Saturday, March 14, 2020

Take Notes

Now that we are knee-deep in the coronavirus pandemic, it is a good time to start taking notes.  This is perhaps the biggest preparedness test in my memory (there were gas shortages in the 70s, the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s that affected some but not all areas, the fallout shelter panic in the 1960s but none of these seem to have been as wide-spread or panic-inducing as the current pandemic) so this will be an excellent learning opportunity for all of us. 

Take this opportunity to make notes about things that worked well with your preps, things that you hadn't considered, things that you need to be better prepared for, and your utter failures which weren't known until TSHTF.  Here are some initial observations, courtesy of the news and social media, about ways people in my community were unprepared:

  • People were laid off from their jobs this week, with only a few day's notice, and are wondering how they will pay this month's bills (a six to twelve month emergency fund that will cover all of your bills and living expenses for several months should be at the top of everyone's to do list).
  • People were searching all of the stores in the city for toilet paper because they literally didn't have a single roll left in their homes (consider a bidet as well as always having 50 or more rolls stockpiled).
  • People didn't expect they wouldn't be able to acquire N95 masks, especially people in construction, manufacturing, and healthcare as they have always been available before (even if your employer always provides your PPEs, consider stockpiling your own supply at home).
  • People have never considered spending 24/7 in their home for a month or longer, especially in a city where everyone is always out and about (practice staying home for an entire weekend just for the experience and stock your home with enough entertainment option to help you pass the time).
  • People didn't consider that their kid's schools may shut down for weeks or months yet they, who are essential personnel at hospitals, utilities, etc. need to be at work (have a triple-redundant back-up child care plan if you have kids).
  • People never considered that entire industries could shrivel up and (nearly) die in less than a week's time as what's happening with the travel industry, cruise industry, etc (have multiple sources of income spread among various different industries).
  • People are used to being able to buy what they need, when they need it, and often have it delivered right to their doorstep within 24 hours of ordering (consider stockpiling needed supplies as well as taking every item you need like diapers and looking at alternatives such as stocking cloth diapers even if you never usually use them).
These are just a few examples.  By the end of this outbreak, I will probably have an entire notebook full of notes on how I can improve my preparedness for the next SHTF situation.

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