After food and water, hygiene products are the next items that disappear from shelves when a pandemic strikes. So your odds of getting what you need to have during a time when needs are elevated is slim.
You want to prepare now so that you don’t have to fight the crowds scrambling for basic necessities. Plus, you want to make sure you can stay isolated from them (social distancing) so that you won’t bring any illness back to your own home.
As the COVID-19 virus spread across the globe, panicked shoppers snapped up whatever they could get their hands on. N95 masks were one of the first items to become scarce, followed by liquid hand sanitizer, isopropyl alcohol, thermometers, and toilet paper. Despite a run on masks, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told the American public that they are unnecessary and that the risk of contracting the virus was extremely low.
You’ll want to figure out how much of each hygiene product your family goes through by adding up what you normally go through in a year’s time. Then multiply that by at least a two year period.
You’ll need to stock up on toilet paper. The best rule of thumb is to figure two rolls per family member per week with extra rolls figured in for the event of illness that could require more usage.
Dental floss should be figured at one container per month per person. Toothbrushes should be replaced more often during a pandemic because of the higher chance of you having to deal with germs. A good rule of thumb is to change toothbrushes every four weeks – sooner if anyone in the family has an illness. For toothpaste, figure that a family of four would need two tubes of toothpaste per month.
You’ll need bar soap. If you currently use liquid hand soap, it’s more cost effective to plan to use bar soap during a pandemic. However, since pandemics are spread through viruses and germs, you’ll want to make sure that you have a hearty supply of hand sanitizer to use during the length of the isolation period.
Everyone in the family – except for infants and small children – will need deodorant. Using the solids is more cost effective than the spray on kind. Figure a container per person that uses it per month.
Feminine products should be figured at the current use, but always store extras in case of extra needs. If you use condoms for intimacy, you’ll want to pack a supply of those as well.
You’ll need to pack in storage a supply of razors for both men and women as well as a supply of shaving cream. Shampoo is something you can also store up, but in a pinch, hand soap can be used to wash hair if you don’t have enough shampoo.
Lotions for dry skin should also be on your store list. Also add Chapstick to prevent cracked lips from occurring. Q-tips and nail clippers for each person should also be stored for use. You’ll want separate nail clippers to help keep nail fungus and other bacteria or viruses at bay.
If you have infants, you’ll want to store up diapers and baby wipes. Now you’ll want to be careful on the diaper sizing since babies can outgrow diapers. So buy these in size increments to allow for that.