Ready to prepare for winter? Preparing for winter shortages is important, especially this year. Whether you’re wondering how to prepare for winter storm or power outage, or planning for food shortages winter 2020, this will help! It’s time to prepare yourself winter is coming!
We’ll cover what to prepare for winter and even how to prepare for the winter lockdown (if it happens).
▶︎Don’t miss our FREE winter emergency checklist at the end of the post!
Before we get to our winter prep tips, let’s cover some questions that you may be wondering…
Why are grocery shelves still empty?
There are still empty grocery shelves because manufactures are struggling to recover with the influx in demand and stress on the system that happened early in the year. This makes it harder to get products to the grocery stores in quantities that we are used to seeing on store shelves.
Is there a shortage of canned goods?
Yes, there is shortage of canned goods, especially canned fruits and vegetables and some drinks. Some of the problem is due to people stockpiling goods, while in other cases it is due to items, like drinks, being repacked in cans to sell for use from home instead of being used in restaurants (like drinks).
How do you prepare for a shortage?
Make sure that you have items on hand like you would prepare for any emergency or shortage. That starts with at least one gallon of water per person (and pet) per day, with a minimum of a two week supply. For food, start with items your family loves and eats regularly and then also add in non-perishable food items that store well.
Food to stock up on for winter:
- Pasta/noodles (and sauce)
- Canned meat tuna or chicken
- Jerky or dried meat sticks
- Canned fruits
- Canned vegetables
- Dried fruit
I like to also keep Sterno on hand for emergency power outages so you can still heat up cans of soup and things like that.
Possible Shortages This Winter
1. Stock up on extra groceries.
You may be wondering, Will there be food shortages winter 2020?
The good news is that many suppliers and grocery stores have said they’ve been stockpiling for months (instead of weeks) and storing extra items (like paper products and food staples) in anticipation higher demand and to prepare for winter. (So, we’re likely not to experience the same level of empty shelves as in March!)
However, manufacturers are still having trouble catching up and keeping up, especially with cleaning supplies, canned vegetables, and other items, making it hard for stores to keep in stock.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
General Mills said it hasn’t caught up with demand for Progresso soup, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Pillsbury refrigerated dough. It is increasing its production capacity and has hired 30 new outsourcing partners since March. The company said the entire industry is still struggling to rebuild inventory on similar items.
Campbell Soup Co. overall inventory is only about halfway recovered, and the team is pushing hard to fully catch up by January, according to CEO Mark Clouse. It is racing to get its Chunky and condensed soups and Swanson broths back in stock and adding production capacity for snacks such as Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers and Cape Cod potato chips.
There are shortages on items like canned drinks that aren’t as popular (like Fresca and Caffeine-Free Diet Coke), canned soups, baking mixes, cleaning supplies and more.
How much food should I store for emergencies?
How much food you store depends on your goals. Are you storing for a short-term emergency, like a few days without electricity or are you long-term food prepping? At a minimum, store 72-hours worth of non-perishable food that your family enjoys. However, you may want to plan for 2-4 weeks of food supply in case you can’t get to the grocery store during emergencies.
Quick way to stock up pantry for winter:
2. Keep shopping for cleaning supplies
Yep. There are still cleaning supply shortages.
You’ve probably already noticed that you still can’t get paper towels, hand sanitizers, Lysol, bleach, cleaning supplies, and even antibacterial soap as easily as you could before all this happened.
According to CNN:
And Clorox, the world’s biggest maker of disinfectant cleaning materials, said consumers will continue to see a shortage of its wipes and other products into 2021 because of overwhelming demand during the pandemic.
CNN also said:
Paper towels are classified as a functional supply chain product, which means that the product is a basic necessity for most households. When demand fluctuates intensely…there is often insufficient inventory and capacity to meet the demand, no matter what inventory management system is used…
With flu season coming up, you’ll want to be sure that you’re stocked enough to scrub down your house if your family gets sick.
But, what if you can’t find the cleaning supplies you need?
Deb, one of our readers said this about our DIY cleaning recipes:
I just made the homemade Lysol Spray cleaner. I used lemon essential oil and it smells wonderful. My hubby turned the power off in our RV and forgot to prop open the refrigerator doors. After only four days yucky, stinky mold was growing everywhere. I sprayed everything down with this mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes. All the mold wiped right off with a damp cloth! I’ll be passing this recipe along to everyone!!!!
3. Check your medicine supplies.
With flu season upon us (along with everything else), you may want to stock up on extra medical supplies early before the flu hits hard, especially items like over-the-counter cold and flu medicines, herbal teas, fever reducers and cough medicines.
Also, if you or anyone in your family take prescription medications, ask your doctor if you should be concerned about an upcoming shortage in the drug and, if so, how can you get extras now to get you through the winter.
4. Prepare your emergency bag.
Do you have an emergency go bag (also called a 72-hour bag or grab and go bags) for every member of your family?
If not, now is the time to make your emergency bag while things are available!
An emergency bag allows you and your family to grab their bags in case you have to leave or evacuate your house for an emergency (which can be anything — weather related, power outages, chemical spills near your house, etc.). When you have an emergency bag, you’re sure that everyone in your family will have a change of clothes, snacks, water, busy items and more — no matter if you end up at a friend’s house, in your car, or even in a shelter.
5. Consider holiday items NOW.
There ARE already shortages on the following (and it will only get worse closer to the holidays):
- Cake mixes
- Refrigerated dough
- Canned vegetables
- Canned fruit
- Condensed soups (used for those holiday casseroles)
- Some nuts
(Just to name a few items!)
If you see them at the store now, grab a couple of extras here and there so that you have what you need when holiday shopping hits and everyone is shopping for Christmas recipes and holiday parties.
6. Do your toy shopping now!
Don’t wait until the last minute to do your toy shopping this year because we don’t know how much of holiday items are going to be available and how restocking is going to be during the holidays.
REMEMBER: One of the problem’s manufacturer’s are having right now is with catching up and keeping up.
So, it’s time to check the Christmas list and start holiday shopping extra early this year.
These will help:
7. Plan for stuck at home items.
You don’t want to be stuck at home with kids and not have anything to do again, right?
Let’s start planning now for winter weather or other stuck at home times, shall we?
That way, if the time comes where we are stuck at home again and even snowed in, you’re already prepared!
Remember, things may not be completely opened up through the end of the year, so you WILL be spending more time at home.
Check out these fun family activities:
Also check out:
- Ultimate family board game list
- Cheap craft kits
- Sales on subscription boxes
- Keep Kids Connected Online With Virtual Playdates
- Fun Things To Do When Stuck At Home with Kids
- 37 UNIQUE Bored Things To Do When Stuck At Home With Kids + SURPRISING Benefits of Boredom
8. Prepare vehicle for winter.
When you’re doing all your other preparing for winter, don’t forget to prepare your car for winter, especially if you live in an area that gets snow or cold weather.
And, just like you need emergency bags for your family, you’ll also want to put one in your car. This will help if you get stuck in the snow or in your car for a period of time (especially with the kids).
I’ve carried an “emergency kit” in my car for a few years now.
Some of it is a store-bought kit (first aid), but most of it are things that I’ve put inside a bag in the back of my car.
It’s made up of things that if I get stranded in my car (especially with my kid), we would probably be OK for a little while.
Prepare for winter in your car or prepare for a winter storm with:
- First aid kit
- Hand warmers
- Gloves, hats, socks
- Blankets (I like to keep these emergency mylar blankets in the car because they’re easy to store and don’t take up a lot of room)
- Change of clothes (especially a heavy hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants)
- Bottled waters and individual power drink mixes
- Snacks like trail mix, energy and granola bars, jerky and ready-to-eat prepackaged meals (think lunchbox items like packaged tuna and crackers)
- Small shovel
- Flashlight (we like these headlamps that keep your hands free)
- Windshield scraper
- Emergency charger (in case your car battery goes dead)
- Something to pass the time (like MadLibs or a deck of cards)
FREE Winter Emergency Checklist
CLICK HERE to grab your free winter emergency prepping checklist.