Are you prepared? I know I talk a lot about prepping and planning. Most of that is about my menu and meals. But today, I want to talk about prepping for other things. I have watched my friends around the country go through a lot of personal tragedies over the last few years. Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes. Health scares also count here. I’ve seen some that were prepared and were ready and make it ok. I’ve seen some be totally wiped out financially because of it.
I’m going to get personal, but you don’t have to comment. I’m not judging at all. I’m just thinking of questions that I’ve been asking myself for a few weeks. You don’t have to answer. Just think about your answers. Try to think of what you would have done differently leading up to this or how you can change after this is over.
Don and I camp. We are in a lot of camping groups and hear people saying how their trip is ruined and had to be cancelled because their air conditioner doesn’t work, or the shower head broke. Or whatever. So we occasionally do “what if” games.
“What if” the fridge broke? Would we still go camping? Yep! We’d fill coolers.
“What if” the slide wouldn’t go out on our camper? Would we still go? Yes. It would be a little cramped, depending on which slide, but we certainly wouldn’t cancel a trip because of it.
Today’s post is based on that game that we play.
How well were you prepared for this pandemic? Your home? Your health? Your mental state? Your food? Financially? You personally, are you self-sufficient?
Were you supplied for the stay at home order? Did you have to run out to buy supplies? Did you get to the store only to realize they didn’t have what you needed? Do you typically wait until you are almost out of something to purchase more? Or are you the type who buys a few things, especially things you use often, when they are on sale so you can have them on hand? Are you a couponer that always has a huge stock room in your basement or pantry?
Your Health – Being Prepared to Get Sick
There are many unknown things about this virus, but the one thing that IS known, is that it hits people with compromised immune systems harder. Is that you? What makes you high risk? Is it something that you can reverse by eating better? Many auto-immune diseases can be helped by following a ketogenic diet. Or even just low carb.
Do you drink enough water?
Do you typically do any form of exercise? Do you have some weight to lose? Do you feel like you are healthy? Do you now struggle because you went to the gym every day and now have no equipment to do your regular routine?
Do you have medication to last you a while? Do you have a doctor that can communicate or refill prescriptions via internet or telephone or does he make you come in to the office for everything?
Now, say you are one of the unlucky ones who gets it. Are you prepared for that? Do you have health insurance? Do you have life insurance? Do you have a will? Do you have a living will? Do your family members know what your wishes are in the case that you cannot make those decisions for yourself?
Your Mental State
Are you struggling with being home all day every day? Or maybe you have to work and are struggling because there are still a lot of people around you and that makes you nervous.
Do you struggle with anxiety?
Do you get enough sleep each day?
Do you practice gratitude each day? Do you think of things to be thankful for instead of focusing on the bad things?
Do you journal? Writing down all your thoughts and fears can help a lot of people.
Do you meditate or exercise to boost your mood? Getting those endorphins fired up can help!
Do you have rooms or areas that can be decluttered? Having “stuff” piled up and laying around leads to stress in a lot of people.
Do you have a hobby or a project to keep you busy? The weather is starting to get nicer, so getting outside in the sun can also help to improve your mood.
Your Food – How Prepared are YOU
Do you know where to find locally sourced meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables? Most people look as far as their regular grocery store and stop there. There are SO MANY local sources for meat, eggs, cheese, milk and other things. I saw people all over panicking because WalMart was out of meat, but there are many butchers in the area that were fully stocked.
Growing your own vegetables can be a fun thing for the entire family to do. Once you figure out what you are doing, it doesn’t require a huge amount of time to upkeep them. You don’t need a lot of land. Many can be grown in containers on your patio or porch, or even in a jar of water. on your kitchen counter. I have a fairly decent sized piece of land, but I grow everything in containers on the deck, otherwise the deer and rabbits will eat it all. Last year I got a really good yield of peppers and tomatoes. This year I will be quadrupling what I plant so I have plenty of sauce and dried peppers to last the year. If you haven’t started seeds yet, you can still get some started. Or purchase plants already started from your local hardware or garden store.
Locally sourced meat costs less per pound when you purchase a cow or pig by the ¼, ½ or even whole than it does to buy a package or two a week. Yes, it is a bigger cost up front. I realize that. But, if you cut out the junk food that most people purchase on a weekly basis (6 packs of soda and iced tea, chips, crackers, ice cream, etc) you can probably afford it. When you consider that a LOT of our meat goes to China to be processed, wouldn’t you rather be eating something that you know was raised, butchered and wrapped right here in your neighborhood? Not to mention that the taste is SO much better! The butcher will cut and wrap it exactly how you want it done. This is different from when I was a kid. My grandfather would pick up the meat and it would all be in big bags. We would spend an entire day making patties, wrapping and freezing meat at the kitchen table.
Locally sourced eggs are more expensive than buying the mass packaged eggs in the grocery store. But, they are FRESH! And they will keep for a longer time because they have not been processed and shipped from who knows where. By the time they hit the store they are already weeks old. Fresh eggs can be kept up to three months.
Yes, the freezer is another cost if you are going to freeze your own vegetables and buy your meat in bulk, but again, it goes back to your health. Isn’t it worth it? Not to mention that the locally grown food and freezer is less expensive that medical bills and prescriptions. Let’s also remember that eating REAL nutrient dense foods keeps you fuller, longer. That means you are not buying carby, sugary filled snacks that just keep you on that hunger/full roller coaster all day. Most of your family eats out of boredom or habit, not true hunger.
This is a big one that a lot of people really don’t like to talk about. Do you live paycheck to paycheck like most do? Do you have any kind of savings plan? Can you survive on half your income? (which is the average of what unemployment is) Do you really NEED Netflix, Hulu, or any other subscription service that you belong to? Where can you cut back? What in your home can be sold? Clothes, games, puzzles, books, etc. Can you lessen your data plan on your phone? Do you NEED to go out to dinner 3 or 4 times a week? Do you NEED new clothes or are the ones in your closet good enough to wear until your income picks back up? Do you have a service or a skill that you can promote? Instacart, Grub Hub etc are ones that are being used a lot right now. What can you do from here out to tighten up the purse strings a little bit? Do you have a financial planner? There’s generally no coast to talk to one and many can help you figure out the best places to cut back.
Your Self Sufficiency
How well can you fend for yourself? If the power went out right now, would you be ok if it didn’t come back on until tomorrow? What about if it was out for a week? Or a month? Do you have a generator? Do you have a grill or some other way to cook if you have an electric stove? Would you have access to water? There are people reading this that go through this in short term amounts when there is a storm, but a lot that have never had to think about this.
In the winter, people in the North are usually prepared for these types of things. In the Spring/Summer I feel like it’s more in the South that they are prepared due to the storms they can get.
Do you have canned or dried food on hand? Do you know how to grow your own food? If you do, do you know how to can, dehydrate or freeze it to preserve it so it lasts throughout the year?
Do you know how to fish or hunt to get your own meat? Do you have a way to do that?
When it was announced that we should all wear a mask, did you have one? Did you have the skill set to make one?
Can you do simple home repairs yourself, or do you need to call someone for even minor issues? Do you even own simple tools?
Can you do a simple car repair?
Do you have bandages or medical supplies on hand? Fire extinguishers? Do you know CPR? Are you prepared if a disaster happens and 911 can’t get to you?
Do you have anyone that can be your emergency “buddy”? In my cancer group, we all picked a “buddy”. If any of us is going in for a procedure, test or anything else scary, we check in with our buddy and they update the group. Do you have a friend to check in with be it daily or weekly or whatever, to make sure each other is ok?
I’m sure there are plenty of other things I haven’t thought of that would help someone survive. If you have thoughts, feel free to share them. I’d love to hear them, think about them, and see if it’s something I can do or know how to do.
Stay well! ❤