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What to stock up on during coronavirus pandemic; bottled water, canned foods are high on the list

What to stock up on during coronavirus pandemic; bottled water, canned foods are high on the list


The federal government and the Red Cross have some simple recommendations for food and supplies to get you through the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday brought people rushing to the store and clearing some shelves. Gov. Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association put out statements to reassure people that Nebraska’s food supply chain is secure, warehouses are full and trucks are on their delivery schedules.

Social distancing is one big overriding recommendation, so people should limit going out in public. Ricketts earlier called for Nebraskans to prepare as if a snowstorm were coming.

What should you be buying?

> A two-week supply of food and water, a recommendation from the Department of Homeland Security and reiterated by the Governor’s Office.

The idea behind buying some water is not that the water supply will break down. In Omaha, the Metropolitan Utilities District said Thursday that its water system will remain safe, reliable and available.

Instead, bottled water is easier to use if people are sick and need to isolate, compared to using dishes that would need to be cleaned and sanitized, then might be shared with the rest of the household, according to the Governor’s Office.

> Canned foods (and a working can opener), peanut butter, canned nuts, dry mixes, cereal, cupboard staples, vegetable oil, baking powder, rice, pasta and coffee.

> Juices and soups for the sick and elderly.

> Foods that meet your family’s tastes and familiar foods. “They lift morale and give a feeling of security in times of stress,” according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

> Foods that are high in calories, nutritious and address special diets.

> Nonperishable pet food.

> Over-the-counter drugs and supplies: Pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes and vitamins.

> Toiletries, tissues, laundry detergent and diapers, if necessary.

Sources: Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Red Cross, Nebraska Governor’s Office.

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