(East Orange/ Orange) - Closed schools, conference calls, empty restaurants, and canceled vacations. Your mind begins to race, "what is happening to the world as we know it?" Earlier in the week, officials urged residents to stock up on 2 weeks worth of food and medicine just in case. You get to the grocery store and pharmacy only to learn what you need is out of stock. Actually everything is out of sock. The lines are long, cashiers and staff are kind yet a bit ridged, and all you want to do is make sure your family has enough on hand to last you through a quarantine period. What do you do? Well, follow these three tips to ensure your family has what it needs in the event of a self- or government- quarantine:

Stores are limiting people to only a few supplies, shelves are bare what do you do?

1. Ask the manager when the next shipment will be in. If the manager says, "I don't know,” grab the circular and look for the date the sales start. This sales date is usually set around the shipment schedule and begins when the stores have the most in stock. Either way, you want to be at the store when it opens on the date the manager says or on the date the sale starts.

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2. If your store is 24 hours, still apply tip #1, only go to the store at about 6:00 AM right after the night shift is done restocking.

3.  Many stores are limiting people to only 1 or 2 items in need. But, if you have a large family or are shopping for a non-mobile neighbor in addition to your own household, the limited supplies rule could become a real fast pain in the neck. We suggest you have each responsible person in your household to go to the store with you. Develop a plan and lists for each family member to put into their carts. Give them cash to each buy the maximum limited supply amount in a separate checkout line, by doing this, you will now have enough to share. 

BONUS: Now is the time to get a Costco or BJ's card to buy in bulk. Remember, if you do, get to those stores when they first open their doors. 

Here is a list of things you may want to stock up on:


  • Food (Perishable and nonperishable)
  • Water
  • Milk
  • Bread
  • Eggs
  • Snack, snack, and more snacks

TIP: Buy extra perishable food and freeze it. This works for meats, vegetables, juice, dairy, breads, and more.

Cleaning Supplies:

  • Bleach
  • Lysol
  • Antibacterial Soap
  • Antibacterial Wipes


  • Get prescriptions and refills
  • Cough drops
  • Cold and Fever Reducers
  • Vapor Rub
  • Infant and Baby essentials


  • Antibacterial Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste
  • Toilet Paper
  • Antibacterial Wipes
  • Hand Sanitizer (pump and wipes)
  • Lotion
  • Infant and baby essentials


In case of a real serious unforeseen emergency above the pandemic; although you will likely not need these things, we added them to the list anyway:

  • Batteries
  • Flashlight
  • Charcoal and lighters for grill
  • Keep gas tanks full
  • Have cash on hand

We hope these tips and list help. Be safe and remember to be kind to others. During times like this, the community must work together.

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