There have been a lot of questions coming in about surviving the current pandemic. I do not want this information to become too dated, I would like for it to still be relative for the future as well as now, so I will approach this about surviving the current situation and being prepared for the next SHTF situation.
Loss of life is tragic and should not be diminished in any way. But, as we are geared toward survival, people will panic buy, and that is adding to the troubles of the current situation. Stop where you are, take a deep breath through your mask, and shift your focus. Think about surviving the week. Don’t buy every loaf of bread in the store, every gallon of milk (even though you are lactose intolerant), and every case of bottled water and package of toilet paper the store has.
Do you have enough toilet paper to get through the week? Do you really even need toilet paper if your shower still works? What about food, do you have enough to last the week? Do you know how to stretch your food? Protecting your home, do you have the means to do so? These are things that are supposed to be thought of in advance, but no one can be prepared for everything.
Let’s start with food.
Once this is over, if you have the means, get a freezer. One of the big boxy ones. If you have it in you to do so, take up hunting. But even if you are unable or unwilling to kill your own food, fill your freezer with meat. It doesn’t have to be done in a day, it can take a month or more if you are a non-hunter. Don’t sweat it. If you are a hunter, fill that freezer up with venison, bison, elk, yummy yummy wild boar and duck. You will eat like a king in the next pandemic and have food to share should the need or urge arise.
For now, if you were caught unprepared, you need to think short term, and making food last longer. What do I mean by that? I’m glad you asked! Look at it like this. Under normal circumstances, I might pull a whole chicken out of the freezer and think nothing of cutting it up, battering and frying the parts and feeding the family for today. But these are not normal circumstances. In times like these, I would take that chicken, throw the whole damn thing in a pot of water with veggies-n-stuff that I always have on hand (carrots, onions, celery, garlic, ginger) boil it for a few hours, strain the broth and shred the chicken, throw in noodles, and make a gigantic pot of soup that would feed the family for most of the week, and probably all of the week.
There are also certain items that should be in every pantry; dried beans, flour, rice, corn meal. Now, being a Texan, I don’t have a lot of corn meal but I have a lot of masa, which is like a very fine flour made from corn. If I have a lot of masa and a little bit of meat, I can make a lot of tamales. And that is as close to Heaven on earth as you can get during a pandemic worldwide quarantine. You might even find yourself saying, “I like quarantine!” Right now, it is best to think of stretching your food whenever possible.
In my house we always keep a lot of dried chile peppers (hey, this is Texas!). My preference is for the Ancho, Guajillo, and Pasilla. These will last almost forever if you keep them dry, and they can be turned into delicious sauces that can go with any meat, or beans, or rice.
A shift in thinking that allows you to not feel put upon or stressed.
I am so pleased that we have not seen the complete chaos that was being predicted by some. I wrote last time about the rush of first-time gun buyers and the run on ammunition. Well, by the time I decided to pick up some extra ammunition, there was not a round of 9 mm to be had near me. So, admittedly caught almost flat-footed, should the need arise, I would be forced to defend my home with 45-70 Government ammunition. To be sure, it is a round that will stop the threat, but oh…the mess it would leave. And an exit wound the size of a dinner plate.
Just kidding, I wasn’t even close to being caught flat-footed. My current load is from Underwood Ammo. Great stuff, and I could write a lot about their ammunition. I think I will, soon.
In closing, while things are chaotic, look to what you need to get through the week. Do not buy what you do not need this week, that behavior adds to shortages and causes further panic. Things are stressed enough right now. We look out for each other by leaving what we do not need to be purchased by those who do need. That simple act of kindness and consideration helps people. We haven’t had a lot of practice at being considerate of others in our social media consumed world of selfishness, but it is a human trait. One of the things I learned in researching The Blood of our Fathers was that self-sacrifice is an almost universal human trait. We are capable of expressing it still. Things will settle down. And when they do, take a few weeks to stock up on some essentials. Stay calm, watch the daily briefing directly and do not let the different media outlets tell you what to think of what is being said, they all have a spin, one way or another. Use your own mind to figure it out. Stay safe and take care of yourself and each other.