My wife asked me, “Are you scared?”
I said, “Of course not, because I’m prepared.”
Prepared for what, exactly?
The Corona Virus, earthquakes, floods, PG&E randomly shutting off my power, the Electric Boogaloo, the impending return of the Black Death in San Francisco…
I’m talking basic emergency preparedness here, not bugging out and hiding in the wilderness during a collapse. If you want to take it to that level, that is up to you.
Everyone should be prepared for significant economic disruptions due to disasters, and Corona-chan has made me realize that I wasn’t as prepared as I would like to be. Compared to the average person, I was apocalypticly prepared, but the average person is highly domesticated and doesn’t spend much time thinking about where their food comes from. There are people who actually eat gas station sushi, remember that.
I made sure this week to shore up my weak points, and will do more of it as things come to mind. Remember that the time to worry is early, when you can easily order anything you lack.
In fact, I believe the economic disruption of a pandemic will be a more significant thing for most people than merely avoiding getting sick. Most supermarkets have about three days worth of food, and people in urban environments have very little food on hand at home to sustain themselves if there is a significant supply chain disruption.
I live in the country where water and food are plentiful and easily accessed, but it never hurts to be prepared. Even a modest disruption of the economy could send food prices soaring, along with other “sudden necessities” such as batteries and bottled water, if Hurricane Katrina was any indication.
So, the point of emergency prep is to do a few things:
- Make sure you and your family are comfortable and safe immediately following a disaster (days after)
- Ensure sure your family will be well-fed and nourished through a short to medium term disruption (weeks after)
- Ease survival concerns through any extreme event that doesn’t resolve without significant upheaval (months after)
Extreme preppers tend to focus on number 3, which is fine. There is so much uncertainty flowing from such a situation that expensive preparations (such as years of bomb-shelter food stocks) aren’t such a great hedge for me – I choose to focus on 1 and 2 first.
To that end, I think you should have on hand:
- Enough food to last a few weeks with comfortable consumption
- Essential medicine and first aid supplies
- Enough water for consumption (drinking and cooking – not bathing) for at least a week.
- Guns and sufficient ammunition
I’ll put out a basic list of what I (a very reasonable un-extreme person) have on hand in a future post.
Be sure to pre-order my new creativity book! If you have lots of indoor downtime when Corona-chan comes to visit, you can put that time to good use by working on your art.
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Things like corona virus make me think of rereading Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year. My mother always had kept a large collections of reprinted older fiction. Although fictional. Defoe had spent his time meticulously recounting the details of the plague, so that it reads closer to fact than actually fiction. The way many people panicked at the disease is a good mirror to our modern day of misinformation and paranoia when discussing disease despite the efforts medicine has made to quash epidemics all together. Yet the shadow of power that past sickness still has shows itself even in my family history. I can remember my Grandmother recounting the stories that her Grandmother told of the cold winters and terrible pandemics that would sweep across the Russian plains. Emptying fields of cattle and wearing horses down to bare skeletal creatures nearly devoid of life. Or of homes becoming silent as they were swiftly emptied of children as the disease moved westward. We’ve a lot to be thankful for in these days. And seeing articles like these give me a small feeling of pleasure that good advice and information is much more accessible. A hard lesson learnt from the past.