PREP What to expect shortages on during Lockdown 2021


Veteran Member
We have new people joining the board, and many new people reading that have not joined. I thought it might be wise to help those that are new to the concept of preparedness to know on what to buy in the very short term to help deal with the next lock down. For the sake of this exercise, let's assume that the lockdown will start in the third week of August and will escalate to harsher than the previous lockdown, and that some states will fight it while others will embrace it.

* Keep it to actionable suggestions in a very short period of time (days to weeks, not months or years);
* Try to keep it as on topic as possible. There are a bunch of great threads on why or why not to take the vaccine, virus tracking, and the politics and religious aspects of these issues;
* Avoid posting to say if you are not done preparing "then it is too late", instead focus on helping those that are NEW to this;
* Please avoid posting large articles and videos that talk about preparedness in general and instead try to focus on what you personally see, predict, and expect; and
* Try to keep it positive.


Veteran Member
First thoughts:

Masks. For those that want to / have to wear a mask, getting some extra masks now is easy and are on clearance at some places.

Bleach / Clorox wipes will probably disappear again.

Hand sanitizer probably will not disappear this time but it is on CLEARANCE currently, and very cheap to stock up on.


Voice on the Prairie
My 3 biggest tips:

1. Never let your gas tank go below half full.

2. Keep a reasonable amount of cash (small bills and coins) in a safe place.

3. Spend a little quiet time in prayer or meditation each day: pay special attention to any "nudges" you receive.
(If you run around in constant noise and chaos, it's harder for God/Universe/Etc to get your attention!)


God has a plan, Trust it!
Take it slow and stock what you eat. Find ways to change what you do eat into shelf-stable meals.

At this point, it is best to think about stocking up for the short-haul - preparing for the shortages that are coming with winter.

Things that may go missing or have huge price increases at the grocer's in the near future:
  • bleach
  • Lysol/Antibacterial products/sanitizer
  • TP
  • paper towels
  • meats and poultry (can or freeze them)
  • Shelf-stable milk
  • Baking supplies (Flour, yeast, baking soda/powder, etc)
  • Canned products
  • Frozen veggies
  • Water
  • First Aid supplies
  • Cold/Flu medications (suggested meds for Covid protocols)


Tough to pin down.

If this set of lockdowns behaves like the last set, then there shouldn't be much issue with shortages. One of the biggest points about the last set was that no one knew what the hell anybody MEANT by "lockdown".

It would have been regarded as impossible just a year prior; a complete quarantine of the country? Nobody out of their houses? That's ILLEGAL! We'll kill anyone who tries it blah blah blah.

But now that people have seen it, it's a bit different. You don't have to plan for an extended stay in your own home, but rather just mostly so. You can still get groceries, medicine and take-out, so your needs are few.

That's IF this set behaves like the last set.

When you throw in the state of the supply chain right now, a whole new set of unaccounted-for variables kicks in.

The best advice, therefore, would seem to be to stock up on anything you think you might need at any point in at least the next six months. That's a huge pool and mostly too vague to be acted upon, but all you can do is the best you can.


TB Fanatic
I am worried about artificially induced shortages like Bill Gates being the biggest owner of farmland in the US and getting paid to NOT farm.

California pushing 90% of water the famers need out to sea

Drought, real or manmade

Seems like Grocery stores already have a lot of wholes on the shelves

Metal for can shortages

It looks to me like there is going to be some food shortages


Veteran Member
If you have a bread maker, or know how to make bread by hand: A bag of flour will make 3-5 loafs of bread. You may need to know if you need to use "Bread Flour" or "All Purpose Flour". Consider buying a bread maker (there are threads on here discussing several brands, recommendations, etc).

Buy some of the basics: Bread flour, cane sugar, yeast, butter, salt, dry powered milk.

Make your first loaf asap! You may find you missed an ingredient or don't like the recipe and need a different ingredient for a different one -- which may be gone from the stores later.


Has No Life - Lives on TB
water, ( I have been a bit worried about water lately)
toilet paper,
Our greatest prep shortcoming is the lack of a well, but it's not a huge worry because we live in a very wet area of the southeast. I did have gutters installed on our house to facilitate water collection and we have a large collection of food grade 55 gallon water barrels. We also keep quantities of bleach and have a high end water filter.

If you have your own home, it's not too difficult to collect 55 gallon water barrels and have some sort of a rainwater collection system.

The people most at risk are apartment and condo dwellers, but even those people can have substantial water storage ability if they put a little thought into it. Also, know your area and see if you have fresh water lakes and ponds close to you. If you have a quality water filter and adequate bleach, you can stay in potable water for a long time.



Disaster Cat
It is an old joke but actually true - as I told my German housemate in 2019 when this started -

Buy Toliet Paper it always goes first because it does.

Cat Sand (litter in the USA) - if you have cats start getting lots (it tends to be one of the first things to run out) if you don't have cats buy one or two bags if you live near where things get icy as it works on sidewalks and porches to prevent falls.

Spices and flavorings - especially cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Also, vanilla (real) pods or extract, and basic herbs if you don't have a big garden - especially Rosemary, Oregano, Sage, Cumin, Chili Powder and consider some powdered onion and garlic.

The above will go a long way towards making packages of dried beans, rice, and pasta less boring and you can cook with them.

Yeast, Baking Powder, and Baking Soda - and if you don't know how to use those yet (we all start somewhere) start doing some practice baking.

Good General Cookbook - my husband had to take over nearly all the cooking this past year for various reasons and while he knows how to cook a lot of fancy stuff, having a basic "how-to" for usual stuff was great. Since you never know when a family member who has never boiled water may need to cook in a pinch - or your partner previously mostly did fancy stuff - this is a wonderful thing to have.

Actually, there are so many good sites on the internet, you can also download a lot of stuff but be sure to print it out or hardcopy in a book (I've had my blue book since the 1970s).

Suggestions: The New Fanny Farmer Cookbook (early 1990s edition) The Joy of Cooking (1950s or more recent edition) on this side of the water any of the Mrs. Beaton's Cookbooks (updated ones) and a lot more (The Pioneer Women has a great website and cookbooks, as well as being on TV now).

Wheat Flour (or whichever flour you can eat) and/or wheat grain and a grinder. Organic unbleached flour will last up to 2 years in my experience, whole wheat flour about 6 months, regular white (bleached flour) five years or more (but is mostly just calories) and whole wheat grain can last a few thousand years (we just finished the y2K stuff last year).

(hint the wheat harvest mostly failed again in North America which is where most hard wheat comes from).

Bulk bags (or a lot of small bags of):

Rice (25-pound bags make about 3 or 4 average-sized plastic buckets or you can use totally dried plastic water jugs for storage).

Dried Pasta - get the real stuff from Italy if you can, it will probably last several years if stored properly.

Cornmeal - if your family can eat it

Legumes that need soaking - Pinto, Kidney, Black, garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) other dried beans

Legumes that do not need pre (or much) pre-soaking - split peas (yellow or green) lentils (all colors)

Canned Tomatoes and Tomato Puree/paste - if your family can eat, buy as much as you can - the cans last about 4 years in a really wet climate like ours, cardboard containers about one year. These can be used for all sorts of things from pizza to soup and of course pasta.

Bleach - the backup plan to purify water and to sanitize surfaces

Oils - Olive oil (keeps several years), lard (in the freezer), coconut oil, vegetable oils (as backup), and Crisco for long-term storage/back up (not especially healthy but will do for cooking in a pinch, the same with the vegetable oils).

Oils, like the spices and flours, will go a long way towards keeping food "interesting" and tasting good, even if you use it sparingly.

Dry Pet food - most dried foods will keep at least a year (cat and dog) again not always the best option but will keep them fed.

Sewing and Crafting Supplies - these run out quickly as we discovered in Ireland and are not considered a priority by shops but you will want them for repairs and keeping sane.

Mentionables and Unmentionables. Underwear - socks - bras, shoes, hats (and some yarn/needles to make more), ours are finally running out and it has been very difficult to find new cotton anything at least here, even online. We managed but they do wear out and are difficult to repair (especially ladies' underwear).

Basic Home guides:

Basic Repairs, Sewing, Knitting, cooking, gardening, etc.

I could go on but I'll end this for now with a copy of any of the later editions of:

The Encylopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery

Knitting Without Tears
by Elizabeth Zimmerman

The Hassle-Free Make Your Own Cloths HandbookThe (on Kindle - the original is from around 1970)

There's a lot more, but that's enough for one post and again we all start somewhere.

Don't be scared and also see what you buy every week, month, six months and start by buying 2 or 3 instead of just 1 item if you can. That's a great way to get a pantry going.

Edited to add: while this thread is mostly about the lockdown and a lot of these suggestions are basic prepping 101, some of these things we did run out of Ireland - including things like underwear, cotton PJ's, flip-flops (I can't find any), bread bakers, and for a time, freezers, fridges, stoves and a lot of smaller stuff like slow cookers because scarce or difficult to fine.
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Kathy in FL

TB Fanatic
Pest control chemicals, etc

Cleaning supplies were limit 1 for a while

Your preferred brand of personal hygiene items

Fuel for your go buggies and lawn equipment

Spare parts for your necessities including plumbing and electrical and auto


Special diet components such as gluten free, a brand of something you can eat, supplements, etc


Veteran Member
These suggestions are for short term and assume we will have power and running water.

I know a lot of people only drink bottled water. That’s not sustainable when the grocery stores get ransacked. Go now and buy a Brita to filter your tap water.

Think about what types of carbs your family eats. Rice, flour, baking mixes, oatmeal, rice, cornmeal, pasta. Take the time now to find recipes online for ways to cook with them if you don’t normally cook.

Dehydrated milk doesn’t taste great to drink straight but is invaluable to have in your pantry. You can use it for all sorts of cooking and baking. You can find it at the grocery store on the row with flour, sugar, spices.

It can seem overwhelming but even small steps you can take now will make a difference.


Disaster Cat
And things are local, dehydrated milk is really expensive in Ireland so we tend to get canned milk and some dried milk but not very much. In the US, it is cheap, and combined with cornmeal and baked-crushed eggshells can do as emergency chicken food. Oatmeal is also a good idea, especially old-fashioned oats.

I mentioned the bleach because water filters are hard to get here (that work seriously on the river or puddle water) but bleach will do in a pinch (also does many other things).

The personal supplies (for your family's needs) like deodorant, shampoo, hygiene products will vary but you need extra.

I can't emphasize the cat sand/litter enough; every crisis or shortfall I've ever been in this runs out and is very low on the priority list for reordering by shops. I can assure you from bitter personal experience that potting soil, torn-up newspapers, and garden gravel don't work very well. Just putting the cats out only works in good weather and with cats that can go outside, we almost always have one or two indoor-only kitties - the barn cats are indoor outdoor.

Other things to get are extra coffee, tea, and juices that can also substitute for water in a pinch (if you can drink them orange, tomato, grape, apple - also good to add to cooking).

A barbeque or other outdoor/alternative cooking method if the power/gas goes out (especially on the West Coast, though with fire regulations you may need to look at non-fire options for heating food).

Firestarter and matches (they run out quickly, they did here during the lockdown).

Potatoes and apples store well even if bought fresh - keep in a dark room in paper bags or baskets - check for mold and they will keep well into the Winter. Also, stock up on pumpkins if they come in for October (and shopping is allowed) as they also will keep most of a Winter or at least a few months.

If you can afford it, get a good dehydrator and/or learn to do home canning - but for the short term dehydrating has a lower learning curve, takes up less space and it is now the harvest season so a good time to dehydrate or freeze fruits and veg.

ZIP TOP PLASTIC BAGS in all sizes - yeah I know not always the best choice but you will miss them if the stores run out (ours did) especially if you need to cook in bulk or have to protect things like wool socks from critters (like moths) or bags of dehydrated food.

Buy Seeds for next Spring - In Ireland this year, seeds were difficult and often impossible to get, some of that was BREXIT but some of it was shipping shortages and everyone buying them. You can always give them away if you don't use them and if you have them you can start your garden or even a few tomato plants early.

I'll see what more I can think of that we did run out of in the shops or nearly did - there is so much that is hard to get now on our Island: Printer paper, computers, printers, replacement parts lots of little things you don't notice until you can't get them.


Knuckle Dragger
There were some funky, regional shortages.

Area A. had plenty of whatever, but area B. had none of the same.

I never really heard a good explanation for all of that. "Trucker shortage" was the universal excuse.


The Dude Abides
These are all fantastic ideas and notes!

I would think about your logistics. If you are taking care of or looking in on elderly family members who are housebound, you may want to think about fuel consumption and spare food for yourself and them if there are power outages or if there is a fuel shortage. Can you store food at another location in case you need to fill up or top if off to get home after a visit?

a lockdown, that may follow economic crash or cyberattack on the infrastructure could lead to a level chaos but not quite mad max. Do you have support to get anywhere in convoy? How are your neighbors? Can you work beyond those politics or your own to work together in a crisis? This could be similar to what happened in Argentina in the early 2000’s, and a read on FerFal’s old blog could help.

get batteries, and headlamps, and more batteries!
Find away to purify water
Are your vehicles in good working order? How are they to carry cargo if you have to head to a friend or family members home?
Don’t forget pet food!
A couple of bottles of cheap vodka or rum for trading would not be bad
Did I forget batteries?
Get an AC adapter for your car, so you can charge your cell phone or possibly walkie/talkie
Paper products are a must, if there are water issues, washing dishes presents a problem. Paper plates, plastic forks and spoons will be a godsend

boardgames, uno cards, playing cards…these are great for entertainment!


Veteran Member
This next lock down is going to be stay in your home. Do not go outside or you will be arrested. There isn't going to be any shopping, going to the pharmacy, or outside for just a little exercise.
So be it. I as many of us here are in remote locations with some acreage. If you haven’t gotten a BOL it’s too late

Jeff B.

Don’t let the Piss Ants get you down…
Lots of good suggestions and observations.

Think about what went out of stock where you were and what you couldn’t find. That should help you as you restock.

Sooner is better than later in this case!

I’m expecting Costco to call me later to get a new set of tires mounted for the truck (didn’t pass inspection) and I’ll do the paper products and some freezer items when I go to wait for the truck to get done.

Jeff B.


Disaster Cat
One things that ran out here and mostly never even got to Ireland were pavilions and garden furniture. We were going to set up a pavilion, chairs, and table during the heatwave when the local government decided that limited groups of people could "meet up" outdoors.

We had a friend that did this and it worked great, unfortunately, due to "COVID and Shipping Issues (China)" nothing came into the stores, there was even a local media story about it.

We decided not to set up the SCA tents because we didn't want to keep taking them down and putting them back up.

We did manage an umbrella laundry line as it felt silly to use a dryer in nearly 90-degree heat, but we were lucky to find one.

Cloths washing liquid and alternative drying methods/cloths pins etc are other things that can run out.