What a “Survival Expert” Recommends During This Pandemic
Ten years ago, I was the host of a TV series called SURVIVING DISASTER. We picked 10 events, both manmade and natural disasters, for our first season, of which “Pandemic” was our final episode. You can watch it here if you’d like:
So, when I first heard about the COVID 19 / Coronavirus, I actually watched my episode again and was amazed how accurate, current and beneficial the information in this episode is a decade later. To be totally honest, I never imagined I would live to see a global pandemic. But this is the world we are living in. I have received countless phone calls, texts and emails from friends and family asking what I’m doing. Well, these are my recommendations...
REMAIN CALM AND PATIENT – This is your foundation during any trying time. Anxiety, fear and panic are the worst reactions during any life-threatening situation. You need to be able to think logically and react appropriately.
If you find yourself getting worked up, try COMBAT BREATHING. Inhale for four seconds, exhale for four seconds and repeat. Simple and VERY effective.
We are in uncharted territory in a country that fully embraces and expects our personal freedom. We are ALL going to have to sacrifice during this event. Don’t add to the problem; be part of the solution. BE PATIENT!
SUPPLIES – Two of my favorite sayings are “95 percent of surviving any disaster is preparation.” And, “It’s not IF it will happen to you, but when.”
That said, I understand that no one saw this coming, so let’s remember the above but deal with those that were seriously unprepared.
The silver lining as I’m writing this is we have a power grid that is operating, safe water for drinking and food supplies are good. Compared to a major earthquake or hurricane, we are in pretty good shape.
And life will continue if you run out of toilet paper. Not pretty, but we will survive.
This list is based on priority where first is most important.
MEDICATION - There are millions of folks who rely on prescription medications on a daily basis. Stock up! See if your doctor will allow a two-month supply. But please don’t hoard this either. Buying a bunch of antibiotics won’t help. Let’s save these for those whose lives might depend on it.
Additionally, many of us will get sick but will be able to cope with this at home, reducing the stress on our healthcare system.
Don’t forget to get the over-the-counter medications that you would use if you got the flu. If you can deal with this at home, it is one less person that our medical professionals will have to deal with.
This is basically a nationwide triage, meaning the worst cases receive that Level One medical attention. Self-aid at home if you can.
FOOD – Again, as of now our food supplies are good. If everyone decides to go get a van full of food from the local grocery store, this will not be the case.
My recommendation is to start with a two-week supply for each household. Get non-perishable food: canned goods, rice, pasta, beans and frozen food. Meat and poultry that can be frozen.
I personally have been very busy with the crock pot with the extra time and have a freezer full of chili that can last a long time. This is also a great thing to do with the family to help with cabin fever.
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) – If you are following the recommendations of staying home and social distancing, then you will need very little of this and therefore save it for our medical professionals and first responders/law enforcement.
If you can wash your hands and clean surfaces, then you are in good shape. Don’t forget about those items you touch with frequency: mobile phone, computer, remote controls, door knobs, sink/toilet handles and steering wheels.
Any Clorox-based cleanser and most soaps will be great. Hand sanitizers like Purell are ideal. Most of this is hard to get, but one of my favorites is HIBICLENS, which is an antiseptic/antimicrobial skin cleanser that is VERY effective. You can find this by the first-aid supplies, which I also highly recommend you stock up on.
Just because we are dealing with a pandemic doesn’t mean that other injuries will not occur.
POWER – Again, as of now, our infrastructure is healthy. We have clean water and power (heat, lights).
However, if this changes, you should prepare for what steps you will need to take.
A generator will be worth its weight in gold. One that can offer enough power for the essentials (furnace motor, water pump for those on a well/cistern, refrigerator, lights). If you didn’t get one/don’t have one, then the Patriot Power Generator is ideal.
Make sure you fill your vehicle full of fuel and don’t let this get below half a tank. Finally, keep your electronics powered up, including phone and laptop computer.
A rechargeable, tactical flashlight like the HaloXT can provide a backup charge to your phone in a pinch, and could also be helpful for the next consideration…
HOME DEFENSE – I will start by saying that I hope including this section may be an overreaction – but it needs to be discussed. DON’T GO OUT AND BUY A BUNCH OF FIREARMS AND AMMO! As of now, everyone seems to be patient and acting as they should.
I do, however, worry that patience may start running thin and we may see some social unrest. In situations like this, we see both the best and the worst in people. Be the former, not the latter.
Perform a threat assessment of your home and property. Walk around and try to figure out how you would “break in” if you had to, then try to fortify those potential points of entry. Seal off doors and windows that you can. Keep external lights on and close blinds from sunset to sunrise.
And remember that criminals choose the path of least resistance. If you have a dog or your house is lit up – they will likely move onto the next target.
IF you have a firearm, PLEASE remember the following: Are you proficient/trained in how to safely use it? If you have children, can you safely store it (fingerprint safe)? If someone breaks into your home, are you going to be willing to use it?
If you can’t answer YES to the three questions above, then I highly recommend an option to a firearm. My favorite is Bear Spray. I have several and had to use it a few years ago. It’s a very effective non-lethal option.
WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
Again, our world is in uncharted territory. I may have shot a survival TV series and written a best-selling book (SEAL Survival Guide) about survival, but I never imagined a global pandemic during my lifetime. This is a threat that is blind to nationality, religion or political preference. We are all targets.
So please listen and follow the recommendations from our government officials and medical professionals. And please do ask yourself the following at the beginning and end of your day: “WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?”
If the majority of Americans do this, we will not only survive this pandemic, but thrive. Sooner than later, and better than ever.
BE A SURVIVOR, NOT A STATISTIC!
Former Navy SEAL / 4Patriots Contributor