Coronavirus Special Coverage

A collection of news posted throughout the week for those that want signal, not noise.

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What preppers are stocking up on for COVID-19

We recently covered the massive shortage of preparedness foods, and now other shortages have probably hit a store near you. Namely hand sanitizer and toilet paper, which are in short supply around the United States.

Because part of what we do at The Prepared is evaluate and recommend products — there are no ads or fees, we just make a commission when you click and buy our recommended links — we have insight into what people are buying.

Masks and other protective gear

Respirators and filters are the most popular category items among readers of The Prepared, with sales of these surging massively since late January as interest in the novel coronavirus and the situation in Wuhan, China started to pick up.

Reusable respirators like the 3M 7501/37081(AAD) reusable respirator, 3M 7502/37082, and 7503/37083 are all popular among our readers but are all out of stock until at least April.

If you already have a respirator, you’re in a bit more luck, as two of the top sellers: the 3M 2091 P100 particulate filters, which fit into compatible masks and the 3M 60926 gas/vapor cartridges are both in stock. Since both are rated at P100, they’re both excellent choices, assuming you have a compatible respirator.

Disposable respirators are also popular, like the 3M 8293 P100 disposable particulate cup respirator, a standalone disposable respirator, but don’t bother: they’re now going for over $400 on Amazon.

Some of you are apparently ready to go full hazmat, as DuPont Tyvek painter suits are also popular with our readers. Those are starting to run out of stock, so beware of inflated prices.

Rounding out the list of most popular preps are standard items like hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes (both increasingly hard to find), and nitrile gloves, which are always good to have around.

Water and storage

Alongside protective gear, many readers are buying sensible water-storage solutions like the Reliance Rhino-Pak (sold out on Amazon), the Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer, the Scepter 5 gallon military water container (sold out on Amazon), and the collapsible Water Storage Cube (also sold out on Amazon). The 2L Cnoc Outdoors Vector 2L water container, which can attach to an inline filter with a 28 mm thread, is popular with our readers and still in stock. While water supplies have been unaffected so far by the coronavirus outbreak, water is such a survival essential that you don’t want to take chances.

Of course, you also need a way to clean your water as well, and such products are hot items. Readers are buying the Sawyer Mini filtration system, Survivor Filter, 100-packs of Aquatabs water purification tablets, Potable Aqua germicidal water purification tablets, and for the super serious, 55 gallon water preserver concentrate, which is actually just overpriced bleach. Likewise, survival straws like the LifeStraw and the HydroBlu Sidekick are popular.

Most of these are pretty solid picks, but one left us baffled: Vitaminwater XXX. Our best guess is that people are buying it in case they get sick and need the electrolytes.

Medical equipment

Speaking of baffling purchases, apparently readers are stocking up on Go, Dog. Go! Best Nest Fertility Formula for Men (I had to read the description closely to see if it’s a supplement for men or dogs). We’re guessing you fellas are anticipating being locked up for a long time. Also on the list was Bio-Quinone Q10 Gold, which has a number of uses, but it’s also one of the ingredients in Go, Dog. Go!

More sensibly, readers are stocking up on things like the Caroune ear and forehead thermometer (unfortunately sold out) and the CHOICEMMED Sky Blue finger pulse oximeter. Both of these items can be helpful for monitoring your health state if you get sick and need to know when to seek medical attention, especially when the medical system is taxed to its limits.

Readers are also buying more advanced medical items like this nasopharyngeal airway tube, which isn’t a bad thing to have if you know how to use it!

Rounding out the list are standard prepper medical items like bandages and stop-bleeding kits, which are good things to have on hand, but don’t have much to do with coronavirus. However, again, if the medical system in the United States is stretched past capacity like in Italy, you might be on your own in the case of a medical emergency.


There aren’t many surprises here: people are stocking up on food, and most of the items are what you’d expect. Things like cans of black beans, peanut butter, dry milk, canned chicken, sardines, rice, Mountain House emergency food kits, and electrolyte powder.


Rounding out the list are general prepper items like the Ryno-Tuff portable solar charger, books like the SAS Survival Handbook and Just in Case: How to be Self-Sufficient when the Unexpected Happens, Tape King professional grade duct tape, SOL Quik Fire Starters, the Novoo 10000 mAh portable charger, Energizer LED headlamps, the Fallkniven DC3 diamond knife sharpener, Red Cross emergency weather radios, and — most importantly — the Rakuen titanium spork.

What have you been buying to prep for coronavirus? Anything interesting or unusual? Let us know in the comments.

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