Pandemic Prepping

Pandemic Prepping

Ships loaded with goods are parked in the ocean, unable to unload. Trailers loaded with goods are stacked on top of each other in truck ports around the country. How and when will these goods ever be unloaded and delivered to consumers? That question does not have an answer as yet, and that’s one of the main reasons we all need to do some pandemic prepping.

The covid-19 pandemic has revealed many areas in which changes need to be made. Everything from health care to grocery stores to small engine repair shops are finding out they need to be better prepared to deal with a pandemic that cuts off the supply chain and disrupts everyday life.

Just to be clear, pandemic prepping is not about hoarding guns and ammo, or stockpiling toilet paper; it’s about becoming more self-reliant and learning how to live a sustainable life. It’s the way our grandparents lived, without relying on the outside world for their goods and services. So it’s only sensible that we learn to take some steps to better prepare ourselves to navigate the present times.

Back to the Basics

Our basic necessities in life are food, water, and shelter. Our grandparents didn’t worry about empty grocery shelves because the shelves in their home food pantry were stocked, the freezer was full, and the root cellar was full. They knew how to grow and preserve their own food, plus they knew which wild-growing plants were edible and they foraged for herbs, berries, and medicinal plants. But nowadays, such knowledge has largely been lost.

root celler stored food

The generations before us got their clean drinking water from wells and/or mountain streams, not from the county or city water department. The government-run water providers are subject to various issues that could stop the water from flowing into our homes; then what would we do if the water supply stops? A pandemic prepper would know where and how to get fresh water. But should all else fail, having some reliable water filters around is not a bad idea at all. Also, if you have been collecting rainwater all this while, you’re doing well.

camping water filter

If you lost your income, where would you live? Having basic carpentry skills to build a shelter is essential for pandemic prepping. A home, chicken coop, hog lot, barn, etc. are needed for homesteading during a pandemic. But should all else be unavailable, a sturdy tent could work for the short term.

Do you know how to shoot a gun? Can you make basic repairs to things around the homestead? Do you recycle, re-use, and re-purpose everything? These skills have always been needed for sustainable living in our modern society. They should no longer be relegated to the “hippie” category and are as relevant as ever.

Immediate Needs

Today there are so many ‘what ifs’ in our society. I guess a good motto to live by is – Always hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst. We should start getting back to the basics and learn at least some survival skills to meet the long-term needs of our family. And there is no better time than now to start learning them.

Dehydrated food (or Meals Ready to Eat) can fill in temporarily for a while and they are usually made to last for years without spoiling. For planting purposes, have a ready supply of heirloom seeds, especially of fast growing beans and vegetables. Some fast growing beans/vegetables that are ready for harvesting within 1-2 months and can be easily cycled in planting include:

  • Spinach
  • Radish
  • Carrots
  • Green Beans
  • Lettuce

homestead vegetable plot

For energy needs, you might want to consider investing in portable solar power generators. Caveat: Although they are small and portable, solar generators don’t have enough power to run all the electrical appliances in your home at once, or for any extended period. The upside is they are small, low maintenance, portable, and produce renewable solar energy cleanly. Balance everything with your needs and budget.

Portable solar generators create electrical power through solar panels (usually the solar panels are sold separately), and then storing it in a battery for later use. These batteries are of different capacities depending on model (measured in Watts, Watt-hours and/or mAH) – Try going for the higher capacity ones if your budget permits, as these last longer before needing to be charged again.

Other clean energy sources that are in fact more efficient than solar power include wind and mini hydro turbines, but of course, these are not for everyone, at least not for the regular Joe.

photovoltaic solar panels

Pack a ‘go-bag’ just in case of an emergency evacuation. Doesn’t matter what you call it, some call it a bug-out bag. Pack all important documents, photos of personal property, water, dehydrated food, headlamps, tarp sheets, paracords, change of clothing, medications, first aid kit and cash in the go-bag. The most important thing is it must be practical and suit your situation. For those wanting a “complete” list, you may check this list out, but we feel there is no such thing as a complete list since everyone (and their situation) is different.

Pack one for everyone in the household and keep them in an accessible location. Have a place to go, keep the gas tank full, try to anticipate and plan for the ‘what ifs’ that could occur during an emergency.

Remember that experiential learning is always better than rote learning. A useful exercise is to try camping nearby your home with the bare necessities, or right in your backyard if you have nowhere else. Try to practice as if you have no water or electricity supply. Increase the “difficulty level” the more you get used to it.

Modern-day “pandemic prepping” is merely a byword for taking a step back in time to reacquaint ourselves with the sustainable lifestyle our forefathers lived. Perhaps it is just a shift of mentality that people need to undergo. After all, it always seems like the old time and tested ways that tend to stand the test of time, and they can certainly help us through the present challenges.

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