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Backdoor Survival Pandemic Preparedness Guide and Solutions For Insulating Against Economic Impacts

Avatar for Samantha Biggers Samantha Biggers  |  Updated: February 2, 2020
Backdoor Survival Pandemic Preparedness Guide and Solutions For Insulating Against Economic Impacts

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Dear Backdoor Survival Readers,

At this point, the Coronavirus has been one of the main topics among preppers for more than a week.

This situation is strange due to the lack of information and the uncertainty at this point. The public has a lot of questions that are not being answered and the amount of censorship of any info that comes out of China is troubling to say the least.

On Facebook and other social media, people are dealing with this in many different ways. There are people that believe the whole situation is fear-mongering and others that are taking it more seriously. Some even believe that it is not happening at all.

Denial is a powerful thing and a very common reaction to disasters and threats.

I do not believe that advising people to consider what they need to do to prepare for a pandemic is fear-mongering. I think that this is a time to review your preps and consider what is lacking and what is best for your family to do if the situation progresses to the point where you need to stay at home.

Note: Throughout this article and at the very end, there are a ton of links to articles that you may find useful.

Even if the Coronavirus is contained soon, the situation can be used as a real-life exercise in preparedness for that time “when we came close”.

The supply chain is inevitably going to be affected by the massive amount of plant shutdowns and businesses shutting down entirely.

300 of the 500 Top Companies in the world have a presence in Wuhan province alone. Consider how that is going to affect the world.

Government response and the shutting down of commerce indicates that the situation is actually serious.

Governments and businesses both domestic and foreign do not take steps such as the following over the mere flu or just “fear-mongering”.

  • Shutting down airports and air travel
  • Quarantining entire cities
  • Limiting travel destinations of returning foreign workers, military, etc and requiring a 14-day quarantine.
  • Starbucks shuttering half or more of their stores
  • Apple shut down all stores and factories.
  • WHO( World Health Organization) declared novel coronavirus a global health emergency.
  • The US Center For Disease Control declared a state of public health emergency.

I am going to stop there with the list of serious actions that are being taken. Those that want more information should check out the entire front page of Zerohedge. For those that do not already know, Zerohedge had their Twitter account permanently banned a few days ago.

With the amount of info and links they had that other media outlets were being hush-hush about, it is not surprising that the censors decided to shut them out of Twitter. Not right but not surprising.

Massive censorship has played a huge role in the uncertainty that everyone is facing at the moment. People are unsure just how bad of a thing they are up against and that is an extremely eerie feeling to have gnawing at your mind.

All that being said, I have to say that a lot of readers are much more prepared than the average person. It is very easy to think “I can do more”. I have spent the last week with Matt reviewing some of our preps when we have a little time.

It is important to realize that everyone has their own triggers when it comes to disaster preparedness. When you decide it is time to take more serious steps is a very personal choice most of the time. Mandatory government quarantines are one of the exceptions to this rule that I can think of.

I see a lot of people getting attacked online for taking precautions. Something that I think those that want to say there is no problem should remember is that there are plenty of people out there that lost a lot of family during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.

While it seems like a long time ago, I have talked to people that are not that much older than me that described how their grandparents told them stories of the horrors of that time. There is a historical reason that some are taking this so seriously. Pandemics have happened before so why would it not be possible for them to happen again, especially in a time where there is genetic engineering?

So what should you do?

Like I said before, taking additional steps is a personal choice. I cannot tell you exactly what is right for your circumstances but I can make a few questions that may help you consider your own unique situation and a few suggestions that can be applied to many different preparedness situations.

  • How much food and beverage do you have? Could you stay at home for a month? How long could you shelter in place with the supplies you have on hand?
  • Do you have enough pet and livestock feeds to stay in place for a while?
  • What prescription meds does everyone need in the family? Have they got an extra supply? Can they get a 90-day prescription?
  • How would you spend your time if you had to stay at home for a month or longer? Do you have projects and supplies? Does everyone have something for entertainment?
  • Do you have enough propane gas, firewood, oil, etc for heating and cooking?
  • If you have kids, what specific things do they need? Do you have enough diapers?
  • What is the state of your medical supplies and over the counter medications? Do you have what you need to take care of minor to moderate medical needs?
Some people are avoiding public transit or making sure to wear a mask if they use it. I would advise using hand sanitizer after you disembark and to avoid touching any surfaces you can.

Stressful times can cause people to treat each other poorly. Try to be more patient with those around you.

I know that my own state of being has been fairly stressed here lately for a variety of reasons. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day for everything. When you get too stressed and tired it is easy to snap at people or be grumpy. Try to have some time to unwind even if it is just for a little while. Some time is better than nothing.

During a quarantine, families that are normally allowed some distance from one another may find they are stuck in a limited space and that tempers flare. It happens. How it is handled makes a big difference though. Don’t be afraid to say you are sorry and apologize. It means a lot. Holding a big grudge over someone can make things really difficult during a stressful time. We all need to try to be supportive of each other.

Think about what you can do to produce and value add at home. What production can you bring to your home? What can you do to shield yourself from increased costs in all areas of your life?

There are so many things you can do at home to produce something you need. Matt and I have been thinking about what we can do to produce at home quite a bit. Here are a few activities that can help.

Consider what you can grow inside or outside.

Here is a link to my article on the highest yielding crops for the prepper garden. It is always a good idea to consider what gives you the most for the planting space you have. Matt and I have used this time to plan out our garden for the year. Growing some food is always a good thing.

Also, don’t forget that anyone can grow sprouts! Even if you live in a dorm room, you have space for a few Mason jars. Matt and I ordered some sprouting seed and jar lids. Check out the Backdoor Survival post below for what you need to know about sprouting!

How to Grow Sprouts: How To Store 182 Servings of Raw Green Vegetables in a Quart Canning Jar

Can you sew, knit, crochet, etc?

I used to sew quilts. We still use a few of them because homemade ones seem to last forever. I would like to learn to knit and have everything I need to do so and some yarn from our sheep herd. If you have some fabric or yarn, and a few tools, there is a lot you can do to make things for your family to wear or use.

Learn to bake your own bread or make your own yogurt.

We make a lot of baked goods at home because my Dad and I cannot eat standard wheat products, unfortunately. We did discover that we can eat Einkorn wheat products which have helped out. It is nice to be able to have some more options. Here are a few links about baking bread, including a big post on baking gluten-free bread.

Gluten-Free Bread On A Budget

A Prepper’s Guide To Breadmaking

Since another dietary restriction in our home is uncultured dairy products, I make a lot of yogurt to save money. I can make several gallons of yogurt for what a few quart containers of already prepared yogurt costs. Below is a link to my post about how I do this and also make yogurt cheese, a delicious alternative to regular sour cream and some soft cheeses. Add a little homemade jam, jelly, or alternatively, frozen fruit, and you have something really delicious to eat at any time.

How To Make Yogurt and Yogurt Cheese

Cook at home and pack lunches. Avoid eating out.

It kind of amazes me how the same folks that talk about how expensive it is to live and how they are stressing about money will think nothing about dropping $30 on a meal for two that they could fix at home for $10 and with better ingredients. Eating out really adds up.

Even spending $40 a week on lunches and meals out means you are spending $2,080 per year at restaurants. That is a pretty significant amount. Store delis can offer less expensive options than a standard restaurant if you must grab a meal on the go.

Dinners can be planned out that are simple to fix in a crockpot and the leftovers can make a good lunch. Leftover meats are great for sandwiches for example.

I also want to point out that if something contagious is going around, eating out can put you in a position of more exposure to illness.

Plan some fun and entertainment that doesn’t require spending a lot.

Think about fun things that don’t cost a lot. There are plenty of relaxing and entertaining things to do that don’t require a big budget. I buy a lot of used books. They cost me $1-$5 each on average and provide a lot of entertainment. Drawing and sketching don’t cost a lot. Going on a day hike is inexpensive. Board games or video games can be inexpensive. Rent a movie online rather than go to a theater. The list could go on and on but you get the point.

Find some freelance work online or a part-time job you can do online.

There are all kinds of opportunities to make money online even if you have an erratic schedule. You may have to start at the lower end of the pay scale for some jobs if you lack experience but it gets better. Believe me, I know. I used to work for a penny a word when I was a beginning freelance writer. Sites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Indeed have opening posts. As a writer, I have found my best jobs over the years via the Problogger job board.

Consider work trade and barter arrangements.

A trade or barter arrangement can work out to the advantage of both parties. Just be clear of the expectations in order to avoid hard feelings. Even if you know someone really well, you might want to write down any tasks that are part of a work-trade agreement. People get busy and forget things. There is no reason for a misunderstanding if things are written out and agreed on. Trading items may not need to be that formal of an arrangement.

Start a backyard chicken flock or consider raising quail.

Even those in town that have just a small yard can often manage to have a few chickens or a cage of quail. Being able to get fresh eggs is really nice and the chickens will reduce bugs and spiders around your place if you move them around in a movable pen without a bottom or if you can manage to let them free range at least part of the time. We recently added a rooster to our flock of 8 hens. They seem happier with him around and we are hoping for chicks in the Spring!

Here are some posts on chickens and quail that you may find helpful:

How To Plan A Chicken Breeding Program For After SHTF

Best Chicken Breeds For Eggs

How To Raise Backyard Quail

Oh and if you get so many eggs that you are worried about how to store and use them, consider looking at my article “Top 6 Ways To Preserve Eggs”.

Cooking With Stashed Foods

Plenty of people put back shelf-stable foods but these foods are sometimes foods that they do not normally eat or use for cooking from scratch. If you are stuck at home for a long time, you may need to get into your prep foods. I wrote an article with recipes for using stashed foods. These are good and filling meals. I even have a recipe for pizza!

Best Prepper Recipes Ideas: What to Do with Stockpiled Food

Articles For Pandemic and Long Emergencies

Below are some links to articles that may be helpful to you when considering what steps to take to increase your level of pandemic preparedness.

Pandemic Supplies and Alternatives For When Stores Are Sold Out

Are You Pandemic Prepared? How to Prepare for Pandemic and Survive, Too

Quarantined: Establishing A Sick Room and Boundaries In The Event Of A Pandemic or Brief Illness

Isolation During Good Times and SHTF: From Living in the Country To Staying Hidden During SHTF

Keeping Up Morale & Finding Entertainment During Hard Times

Normality During An Extended Emergency : An overview of what to put back and how to keep up morale

How To Safely Shelter In Place During A Pandemic

A Guide To Inexpensive Preps Under $25 (Note: This article is on my personal site, where I occasionally post additional material.)

How to Build an Emergency Food Supply: 20 Items to Kick Start Your Food Storage Plan

Do you have a job where you have to work with the public a lot? What are you doing to help prevent yourself from getting colds and flu-like viruses? Has your workplace took any measures or did anything to help you stay healthy?

There are so many people with jobs that expose them to a lot of people. My sister works at a grocery store and I worry about her. Like so many people, she is not able to just say “I’m staying at home”. She has two kids to help support. While she does try to reduce her exposure, she is still in a riskier position for catching colds and flu.

What are you doing to prepare for a pandemic? When do you draw the line and consider quarantining yourself?

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6 Responses to “Backdoor Survival Pandemic Preparedness Guide and Solutions For Insulating Against Economic Impacts”

  1. Having a big garden and canning much of what I produce has me pretty well stocked for food. Water storage is OK, too. Where I am underprepared is cold and flu medications; particularly decongestants and expectorants. I’m taking care of that today, before supplies disappear from the shelves. Also, I make and take colloidal silver on a daily basis during cold and flu season. I convinced my wife to start taking silver, too, until this virus is brought under control.

    As for self-quarantine, my trigger will be when we have an uncontrolled expansion or outbreak anywhere here in the US. For Ebola, it was any new patient within 100 miles of home, but with up to 14 days of asymptomatic infection and being contagious much of that time, there is not much means of containing the spread of the infection except by quarantines, and then only if mandatory quarantines start before the outbreak breaks containment. Sort of like where China is now; rapidly expanding and broken containment.

    Personally, I think this gets much worse before it gets better.

  2. I’d recommend putting in a LOT more time thinking and preparing how you are going to defend your property and loved ones. Time to get organized with “neighbor helping neighbor” themes, and get your neighborhood watch (church, family , work, school, etc) kicked up a notch. Once you get a week or two into a quarantine or SHTF type of event, human on human violence will become your biggest challenge. Especially in a service economy like ours, where the consequences are going to be quite a bit more severe.

  3. I certainly don’t see you all fear mongering at all. Staying levelheaded is very called for right now. Even most the comments on here now and the past are pretty even keeled.
    We had a group meeting yesterday on this. Discussion was focused on facts, supplies, inventory, the future etc.
    We discussed how folks already aren’t doing the right thing and our mobile world compared to the past.
    Prepare for the worst, Pray for the best and rock steady.

  4. Thanks for including all the great links. I visited almost all of them. All were very informative.
    Just another comment, not to cause fear, but to remind people not to compare this pandemic to the 1918 flu (at least not yet). In 1918-1919 one out of every 5 people world wide died of the flu (the equivalent of 1.25 billion today). Even in the most remote areas, like small pacific islands and very remote areas in the Arctic Circle, the flu killed indiscriminately. Life expectancy dropped by 12 years because these two years so skewed the numbers. Luckily, on its second trip around the world the 1918 flu mutated to be less virulent, otherwise deaths would have been much higher. We feel safe because medical technology is so much better today. Feeling safe isn’t the same as actually being safe.

  5. The regular old flu season has turned out to be one the worst here in the US. 15k+ infected and over 8k in deaths. Why are we not using masks when we go out? The mortality rate far exceeds the coronovirus so far but most of the country doesn’t even get vaccinated for it and no nose and mouth protection ever when in public. I do believe that the coronavirus is very real and we should keep informed and protect ourselves. Just wondering why we don’t do all that we can to keep from getting the seasonal flu. I feel like I’m missing an important piece of information or is there suspicion that we are not being told all we need to know about the coronavirus?

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