It seems like every year or so I put out a public service announcement to remind people that they need to have the minimum amount of preparedness for themselves and their family.
All of us are dependent on services provided by the government and well regulated industry. We take those services for granted. Even the distribution of food is something that we all take for granted. But a small reminder from last year at this time when the government started to restrict businesses because of the Covid 19 crisis. It didn’t take long for restrictions in the types and quantities of food you could purchase.
The first few waves of Covid have affected the economy. The appearance of a newer and faster strain could have impacts in ways we had not participated. Most of our food is processed in buildings with a lot of workers. What happens if the new strain spreads to the suppliers and distributers?
Even in a normal year, being prepared is not such a bad thing. In a year of continued uncertainty, being prepared and having a plan is just as important as any other activity you undertake.
Ready.gov is a good place for the emergency plan development. But it does not go far enough if you live in more rural areas. Frankly, the people in the cities will have their own concerns and there is vey little they can do beyond the basics. But everyone else who has taken the time to go above and beyond will not only help their own family, they will keep their community from becoming overburdened. Every family that can self sustain means more help for those who either did not or could not prepare.
That has been the magic number for many years. You have a gallon of water for each person in the house for each day. That water is used for drinking, cooking and bare necessity usage. I would bet that most people consume a whole lot more than one gallon per person per day. Knowing that, having access to a lot more clean water is critical. Look around your house and think about where you could gain water advantages if the tap suddenly went dry. You might be surprised, But water discipline will be critical in case the event cuts you off for more than 3 days. You can last for a lot longer without food than you can water. That is a basic fact of survival.
If the stores are closed, you will have some basic supplies based on how well stocked your cabinets and refrigerator/freezer are when it happens. But you should think ahead to what impact loss of electricity for a prolonged period would be to that supply. How do you preserve the foods that are perishable? What order should that food be consumed? How long will it last before becoming useless? FEMA and Ready.gov have some good resources that are on line and printable. But if the electricity is off, how do you get on line and how would you print off the information?
Stay or Go?
Always the big question in a survival event. No easy answer. My preference would be to stay as long as I could. I have five different ways to cook and heat water that do not require power or outside assistance. But several of those are hard to move with ease. My home is well placed and can be fairly secure with a few modifications internally and externally. It would be hard to match what we have so it would take a very large event for me to want to leave. Having said that, I have a go bag and plan set up just in case the choice is removed from me. That plan includes at least three weeks of self sustainment. Water is the limiting factor. I have purification devices for the trip but you still need clean or cleanable water.
There might be disruptions to the cash supply. It really pays to have thought this one through well in advance. Gold is fashionable in a functioning society but you might have trouble getting the value from gold in the event no method of exchange is readily available.
These are just a few things to think about. I have always felt that being over prepared is better than being a victim. Here are some links to the web sites I already mentioned. Just a reminder, trying to access them after the lights are out might be problematic.
There are many other resources I have used over the years. I have a book that has paper copies of important lists and plans for just about any occasion. It really doesn’t take that long to assemble it and it would make sure we are ready for nearly any event.
I hope this year is boring. I hope that the preparations we have been making never need to be used. It would be my greatest joy if someday when the nieces and nephews come to clean out the Zombie room, they have a good chuckle about all the stuff we kept just in case. But the nagging feeling in the back of my head keeps reminding me… who in their right mind would think than an invisible virus would shut down most of the world for months and months?