“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst”
― Chris Bradford,
As the coronavirus continues to explode around the country, it’s becoming obvious that there is a rough road ahead, with possible interruptions in service and availability of food and other necessities. A sharp spike in consumer habits has been noted, with people buying paper towels, hand sanitizer, and emergency food supplies, in anticipation of interruptions in the global food supply.
Dr. Howard Markel, writing for the New York Times, has called for school closings. “My research on the long history of epidemics has taught me that when it comes to outbreaks of contagious respiratory infections, closing schools can help prevent many thousands of illnesses and deaths,” he said “Communities in the United States must shut down schools before, not after, the outbreak becomes widespread here.”
Speaking on ZD.net Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said that Americans are grossly unengaged and unprepared for the next disaster. He stated as far back as 2010 that a coming disaster was inevitable, and that “horrific events such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina have served less as wake-up calls than snooze alarms - before Americans are pulled back into complacency.”
Redliner states that even after several catastrophic events in America, “we don’t find much change in the willingness of the general population in doing what they need to do. I speak a lot, and virtually every audience I ask ‘How many of you are prepared, according to published guidelines, for a major disaster?’ If I get more than two or three hands in a crowded auditorium, I’m always surprised.”
Why there is a widespread sense of complacency is beyond the scope of this article. It could be that we put off thinking about the unpleasantries of life - like going to the dentist - until a major toothache. Our dentist remarked “people don’t think of me until they have a toothache, then I'm the first person they want to see.”
We are now in the midst of a national toothache. We recommend preparing right now; that means this moment. Consider this: Long term food supplies are never a waste of money: you'll always use them either in an emergency or in the average 25 year shelf-life - whichever comes first.