Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Should You Run Out And Buy Face Masks?

The recent flu news has once again sent the public scrambling. If you are looking for the face masks which the news has been showing the masses wearing in Mexico, you may have a difficult time finding them in some locales. Which brings me to the point of this post: Preparedness is an ongoing activity. Forever. Many people only think to prepare when the disaster is at their doorstep. Hurricane coming in three hours? The stores are packed and the plywood is flying off the shelves. Gas prices shooting past $4? People are lining up to buy. Need ammo? Due to a war, high demand, and low supplies, it is hard to find and quite expensive when you do find it. Possible pandemic in the making? Tamiflu and face masks are hot commodities.
Real preparedness means that you have a list of skills that you are either learning or refining on a regular basis. Real preparedness means that you add to your food supplies with each week's grocery shopping trip, not just when a storm is forecast. Real preparedness means that your stockpile of survival supplies in the garage or under the bed already has plenty of batteries, flashlights, face masks, duct tape, medical supplies, ammunition, and all of the other things you may need for a disaster. Preferably these items are purchased on sale, not when demand is at its highest and supplies are at their lowest.
Obviously you can't forecast every unique disaster and you may not know every item that you would need to survive said disaster, but for disasters in general, many of the supplies you need are fairly common. Make stocking up on supplies a weekly event, not just something you do when the news sends the unprepared running to the store.

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