“An ounce of prevention” is paying off now for preppers long-scorned by family, friends, and complete strangers as wacky, fringe, anal-compulsive negativists. Well, bad things do happen, as we’re seeing now with the global spreading Chinese novel coronavirus.
This previously-unseen infection has been diagnosed on every continent except Antarctica. Now, almost three months after the first cases appeared in central China’s Wuhan city in Hubei province, Americans are finally paying attention to world events.
“Fail to plan and plan to fail,” as shoppers around the country are realizing when they confront empty store shelves and “Out of stock” notices in online inventories. Product shortages are due as much to panicked under-prepared consumers over-purchasing to stock up at the last minute as they are to supply chain delays or stoppages.
Both conditions lead to lines and shortages in every day, industrialized world.
But in Prepperland, things are much calmer. At least a one-month supply of food and water has been stashed away for any SHTF situation that might arise. Medical supplies are ready, including extra prescription medications and treatments for a bronchial infection such as the Wuhan coronavirus COVID-19.
Preppers plan and gear up for two types of contingencies should an emergency occur: hunker in the bunker or bug out. While the same supplies may be needed whether you are staying put or evacuating, they may require special packaging for long-term storage and/or transportation.
For example, it’s fairly easy for most people to physically store one month’s worth of essentials in their homes, garages, and outbuildings. But in your car? Not so much.
Folks who anticipate driving away from it all for a long time will have filled gas containers, purchased motor oil, and wiper fluid, and perhaps even acquired a comfortable recreational vehicle or camping trailer with tow hitch – although these guzzle a lot more fuel.
Regardless of your emergency coping plans, supplies are critical. Non-preppers are finding this out as they scramble for toilet paper, bread, and over-the-counter flu meds.
Nander Knobben from the Netherlands is prospering from the rising concerns over survival supplies. He operates an online prepper store to help people “become less dependent on external things, like the government.”
Business is booming for Knobben who “sold almost as many masks, rations, radios, and water filters in February as he did in six months last year, and people he hasn’t spoken to in years have been messaging him to request supplies.”
At his home, the 29-year-old Dutch entrepreneur always has on hand:
- Rations for two or three months
- About 84 liters of water
- Live chickens
- Spare oil for his car
- A first-aid kit
- A BOB (or portable survival kit) packed with a flashlight and freeze-dried food
Knobben takes a “set it and forget it” attitude about disasters, no matter where they come from. Any stores unused to deal with COVID-19 can be useful in the future when the unforeseen happens:
“If you prep it now and have food in the house for a month and it isn’t the coronavirus, maybe in a few years you’ll need it for another scenario, so it’s never a bad idea to take some precautions.”
The business owner is all about personal liberties and freedoms with less reliance on governments during difficult survival scenarios. He claims being prepared is a prudent and uncomplicated lifestyle:
“I don’t want to be dependent on anybody, I want to take care of myself. You store it in your house and then you just get on with living your life.”
In the UK, Lincoln Miles runs a prepper outlet and described the trade since the viral outbreak last December as “beyond manic.” Extra workers have been brought on to keep up with sales 20 times higher than before COVID-19 and labor into the night seven days a week.
Miles’ store offers crossbows, axes, and knives but, according to him, “The bestsellers are, of course, gas masks, hazmat suits, and accessories.”
Each day, eager customers are buying 600-700 military-spec masks, nearly 1,000 filters, and hundreds of hazmat suits. In five hours last week, orders came in for 6,000 20-day rations packs. The demand is so great that Miles’ suppliers are “so overwhelmed that available stock is becoming almost non-existent.”
In any dire straits, a strong family network with ties to your community stacks the odds in favor of your survival. Prepping is far more than buying extra rations. It’s about cooperating to achieve a planned and rehearsed best-possible outcome.
Stay safe, y’all, and be kind to each other.