With the amount of panic buying, worry, and confusion we’re seeing all around the world in light of the novel coronavirus, how can we be best prepared for whatever crisis we’re faced with in the future?
The coronavirus caught a lot of us really off-guard. Most of us in the United States weren’t even fully aware of its spread throughout Asia and Europe until it had already reached our shores. Instead, we were gearing up for spring break, graduations, and weddings. We haven’t been able to get a straight answer about how this all started, how serious it is, and when we’ll be able to get back to normal life.
Amidst all the chaos, confusion, and worry, we’ve all been wondering: what if this isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing? What if we’re one day faced with yet another - and far worse - crisis? If there’s one thing I’ve learned about preparation from this outbreak, it’s these three things:
Have a Backup Stash Ready To Go
We’ve seen in recent weeks that disarray mixed with uncertainty leads to panic buying - the alarmingly long lines at Trader Joes, the generally-empty grocery store and drug store shelves, and the swift disappearance of hand sanitizer and toilet paper are evidence enough of this.
Create a little emergency stash of canned goods, water, batteries, a flashlight, candles, and (of course) a little extra toilet paper.
Seeing as how many of us have had to make do with whatever we could find in the ruins left behind by the thousands of shoppers before us, it’s fair to say it’s in our best interest to create a little emergency stash of canned goods, water, batteries, a flashlight, candles, and (of course) a little extra toilet paper. Find a cardboard box for your stash and hide it anywhere you have extra room - under the bed, in the closet, or on top of the cabinets. This not only guarantees we’re ready for whatever comes our way in the future, but we also won’t be subject to terrible price gouging or end up being just one more person in a long line of desperate grocery store shoppers.
Learn Some Survival Skills
Confession: I have zero actual survival skills. Having only ever lived in large cities, my version of survival skills is knowing which subway cars to stay away from, being an expert parallel parker, and knowing how to dart through the sea of tourists that slow me down on my commute. But drop me in the middle of a forest, and I’d be toast.
We never know when skills like starting a fire, tying a knot, building a shelter, or even changing a tire or learning how to shoot a gun will come in handy.
That being said, we never know when skills like starting a fire, tying a knot, building a shelter, or even changing a tire or learning how to shoot a gun will come in handy. While we likely won’t need to utilize most of these skills anytime soon (at least, I’m hoping), it’s best to be prepared for every situation life throws at us - after all, we never know what’s just around the corner.
Be Prepared To Inform Yourself
It’s no secret that most of our news sources have some sort of bias - one channel tells us this is the end of the world, and another channel tells us we have nothing to worry about. It’s plainly obvious that we really can’t rely on any single news source to get a clear picture of what’s really going on, without any personal opinions influencing their reporting.
We really can’t rely on any single news source to get a clear picture of what’s really going on.
Our only hope for being thoroughly informed is to dig for information ourselves: Reading countless articles from a vast array of sources (not just the ones we know or like), researching facts and figures, and being committed to finding the truth in a rapidly evolving, scary situation such as a global pandemic. In a time where unbiased information is growing harder to come by, it’s becoming even more important that we’re able to find it and share it with one another.
We’re all hoping we won’t have to face another crisis in our lifetime. We’re hoping future virus outbreaks are more swiftly handled, that we stay out of conflict with other countries, and that we live in a time of general peace. But it’s always in our best interest to be as prepared as possible for anything that comes our way.