14 Things Any Pandemic Teaches About Prepping

Recent pandemics have reached to heights that could easily draw a comparison to Hollywood movies about dystopian societies and apocalyptic futures: many world countries have imposed laws and regulations that impact how people are able to move around or shop – and it’s pushed regular people to return to their homes and start prepping for SHTF situations.

If you are already a survivalist, prepper or co-operative, then you might have been more prepared at the time these restrictions were imposed – and if you weren’t, then recent events might have inspired you to begin.

Here are some of the most important things that are to be learned from what we’ve experienced during a worldwide lockdown.

1. Medical Access is Undeniably Important

 Medical Access is Undeniably Important

Access to medical care is vital – and a lockdown is one way to realize this when access to pharmacies and doctors has become restricted or limited. Ensure that you have a list of essential medications both over-the-counter and chronic – and make sure that you have these in stock within the event that you aren’t able to access a pharmacy for a few days to weeks.

2. Don’t Panic Buy: Prep Instead

Panic buying is the enemy of proper preparation. When restrictions were imposed, panic buying was one of the first consequences – and it helped nobody. Where and when you have the chance, prepare instead of panic buy at the last second when prices go up and stocks go low.

What helps to get you through a lockdown event? Exactly what you have. Our of the most top items to disappear first, toilet paper was #1 to go in in stores.

3. Don’t Fall for Fake News

Rumors and fake news about pandemics are rife – and falling for them proved to be extremely dangerous. Fake news like this could be characteristic of any emergency event that happens again, and it’s important to never let this information be what leads your next action.

Confirm any news headlines that you spot – and any information that someone might send your way via IM or social media – and make sure that you aren’t the one spreading fake news and putting others in danger.

4. Assumptions Are Dangerous

Assumptions can be dangerous, whether the emergency at hand is pandemics or a recent natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado.

Never assume anything in the event of such an emergency, whether you’re assuming that you have enough supplies to get you through – or like mentioned above, assuming that news headlines are true.

5. Connectivity is Life

Connectivity is life – and how we keep in touch. Alternatives such as radio are available in the event that main communications are cut off: Ensure that you have access to these (or devices, chargers and alternatives) to contact your group or loved ones in the event of an emergency.

Check out our best ham radios guide. Ham radios are ideal in survival situations.

6. Travel Light

Travel Light

Just a few days into pandemics, many people were already running short for supplies like alcohol or cigarettes – and suddenly, this meant that these became desirable things that one doesn’t want to carry over a long distance. Travel light and ensure that there’s always a safe, secure home base.

Check out the items that you should stock to prepare against an event but probably aren’t

7. Co-Operate

In emergency times, there are people who have access to essential supplies and others who don’t: Co-operation between these groups can help to get you through the worst of an essential crisis – and shooing away co-operating with others during any emergency period won’t get you very far.

8. Knowledge is Power

Never assume you’ll be able to Google it: Learn essential skills (such as several ways to create a fire, heat or battery power when nobody else is able to) ahead of time – and these skills will always be useful. Knowledge really is power – especially when it comes to human essentials like food, shelter or medical know-how.

9. Essentials Go First

Essentials like basic staple foods and pet food sell out first when emergencies hit (and usually because everyone else is panic buying). Make sure that you stock up on these essentials that everyone else will be panic buying when an emergency strikes and there’s no need to panic.

10. Luxuries Go Second

Don’t just stock up on essentials: Things that you might consider luxury items aren’t immune to people buying up everything on the shelves – and you’ll spare yourself a lot of trouble if you also stock up on enough of these luxury items at the same time just to have some of it around when it matters most.

11. Get to Know People

It helps to know people – and it helps to know people in the event of an emergency so that you are able to offer mutual support when one runs out of a supply that the other one might have. Contacts always help: Especially ones that are prepared.

12. There’s an Alternative for Almost Everything

What are you going to do when the first supply for something happens to run out? The good news is that there is almost always an alternative to supply #1 that compensates for it – and it is useful to know what alternatives to popular consumables are.

For example, apples can be used in place of eggs for baking; beans are a common substitute for diets where meat cannot be located: clear alcohol like vodka makes for a good cleaning liquid when nobody has access to anything else, and salt can be used to clean wounds: Even painkillers, coffee, and tobacco have natural alternatives to be used instead in the event of a shortage.

13. Live Sustainably Now

Preparedness isn’t enough in the event of an emergency: Sustainability can be far more important. Learn how to craft everything from knives to shelter, and spend some time on YouTube getting to know basic skills and odd alternatives that you might need in the event of a serious emergency.

Also, learn how to grow food and produce essential, lasting preserved foods that you would normally have to buy: These are skills that will place you at an advantage in certain emergencies if you have them – and it can be a lot of fun!

14. Self Control

Self control is one of the most important elements of making it through an emergency, through an isolation or lockdown period – or just through a generally rough week or day. Don’t cave to basic urges, like consuming important items in a short time just because you’re sure you’ll be able to get more later: In an emergency, this might not be possible – and the cliche is true: It’s always better to have and not need, than to need and not have.

Alex Coyne
Written by Alex Coyne

Alex J. Coyne is a journalist, writer, and bridge player with a knack for surviving the unusual. His writing clips include the BBO Prime Bridge Column, CollegeHumor, SurvivalCache, Great Bridge Links, People Magazine and other features. Read more of Alex's articles.

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