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young woman wearing a mask while shopping during COVID-19

For months, Arizonans have practiced social distancing and drastically changed their way of life to do their part in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Now our state is experiencing a surge in new cases, which begs the question—are we facing a second wave? Here are four ways you can be prepared.

Build up your emergency savings.

What better way to prepare for the future than to learn from past experiences? Whether you used up your emergency savings during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic or you simply didn’t have one, now is the perfect time to build up your savings. You’ll be better equipped to handle unexpected expenses or a reduction in income. And while we hope those financial emergencies never come, it’s better to be prepared than surprised! Click here for our guide on how to build your emergency savings.

Use your resources wisely.

Gone are the days of stockpiling toilet paper and dried goods in preparation for self-quarantine. Instead, take advantage of services that make it easier for you to buy the things you need without stepping foot in a store or restaurant. Business owners have quickly adapted to the times, and many offer delivery and order pickup. That means if you’re staying home, you can get groceries, cleaning supplies and even meals delivered right to your doorstep.

Follow local and CDC health guidelines.

Keep following the US Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines to stay healthy and stop the spread of COVID-19. This means routine handwashing, cleaning and disinfecting, and social distancing. Plus, follow local guidelines like wearing a mask when you’re in spaces where keeping six feet of distance is not possible. Currently, many Arizona cities and municipalities are mandating masks in public places—click here for Local First Arizona’s complete list of local mask guidelines.

Support local businesses.

Whether you’re splurging on a nice dinner or just stocking up on necessities, consider spending your money at a locally owned business. Many small businesses struggled through the mandatory closures or altered operations that came with Arizona’s stay at home orders. Now, business owners are feeling uncertainty around whether this new surge in cases will mean another round of closures. If you want to see your favorite local stores and restaurants stick around for years to come, give them your business now. “In the middle of April 33% of small businesses said they'd be forced to close in 3 months or less if things didn't significantly change for them,” says Thomas Barr, executive director of Local First Arizona. “We need more Arizonans to step up and support local businesses. Leave a review and spend your money with them.”

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