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I see the phrase “second wave” a lot. This bothers me. As much as I hate to say it, we are still well within the first wave of COVID-19 regardless of how serious of a pandemic or health crisis you believe it to be.
The first wave has been extended due to the actions taken. I am not suggesting that lives were not saved and that no good came of people taking some precautions. I am going to say that the temporary decrease in case numbers and the lowered amount of deaths per day has led to many people assuming that whatever comes next is the second wave.
Wuhan and other areas of China could be at the beginning of the second wave but part of that is dependent on how true the numbers have been over the past few months. Did cases in China really drop that much or did the virus lose some of it’s punch and more people stayed at home and got over it but were never counted as being sick in the first place?
As you can see there are a lot of questions that are not possible to answer and verify the answers for accuracy.
Sorry folks but we are still on the first wave and there is a good chance that a second one will happen.
Right now things feel different because a lot of people have accepted the new reality and decided to proceed as they see fit. There is perhaps less fear with some than in the past. This makes it seem like we are a bit further along than we are.
From a preparedness standpoint I have noticed that some of the shortages and supply chain issues for basic food stuffs have let up. This means that now is the time to go through your preps and see where the gaps are and create a plan for filling those as best you can.
The shortages that are occurring and that will get worse are not necessarily confined to the grocery store. I have noticed that it is very difficult to find a lot of hardware, tools, nails, fasteners, etc. My theory is that we are reaching the point in the supply chain where we are running lower than ever on some items that we are used to getting in plentiful supply from China.
Another noticeable thing is that when it comes to some items, what is left to buy is the items that are lower in quality. People have already bought up the better made items from China.
The talking heads can say all they want about how China has factories up and running and have started producing goods again.
I don’t believe they are operating near the capacity that a lot of the press likes to tell us unless of course, they are manufacturing a lot of things and just not delivering to the US.
Either is plausible and in some cases, the answer may be that there is a little bit of both going on.
All that being said, I wanted to talk about what you can do now to prepare for not only the upcoming second wave of COVID-19 but also that civil unrest that I believe is going to continue on some level for quite some time.
We are just nowhere near the solutions that can bring peace in the cities and streets of America. The answers are going to take time and like so many things, a lot of people are not going to particularly care for the results.
Inventory what food you have on hand and make notes of what you are shortest on. Be conservative in your estimates of how long something will last.
It is better to have a bit too much than too little of the main necessities. For example, I know that I have enough flour for a certain amount of time but I also know that the type of wheat flour I can actually eat is much harder to find than standard flour.
This tells me that I need to source it from more than one place and that I need to order well in advance and before my stock gets uncomfortably low. Chances are that the shortage issue with specialty flours is going to be ongoing so I need to get it when I can and not wait so long as finances are in order.
For a major list of items to stockpile for the TEOTWAWKI, check out my previous post. Remember that getting started is what is important. You don’t have to get everything all at once.
Drag out your medical supplies and take note of what has been used and needs to be replenished.
If you found that you could not buy some medical supplies during some of the panic buying that occurred a few months ago, you may be surprised to know that some things are once more available. Remember that it doesn’t take much for this to change. If you have not already arranged for prescriptions to be refilled as soon as they can, it would be wise to get that worked out right now.
Go through your clothing and shoes and see what you have for fall and winter.
I have been saying it for quite some time but clothing and footwear are mostly made overseas and right now you can get some amazing bargains on what you need for the cooler months of the year. If you live somewhere that doesn’t get cold you should still check out what clothing and shoes you have on hand. I am not saying you have to buy everything brand new either although at the moment I would not bother with the risk of going into a thrift store or similar due to COVID-19.
Stick to the basics too. Packs of t-shirts are great especially if there are people in the home that wear similar sizes. For example, I can wear Matt’s size. Who cares if they are a little baggy? Socks and jeans should also be on your list. Buy it now and you won’t have to deal with lack of inventory or high prices later. Better to spend $15 on a coat now then wait two months and pay $60 or more.
When it comes to kids’ clothing consider how much they are growing and make sure to have some stuff that will accommodate them.
Consider how much pet and livestock feed you have.
Livestock feed always goes up in price during the colder months. Hay in particular is higher in cost. Natural disasters and droughts in some areas can also contribute to shortages. Pet foods depend on functioning meat processors. With many processors shut down and more and more farms reporting COVID-19 outbreaks, pet foods, especially those that are dependent on meat, could become harder to find or at least more expensive.
Evaluate your home and outbuildings and make a list of repairs and maintenance that is needed.
Putting off maintenance or repairs can cost you some serious money. A tiny leak over time can add up to thousands of dollars when it could have been a $20 fix you could take care of yourself. Right now the supply of building materials is just ok. Things are not great. Later on, it may be harder to get help with any tasks as well especially if people decide to start staying at home more.
Give your vehicle an honest evaluation and make a list.
People are not driving as much and that can lead to putting off maintenance tasks. If your tires are looking like they need to be replaced very soon then that is something you need to budget and plan for now. It may be a good idea to put back everything you need to do an oil change at home too. Stash a tire fix kit. For more info check out my previous post.
Take inventory of your garden seed stock and consider what you need for Fall and Spring gardens.
There was a big rush on seeds when the pandemic started. While some seeds are sold out, there are some places that have more inventory or will soon be replenishing their stock. Check out your favorite seed suppliers and see what they have. You may also consider putting in an order for anything that is to be Fall or Winter planted. We plan on starting a saffron patch and growing garlic and shallots but those bulbs do not ship until Fall. That doesn’t mean that people are not already ordering and reserving what is available.
Seeds keep well if you store them properly so there is nothing wrong with picking up some extras of things that you might want to get started in pots inside during the colder months so you cans set them out in your main garden space as soon as possible in the Spring.
Stockpile some comfort items and what you need for entertainment during the colder months of the year.
It has been a particularly cold summer so far in the South. I have to wonder what this might mean for the coming Fall and Winter months. Think about what type of position you would be in if you found out that you had to quarantine at home during the winter or stay at home due to civil unrest.
As many of you have read in the past, I have a revolving shelf of new and used books that I buy online. I probably have about 100 of them at the moment that I will eventually work my way through. I read at least one book a week so I have enough to last awhile. When I am done I usually donate them to charity.
Think about how you are going to heat your home and what you need to get to achieve that.
Do you have enough firewood? Is your heating oil tank half empty? Do you need to clean out your heating ducts? Is your chimney in need of repair or cleaning? Remember that so many parts come from China. The metal that makes up stove pipe for example is refined in China and a lot of the pipe is made right there too.
Here are a few articles from BDS on home heating:
Take stock of what you have for defense and your skill level when it comes to using what you have.
Everyone should have something to defend themselves and their family. Regardless of how you feel about firearms or knives, you should have something. In fact, you should have more than one thing.
You don’t always need nor do you want something that is almost guaranteed to be lethal. There are more times when you simply need to show someone that you mean business. Remember to check your local laws too so you at least know where things stand. There are actually some places where you are expected to back down if at all possible. It is just good to know the rules.
Take some time to add to your proficiency with any given weapon. If you plan on just using a bludgeon for example then maybe you can’t practice that much but you can lift some weights and gain some strength so you can wield your weapon better.
Here are some links to posts that can help you find something to defend yourself with.
Evaluate how everyone in your family has coped with all that is going on in the world.
I am not saying that you need to make a list and criticize or anything but I do think it is good to make an honest evaluation of how everyone in your family including yourself, has handled things. Doing this will allow you to possibly make things better or at least figure out how to talk to others about issues and how to take them on. Did you obsess over certain aspects of anything? Was your spouse not on board with some things you considered important?
Consider the things you would have done differently and apply that knowledge to the potential 2nd wave of COVID-19.
There are basic and not so basic things to consider. For example I had a reader tell me that they realized during the pandemic that they did not have enough condiments. While ketchup and mustard needs may seem minor it is also something that is pretty easy and inexpensive to correct for the next round. Did you find that you were really bored? Perhaps adding some crafts or art supplies could help or maybe you need to put back some books like I do.
Did you panic buy some things that you don’t really need that much of?
Consider what necessary medical appointments are needed and how to do them safely.
Right now it is probably best to avoid any in person medical appointments that are not actually necessary. This is not just because of the risk of COVID-19 exposure. Medical establishments could be running behind a bit since things have opened back up. That being said if you require any specific appointments you should consider if they can be accomplished remotely sooner rather than later.
If you have to go to an in-person appointment, schedule it well in advance and take some precautions when you go. If there has been civil unrest in your area you may want to try for appointments that are earlier in the day because it seems that a lot of the more eventful unrest is occurring later in the day. Going earlier allows you time to get home safely and with minimal delays.
Taking care of major healthcare needs now will allow you and your family greater peace of mind during a second wave.
While I would never suggest avoiding medical treatment when you really need it, now is not a good time to run to the Urgent Care Center for every little thing. Get a good medical book like the Alton’s Survival Medicine Handbook and try to take care of minor to moderate things at home. As always if you don’t improve or experience any major difficulties, seek help.
Have a talk about privacy and security with everyone in your family, including kids.
I have heard from readers expressing just how much kids and teens reveal online and in texts to friends. During hard times it is not a good idea to give away a lot of information like when your family is going to be away, how much food, or other relevant information that could be used to the advantage of criminals. Maybe things are ok where you are now but it is best to get into good habits now.
Consider what you will do if civil unrest occurs in your area and make a plan.
At this point, there has been unrest in a lot of areas. While some protests have indeed been peaceful, it has clearly not been the case in a lot of places. It only takes a small catalyst to change the direction of an event.
Just because you are in a small town or suburb doesn’t mean you are insulated from civil unrest. I cannot tell you the exact plan that is right for you or your family.
I can say that you might want to consider having a bag for each person in your family in case you have to leave for a bit of time. If you can manage to have a little bit of emergency money then please do so. If you have relatives that you could stay with then maybe that is something to consider depending on how everyone feels about potential COVID-19 exposure.
For those that plan on staying no matter what or want to try to stay in place as long as possible, check out my article “Suburban Defense”.