Are you prepared?

The world is in the midst of Covid-19 outbreak (not yet officially a Pandemic at the time of writing) and people are in a panic; are you prepared?

Living in New Zealand, an island nation where the earth moves on a very regular basis, (67 earthquakes reported by Geonet in the last 24 hours, 63 unnoticable and 4 weak or higher intensity) we are constantly reminded to be prepared for natural disasters.

The Governments Get Ready website has all the relevant information for a variety of emergency situations and suggests what items you need to survive for around three days.  

  • Water (3 litres per person per day)
  • Long lasting food that does need cooking (assumption is there will be no power)
  • Toilet paper and large bucket for making an emergency toilet
  • Dust masks and work gloves

So if you have been taking heed of these recommendations then you are on your way to being prepared for the potential of a Covid-19 self isolation experience.

My Self Isolation Stock Take.

Containment measures suggest 14 days self isolation, in cases where someone may have been in contact with Covid-19, so how will our emergency pack help us endure?

I thought I would put my emergency supplies to the test.

The good news is that water supply will not be affected, so no need to increase you water supply from 9 litres per person for three days to 42 litres for fourteen days. That’s 126 litres of drinking water for three people, not sure where you would store the equivalent of 105 1.5 litre bottles.

We have 6×10 litre boxes of drinking water in a hall cupboard along with 3×200 litre emergency rain water tanks connected to drain pipes (setup by the previous owner of our property). Water sorted.

Have you stocked up on pasta and canned foods? Don’t forget the long life milk.

More good news, the power will remain on, so being isolated does not limit food choices just to your pantry, the freezer will provide lots of tasty food options. Both the fridge and stove will also be in play so don’t panic I’m sure you can improvise for two weeks with your current stocks.

We have enough food to last for more than two weeks. Being stuck at home may have added benefits such as enabling time to look cook different recipes that don’t have to be prepared in 30 minutes or less. With power being available you may also have time to catch up on the latest box sets.  Food sorted.

No need for the emergency toilet as nothing is broken, but toilet paper maybe a problem due to the panic buying that has seen a huge worldwide shortage. If you are prepared you will already have a spare 24 pack hidden away, however how long does a toilet roll last? Average roll is around 200 sheets, if you use 10 sheets per wipe then one will last 20 visits but if you have a few big cleaning jobs then it may last half that time. So if one roll lasts three people a day in normal situations then you require 14 rolls however I would increase this slightly based on the fact that you may visit more often having nothing better to do because you are stuck at home, drinking your 3 litres of water, eating the contents of your pantry and freezer whilst watching Netflix for fourteen days. Even if you used 24 rolls over 14 days that is just one large pack of toilet paper, no need to buy a supermarket trolly full.

We have bulk reserves of toilet paper because I am paranoid about not running out at the best of times so we have more than enough, two toilets, three people and currently have about 60 rolls on hand, so I’m set for multiple lock downs. Note: I did not buy these in the last two weeks. Toilet paper definitely sorted.

Dust masks and work gloves are included in the preparation listing to help with a disaster clean up however in this case masks would be used to slow the transmission of the virus. It’s likely that you won’t have access to  masks or sanitisers, unless you purchased them at the very beginning of the outbreak as these to have disappeared off the shelves.

We have a pack of face masks which I did purchase when I first heard about the outbreak however I have since learnt that the recommendation for use is not around stopping catching the virus but they works better at protecting those infected spreading the virus; so I’ve probably got a lifetimes supply as hopefully we won’t become infected. Masks sorted.

OK so we are sorted, however being prepared is in my nature, I’m great at contingency planning, this occurs in everything I do, for example when I am training for a triathlon on my long walks, in addition to wearing a fuel belt with nutrition and water bottles, I also carry Vaseline and toilet paper just in case of blisters or a toilet stop. When I cycle, I carry a bag with an additional jacket just in case if there is any likelihood of rain. My husband constantly laughs at this preparedness trait but that’s just who I am.

Yes I’m prepared, but am I in a panic, no of course not, being prepared removes that concern for me. My advice is to keep calm and carry on. If you don’t have a stash already then just buy a little extra in the weekly shop of things that you may need if self isolation becomes necessary.

A note to all of those who cleared out the supermarket of the toilet paper, you won’t need as much as you think and don’t try and sell it off on Trade Me for an astronomical price.

Keep well.

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