, I tend to rely on the much cheaper US prices for many things. I really should not have put off dentist and eye appointments, or a haircut! I will get that attended to before the next wave of contamination and lock-downs. I am working now on beefing up food growing and preserving supplies. Desiccants, oxygen absorbers, Mylar bags, food grade buckets, canning lids, canning jars, and food saver bags are all likely to become harder to obtain as food prices rise and more people become aware of how to grow and preserve foods. I am also stocking up on organic fertilizers and indoor growing options. And sprouting seeds – I think I have at least 2 years’ worth of those.


Baby items. We have a brand-new great grandchild born on the 4th and an 8-month-old granddaughter. I have always kept some things for when they are here, or the kids need help. We learned when it first hit that formula and diapers go quick.


Realized we ATE way more than I thought we would and more than normal, I think. Also, it’s easy to slip into an [depressive] state even when you aren’t prone to depression.


I was truly surprised at how fast everything happened. I learned that people get really angry and do things that defy logic when they are panicking. I remember I kept thinking, “if they do this over hand sanitizer and toilet paper, how crazy are they going to be when it’s food!”. I learned that my preparations allowed me some measure of peace and calm that others didn’t have. It allowed me to enjoy family time at home. I was surprised by how information changed daily. You really didn’t know who or what info to trust. I had to be vigilant in reading sources and reasoning. I learned that people are generally idiots and very selfish. As much as we want to believe people will rise up for the greater good, many won’t. But also, there were many beautiful people out there willing to help anyone who felt scared going to the store. I didn’t see many holes because I truly planned ahead and made trips to the store when needed. I was surprised how quickly people lost their jobs and businesses went under. It really didn’t take much for that to happen. I have become wearier of information released. I don’t t trust it immediately because it will change the next day…which makes it harder to get a handle on the truth of a situation. I learned that when you watch, you will prepare…and we were stocked and self-isolating before the government required it. I learned emotionally preparing is just as important as physical. Mental and emotional resilience is what got us through when we realized this was a marathon and not a sprint.


I learned not to wait to get something you want or need. I was lucky to get new filters for our Berkey before they ran out. Also, I have wanted a grain mill forever and now I have one ordered but is back order until August. And remember, one is none and two is one rule!


Never assume that your job is safe. I’m a L&D nurse at a busy hospital. BUT, I’m per diem, April 8th I was sent home early and have not worked regularly since then. I just now found a travel nurse assignment that fits. I’ll be working both jobs for the time being. My hospital definitely puts profit over patient safety.


I was surprised how quickly the shut-down of stores, libraries, etc. happened. The notice went out only hours before the shutdown happened so there was little opportunity to get out and pick up the non-essential supplies (books, craft supplies, gardening supplies) that would have made isolation easier. I was/am also surprised by the shifting “news” and medical opinion. First–masks won’t help, then they may help, now they are required. And the fact that prepping quickly became “hoarding”.


Coffee and tonic water. People in SW Kansas found out that tonic water had quinine in it and bought it like crazy, once it was suggested that malaria drugs would fight the virus.


I learned I need a bigger network and plans for the winter. Things I thought I may need, but didn’t buy, I should have- like more masks. If I think maybe, then I should get it then like a pool or kayak cause the reasonable ones are gone. My family depended on me to send them things since they were in a hot spot and store were limited on particular items.


I learned to follow my instincts. I did, and I’m thankful, because we were better stocked than we would have been otherwise. Holes – I didn’t have enough TP. I also didn’t anticipate how much I would rely on easy to prepare foods for my kids, such as Mac and cheese cups. It seemed like when everything else was upside down, they really appreciated having a “fun” food.


I learned that “Alone Time” is worth more than anything we could’ve bought at the store. With quarantines and self-isolation ‘all in the same house’, it was very difficult at times to remain sane. Normal entertainment was taken advantage of as well and so some of us just sat there dumbfounded when our ‘normally scheduled program’ wasn’t there, or when the next episode of our favorite show wasn’t going to come out until next year sometime. This was different than a power outage, a big snowstorm, or a hurricane… There was very little entertainment, plenty of work that ‘could’ be done, but little to work with. Ultimately, creativity and imagination became my best friend. In lieu of that, I’ve ordered plenty of paper, pencils, new brushes, and canvas.


I learned that medical emergencies can appear out of the blue. Thanks to early pandemic prep posts here, the oxygen concentrator I got saved my dog during a sudden life-threatening ARDS episode when the vet ER was closed during lockdown and fish mox made all the difference when I developed a tooth abscess until oral surgery was available over a month later. I learned that my success during lockdown was largely because online ordering never stopped, and all utilities were available. Back in February and March, I had prepped for both being shut down and did a good job with that. The fact that they didn’t made our lockdown pretty easy. My house is like a disorganized warehouse now. My focus was getting supplies in and deal with it later. My current and future plans are to organize and work diligently to improve/optimize health.


Glasses. Always get your eye exam on time so that you aren’t facing an uncertain future using an outdated prescription. (I still need to get mine updated!)

What are some holes you found in your preps?


Reading the articles here on Prep Club kept me ahead of the curve by at least a month, if not 6 weeks. I didn’t hit us hard here on Vancouver Island, but the one thing I did fail with was yeast and baking soda. Never expected that so many would decide to start baking bread, and the baking soda I use mixed with dish soap in place of comet or vim. We were down to our last little box when the local Walmart finally got a shipment in. Also failed with seed potatoes. I had a lot left over from last years harvest, but I wanted to get more. Tried every store and nursery and they were all gone. I always get my seeds in January, so that was not an issue.


I didn’t plan adequately for fresh things like milk & eggs (I had powdered milk but more frozen for the shorter term would have been good). I also realized w[ith] the yeast & flour shortage (both of which I had but wanted to preserve my stock of) it was easier & a better use of my resources to buy inexpensive white sandwich bread for curbside pickup rather than bake it.


I found holes in personal items. My husband and I both were essential so we didn’t get to lock-down but we limited unnecessary travel/trips to the store in the beginning. I found that I had been so busy making sure we had plenty of water, food and tp. I didn’t realize I didn’t stock up on shampoo, soap etc. I have since made sure we have a year’s supply of personal toiletry items.

Becky Ann…

I ran out of Dawn and surprisingly coffee


I will never assume TP will always be available. Or frozen peas, rice, cleaners, pasta, flour, etc. When I see it any of these items, I’m going to go stay ahead of the game and get them consistently. THAT SAID, what will I do differently tomorrow? I will try to anticipate where the next shortage will occur. I need more beans, for sure. I think clothing and shoes may be harder to get at some point.


Holes was toiletries. I was so concentrated on food. I need to get bug out bags made and set up for us to grab. Honestly y’all have taught me so much! I’m just gonna keep going. Stocking food, bumping up security, bags, canning, growing food.


Masks were the item I missed in my preps. When I tried to order them before covid even hit here, they were sold out. I refuse to pay 50.00 for 10 so I’ve been slowly buying a box at a time as the price comes down. And I’ve yet to find yeast.


…not enough extension cords. Old house does not have a lot of 3 prong outlets, which I need for my current extension cords. We do not have a printer. So, schoolwork needed to be printed, adapted and overcome.


…we had gotten sloppy with replacing some of our frequently used food – peanut butter, popcorn, flour, etc. I also learned it is really, really important to be at least one step ahead of the masses when it comes to supplies. My son-in-law would say, “we need to make sure we have enough (********** )” and I would say, “Got it.” When the info about the virus started to filter through to Ohio, I made a special trip for gloves, hand sanitizer, masks, etc. Within another 2 weeks, you couldn’t find them anywhere, for any price. I couldn’t believe how a mistaken belief (How much toilet paper do you need for a respiratory virus.) caused such craziness. That freaked me out.


Ask my hubs this question and he said, “you did good”. I plan on getting things like paint and building supplies as they were unavailable. Took contractors almost two months to build my barn because of supply issues.


Need more chocolate and chips…. and canning supplies.


Thermometers. When covid started becoming a household word and it was recommended to check temperatures, I realized my never-been-used thermometer was a dud. My husband had been sick for a week- not covid, but we couldn’t tell if he had a low-grade fever or not. I went to four different stores to find a thermometer- all four stores were sold out! Then, I remembered we had bought three extensive first aid kits- we dug them out, and each had a thermometer. I thought we were prepared, but we weren’t prepared at all for a pandemic.


We need more storage space for animal feed. Found that out the hard way when we weren’t able to make our bimonthly run to the feed store.


I worked the whole time so not much changed. Holes were toiletries, medical supplies and I need to come up with an alternative energy solution. I need better organization and more room. One major issue is: foot problem (in pt now, may have to still do surgery) has caused me to not get some stuff done. Trying to rectify that slowly before I have to tell the Dr yes or no on the surgery.


The only hole in my preps was “entertainment “. We live out in the country so going outside was a great help but, for bad weather days I need more movies and maybe series on DVD. Where we live streaming is not yet optimal, and that is putting it nicely! Books, puzzles, and games are great but, sometimes you just want to watch a good movie.


My biggest problem was forgetting how much more I would need when my oldest daughter and her 2 toddlers moved back in. I also can’t depend on anyone but me to check out how low the resources are getting.


Dried yeast was the thing we didn’t have enough of that we missed. Next time I’ll make sure I have enough in sealed tins. I’ll double up on PPE although we still haven’t used it all up. For information two sources were useful… lists posted on here by knowledgeable group members, even in other countries and local info from friends about which shops had what scarce stuff.


I underestimated how QUICKLY shortages would show up in our rural town. Within HOURS of the first confirmed case of corona virus in our area (still several counties away), sections of the local Walmart were cleaned out and remained that way for weeks. I wish I had stocked more PPE. I had not expected garden supplies to sell out so quickly and remain sold out so long. Many garden supply items are sold out within hours of being stocked on the shelves. The rabbits this year seem to be eating everything. (peppers, marigolds, peas, beans, etc.) Hardware cloth is still difficult to find.

What will you do differently to prepare for any future lockdown?


I would stock a lot more liquid hand soap and dish washing liquid. It was truly hard to find hand soap, still is most places. Meat has gotten very expensive. I wish I had my chest freezer full of hamburger instead of turkey, a ham and chicken. I can do more things creatively with hamburger. With everyone home, it’s too hard to keep up with making bread. Hungry little piranhas trying to eat it before it’s even cool enough to slice…lol! Store bought bread to the rescue. These folks can go through a loaf in one lunch, with only 3 of them eating it!


My family was more prepared than needed which provided us confidence and peace of mind. What would I do differently? Buy more gloves. My stock was sized for medical use, not going to the grocery use.


Act on the thoughts and feelings you have immediately, and don’t stop to overthink them. For example: I had the thought back in January to learn how to can ground beef and get a few quarts canned. I didn’t act on that and now ground beef is almost $5 a pound. One thing I feel I did right, is that the month before seeds had sold out, I had already placed my order so I could start things inside. By the time I was ready to plant outside, things were pretty much sold out.


Watch my mental state. Keep watch on the news, but don’t get obsessed with it. Stay proactive. The only things missing were coffee and hair coloring….Oh! Need more popcorn for when the next wave of social media arguments break out. (j/k) Things we did that really worked: We sat down with my son & his wife and put a game plan together if supply chains got broken. He started an organic farm with dairy goats and chickens. We expanded our garden and made a good contact with a local family ranch. Their business was just gone because the restaurants had shut down, so I helped them figure out some veggie boxes and then promoted on social media. It helped both the people getting high quality fresh veggies and the farm. Now, they’re just flooding me with veggies. My thought was that if things go south, having a farm as a friend was a good thing.


Food-wise I would buy more frozen fruits and vegetables. My freezer is packed with meat and some quick meals(and frozen pizza for the teenager) I have canned veggies but wanted more variety. Broccoli, cauliflower, and such. Fruit, I needed more apples, bananas, oranges, lemons, and limes. Trying to problem solve the lack of citrus.


Aside from wishing I’d had more money for padding, about the only thing I plan on stocking more of is chocolate and sweets. It turns out that a Cadbury egg every day is what kept me feeling sane and safe. Weird, and please don’t judge me..(LOL) I think the excessive sugar/carb/fat triggers a serotonin reaction. And yes, I found where I can buy a box of 48 for $25. I did find that I’m reluctant to cook the dried beans I have. I’m not sure why. Lack of experience. Not having recipes. I have many types, and a lot of them, so I should start using them I suppose.


Adding more food and supplies. I wasn’t planning on having four more people back home so that made me change my game plan a bit. Otherwise, getting more pandemic supplies to carry in all vehicles.

How will you change your preparedness in general?

Leigh Ann…

My husband and I became sick with covid-19 and were pretty much unable to leave the house for almost a month. I thought I had done a decent job of preparing with food storage. But after not going to a store for a month and very limited shopping a couple months before that, I realized I had underestimated how much food we would go through. I also underestimated the amount of paper products, garbage bags, cleaning products etc. We still did OK and I am so glad I had what I had. But I am learning you need a lot more than what you think you do. I had heard and read that before but I think it’s hard to understand exactly what that means until you can see it firsthand.


I’ve actually coasted along quite nicely once I got past the initial upset of having my routine messed up, fresh produce was an issue, I’m planning an overhaul of the garden to help supplement that for this winter onward, what I did find odd was my reluctance to start using my stockpile, I was concerned as to how I would replenish it, I’m not sure how I can really overcome that other than having back ups of back ups so if, for example, I manage to work thru my 12 months supply of loo roll I then have other options I can fall back on until I can get more or if it never restocks.


We did pretty good overall. We have been long term preppers, dealing with weather related and power outages. We had no problem at all with social distancing because we generally do that anyways. What we learned was how much money we saved by working from home. Almost $500 month on just gas alone in savings was like a wonderful gift. I am thankful my husband has a job that he could do this. What we learned is we HAVE to get out of this rental and buy a place of our own. The fresh stuff we relied on as a staple kept us much healthier. We both gained weight living off of more pantry staples. While I have some pots of salad greens & herbs that’s a far cry from what I usually buy fresh. A garden is a must have for us. We have taken the opportunity to learn a lot of new skills including more medical skills, organizing preps & inventory keeping, planning for the unexpected, learning to slaughter & process a pig in hot weather – totally different than the usual early winter harvest. I learned how fast supplies can become unavailable because of importing of goods. I became aware of how much the media pushes their agenda in whatever direction it wants and is not to be trusted or relied on and how its really feeding the divisions that can easily fuel a civil war. Knowledge and skills are so much more important than having a lot of stuff. In all I think it really impacted our reasons as to why we prep and to step it up a lot more in our time frames from WHAT IF…To WHEN! Where are we going to be??? And giving us a START GETTING READY NOW! kick in the pants.


We did pretty well. I don’t know if I’m able to change what I need to which would be to stop helping others. I started pushing family members to start building a stock of hygiene/sanitizing products and I was ignored (I’m sure there were whispers that my tinfoil hat was too tight). Then when they couldn’t find the stuff, I gave out of my stash. I had/have enough but now need to rebuild my stockpile. It was frustrating to be sure! Can I look at my dad or my in-laws and tell them “I told you so”? Well, I did but I still gave them the supplies they needed. But the ‘kids’ (ages 25+), I told them they need to figure it out themselves and sent links on DIY stuff.


Keeping informed from sources outside msm kept me 3-4 weeks ahead of the crowds, thank you Prep Club. I felt comfortable with my preps when things got bad here in the US. I did find myself reluctant to use my stash. I was able to explain early the need to be ready for lockdown with extended family. In turn, they were better prepared and now know I’m not paranoid. It was surprising to learn how few times I truly need to go anywhere ever.


Snacks and quick stuff to eat. I typically don’t keep a lot of it anyway, but with everyone home constantly it was more of an issue. I’m still not quite sure how to impact that without impacting storage and stock rotation issues. Second was a little more emergency or liquid cash…that issue is currently changing. We just were not comfortable with how tight we were personally and for our business. Sometimes that can’t be helped, but we are making a concerted effort to have a little better padded emergency fund. We would have survived, but not as comfortably as we would like.


…coffee brings me sanity… and a bit of normality. How I look forward to my cup each morning. Part of my routine that never changed.


I was in the hospital when the whole COVID thing blew wide open. I came home to a disaster. My big fail was not explaining the prep system to hubby (who had previously no interest).


As full-time farmers we were never really “locked down”. The whole thing made me more aware though. We were well stocked on food and hygiene items, no real holes where supplies are concerned. In all honesty I believe we could go a year+ on total lockdown without going hungry or being dirty, or really doing without anything we really wanted or needed. We raise pretty much everything we eat, and I always keep a surplus stock of seeds. I think I would reconsider my water supply. We are on public water but if it quit running, we have a cistern and access to strip pits. It will just require considerably more work for transport and purification. I would like a solar set up for electricity. And always more means of defending our home and livestock. It’s the same as always, being able to afford those more expensive items.


I never knew that liquid bleach got weaker over time. You can stockpile it by the gallon, but that does you no good about six months out. I picked up granulated pool shock, which can be reconstituted a tiny bit at a time and make a similar product to bleach, useful in all the same situations, that we’ll use up in tiny batches then make more. Added plus: it’s a small packet that takes up almost no space and lasts indefinitely if stored properly.


I need to get to the range more.


After having been through several hurricanes and the ’08 crash and having to help family, we’re good.


Toilet paper & Clorox wipes are worth more than gold to some people. When tp starts being restocked and the sign says 1 per family you buy it every trip just in case. Friends and family in larger cities don’t stock up and their large stores were out a long time. I thought I might have to start shipping toilet paper. Learning about gardening and buying extra seeds BEFORE it’s time to plant. We weren’t ready for an in-ground garden and used containers. Gardening supplies, including vegetable starts, here went fast (within days) since everyone was stuck at home and didn’t want to go to the bigger cities. Buying a spare freezer mid shutdown was interesting. Home Depot delivery was 4 months wait! Our neighbor is finally getting one they ordered in April. We bought a used one local for $100 thankfully it’s still going…Oh and stock up even more on dry/canned pet foods. We usually buy the biggest bag possible and still needed to order more. Chewy & Walmart online was sold out of most options and our small local store only gets small bags and even that was hit or miss each week. Like toilet paper buy what you can every trip and stock up. Can’t ever have too much as long as it’s sealed and not around mice.


Organization. I honestly didn’t know how much I needed of everything. I still don’t have that nailed. And part of that is a place I can store goods so that is can see what I have more easily. Shelves, etc.


Had enough TP until just now. But now was able to find some and have restocked. I will now buy every time I go to the store. Seeds: I had heirloom seeds but will begin adding extra to my collection. Never thought as a nurse that I would ever have to worry about having a steady job as I have usually over the past 32 years worked at least 1-2 Full-time jobs (we work 12-hour shifts so can work 2 -FT jobs 3 -12 hr. shifts per week) but with Covid and me now not working in the Emergency Room I found myself not being able to work my job in pre-op surgery due to being shut down. But we are now back up and running at mostly normal schedules. Our garden is supplying fresh fruits and vegetables which is great. Chicken supplying eggs. Masks and cleaning supplies are what I will also stock up on. The pool shock is a great thing I will be checking into.


I need to work on stocking up on clothing for my son, as he is still growing. It is harder to come by good used clothes for boys in the size he is in now and forward, but I need to be prepared anyway! I always have had a stash of tp and still have quite a bit but will continue to stock up as needed. I think the hard thing now is the temptation to sit back and not press forward on prepping as much since I have a good stash of food, etc. But one never knows just what tomorrow will bring. I keep getting two pounds of butter every time I am at Aldi, as it’s the limit and it’s the cheapest it’s been in ages ($1.88/pound). I probably have an exorbitant amount of butter in my freezers, but the low price cannot last forever!


I need better organization, I have too much stuff and can’t find what I need when I need it!! I didn’t go grocery shopping for over 2 months at a store other than for some random unimportant things, pet food, and fresh produce/milk. I feel that we would be okay for a long time with human things! We do need more pet food, and I’ve bought powdered milk at bulk barn every time I get milk and vacuum-sealed what we would use in a month. I also need Mylar bags and more coffee! And less dog hair would be nice! Oh, and an adult inflatable pool would be awesome! My dryer died in March, so I’ve been doing a load every time a basket is full and hang drying. Getting a huge walnut tree taken down in August since it’s a major allergy issue and blocks the sun and kills all the grass/plants in the back yard, and getting my old deck ripped out. Going to replace with patio stones or concrete since it is home for skunks, rabbits, or rats at different times of their year and I had a major rat problem this winter in my old half of the basement. Also, will be putting in proper insulation to my bedroom crawlspace since it has none and new windows/doors (they are at least 50 years old) have been bought and I will be helping my dad put them in so I can learn how to! These all need to be done before SHTF to make sure I can keep the house comfortable since they are responsible for 30% heat/cooling loss!


I need better organization, inventory tracking methods, an upright freezer, more shelving in my storage area, and ammo. Need 9mm ammo and it’s impossible to find locally right now.


Not much changed for me, but my wife had several clients on hiatus out of fear of getting sick.


I love my kids, I love my kids, I love my kids. This mantra was said daily. And now with the hubby home going on week 4 it applies to him as well. I need school supplies at home, never saw that one coming. I stay home anyway so that didn’t change, the husband had to work so that was normal. I know I had some short and they were odd ones so those were taken care of.


I spent more money than expected! Although I typically buy extra supplies each shopping trip, in February and March with the potential for shelter in place I did some large grocery, ammo and cleaning supply purchasing. Ammo was impossible to find by mid-March, and it’s still very limited on availability in early July. I realized living alone and being furloughed, that after two weeks I craved human interaction. I ended up going to my parents for a week. When initially the lockdown began and there was not clear knowledge of what would happen with the virus, I avoided the stores but after a month caved to get fresh vegetables and fruit, but ironically during that time I also threw away vegetables as I over bought and I didn’t eat or process all of them before they rotted.


Just trying to save money, get out of debt and looking for another (“essential”) job


It may seem silly or trivial but purchasing undergarments and clothing. I am in need of some things that need to be tried on before purchase and I won’t be able to do that for the foreseeable future. I have a backup plan, but I procrastinated too much on making these purchases.


Coming up with more options to supplement easily perishable items. For example, I learned that carton egg whites store very well frozen in the carton and switching to shelf stable nondairy milk lasts much longer than refrigerated. Also, I learned that if I see something, I need to not worry what others thought. In Feb I did a few rather large shopping trips and got a lot of looks/comments, but I didn’t mind. Those supplies were well used, and at that point there were several left for others of they so desired. Also important for me to learn was to prep snack supplies and actual meals, not just staples. My children get very tired of just basics so when I found good deals on shelf stable things they enjoy (granola bars, cereal, packaged Mac, and cheese) I’ve been adding them to my stockpile.


Definitely keep more cleaning wipes, paper towels and TP on hand (although I’m still good). Get another small chest freezer (I already have one) for frozen veggies, fruits and meat. For over a month I couldn’t find canned or frozen peas anywhere. Masks, definitely. Right now, I know I have a guaranteed job for this coming year, but not sure after. So, I will be saving and possibly converting to some gold and silver coin.


Going STRAIGHT to my BOL. If the wife doesn’t want to come, cool. Hasta la vista, baby. But I´ll take the kids with me. And the cat. You can keep the dog.


The pandemic virus was on my radar late January, early February. We started prepping seriously for the pandemic effect here in Massachusetts. Shopping was done by early March. Our group of friends had multiple planning conversations and we shared our resources and maximized our shopping together. We informed everyone we could. Bread was probably the one item I should have frozen more of.


I usually have enough of everything on hand, but when I first started reading about the virus (thank you, Daisy), I quickly bought extra masks, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, disposable gloves, and OTC drugs, as well as extra thermometers. It was all well-stocked at the beginning of the pandemic. The only thing I forgot to stock was yeast, but I’ve since been able to buy 2 one-pound packages online.


I’ll never again say “Do I really need more of those (insert whatever)? I already have x amount. No, I won’t get them.” I will get them. And more. And more if I can. Not because I’m a hoarder. Because so many people I know, and love had NONE. And I shared. And they learned that yes, they need to get more of them too. And also, I learned not to ignore that nagging little feeling of “Something’s coming”.

What about you?

What did you learn during the lockdown? Did you run out of anything that you thought you have plenty? Was there something unexpected that occurred that you never saw coming?

Share the things you learned during the lockdown.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntarism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • Found out that Dollar does have some things a person needs. The local stop and robs here did have eggs and milk for a high price. But if you do not have it….whats$$

  • I found out a family member listened to me and actually did some prepping. This is someone who has always said “If something happens, we’re coming to your house”. I always reply “Only if you bring all your food and the things you need” Although not fully prepped, it was a move in the right direction. I didn’t mind filling in with a few missing items – thankful for what they did have and know this pandemic put the fear in this family member. They already mentioned they have started stocking up for the next wave…

  • I heard a story on NPR in February about a town in Italy that went into shutdown. The woman being interviewed talked about the shelves of the stores just being wiped out
    and she had no idea what she was going to do. They don’t really buy in bulk like other countries. I had just walked out of Target and I went right back in and bought OTC meds, clorox wipes and hand sanitizer. I wish I had thought of vitamins, tissues and soap! I was always a little bit of prepper but then I found this website and I became much more organized and thoughtful with my purchases. Every few days, I will make a stop at a store and focus on 3 or 4 items. It has almost become a game and I feel victorious when I find a 3 pack of clorox wipes.

  • Some people commented on ammunition. I always tell people when you buy a gun buy a bulk purchase of 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Put it away for times like this. When you go shooting buy more for that but always have at least 1,000 rounds. If you reload keep enough supplies on hand. And once a year buy another 1,000 rounds for just in case.

    Google for bulk ammunition

    • Buy It Cheap Stack It Deep

      You not only need enough for battle/hunting in SHTF but practice/training in a continuation of the negative environment. In other words you can find a place to shoot even when the stores are closed. You need to be able to continue when the libtards win and remove the ability and you need to be able to teach others such as growing children when the time comes.
      I can’t say enough about spare parts and mags either. Get’em

      • Some of us preppers are people you call “libtards” so could you please refrain from that kind of talk when commenting on here. Thank you.

        • AGREED! I am most definitely not a republican and I love my guns. If we could keep it to just the facts and helping each other with our common interest, that would be great.

  • About pool shock: for the last 2 years, I noticed that it is not sodium hypochlorite, but some other chemical. Even those sold as bleach tablets are not, and some dont even say what chemical is in then, which I thought was law. Prepper killers?

  • I think most of you learned far less than you think you did.
    This is a mild pandemic at best.
    Look at all the fear it generated and how the people are still reacting to that fear. Even a lot of you are following that narrative that the media is pushing.
    This should be a lesson in how crazy people will be in a real SHTF scenario.

    Those of you looking for more ammo, have the right idea.
    Look at the protests/ looting. They forget about the pandemic,( masks, social distancing, etc) in order to loot and burn stuff. If this was the real SHTF it would be far worse and still happening. But realize once they got done with one area they would move on to the next one. So just because you were safe this time does not mean you will be next time.
    Look at what happened in CHAZ/ CHOP. They forced the residents to supply them with food, money, etc. How will you fight off a mob? Is your stockpile hidden? So if the mob breaks in, that they will not find it?

    I saw some of you taking about storing stuff in freezers. But what happens when the power goes out?
    What happens when the Gas for the generator runs out?
    Not enough reliance here on stocking up on freeze dried foods or other long term storage foods.

    I see a lot of talk about stocking commercial foods, but who switched to survival food? Who cooked over an outdoor open flame with either one? I think there are a lot more concepts you need to test out here.
    Lots of people talking about utilizing their free time during the pandemic. But in a survival scenario, as things collapse, you will be busy just trying to survive.
    Without utilities, you would (sooner or later) be gathering wood for cooking on.
    How is your wood supply? Do you have an Axe, Saw, etc. Have you ever used them?
    Do you even have access to large quantities of wood?
    Where will you fire pit be located?
    How about our Out House? ( Have you even built one yet?). Toilet paper is great, but you need a place to use it. If the toilets stop working, you can’t use a portable toilet for long, you need better solutions.

    How about collecting water, once the faucets run dry? Where will you get it? How will you transport it?
    Do you realize how much water you use in cooking and cleaning?
    And how will your Garden survive, with just rainfall or just the water you can haul by hand to supply it?

    From the comments I saw, All that you learned was to survive a MINOR disruption of Society and the Supply chain.
    Time to get down and dirty and realize how much worse it could have been and how unprepared you are for a real SHTF scenario.

    • I agree with what you said here. This was minor a blip on the SHTF road. Although if you lost your job it might become a bigger personal SHTF moment later this month.
      I am(and have been) doing a lot of the things you listed above. Great thoughts too.

    • Great comment with needed wisdom for many:
      I also suggest burn barrels and PRE-dug holes for trash/poo. A bobcat is easy to rent today as in much easier than a shovel tomorrow.

    • you are really good you need to build a out house and dig a 3 ft. hole and get solor lights they work in the house

      • PLEASE research how to build an outhouse properly. It’s easy to find that information. You can build one disguised as a garden shed with a false floor for later use. You MIGHT even cache extra supplies that you don’t want to “Share” with the mobs under that false floor?

        Way too easy to pollute your local water supplies with a badly done outhouse. Cholera Anybody? E. Choli belongs in your intestines NOT in your mouth, nuff said.

        Smart posters already commented on trying out your survival foods and cooking OFF Grid. DO IT.

        COVID19 was a MINOR SHTF situation, real TROUBLE is coming around Nov 3rd or so. Prep accordingly.

    • I agree with you 100%! I’ve been stocking up on everything including freeze dried food, water, and ammo. You need a minimum 6 months work of food and water. It may already be to late. This was never about a pandemic that 99% of the the recover from. It’s about the coming economic crash/ martial law that is coming soon. It’s already started with the fake coin shortage.

    • Solar generator, items/tools/appliances that do not require electricity e.g. the crank radio, a “thermos” like device that boils water, a solar charger, manual can openers, manual food processor (chop/mix devise with crank), sharp knifes, trash bags, ziplock bags, food storage buckets, food grade liners (for non food grade buckets), mylar bags, oxygen absorbers. xtra propane, propane heater, kerosene heater, firewood.

      Looking at a mini rechargeable a/c – containers to store water and consideration of where to get, purifying options, tablets, liquids, filters. Inexpensive greenhouse – probably need more grow lights for indoor use – things and stuff to preserve food dehydrator, canning supplies, Pressure canner, seeds, soil, fertilizer – lots of wipes and a bidet. Try to prepare of any eventuality. Try not to scare the kids but let them know that things are strange right now and we want to be comfortable until things settle down.

      Also security film for windows/glass doors, inexpensive alarms for windows that blare if glass is broken, solar powered motion detection exterior lights. Know your neighbors.

    • Just happens I live next to a farm and have a large garden and wood land of my own. I am in the process of installing an off grid solar system. That way my freezer and refrigerator will continue to work. I live in a hurricane state and have been without power for weeks several times. I have two wells.

      When China started locking down cities I knew it was coming here so my wife and I stocked up on everything. Plenty of TP, sugar, and canned goods. I am a retired home body so I did not fell isolated. My wife is a home care nurse so she continued to work. She was taken care of our 4 year old granddaughter three days a week but our daughter was workplace closed so she had to take care of the child. It was a nice vacation for us.

  • As the pandemic became more prevalent here in SW FL and since we are both in our 70s with some health issues, I decided to stock up for 6 months on every thing possible and not spend any money for anything other than an essential purchase. So, taking 4 weeks to refine my typical 3 month stock-up I knew what I had to buy. I already had plenty of clothes, most personal care items, garden and sprouting seeds, cleaning supplies, household items. I did buy TP when it became available, paper napkins, nitrile gloves, and materials to make masks. And I renewed 2 prescriptions that will take me thru Feb. For storage I use the dishwasher (hand washing dishes for 2 is easy) for kitchen paper goods, the guest bathroom tub for TP, napkins, feminine products. We had been using WM pickup for months and it is so good – we actually save money as we don’t do the impulse buying. Our library instituted curbside pickup which is also great as I’m a big reader. Found a bakery outlet for my husband’s favorite breads and it is priced at less than 1/2 in the store and there are never more than 2 other customers so he feels quite safe. We have never been ones to go out just to get out of the house – we go out once every 7-10 days to pick up dairy products and my new supply of books. I did have to purchase a new prescription for pre-cancerous skin cancer this week – unexpected but cheaper than the surgery I was expecting. Now if we can just not have a hurricane this season I think we will be good till January. Enjoy reading what others have done and encountered.

  • Listening to you and a few others kept me out ahead of the rush. The day I went to get lemons and saw the very first evidence of craziness and panic buying, I came out of the store, looked at the hubs and said, This is last trip to the grocery store for awhile. The shelves were ransacked and not a speck of flour or yeast. Thankfully I was the only one in town who wanted lemons that day. I live in a rural area and know a few remote stores where I bought a 40# bag of good flour and a couple of bricks of yeast to add to the storeroom. At that point, we had no idea a “stay at home” order would be coming. I was prepping for the increased panic buying of others. The shortages were surprising as we watched the supply chain break. We never lacked anything and have stacks of board games and movies. It was also greenhouse time so no one felt bored or abnormal.

  • I found out I needed more bone in chicken broth, for quick crockpot meals when my daughter and her 2 kids moved in with us for lock down. I had great TP stocks, but found a couple of holes. Since I don’t have little people with me all the time now, I didn’t have a lot of their comfort foods handy like mac – n cheese. I was able to come up with some options, but will definitely be adding those to food storage. My husband and I were still working every day, considered essential workers. Oil prices dropping meant work budget was tighter and I had backed off on some cleaning supplies for work. That won’t happen again.

  • We ran low on a few dairy products, and dog food. We decided the dogs could eat once a day at that point. Our next adventure will be chickens, rabbits, or goats.

  • We actually did pretty good. I am adjusting my food preservation strategy for the summer harvest due to the fact that I’m not going to go to as many stores and can’t hunt for canning jars which I’ve heard are getting harder to locate. I’m using what I have for more dehydrating that takes a lot less of them to seal the food in. I’ll still can, but dehydrate more than what I normally do.

  • I had several revelations:
    1. Don’t trust the mainstream media. They filter or slant the news to support their agenda.
    2. Listen to your gut instincts. If that inner voice is telling you to stock up on an item, do it.
    3. Start gardening. I found out I enjoy starting seeds on my window sill to transplant later. I experience great joy when they sprout their first leaves.
    4. Learn, learn, learn! Who knows what is next? Is this a foretaste of something even more dramatic coming? Thank you, Daisy, for reading the clues and letting us know ahead of time so we can be prepared.

    • Not watching mainstream news is one of the best things you can do since it is pretty much all lies. Join MeWe and read the NVIC page if you want the truth. Find out what is really going on and then take appropriate action. Use DuckDuckGo. Get a VPN. Don’t wear a muzzle (mask). Don’t make your children wear a mask because it does far more harm than good. Our church didn’t close and we didn’t wear muzzles. We had social time, hugs, and potlucks. And no one got sick, probably because of natural immunity acquired before the plandemic ever started. Pray hard and don’t succumb to the fear mainstream media is foisting on you. We have a garden, chickens, a dehydrator, a freezer, sources for local grass fed beef, organic potatoes and quinoa, a farmers market, a wonderful community, a healthy church, etc. Not long ago I had a vivid, screaming nightmare of being alone in a huge national park with four wolves coming toward me. The very next day I had a dream that is was October and I was in a place of utter peace. Sounds crazy but both dreams were so intense that I can’t help wonder if they mean something. I get scared sometimes and focusing on the October dream helps. Other countries are resisting lockdowns and I’ve heard it said that another lockdown will be the end of our freedoms so hope people in the US wake up and push back.

  • 4FEB is when I called the ball on this and had us add to our already well stocked pantry.

    I did do an experiment: Lemon confit. Take a mason jar, fill the bottom about a quarter of the way up with koshar salt.
    Take 2 or 3 lemons, cut them into quarters. Add a few of the quarters to the jar, add more salt to cover. Repeat with the rest of the lemons. Put into a cool, dark place, shaking the jar once every few days.
    After a month, they will be cured, slightly brownish color. Rinse well, and use as flavoring to dishes.
    Kept in the jar, in a cool, dark place, they will not go bad.
    Might be able to use the lemon juice infused salt for things.
    I have seen citrus based cleaning products in the past. Wonder if lemon juice infused salt, add and well stirred in water could make for a disinfectant?

    • Hello Leatherneck! Excellent idea friend about preserving lemons while they are cheap right now, Thank you.

      While that salt-lemon mixture would be good at cutting grease and cleaning it’s NOT a disinfectant but a good cleaner. So like washing hands or dishes reduces the amount of bad bugs on those washed surfaces.

      Please research homemade chlorine makers. DC power + salt + water creates homemade bleach. Think safety and Use common sense about it as bleach is dangerous if used or made foolishly. Useful for water purification and disinfection of surfaces.

  • We have a lot of holes simply because my husband is not on board, and I’ve been doing everything by myself. When it looked like the economy was going to tank, he got more serious. I had water barrels but they were empty, so he rigged up a system in our basement to fill them. That’s it. That is all he has done. He is suffering from a severe case of cognitive dissonance. Everything is going back to normal, so we are going to be okay, and I’m back to preparing by myself. He won’t watch the news or even read an article. All he wants to do is watch t.v. I just want to shake him. I have been in the preparedness world for close to 20 years, but there are just some things that I need him to do ~ like home security. I mean, I have done it all up to this point. Right down to buying self-defense, getting my concealed carry license, buying all the ammo, etc., etc., and he is ex-military!!!! I’m beyond frustrated, and I’m worried. I just want to shake him.

    We moved into a new house (from the country to the city) just one week before the plandemic hit, so we were still unpacking, moving furniture, and trying to get organized. I never buy freezer meals or convenience items, but I sure wish I had some then. Things were really crazy, and it would have been one less thing I had to think about ~ just to be able to pop something in the microwave would have taken a load off my mind.

    One of our sons was laid off from his job, so he and his wife came to stay with us during this time. I realized then that I needed to prep even more in the event we were all having to live under the same roof to survive. I remember Selco talking about all of his family living together during the war, and those thoughts flooded my mind. I’ve tried to talk to our family about emergency preparedness, and they just laugh and believe I’m overreacting. Like my husband, they saw the wisdom at the beginning, but it waned as people started going back to work and businesses started to re-open. Never mind that our state still has 45% unemployment. My son actually witnessed a bread delivery truck being overtaken by shoppers. They flooded the truck, and the driver stood down and let them have it, but how soon he quickly forgot about that. I just don’t understand how they can stick their heads in the sand. All the warning signs are there that something my sinister is lurking on the horizon, but hey! It’s all good! Ugh!!!

    Medical supplies are not to my satisfaction, so I’m working on building that up. Medical is a top priority for me, and I have one bedroom that has been converted into a medical supply/treatment room. The amount of supplies needed for long term care of any chronic/traumatic wound is astounding. Stock it deep; it’s just as important as food.

    I never thought I would be so thankful to live in the city. My husband’s job transferred us, so he had job security. The rest of us were all able to find essential employment because the opportunity is far greater in a larger city than in a small country town. Small town opportunities are very few, and with high unemployment, there are many people applying for the same job. Competition is swift. Plus, we would be able to walk or ride a bike to our office if the need arises, and we are just a couple of miles from the grocery stores. Previously, we lived 11 miles from the edge of town, so that would be quite brutal summer or winter months should we have to walk.

    The rioting has caused me to re-organize our BOBs, and think through some scenarios. Now that our living conditions have changed, I’ve had to adapt them to better fit our needs.

    A big thing we missed when buying our new house is that the back yard is totally shaded by trees. You cannot even grow a tomato plant because the yard does not receive enough sunlight. When we first looked at the house, it was late afternoon, so everything appeared nice and sunny. We were not even thinking about gardening at time. While having a shaded backyard is nice during the summer, it kills any possibility of planting a serious garden. We are going to have to remove trees in preparation for next year.

    I also wished we had more cash on hand, so I’m squirreling that away too and building that up slowly. Prepping is a never ending list, isn’t it?

    • Med supplies – YES! I thought I was doing pretty good with basic med stuff (band-aids, antiseptics, general meds), but had 3 unexpected things happen – one being a cyst that decided to abscess (had to go to dr for that one), one of my daughters ended up with yeast infection (by the time she told me I had to get something commercial -too late for home remedies), and hubs ended up with deep cut (couldn’t find my steri strips, but luckily my sister, who is a visiting nurse, happened to stop by that day out of the blue and had some in her kit).

      Yeast shortage surprised me – I bake a lot, so I had some on hand and grabbed some extra jars on a whim just before that panic buy happened.

      Elastic – just now able to buy at the fabric store cutting counter. Probably will consider other sewing supplies that we don’t already have.

      Who knew that bicylces and swimming pools would become next to impossible to acquire too? I didn’t see that one coming.

    • Medical supplies and prescriptions – yes. Glad now that hubby likes to buy from Amazon where they sell in multiples rather than the singles I would have bought at the store.

      Garden – unless it is prohibited garden in the front or side yards where there is sun. Many plants can be used in a landscape type arrangement. Example – swiss chard, carrots, lettuce as edging, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant behind them. Don’t forget about containers, raised beds, as long as it’s neat nobody complains

      I use several large plants/bushes in my landscape – katuk, cranberry hibiscus, moringa, barbados cherry, cocoplum. I’m in SW FL but I’m sure there are plants like that for whatever area you live in.

  • These are the articles i love best! Just varied, real world advice from people living through it. So helpful in bringing to mind all kinds of different areas of life to be thinking about!

    I also have learned to expect the unexpected but also trust my intuition. So far i have been blessed by thinking ahead- thinking out a few weeks to a few months and trying to think what the next big need or rush will be. Its served us very well these last few months and we havent not been able to get anything when we needed it that way

  • I learned lessons as well but wow. Some of the “Preppers” comments are why I still would rather be called a survivalist. They either haven’t been preparing long, have no idea what they are doing or really thought they could buy their way outta everything.
    I know this sounds harsh but THIS event was nothing in hindsight.

    • On a more positive note I am glad to see folks here taking it serious and getting it togther

  • I learned that if you want to buy something online that is not food, the food suppliers like Walmart and Amazon will delay shipping those things in order to get food out to people first. If you need clothing, birthday gifts, sewing supplies, or your Instant Pot dies and you need another, you are SOL for several weeks.

    • Yes. I ordered an electric drill and some other tools that I needed from Amazon as I had a lot of money locked up there with points and a refund they would only issue as credit. It took probably a good month to be delivered. If I had wanted Pop Tarts they would have shipped right away but not useful tools! Go figure!

  • I had plenty of masks because I make soap. Plenty of gloves taking care of my mom and ordered more when this mess first started, I didn’t want to be without them cleaning bedpans! The only thing I messed up in my preps was I didn’t realize mice had gotten into 3 or 4 big bags of tp up high on a basement shelf. I still had enough but had a hard time replacing the damaged ones. Lesson learned.

  • We had everything we needed with the exception of fresh produce (Can’t grow a garden here…tried for 30 years).

  • We got thru the Frist Wave just fine, because we prep on a regular basis. We had everything we needed and were able to share a little with some neighbors.

    We are not preparing for a second wave, but are for a Marxist revolution. So far Col. Yuri Bezmenov’s 4 rules for a Marxist/American takeover have been correct down to the last iota. We are being destabilized now (stage #2) with the #3 stage “Crisis” coming November 4th when both Political Parties declare victory. Then the “Red Guard” military wing of the Dem’s (BLM and Antifa) will start a Civil War in the Cities, moving out into White suburbs. BLOOD IN THE STREETS!

    Seeing that both Biden and Trump declare themselves as President, either some Generals ( Junta) or Pelosi will sieve power to stop the fighting. Stage #4 complete.

    I hope that I am wrong, but I don’t think so

    • Years ago I thought you’d be nuts saying this. Today I’m pretty sure you are correct.

      • Thanks Matt, given your posts, I respect your opinion greatly.

        From the movie the Terminator, ” There is a storm coming”!

  • Thank you for this good info. Can anyone direct me to some information on using “fish mox” safely and appropriately?

    • Dosages are the same. We treated ourselves when I worked at the vet clinic several years.
      I can’t say much more because I’m not qualified. Our medic takes care of that.
      Know your allergies and everyone with you. Make cards for each person.

    • Download a physicians drug reference app called Epocrates. It will allow you to identify the drug you purchased as fish mox using the pill ID section. From there you can read all information, warnings, and dosage information. Before you use this drug, you need to use the drug interaction tool to be sure you don’t have a conflict with any other medications you are taking. Also use the full dosage recommended so you aren’t just killing the weak bacteria and leaving the strong bacteria to bite you in the butt later.

      The fish mox I purchased is also sold as a generic amoxicillin to people in pharmacies.

  • HEADS UP! Major Ed Dames, Remote Viewer, just reported (7/7/20 Coast to Coast AM – you can look it up) COVID due to come back with a vengeance this fall – it sounds worse than before – and he says you should use any $$ you have to stock up on non-perishables now as store shelves will be bare and cities will be in lock down, no one in or out! Be safe and well all!

  • Better organization will be something I work on through the summer. We went ahead & stocked as if we had an early hurricane season back in December and January. So for most of the past 7 months, we were good on everything.

    While we had a good supply of hand sanitizer prior to this, I did not have enough isopropyl alcohol and aloe vera gel to make more. Both have since been taken care of.

    For those needing yeast and baking supplies, I found quite a lot on Ebay just this week. The SAF Yeast in 1 lb. package was under $15 including shipping.

    Peppermint essential oil is a wonderful rodent and bug deterrent. I use it to keep the pests out of the camper and out of the house. Spiders, ants, cockroaches, silverfish, as well as mice, rats & squirrels do not like to be anywhere near peppermint oil.

    I liberally sprinkle the peppermint oil under the camper on a monthly basis, sprinkle a few drops on entrance door thresholds to our house, & along windows on our enclosed back porch several times a year. If we have an extended period of rain, I will put several drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls to leave in corners in the camper and back porch. This has worked for me for the past 10 -12 years, since first learning about peppermint essential oil.

    Thank you Daisy, for all the timely articles. This didn’t take us by surprise, due to all the information your newsletter carried. Thank you for Selco and Jose’s advice and expertise on so many topics related to this pandemic/social unrest.

    • About eBay foods and such they seldom mention the expiration dates. Always check that SAF Yeast expiration dates and use the freezer to extend it’s useful life.

  • I’ve been a prepper most of my life. I grew up during the Cuban missile crisis. Dad kept plans for a fall out shelter on the coffee table, although he never made the first move to build it.
    We were prepared for the most part. As early as December of ’19 I had my eye on the virus in China.
    I don’t rely on Main Stream Media for any of my news, so I feel like I was ahead of the curve. As it got worse and spread, I began making mental notes. By mid February, I told my husband we needed to “go shopping”.
    I keep at least 6 months supply of food etc. on hand anyway, so in Feb. we added to that. We also had recently been able to stock our freezer with venison.
    About two weeks before the real lock downs started, we called family, friends and our church to let them know we were going to shelter in place. Because we each are “elderly” (I guess) and have some of the health issues that we were told made us more venerable, no one really questioned our decision.
    Once the real lock downs and shortages started, we were extremely glad that we had prepared. We live in the country and have a few acres. All of our neighbors have a little acreage too. No one has a bunch, but we all consider ourselves “country” people.
    Neighbors offered to pick things up from the store for us. At first, we said we were fine, but then realized that the next time someone asked, we should get them to bring us a few things, just to maintain OPSEC.
    I kept money on hand in smaller bills, and that helped me have nearly correct change to pay them. One neighbor has chickens and shared eggs with us.
    I must say that a prepper friend of mine stopped by early on to check that we had what we needed. At the time, we did, with the exception of cat food. I was running low and had checked all the websites and couldn’t find the right kind. I ordered other dry food and was mixing it with their usual to make it last longer. I told him what kind I needed and a couple of days later, I got a call from him and he said “I just left something at your back gate.” He was already leaving our neighborhood. He brought me a 24 lb. bag of the kind I needed. It just goes to show that having a “network” even if it is small is a good thing.
    When our peaches got ripe I shared with neighbors that had been bringing items from the store, but this guy got a few extra.
    I learned that we eat more of some items than others, which surprised me. Also, I found it is helpful to make an inventory list of everything you have. Mark it off as you use it so you won’t run out of something unexpectedly.
    The holes in my preps were fruit and vegs. We usually eat fresh of these, but not being able to get out made that impossible. I managed to order some cases from Amazon, but paid a price for them. This was before my garden (in a small greenhouse) began giving us vegs.
    Changes I would make, and I think I have already, is to be ready for ANYTHING. When my friend came by, he and I talked about how we had prepared for just about anything, but this pandemic was a surprise. EMP? Yes. Civil unrest? Yes. But not being locked down. Now I think it could be just about anything, and I’ve tried to steer my thinking to all possibilities.
    Our mental health has been OK. I’m an introvert, but my husband is a social butterfly. He’s the one that participates in church activities, he’s on the library board etc. The church stuff and the board meeting eventually went to Zoom, and that helped him. I’m fine. He gets a bit twitchy occasionally, but he just goes out to the barn and works on some project or other and that helps. So, having something to do is a big plus.
    Having a “network” like this site is a plus, too. I’ve learned a lot and I enjoy reading other people’s stories. We have to stick together, even if we live hundreds of miles apart.

  • A few people mentioned Prep Club. What is that?

    As far as preps, we did pretty well. I’m still working on the long-term dog food situation, but was planning to go back to raising rabbits anyway. In the meantime, I’m keeping ahead by a few weeks on store bought dog chow.

    Our biggest issue is fighting the normalcy bias. We’ve been working toward preparedness for years, and have done well through winter storms and such. But we always feel a tug to want life to be what it was. We know it isn’t going to happen, but it will take us time to grieve the world as we knew it.

    Biggest concern here is water, making sure we can keep the well operational. That and long-term fuel storage.

    • The well was the one prep stumping me for years. There’s a stream nearby and we have rain barrels and a pool etc–with survival (Aqua Pails) water filters but I would really rather use our well water. I refused to lay out the money for a deep well hand pump (over $1500). Luckily, a few years ago we found an Amish made well bucket at Lehman Hardware (similar but better than the one Mother Earth News has directions to make). It sits in its box hidden in the back of our large shed with a pulley, supports and a super long length of rope nearby. Inexpensive at less than $100. Permanent solution, maybe not, but I don’t want to be the fool running the generator when the rest of the world is silent.
      Look at Mother Earth News if you want to try to make one–it’s very simple.

  • I have not been prepping for a pandemic. I was prepping for the ice age which started back around 2015/2016 that is why we have erratic weather. I have not brought TP since August last year, but need to start replacing. I always have one year of coffee, but need to start replacing. I brought 100 lbs of stew meat in December and canned the meat along with canning beef stew. Also have 1/2 cow in freezer. I am off grid, so I am not at the whim of the power company. I have my own well.

    I miss my dairy goats, but have chickens, ducks and turkeys. We are looking to butcher a lot of them when it cools down. Today is around 106 F.

    I have two 0ne-thousand gallon propane tanks, but need to start thinking about making a methane digester to off-set the loss of propane in the future. Our well is on solar.

    Our weather has gotten bad with the UV and heat. Lost most everything I planted outside, but the plants in 5 gallon buckets in the greenhouse are doing okay.

    I am looking to buy cloth napkins and handkerchiefs in order to save paper towels for cooking. Need wool winter clothes and shoes.

    Need more storage space for animal feed. Always keep three months on hand for the cats and dogs, but the poultry is normally once a month shopping.

    Our house is being built as we have money or labor (which is hard to come by out here). We need to have more building material to finish what we have started.

    Only have one bill left. Paid off everything else. If things hold we will be dept free come December.

  • I think what we learned is how much we truly need one another, that it was easy to slip into a mild depression, that we had planned for most SHTF scenarios, but not a pandemic, that we don’t need 90% of the things that we think we need, and that we, as Americans are soft, spoiled and take EVERYTHING for granted.

    As Americans, we’re used to having food and other goods being widely available. We’re used to having heat, air conditioning, and clean drinking water. We’re used to having TV and other luxuries available 24 hours a day. We’re used to driving our cars when we want to and having gas available for our cars at all times.
    When that cycle of plenty was only slightly interrupted, suddenly we were forced to realize the fragility of our system, and our dependence on that system.

    I also saw that there was much ingratitude as people complained of not being able to go on vacation, fly, go out to restaurants and bars, and of being “stuck inside their homes”, homes with food, video games, TV’s, IPads, computers, back yards, swimming pools, etc.

  • Dawn,Ivory bath soap,just-add-water pancake mix(bread substitute)paper plates,plastic utensils,electrolyte drinks(Gatorade)cooking oil(we use olive)…we live in Hurricane Alley so basic supplies always stay stocked…lack of paper plates in the stores caught us..not again

  • Work gloves! Get ’em by the dozen. Your hands are the only ones you are going to get… Rubber gloves like the long elblow length “Glam Gloves” are a lifesaver when you have terrible messes like a failed garbage disposal and a sink and pipes full of nastiness. Buckets of all sizes.

    I am dehydrating something every day. Today I actually found frozen corn in more than little packages. I wanted the big 6 lb ones, but found 2 lb ones, and they are already in the dryer. And for the first time in a long time found a No. 10 can of cut green beans, about 6 lbs. That will go on tomorrow. On the days I don’t have anything else I dry potato slices or onions–if you blanch the onions first, they do not stink up the house. Bev on The Half Acre Homestead site is a fount of information on food storage. She is also a hoot. She doesn’t have one of the pristine marble-counter-tops-and-white cabinets-kitchens like so many, she is running a homestead and as she says, “This is a working kitchen, folks!” She eminds me of the rural neighbors we had in the Fifties. One of them even had a pet chicken…in the kitchen. I must admit I never wanted to eat anything that was offered. lol

    The reason I am dehydrating canned things is to cut down on space, but also to have to cut down on cooking. I will be able to rehydrate and eat as-is, as I don’t want cooking smells to waft out that say “Come and get it!” Nothing travels farther than baking bread than coffee brewing, so I have trained myself to drink instant. Great Value brand tastes like Maxwell House. Have also kicked caffeine because that is brutal to do on short notice when you run out of it.

    Let’s keep our chins up and keep on truckin’ Love Daisy’s articles and the community’s comments. Learn something every day. Stay well, all….

    • [email protected]
      I learned to watch your back. Lots of fraud online. The misdirection of news. Also all the moochers and back stabbers. Lots to learn on psychological warfare, deep face, deep voice, false videos, etc. etc. We need to be prepared for online warfare. The need to develop a safe space that we can communicate online. This is a good start.

  • One thIng I hadn’t planned on was the fact that my brother-in-law mainly eats salami sandwiches and that there would be a shortage of lunch meat. We’re going to try to broaden his palate.

  • One thing that I noticed in CO is there are many people in the bigger cities that have second properties in the mountains. They are thinking that if SHTF I can bug out to my cabin in the mountains. During this “pandemic,” many of these second home counties put out restrictions that warned non-fulltime residents could not go to their properties. Some counties even went as far as to post sheriffs at main access points to turn people around. Most ignored the restrictions but think about the implications. They are still property tax paying owners and are being told that they can’t go to their own property? So even if you own a “bug out” place you may be prevented from going there.

    • There is a simple fix. Do a change of address on your license to the property. That defines you as a resident.
      I understand the “State of Emergency” and the powers it gives them. I can not agree with that being done but I also understand the fear at the time from their side.
      For those Bugging Out they waited to long. Let this be a lesson for those doing so about getting off the X soon enough.

  • We have been short-term preppers since Y2K fears, meaning we are stocked for 3 months. We are now in the process of stocking for a year. We are mostly buying filling soups that can be eaten straight from the can, instead of reconstituting. We have a freezer full of meat and veggies. My husband has a garden and preserves what we don’t eat right away. And he has learned to can ground beef and meatballs. The only thing I would need help with is this: how do you stockpile prescription meds? My insurance lets me get only 3 months at a time. I also need personal supplies because I’m paralyzed from the chest down. These are also by prescription. My way of helping is with the organizing and inventory list. We have lots of cast iron and both grew up in scouts and can cook over an open fire. I think we are well on our way to being prepared for a year.

  • Truly enjoyed this format for an article. Thanks Daisy and all. I already live off grid and grow much of my own food. My holes: Grains….I don’t grow any and my half acre is a bit too small. I bought a 40lb. bag of local whole spelt kernels I can mill in my hand crank flour mill. Seeds….I am focussing this season on seed saving from my heirloom varieties. New skills I’m learning: how to keep produce fresh when you’re off grid: winter trenching and storing harvest veggies in buried freezers. Rendering raw beef fat from a local butcher into tallow …to be used to make soap and candles.

  • Hubby usually cleans our chimneys, has for 40 years, but missed a spot…. Have your chimney professionally cleaned. We had a chimney fire that originated at the damper in the middle of the lockdown. Must have been 20 firefighters in my house… NOT GOOD during a pandemic, or any time.
    Thank you, Lord that there was not any major damage.
    Add to preps :
    1)Fire extinguisher sticks…look like flares … you just pull the tab and strike, then put them in the fireplace and close the doors. Kills the flue fire and
    2) Special fire extinguisher that puts out the logs and coals.

  • One thing I found lacking was half & half and cottage cheese of all things. I expected milk, eggs and butter to be in short supply and planned for it. Soups and other canned goods were decimated as well. Son2 works in local grocery and said that when it was announced that the State was shutting down, people went crazy. Chain did half their years gross in first two weeks of the shutdown. I had gone in Feb to Costco and did my monthly stock up, so we were good on TP, wipes, paper towels and tissue and other things plus I have been doing things all along. I had N95 masks from when DH and I painted the bedrooms a couple of years ago, store had a buy1 get 1 and I picked up a couple packages and then found out DH had done the same when he picked up the paint, LOL. I picked up a pkg of toss able gloves every time I went shopping prior to the shut down (I use them for making meatloaf and greasing my cake pans) so we didn’t have to worry about that. I did have trouble finding one of the ingredients for my homemade laundry soap, had to buy laundry soap and that was a limited supply but was able to find my stuff in April and make a 5 gal pail of powder laundry soap.

  • What I have always known is that my adult daughters, grandchildren never seem to listen and learn. I’ve been prepping since 2010, slow and sure. I just knew that something evil this way cometh, didn’t know what, when, where or how. Surely didn’t expect a pandemic and civil unrest by Marxist. I did know when our President closed the borders from China, this was serious. Started extra shopping early Feb. (just to have extra) closed down 02/12. Called the kids, told them to prepare immed. Thank GOD, they listened this time. They failed to buy ammo b4 01/20 cause of gun laws changed in Ca. Now I am looking at locusts in Africa/Asia causing famine, EQ in the ring of Fire, the assault on our police depts -defunding, the well financed Marxists movement, riots in big cities, millions of Americans unemployed, early release of prisoners, unreasonable restrictions by looney governors, this is spooky at a distance! Prepare,prepare, prepare! More water a must! More garden planting, more dehydration of veggies, fruit, meat, more canning, more self defense planning, man, I am already tired, think I am too old for this stuff. Lots more praying too. GOD BLESS all patriots. All American woman, good night.

  • Well, the most important thing I learned is that Germ Theory is a scam and you can’t catch a virus so no need to panic about masks, PPE, bleach or any other germ killing nonsense. No fear, no worries. I do need to get a gun to protect against those running this hoax though.

  • I think the biggest thing I learned is that when I think I should purchase something or arrange for something to be done that I need doing I should follow my instincts and not hesitate. Again and again since this winter I have considered buying something or doing something and then I hesitate, not wanting to spend the money etc. and then it turns out that I really needed whatever it was and now it’s in short supply, back-ordered or just not available. So I think that my instincts are good and i need to learn to trust them more and act on them.

  • Luckily I bought a bidet that fits onto any toilet for Christmas for about $35 on Amazon. Barely have to use any toilet paper. When Pandamic hit, I didn’t have to go to Costco to buy more TP. In fact I havent bought any more toilet paper since Christmas!!!! Strongly recommend.
    Also, I learned that eggs can be frozen, not whole with shells, but mixed into little containers for up to to 1 year in freezer. See how on internet.
    I also learned how to make sprouts from a #10 can of seeds I had stocked away from 5 years ago for a rainy day. Greens every day even during winter.
    I learned that I didn’t have a back brace or pain patches when my back went out. Whoops.
    I also learned that fertilizer in pots when allowed to dry out for a couple of years can spontaneously erupt into huge flames. It almost burned my shop down. Fire Dept agreed after investigation that the 12 foot wall of fire was started in the fertilizer in my stacked pots behind the shop. (It was even shaded). BEWARE!!! Big WHOOPS!!!!
    I didn’t go to the store the last 4 months, but I did get dehydrated celery, carrots, jalapenos, peppers, etc. in big jars off of Amazon. They work great in stews and such.

    • We are always our own tough competition, and worst enemy. And if our pets survive us, we’re doing alright.

  • I bought a box of 10 masks in early Feb for $50. My sister informed me in April that the box was selling for $600 on eBay. I mailed her two…friend for life? As long as I have four packets of ketchup in the fridge…I’m alright!

  • I developed a silly prejudice against hoarding food after hanging out in a Facebook group of Brexit preppers that wanted to talk about hoarding food and little else, and got fed up with that. I learned that I went too far in the other direction of stocking too little. It turned out I didn’t get enough pasta, because that was one of the things I left till too late. I managed OK though by being willing to buy whatever sort of pasta was available (wholemeal, lentil-based, anything).

    My partner was suspected of covid but tested negative, but while we waited for the test results we had to self-isolate. I knew bread was likely to be a problem, because we eat a lot of bread, and before this happened I suggested to talk to the neighbours about them getting us bread if needed, but my partner wasn’t too keen, and the house is his and they’ve been his neighbours for a long time while I’ve only been living here for a couple of years, so I didn’t. So when the time came, we quickly ran out of bread, and I don’t know how to make bread, plus our oven isn’t in working condition. I made pancakes and that worked for a while, till I ran out of eggs. In the end the problem was resolved by getting a delivery from our local friendly cafe and persuading my partner to talk with the neighbours about them getting some bread for us. Initially my partner was against telling our neighbours that we were self-isolating because he didn’t want to scare them. The conclusion is that when your preps fall short in some area, having good relations with your neighbours and other local people is crucial.

  • I did an upgrade of our network, multiple repeaters, routers, we were overwhelmed when the kids had to do school from home and I had to work from home. Two weeks later the equipment was unavailable for purchase. We also stopped using our cars. I thought for sure they would be important, I was mistaken. Additionally, with unrest around the country, the target of their aggression seems to be shutting down highways. Noted for future reference.

    Should-a Would-a Could-a’s. I did notice on Bitchute and other social media those with martial arts skills fared fairly well when they could not avoid an engagement. Need to rejoin Taekwondo even though I’m not very good at it. Also I feel less confident since I don’t go to the range as often as I should.

    Supplies were not so much of a problem as do many here I keep essential supplies replaced as they are used with extra’s filling available pantry space.

  • it is hard for a bunch of stupid women to be locked down being they like to be the center of attention all the time.

  • Overall, I was really pleased with how my preps worked, but I also never felt that I needed to stop going to the grocery store with precautions. I was ahead of the curve for buying, so I had all the TP, yeast and cleaning products I needed for the most part. There were a few things I wished I’d have bought more of at that time though because I didn’t anticipate all of my extended family I’d end up supporting with my preps. I’ve continued to buy disinfecting wipes every chance I get because I’m sharing them with 4 households.

    The other prep I learned to approach differently is snack items. I don’t usually keep a lot of sweets or chips in the house but always have a little. We really did want to self soothe with some kind of treat (or at least I did) so I know I won’t be sorry I built up that part of my supplies for future crisis.

  • (Don)…not a prepper, but did fairly well (at home with internet and 5000+ books). One thing for shortages is to look outside the big boxes in smaller unusual places. A local craft shop was selling (not many) hand cleansers and rubber gloves. Small paint and auto supply stores probably have masks and grease rag substitutes for paper towels…

  • You are going thru a Lot there, Halle!! Hope things will get better sooner than later. Two is one, one is none… get three then.

  • Working at a “jackshop”, I nearly ran out of welding rods half way through the lockdown. But that didn’t stop me from other projects though (grateful for electricity).

    A reminder to self, rods of all sizes and types. Especially those for all positions and penetration. From thin sheet metal to making multiple passes on thicker base but.. DO store them correctly.

    Keep the trade alive cause ‘when the helmet drops, the bu**** stops!

  • And I have been wondering… Where did these 70+ people emerged from… Good job I can say!! Diverse as you can be. Thanks and keep your opsec on. Prep on ya!

  • I’m embarrassed to admit that I learned how often I run to the store to pick up an ingredient here and there on a whim. We were well prepared and didn’t have any problems but I needed to relearn to cook with what I had on hand. In January my Daughter and I did a pantry challenge which was no problem, but I was very busy with work and really had no time to shop. Once we were in quarantine I had more time to cook and this is where the “wants” reared its ugly head! I had to remember what I used to tell my kids – you can’t have your hearts’ delight for every meal. Now 4 months later I’m still cooking all our meals and bread and going to grocery pick up every 3 weeks. No problem – it’s just what you get used to doing.

    I’ve been reading a history of the life in England during the Second World War and we have it so easy compared to what those people went without! Even though they had ration coupons, it didn’t mean they left the shop with food. I imagine it’s similar to places like Venezuela today. We certainly can’t complain!

  • 9/2023. I remember not being able to find canning lids during the pandemic. I read posts from people who would say, “Score! I found an entire flat of lids and brought them home!” I thought, “How selfish. What about the other people who need to can their jelly now!” When I can, I pressure can dinners at least once or twice a week, I need maybe two boxes of lids. So, now, I purchase at least four boxes of lids at the grocery every time I shop. I build my stockpile and leave some for others. Another item: we moved and for some reason I could not find the weight for my All American Canner. I just purchased a back-up.

  • I read one person stated, “I learned that medical emergencies can appear out of the blue….. Thanks to ealy pandemic prep posts here, the oxygen concentrator I got saved my dog during a sudden life-threatening ARDS episode…..” How was the oxygen concentrator acquired? Please share. Thank you.

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