The coronavirus is the virus we have all feared. This will become a pandemic and while the CDC has tried its best to stay in control of the situation, it is simply spreading too quickly. Their main focus was to cautiously alert the public, but as of today, they have significantly shifted their official statement and there is no denying the fact that COVID19 will come to communities in the U.S.
“Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in the United States,” Nancy Messonnier, a top official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters. “It’s not a question of if this will happen but when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illnesses.” (Source)
In another article, “The CDC said the agency would be shifting strategies and using a dual approach. Health officials still plan to try to contain the spread and slow down the spread of the virus into the United States. At the same time, health officials are now urging businesses, health-care facilities, and even schools to plan now for ways to limit the impact of illness when it spreads in the community.”
Without a tested tried-and-true vaccine, it is just a matter of time before the same things that are happening elsewhere start happening here. And with that, also comes the panic from those who are unprepared. The following are six key warning signs you should be looking for. The following information was taken from The Coronavirus Handbook:
When these events come to pass or you see these signals, you should strongly consider implementing a self-quarantine lockdown:
- Emergency officials say they have the situation under control, but more cases continue to pop up.
- Local and state governments officially declare an emergency.
- Cases have been identified at your local hospital or at schools in your general vicinity.
- The general public begins to panic and store shelves start running out of key supplies like food and bottled water.
- Looting and lawlessness occur within the local community.
- The virus breaches a 50-mile radius surrounding your home or town.
If any of these signs begin to appear around you, it’s time to seriously consider distancing yourself from society, and especially highly dense venues like retail stores, sporting events or schools.
You Have an Opportunity To Get Prepared
In our last article, 9 Ways to Prepare for COVID-19, we mentioned there is a small block of time to get supplies in order before this virus winds up knocking on your door. Moreover, to be prepared for an infectious outbreak, home quarantine procedures and avoiding contact with the outside will need to be your focus. Therefore, you need to focus on a wide range of preparedness subjects in order to get fully prepared and you are running out of time.
For an introduction into pandemic preparedness and a list of preparedness items to buy, click here.
Here’s an important factor to consider: You want to have all supplies and a plan in place before the virus spreads out of control and before government officials force mandatory quarantines. Once the signs start to appear, it may already be too late to start stockpiling supplies because panic-buying will be the order of the day. We’ve already seen this with major internet suppliers of medical gear, who report that their inventories have been nearly cleaned out. The same will happen on a local level.
In this type of disaster, you need to prepare for the likelihood of living in an off-grid setting with the supplies in your home for at least a month. That’s the bare minimum! Here is a basic starter list compiled from portions of The Prepper’s Blueprint. If you are serious about protecting yourself from a potential pandemic there is a lot to do, but the following guidelines can fast-track your preparedness and contingency plans.
Bug In Supplies
Water – Have a short term water supply. Emergency organizations suggest 1 gallon per person for 30 days. If one goes by this suggestion, to have 1 gallon per person per day, a family of 5 will need 35 gallons of water per week. Further, it would be ideal to have some tools to treat water such as a portable filtration system, chemical treatment tablets, etc., as well as a portable filtration system for your bug out bags. To learn the different methods of purifying water, click here.
Note: As a backup plan, consider investing in manual water pumps, tarps, rain gutters for the home to collect rainwater and condensation from the ground, trees, and bushes. This could save your life!
Food – Have a 30-day supply of shelf-stable foods. You need to assume that electricity could go out, therefore look to foods that do not require refrigeration. Create a menu based around your shelf-stable foods to ensure you have enough food to feed your family. Your menu should be realistic in the sense that it will provide your body with the necessary energy needs. At the very least, plan for 1200 calories per meal. Keep healthy whole grains in mind when adding carbohydrates to your larder. Above all, ensure the foods you choose to promote health.
Health – First and foremost, mimic what the healthcare professionals are doing. If the CDC is getting ready and recommending healthcare professionals to have protective equipment or PPE, then you should too! At the very least, here are some items they are recommending to healthcare professionals: Disposable gowns, gloves, NIOSH-certified disposable N95 respirator, eye protection. Further, have a supply of medicines for respiratory illnesses, health-boosting vitamins, immune-boosting teas (try these). Get a full list of pandemic supplies here.
Sanitation – In a pandemic, everyone will fear going to their jobs and all forms of normal life will be on hold. This includes your trash pickups. Have a basic sanitation kit and prepare for the fact that toilets won’t flush, trash won’t be collected and you will be on your own. When sanitary conditions are not up to par, there is an increase in diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and diphtheria. Typically, women and children are the most affected by poor sanitary conditions. Women’s personal hygiene is essential to her health and should be considered a priority in your sanitation preparedness measures. Taking proper precautions and stocking up on sanitary items will help eliminate most issues regarding poor sanitation.
Alternative power – Disasters of any kind cause grid-down scenarios. In this case, if a pandemic ensues, people are not going to risk exposing themselves to a deadly contagion just so the public has their electricity. Prepare to live in an off-grid environment and invest in alternative means of power and invest in rechargeable batteries, solar battery chargers, generators, ample supplies of fuel and even a siphon for fuel. As well, if cold weather threatens the area where you live, have ample firewood and matches or a way to start a fire.
Communication – You can’t cut yourself off from the world, especially in a disaster. Our normal forms of communication – television, cell phones, landlines may not be available following a disaster. Therefore, you will need alternative forms of communication to communicate with neighbors, loved ones or to learn what is happening in your community. Having police scanners, radios, Ham radios to communicate to the outside world will give you a huge advantage in survival and security.
Security – Never underestimate the desperation of those who are unprepared or ill-equipped to survive. When one’s needs are not met, there is nothing they won’t do. Bugging in will require more planning and security on your part. Although living in an urban center may be the most difficult in terms of survival, those that live on the city’s outskirts and suburban areas will not be without their own set of challenges.
Considering that the majority of the U.S. population is centered in 146 of the country’s 3000 counties, chances are most of us live in urban areas, and special attention must be placed on security. We’ve read enough survival stories to know that drug addicts, released prisoners, those with mental illnesses and the unprepared will be the ones looting and pillaging. Those that live in densely populated areas will be the most vulnerable to this. To curtail this, amp up your security endeavors and preps.
For those with special needs, ensure that you have supplies and necessary medication ready for them (infants, elderly, handicapped, etc.).