Now what?

You’ve got the sixteen backup packages of toilet paper from Costco. Disaster is averted (for a while). But where are you going to put those enormous packages? If your basement is ready and waiting, with a clear path to the special set of shelves dedicated for emergency preparedness, this article isn’t for you.

But if your hastily gathered riches are surfing the wall-to-wall (to ceiling) contents of your basement and it’s only a matter of time until they disappear into the sea of clutter, this is an ideal time to take your mind off the news and calm your brain down by giving it something to do.

Most likely you’ve been asked to work from home anyway. Staying away from crowds is advised. Spending time clearing out a storage area so you can store your excess toilet paper, cans of garbanzo beans and home-made hand sanitizer will feel wonderful.

A crisis situation is an opportunity to really feel the impact of what you’ve chosen to keep.  Are the bags and boxes of old stuffed animals and broken toys as important to you now as being able to create a place for the supplies you need if there’s a snowstorm, or if you got sick? You won’t be able to deal with it all today, but today’s a good day to start.

If you do have some space for your supplies, it’s still important to check that they’re well organized and easily accessible. If the worst happens, how much energy will you have to wade through the basement and fish out the things you need? Now is a good time to set up simple shelving near the basement entrance so you or whomever is taking care of you can easily find and use what’s needed. Check expiration dates on cans and think about what else might be useful that you don’t have right now.

If you don’t have a basement, set up a cupboard or a box under the bed with your emergency supplies so you can easily get to the things you’ve diligently saved.

Even if the crisis doesn’t end up affecting you directly,  preparing like this will help you feel more in control of the unknown as the situation unfolds. This Saturday, stop scanning Facebook for scary updates and take concrete action to make sure your emergency supplies are fully accessible.

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