Disaster Planning Equipment / Supplies Food / Water Hygiene / Sanitation Medical / First Aid

Looking Back, How Prepared Were You?

Now that it seems some of the coronavirus restrictions are going to be lifted soon, I figured it would be a good time to look back and think about how prepared you and I were for what happened as I suspect this is just round one, but let’s hope and pray we’re done for a while.

In any case, from a preparedness perspective I don’t consider this much of an emergency, do you? After all, it’s not like we were without utilities whatsoever, buildings weren’t crumbling down all around us, and I didn’t even have to look at my bug out bag expect to review and replenish its contents a few weeks back. That’s really good news! But there were still problems…

If I’ve learned anything it’s that I really must keep my toilet paper stash topped off at all times. Of all the personal hygiene items that you make use of everyday, from hand soaps and shampoo to toothpaste and deodorant, it’s toilet paper which you and I are clearly to never be without, lol.

That reminds me, be sure you have ALL of your other personal hygiene items well in-hand, whatever that means to you. Personally, I can see that I was letting some things run low, specifically specific hand soaps that my wife likes and even the bar soap that I like. Granted, I have other soaps stashed away, but they’re not what we prefer and since then I’ve managed to restock our supplies even amid the buying frenzy.

The same can be said for any medications you and yours might take on a regular basis. Personally, we don’t yet take anything that is life-necessary, but I did manage to run low on one type of pill that my wife and I take for gallbladder problems. Without them after about two weeks I being to feel crappy and, although I was able to come up with another plan in the meantime, I’m certainly going to make sure I have a few extra bottles on-hand at all times and maybe a backup plan too.

More importantly, though, if there is anything which you or your family take that IS CRUCIAL to your health and survival, let this be a lesson that you really MUST have whatever it is you need at all times. As an example, the young son of a good friend of mine uses an antihistamine inhaler which, although it lasts months, was running low at about the same time this lockdown started. Fortunately, they were able to get some more–enough to last through the summer–there’s no reason to wait so long because as they’re finding out: disasters of all kinds tend to arrive without notice.

Interestingly, one problem I didn’t anticipate from this ordeal was that my vehicle car batteries would die from lack of use. In fact, I actually had to jumpstart two vehicles simply because I hadn’t been going anywhere for weeks on end, one of which was a relatively new vehicle and the other had a new battery put in less than two years ago, so it’s not like the batteries are on their last leg. It wasn’t a big deal, just annoying.

What about bigger problems, such as being unemployed or less than ideally employed? Well, there isn’t much you can do from what I can see at the last moment besides expecting the government to bail you out with a massive spending bill. That aside, in the future there’s no harm in trying to put away some money in the bank, you know, a rainy day fund to pay bills and keep a roof over your head should worse come to worse. Some food storage would be a good idea as well, that way you won’t have to worry about two of the biggest monthly expenses most folks tend to have.

If things get exceptionally dire in the pocketbook then you need to think about how you’ll cut back on other expenses like power usage, heating and cooling, and cooking, to name a few. You might also be able to work out a deal with creditors to postpone payments or to only pay the interest portion if you must, but that’s not a great plan long-term either.

But, what if this struck us even harder than it already has? That is, what if the many essential workers began to be drastically affected–more so than they already are–by the pandemic? This could include any of the food supply chain, truck drivers who deliver almost everything we buy, utility workers, and even healthcare providers.

Honestly, I think these people have been doing an amazing job of keeping things going as smoothly as they have been over the past two months. For example, most every foodstuff I’ve wanted (with a few exceptions) have been at the grocery store the few times I went. We haven’t lost power or, Heaven-forbid, the internet once. To my knowledge the many healthcare provides are toughing it out all over the country as are the truck drivers. They all deserve a round of applause and our gratitude.

So, what would you do if you started to lose power regularly? Could you keep the lights on, cook food, or keep your family warm? What would you do if the water stops flowing or, worse, the sewers? What if you couldn’t go the grocery store because gasoline isn’t being delivered or when you get there you find that almost everything is gone? What would you do if people begin to riot in the streets or your neighbors begin to get desperate?

I’m not saying any of this will happen but it certainly could, especially if this pandemic hits us harder next time around. NOW is the time to get yourself ready for what might come. And, even if it doesn’t get that bad next time around, there’s no harm in ensuring you and your family are as ready as possible for whatever emergency may come your way because, as life continues to show us, you can’t prepare for disaster when it’s already upon you.

By Damian Brindle

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4 replies on “Looking Back, How Prepared Were You?”

I’ve always been a bit of a prepper, and have been slowly gathering supplies. They are, unfortunately, vastly unorganized and often just loose, which would be highly unhelpful in the grand scheme of things. But I’ve been lucky in that I work food service and we remained open for carryout and my roommate works in a Walmart/Meijer type store. We already had a bit of stock to last us a couple weeks but he was able to do amass shipping at the start to get us stocked with my advice, and I can bring home meals from work to make our stock last longer. I have started (on my days off) taking the rest of my supplies to working on an emergency kit to stay in my car and to build both a get home and bug out bag, just in case it gets to that point. One at a time, but I’ll get there in a week or two!

yep, you are right in your article. I was mostly prepare, always keep thing on hand (hurricanes and such), but never thought TP would be such a commodity! always kept extra but when getting down to last few rolls, you wonder. oh well, yes, this should make everyone understand now, when they say “be prepared”…..whether it be for hurricanes, storms, floods, pandemics etc. I know I will be!!!

I drive to get the mail so I alternate cars to avoid the battery issue. RE: other preparations, I am not a prepper per se but I use Subscribe and Save on Amazon to keep stocked on a bunch of things (including toilet paper) so I was not caught unawares. I also keep food stores well stocked including freezer foods so was ok there too! Last time a daughter visited (over a year ago) she said, You are ready for the Zombie Apocalypse!

I made that mistake with my car batteries too. My car finally had to be towed because everyone kept saying that the battery was ok. That was an expensive mistake but the car needed to go to the shop anyway for little stuff.

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