National Preparedness Month 2020 – Week 4

Week 4 rounds out the month with the suggestion to ‘Teach Youth about Preparedness’. This a topic I have covered before (See Including your kids in the plan) but it is till a very important one to discuss.

While it may seem obvious that you want to teach your kids about the preparedness plans you have, it is not as simple as a family dinner discussion. Age of your children is one key factor. A 6 year old will have a very different role than a 16 year old. Take this into account when address certain scenarios.

One key to doing well with kids is to start early. Start with simple things, such as what to do if there is a fire or the smoke alarm goes off. Teach them how to get out safely and where to meet you outside. Use a honest but not frightening approach. Also keep it simple. 6 year olds will much more reliably follow instructions like “meet at the mailbox” than “get to safety”. This will hopefully help them to understand and not freeze up in fear. This also sets the tone when you broach larger subjects with them.

Give them a responsibility. For the youngest, it could be a backpack of their own containing comfort items such as colored pencils ( don’t melt or dry up), coloring books, a flashlight, and a favorite stuffed animal. This makes them feel a part of the plan. If everyone else has bags, they may feel disconnected and not invest in things. For older kids it may be helping to inventory food stores, assisting their younger siblings during drills, or loading certain things in the car in the event of evacuation (bugging out). This can help to give them some insight into why this is being done. Many in the terrible teens may not fathom what could happen without that. In addition, the helping hands older kids can lend may be welcome help when planning and when enacting that plan.

Additionally, you need to teach kids skills that they may need. While you may not plan to run off and live like Grizzly Adams, some basic woodcraft can be a life saver. Practice things such as water purification, fire starting. safe knife usage, firearm safety, and what to do if they end up lost alone (in the city or in the woods). This skills are much more than their individual ones, they can help to build an adaptability in kids that they can apply even as adults.

One last thing. When possible, keep things light. While kids need to understand the seriousness of some of these matters, they should not lie awake at night worrying about what disaster will happen. There is no reason to have them live in fear. Let them know that the reason you plan is to overcome those disasters. Kids have enough to worry about daily already. It is best if next weeks history test, who to ask to the school dance, or which college to go to are their biggest anxieties. They are only kids once. As parents, we do what we do to let them have that.

As with all planning, there is no rubber stamp method to do it. You, your kids, and your environment will dictate how you involve them. Remember also that by involving them now, you not only prepare them for your plans, but also how to make their own when they are adults.

National Preparedness Month 2020 – Week 3

The theme of week 3 of National Preparedness Month 2020 is “Prepare for Disasters”. This may seem like what you have been doing, but that is not what it means. A better way to phrase it is “Know your Disasters”. This means evaluating disasters that are the most likely to affect you.

One good example is tsunamis. If you live on the coast in relatively close proximity to the ocean, this is something you must take into your planning. If you live somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, it is not going to be necessary to plan for. If a tsunami hits you there, there is not a lot you can do to prepare.

This is a good time to employ the levels that I discuss. Nothing has to be exact, but you can use them to break down the possibilities. For example, you live in Minnesota and get a large amount of snow each year. The amount you get might be a huge disaster some places, but is only a blue level to you. This is because everyone is used to it. Municipalities will have a sufficient amount of equipment and chemical to remove the snow from the roads quickly. Normal home owners will own snow blowers or at least enough shovels to dig out. In addition, everyone will probably have supplies in case the power is interrupted. If it is, it will be off less time because the power providers are prepared for the yearly ritual. Lastly, people who must venture out will have the proper clothing and things like tire chains to protect them from becoming stranded. So basically the planning and preparation are a given.

A short term, say 24 to 48-hour, power outage might be a yellow level to many people. While it is a huge inconvenience, it is not bad enough to cause you to have to evacuate unless there are other factors. If you do not have extreme heat or cold in your area, then sitting tight and riding it out would be just fine if you have a few supplies and planning. These supplies might be as advanced as a generator tied into your home electrical system or as simple as flashlights, a dual fuel camp stove, and an alternate heat source if necessary. It greatly depends on your desired comfort level and budget.

Hurricanes are an example of what could be a orange level event for many. If you are in the direct path of a severe hurricane then evacuating is the safest bet. The flooding and destruction from high winds can cover a large area and be unpredictable. Being prepared to evacuate quickly with necessary supplies is a must for an orange level event. Since it covers a wide area and easily has the potential to totally destroy your home and anything left there, you may be left with only what you take with you. So, while this covers a large area and occurs multiple times a year in some areas, it may only significantly affect a small number of people in that area. It takes a heavy toll on those it does though.

A red level event is something that totally uproots large regions, whole countries, or more probably, the entire world. It is the worst-case scenario. This could be a massive global EMP., natural or otherwise, taking out all electrical devices. Or it could an asteroid strike of a level not seen since the dinosaurs. Alternately, it could be an entire social break down that brings on a time where there is no rule of law. It could even be a pandemic, but not like we have now. It would be one that has a mortality rate so high and spreads so fast that a significant portion of the population is gone in the blink of an eye. Heck, to cover everything it could even be some sort of zombie uprising. Whatever it is, it overshadows any other disaster in human history. This is the least likely, but most grave level of disaster. Preparing for it is to also hope that you or none of you family’s generations to come see it come to pass. While these are ones that would be deadly if not planned for, they also take so large of an investment of time, energy, and money that many simply cannot fully prepare for the full battery of possibilities. Whether you commit to preparing for this is a personal choice.

While thinking about these possible disasters can be stressful, it is necessary. Once you know what disasters could befall you, you can then logically begin steps to prepare. These preparations could be as simple as storing a plastic tote full of food and batteries or as drastic as moving to a different area to limit your chance of certain disasters. Each situation is drastically different and only you can decide how your plan is laid out to address it.

National Preparedness Month 2020 – Week 2

As part of National Preparedness Month Ready.com recommends that week 2 include building a preparedness kit.

While everyone’s kit has to be personalized for your family, location, and expected disasters, there are some common considerations. I have tried to outline what types of kits, or bags, there are and some of the contents that you should cover.

Building a Bag

I have also, after many requests, built a list of items that are suggestions, but also link to items that can be purchased.

Suggested Buying List

 

FEMA has also put out some checklists and pamphlets on Ready.gov related to preparedness. While most are rather basic, they are worth a look and I have listed them in the links below.

FEMA Checklists:

Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information to Get Ready

Family Communication Plan Fillable Form

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist

Take this week to review what supplies you might need, how best to organize them, and what items you need to store your Bug Out Kit if you must leave your home due to the disaster. Having these items at your disposal will greatly increase not only your chances of survival, but how comfortable you are as you ride out the disaster.

September is National Preparedness Month and it means more than ever in 2020

We roll around again to September and National Preparedness Month. I think this year it strikes a much deeper chord with lots of people. Whether it be because of COVID-19, violent rioting, or record setting destructive weather. The slogan put forth by Ready.gov this year is “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.” I feel this very fitting if a bit late since we are in the middle of a pandemic.

While this is not the only month that you should look at emergency preparedness, it is a good marker to use to re-evaluate your planning or lack thereof. If you are reading this and new to the subject, please take a look around the site to begin to get a feel for what planning involves.  A good place to start is my explanation of the core ideas I use when planning that I call The Levels.  You can find this here. If you are a seasoned planner, take a chance to refresh your family or team on the details and make changes necessary based on live events.

There are some key things to review in your plan each year. One of the first is the individuals in your team or family. Have there been any significant changes? Is there a new baby in the family? Has anyone had health issues that affect how they participate in the plan? Are there children that are now at ages that allow you to revamp their responsibilities? Or, alternately, has anyone involved moved to somewhere that affects the plan, be it positive or negative? All of this have secondary effects in the provisions you may need whether it is food, medicine, or equipment.

A second key item to review is rotation of supplies. Now many people have a constant rotation of food as to not let it go to waste, so that might not be an issue. Either way, go ahead and review your food for any otherwise unseen issues. There might be issues with pests, a surprise leak of a container, or simply something that you missed and it expired. In addition, you need to review your medical supplies. Lots of items beyond medications have expiration dates also. While some of these are more suggestions than rules, it does not pay to have potentially faulty medical gear due to age.

A third key thing to review is your skills. Many skills such as advanced first aid, shooting, and fire building, to name a scant few, can dull with lack of use. It is good to ensure that you keep important skills fresh through practice or instruction. Just because you were good at it 5 years ago and have not done it since, does not mean you will be 100% effective at it. Truly some skills are not like riding a bike. So, decide how you want to nurse those skills. It is also a good time to review ones that you have decided would be good additions. Then you can look into how to acquire and improve those skills.

The last item I want to mention is your health. You need to take a serious look at where you stand. Did the last year find you being prescribed additional medications? Did you have major surgery? Did you gain a significant amount of weight? Taking a hard look at these things are important but not necessarily fun. Take a look at factors you can change. Do you feel you need to lose weight and tone up your body? Do you need to evaluate factors that you cannot change and make allowances for these in your planning? Maybe some of the medications are not optional and you need to plan for a stockpile of those in your supplies. Having an honest view of these things is very important because all the plans in the world may not help if you fall ill during an emergency. On the other hand, maybe you had a banner year and improved your health. Then all you have to do is assess what you need to do to keep that up.

In summary, it is important to use this month as a time of reflection of where you want to be next September. Then you can set the plans in motion to make that happen. So, plan for the next year, no matter what it may bring.

Creative Shopping during Panic Buying

By now, almost everyone has ran into something that they have had on the list to buy that was absent on the shelves of their local store.  Paper products, cleaners, meat, and flour are just a few that have been reported. Whether it is through panic buying that sucks up the supply or limited supply due to lack of incoming stock, people have found empty shelves where they expected the items they need. This is not a new phenomenon. Those in hurricane prone areas see it when major storms get announced. The same can happen in areas plagued by huge snowstorms.  The Covid-19 pandemic has caught a lot more people with out a plan unprepared because of its wide reaching effects and duration.

While I always advocate preparing before hand for events such as this, some readers are not in that position or have had major life changes that they had not planned for.  Due to that I am going to discuss some ways that I have found to fill out that shopping list when you local grocery store is bare.

The first suggestion i have is to look at alternate, not so normal, locations. When Covid-19 just began and paper products, water, and other items became scarce, I happened to be in a national brand pharmacy. Walking the aisles I discovered that products absent from the normal grocery store were in stock in quantity. In addition, any that were higher priced, were only moderately so. It seems no one thought to hit the pharmacy grocery aisles. Some other examples of places that are not on a lot of peoples radar are convenience stores, restaurant supply stores,  ethnic grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and home stores (like T. J. Maxx and Marshall’s) that have dry goods. In addition I found that higher end grocers such as The Fresh Market had items like chicken breast and ground beef when other “regular” stores were out. Sometimes the pricing was higher, but normally the quality was also. While I was shopping in alternate locations, I heard many of my coworkers complaining that they could not find X item, but when asked would confess that they never even went to a different grocery store to look for it. So sometimes it was good to stray from your normal habits and try places such as this.

Another suggestion is to look for alternative products. When toilet paper became a ‘fight in the aisle’ item, many places still had flush-able wipes or at least baby wipes. Even facial tissue could be an option and was in stock almost everywhere in at least small quantities. So take a creative look at what you could use. Some other examples include using couscous in the place of spaghetti noodles, frozen veggie burgers in place of ground beef patties,  or packaged soup mixes in place of canned soup. There are a lot of times pretty simple alternates if you simply look. The beauty of these is that if you normally don’t think of it, lots of other people won’t either.

A third suggestion is what I like to call mob shopping.  What this consists of is a group of people, whether it being family, friends, or other, that coordinate their shopping. This can either be by sharing your list and shopping on different days/times or at the same time, but each at different stores. Which option works best depends on your area. One savvy friend of mine accompanied her Dad to her local grocery store in the early “over x age” hour on the morning after the grocer got a new truck shipment. The other people in her group did similar at other stores in different areas and that gave them the best stocked shelves. This gave them the most opportunities to fill every ones’ orders.  This can take some organization, but with a bit of planning and communication via text or calls this can help everyone out.

So as you can see, a bit of creative thinking and problem solving can provide you the best shot at keeping your family stocked with supplies. Just remember that as you shop, that buying extra as you can will help you if future shortages happen. Start by concentrating on those “have to have” items and fill out some of the additional wants to keep things from being too stale of experience. For other tips on planning food stores, take a look around the site and I am sure you will get some ideas.

Surprises for a New Gun Buyer in 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic and other current events such as rioting has caused a lot of people to become more nervous about the state of the world today. Many feel much less safe than they did a year ago. This has caused many previously neutral or anti-gun individuals to seek to purchase a gun and ammunition. This sudden rise in demand has caused surprises for many that have decided to buy a gun for protection.

The first surprise that many are finding is that,  unlike a year ago, the shelves of their local gun store are not brimming with whatever gun they might want. Some popular brands, like Glock,  or models, like the Smith & Wesson Shield,  are hard to find in many areas. In addition, lots of the guns that occupy the lower price bracket are also very hard to find. This leaves many new, possibly minimally informed, buyers in a tough spot.

The second surprise that these new shooters run into is related to ammunition. While some gun stores have held back a bit of ammo to ensure that gun buyers get at least a box or 2, in many places the shelves are almost bare. Popular handgun calibers including 9mm, .45ACP,  and .380 are in very low stock, if not absent in most places. Where they can be found, lots of stores have doubled or even tripled the price based on the demand. The same goes for a lot of popular rifle calibers. Ones like .223, 5.56, 7.62×39, .308, 30-06, and 30-30 are also absent. This means that any buyers that could not find a handgun, but instead bought a rifle for home defense are in the same boat.

The last surprise I am going to cover differs on a state by state and country by country basis. Often these buyers that show up to buy a gun, manage to find one, and ammo for it, are then told that there is a waiting period ranging from 3 days up to 14 days before they can take that gun home. In addition some states require the buyer to have a particular permit that can take up to 6 months to get. To many this is unfathomable since they are buying guns to protect themselves from threats that are now, not in 2 weeks.

Now while I normally cover preparation planing here, I have had gun related posts before. I do feel that everyone that can should have a firearm of some sort, but this is not the point of this post. The point is to emphasize why you should plan and gather resources BEFORE things get to the point that you need them. This just happens to be a very clear situation where many did not and it caused them issues. There again, I do commend those that have watched local events and recognized that they are the only ones that can be responsible for their own safety. As the saying goes, Better late than never.

As always, if you have questions, feel free to contact me and I will provide you any information that I can to help further your emergency planning.

Shelter in Place, Isn’t that just Bugging In?

There are lots of areas around the world right now where orders to “Shelter in Place” have been issued. In others, people have been requested to stay home by “Safer at Home” campaigns. Some people seem upset by this. Unfortunately, just like a lot of people refuse to plan for any type of emergency, it seems like lots of people refuse to recognize this pandemic. Moving about for anything but the most essential things puts you, your loved ones, and those you encounter at risk.

I prefer to think of this as a bugging in scenario. While there may be no zombies or nuclear fallout, traveling around unnecessarily is still very dangerous. So, the best option is to avoid that contact with others so that we can let the virus burn itself out.

Unfortunately, those with no planning panic at the thought of isolating themselves. Realization that they have no store of essentials to sustain them causes several different possible reactions. Some panic and rush to hoard whatever might spontaneously leap to their mind as “essential.” This results in chaos and some odd buying patterns, like the toilet paper hoarding. Many rushed past food, water, and medical supplies, to grab the most toilet paper they could heap on a cart. I hate to inform them, but without food and water there is not much need for toilet paper. Besides, as much as our germophobic hygiene obsessed society would hate to think of it, humans survived for a long time without toilet paper.

Others react with anger based on this panic. They say that being told to stay home is a violation of their rights. In my eyes this is just a knee jerk reaction. I am a very big proponent of individual rights. This is a public health situation and has to be treated as a threat. Mandates to shelter would have never been needed if people just used common sense and paid attention to the warnings. Instead people still go about like nothing is going on. While statistically this is not anything like the 1918 Spanish Flu, it does have the potential to be very devastating. With much larger numbers of people traveling much more and farther on normal days, one infected person could set off a chain to infect thousands. Limiting contact limits the spread and is the only 100% effective precaution.

Still others react with panic driven by fear based on a lack of control. These people tend to insist that the government is not doing enough and must help them. This is due to the fact that they have been totally dependent on these support systems beforehand. They are used to having things just magically taken care of for them. They don’t care to know how it happens, just that they don’t have to bother with it. They are happy as long as they can get up every day, swing through a drive through for breakfast, go about their morning, get take out for lunch, and then stop on the way home by to pick up a pizza for dinner. When this is interrupted, they have nothing to fall back on. Most take no responsibility for the issues. They just point fingers and place blame on others for not fixing it so that their lives are not inconvenienced.

Fortunately, if you have even done basic planning, isolating should be less of a  shock. While you may not have everything you want, you should have what you need in quantities that keep from making unnecessary trips out. You are probably much more likely to be adaptive and make due. If beans and rice are all you have until your order at the local grocer can be filled, then you make the best of it. If you can’t get the brand you like of an item, you take the brand you can. That attitude is one of the best tools to get you through this.

One other things to take from this is that this is a great soft run for your planning. It will expose some weak points that you need to remedy. Luckily, things should begin to stabilize as supply chains catch up and health care providers find out more info on COVID-19 treatment. So during this time that you may have a bit more free time to use, review things and make notes as to what needs to be beefed up or changed. If it is more supplies you need, go ahead and order them if you can. If it is revising how you react to certain situations, sit down with your family or group and hash out how to amend the plan.

Lastly, let me just say that there is a bright spot in this that some people may pass up. On normal days families are in such a frantic rush to get to work, school, and activities that it is hard to squeeze in time to bond. During this time, lots of those commitments will be eased up. Take some of that extra time to prepare and enjoy  a family meal,  play games, have a long phone conversation, or whatever brings you you closer to those you love, even if they are far away geographically. The technology is there to talk to, see, or even play games with them no matter how far they may be. So make use of it and hopefully we will all emerge from this better for the shared experience.

Stay prepared and stay safe out there…. bugged in.

 

Great things to do while stuck at home

It seems for many people either forced to shelter-in-place by government orders or just personally isolating themselves cabin fever is setting in.  Here are some suggestions and links to help out.

Read

Reading is a great way to pass the time and keep your mind occupied. If you are short on books, Kindle Unlimited is free for the first month

Sign up here: Kindle unlimited

If you need something to read on, Amazon has a special going

Listen to Audio books

Audible is giving away free streams of kids’ books while schools are closed.  If you want you can sign up or even give a gift subscription to someone to allow them access to the entire library.

Audible

 

Play Games

Board games are a great hit in my house with the adults and kids. There are many types to choose from.

Some popular ones

LIFE

Battleship

Monopoly

Clue

UNO  – Not necessarily a board game, but a card game good for all ages.

If you don’t have Amazon Prime, you can sign up for $5.99 a month and get those games shipped free 2 day shipping.

Amazon prime for $5.99/month

Or you could do a 30 day Free Trial if you haven’t in the past.

Amazon Prime 30 day Free Trial

 

Fire Up the Grill

Around our house if always seems so rushed that we never get to take time out on the deck to cook out and hang out. Get fresh air, good food, and family time all in one.

Grilling supplies

Go Outside

I know that sounds kind of against the isolation, but I mean if you are fortunate enough to have a decent yard where you can relax without coming in close contact with neighbors.

Some games I recommend for outside

Corn Hole toss

Ring Toss

Yardzee

I know the change of routine and sometimes seemingly cramped quarters can cause a little bit of insanity. Try to make the best of it with everyone home by looking into some outlets above. The alternative (going out) could keep the world fighting COVID-19 much longer as people infect and potentially re-infect others. If you have preparations already in place, take the time to relax a bit. Whether things get better or worse, you will need to be ready to get back to the routine or implement your disaster planning. Lastly, stay safe wherever you are and stay prepared.

Relax – You can’t eat Toilet Paper – COVID-19 Blind Panic

Right now, it is almost impossible to go an hour without seeing or hearing about COVID-19. It is running amuck in most of the world right now causing shortages and fear.

Please watch out for yourself and your loved ones.  Maintain good hygiene by washing your hands well (soap and warm water for 20 seconds) and using other sanitation item you may have. Practice isolation from the general public to whatever degree you can. Just to be safe. If you are in areas that do not have mandatory shelter-in-place orders, halting the spread of the virus might help to keep it that way.

The key is to be safe and prepared but not to panic. Panic is driving the toilet paper shortage (for no good reason). Those loading up on toilet paper, but not any other essentials, may find themselves very hungry if this lasts an extended period of time. Stocking up on things like canned soups, crackers, peanut butter, and protein bars are a good idea. All of these have an extended shelf life and most can be eaten without heating them.

As an alternate to toilet paper since it does seem to be hard to track down, flush-able wipes can still be found some places. I suggest using Amazon so you can avoid the stores.

Flushable Wipes

They also have toilet paper, though not as cheap as before and not a common brand

Toilet paper

Pick up some protein bars and peanut butter while you are there if you need to stock up.

Cliff Bars

Peanut Butter

Again, stay safe out there by using common sense to limit your exposure and avoid the panic that the unprepared seem to be having.

If you have questions or concerns feel free to contact me on the Contact page

Contact Leveled Survival

Coronavirus: Pandemic or Panic

Unless you live under a rock, you will know that Coronavirus is a very hot issue in the world right now. It is almost impossible to visit a news site, turn on the television, or listen to the radio without encountering a story about it. It is so overwhelming that it is difficult to discern what the real facts are and what is hype to get better ratings or political clout. It is important to examine the details to determine the best course of action.

First, what is the coronavirus? According to the World Health Organization (WHO)

“Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.”

Common symptoms that occur with COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Less frequently people may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. For the vast majority of patients these symptoms are mild and begin gradually. Some people who become infected don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.

About 80 percent of the people that become infected actually get better without any special treatment. Only about 1 in 6 that get the illness will have serious issues. Lots of times this is due to other already present medical issues. Of all those that get ill, only 2 percent die according to currently reported numbers. Some sources theorize that this percentage may even be too high since some people that would fall into the mildly ill category might just get well and fail to report it. It might be chalked up to a mild case of the flu or a bad cold. As you can see from this data, Coronavirus is far from a Black Plague type illness.

While localized, the virus can spread fairly rapidly, globally it is very limited. Right now only about 5 percent of the verified cases are outside China. This means with proper medical response and quarantine those already infected should be able to get well without infecting others. Globally this makes a huge difference. While a vaccine would be great, stopping the spread from person to person will begin to snuff out the virus.

So, the biggest question might be “How do I prepare for this?” In all honesty the first step is common sense. Practice good hygiene to avoid the possibility of picking the virus up from your surroundings. This includes properly washing your hands, keeping your hands away from your mouth and eyes, and not sharing drinks with anyone. These will go much farther toward keeping you healthy in most surroundings than a mask. Another part of this is limiting your interaction with others if you become ill. As much as possible, avoid interactions with family, friends, and coworkers until you are well. This will contain the spread if you do have the coronavirus and possibly keep you from catching it a second time from those you infected.

As far as more traditional preparation, the need to possibly secluded yourself means you should make sure that you are stocked up on essentials. Food, water, toilet paper, prescription medications, and cold/flu medications to help with the symptoms is a good starting point. This will mean you can stay at home and limit exposing others or being exposed. This may well be enough if the virus progresses as it is now.

There are two other possibilities that you may need to ponder when deciding your level of preparation. The first is that due to either an explosive spread of the virus or a viral mutation that makes it much deadlier, the situation globally becomes much worse. The second is that public panic sets in causing social upheaval that exceeds the danger of the virus itself. If either of these were to happen, you may need to prepare at a higher level. In this case, depending on how bad it gets, you might need longer term and more elaborate food and gear stores. Gear such as flashlights, a camp stove, water purification systems, and hygiene supplies should be stocked in case power goes out and cannot be restored quickly. Longer term food in larger quantities could be needed since you may not know when you will be able to get more. Panicked people (for good reasons or not) can pick the stores clean very quickly. That is already happening in some areas. Also, transportation of goods might be limited as a precaution and that would isolate you from online sources. In addition, proper personal protection equipment (PPE) should be on hand to protect you at times you have to interface with people, animals, or locations that might infect you. Proper masks and gloves would be the most basic. Face shields, hazmat suits, and disinfecting chemicals might be in order if you plan for the worst.

Planning and gathering supplies should be done soon if you plan to. An amount of panic has already set in for certain people and areas.  This is causing your selection of certain items to be thinner than normal. One example is N95 masks. These are almost impossible to get through normal channels and auction sites are seeing them sell for ridiculous prices. It is simply the law of supply and demand with a hefty dose of opportunistic greed tossed in.

If you are looking for more specifics on items you might need, my previous post The list I thought I would never make is a good starting point. The items listed there are aimed at making a family prepared for longer term survival in uncertain situations.

So, in this changing situation, remember to stay calm and plan ahead in order to stay on top of the situation as the level increases. As always, if you have specific questions, feel free to contact me.