During the past month, as the news of the Coronavirus began to dominate headlines, I have been reading inquiries on social media about when would be a good time to start preparing. My initial thought was, “oh, years ago,” but that sort of response really doesn't encourage people who are curious about living a preparedness lifestyle to learn how to actually start doing it. If you have a family member, partner or significant other who is not on board, I explain here how to pique their interest in preparedness.
So, let's say you are one of those people who always wanted to live a life of preparedness, but never really got around to doing it; is it too late to even bother now? Are you discouraged? No, it is not, and if you are discouraged, I'm here to let you know it is not too late and there are steps you can take right now to help you through this challenging time.
The first inquiry I hear is, “where do I even start?” My answer to that is to say, “by THINKING;” stop and asses your situation, taking into consideration your immediate family's needs and how they reconcile with the circumstances of your community. Do you live in a large city? Are you in a rural area, are weather conditions extreme, that sort of stuff.
Take what you have considered and now apply that to the essentials; food, water and shelter. Since we are not presently discussing a disaster that has displaced people from their homes, your home is your shelter, so you can take that off your list of things to worry about.
Water is still available, and it is likely to remain available, but I still like to keep it on hand, planning for 3 gallons per person per day. If you can't get bottles of water immediately, again, don't stress, as it will likely remain available.
As of the present time, fresh produce is readily available, so do try to get quality food and make healthful meals ahead of time if you can. If you don't cook, then purchase what you can that has been prepared or that requires a minimal amount of effort on your part. At this point, you just want to get past this situation without having to rely on government assistance.
If you have children, they are frequently picky eaters, to purchase food they (and you!) will actually eat – now is not the time to throw away resources. Also, resist the temptation for a quick “fix” by purchasing large supplies of ready-made, freeze-dried emergency food. They have their purpose, but are not optimal for long-term use. For the most part, food is still available, even though I am seeing images of sold out stores. If you live in a large city, and resources are scarce, you may have to find your way to a smaller community to find supplies. Do be considerate and purchase what you need; avoid any kind of panic buying or hoarding that will make it less likely for people in these communities to care for their families.
Power is also likely to remain available, absent other factors, like the earthquake we had here in Utah yesterday, but do take this time to stock up on batteries and sources of light and means to stay warm or cool, depending on your environment. Again, this may not be at the top of the list for NOW, but keep it in mind.
Have a means to maintain communication with your loved ones as well; here are some factors to consider.
For now, people sheltering in place have the opportunity to learn a great deal about preparedness; I learned how to pressure can food by watching a YouTube video. Take this time to learn new skills that will help you be better prepared in the long run, as we WILL get through this!
Please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions, and for those seeking more comprehensive planning advice for their families or communities, I am available to help you out. A comprehensive book, my favorite, in fact, on this topic is available through my website as well on the "Suggested Reading" page.
There is so much more to consider, but if you are new and feeling overwhelmed, breaking things down can enable anyone to at least get started and have enough knowledge to get through this immediate situation.
I will keep you posted as events unfold, please check in to my site regularly, as I will do this on a regular basis. If you find my information helpful, please also consider making a small donation; there is a Pay-Pal button on my Home Page. Be safe, be well, be smart.