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In a TED Talk from Bill Gates back in 2015, he led with a disturbingly haunting comment. We’re not ready for the next outbreak. Because, when you think about it, we really aren’t. And with all the international press scrambling around the coronavirus outbreak, it’s plain as day that we’re still not ready for a threat of the kind of magnitude that’s currently hitting China. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to be. In fact, there’s a few things you can cater to in your plan to help your family survive a real-life pandemic.

Stock up on critical supplies

It’s a no brainer, but a particular subject that far too many people fail to implement in their day-to-day lives. If there was an announcement, right this very minute, that a virus was spreading and from 6pm tonight every person will be under a strict curfew to stay in their homes. What do you think would happen? Absolute pandemonium as people rush out to buy “just a few more things” before the shops close. Right? We see it almost every time there is a disaster or a localized emergency.

Your job is to prepare in advance, stocking up on the supplies you need now, before the SHTF. So that if the worst does happen, you’re not fighting the crowds or facing empty supermarket shelves, you can simply head straight home and take care of your family. The last thing you want is to be one of the tens of thousands of people in a complete panic, because you’ve not got enough food to survive.

Be as self-sufficient as possible

In addition to a couple of months’ worth of food and water (at a minimum), it’s a smart idea to have plans in place should you be facing a disaster that goes on longer than this. Eventually, even if you’ve got a year’s supply of food, this will run out if you’ve got no way to replenish what you’re consuming. Small things, like rain catchment systems, gardens and even raising animals like rabbits for food can help you to be more self-sufficient.

And that’s before we even talk about the grid. For the vast majority of us we rely on the city grids for power, water, and even sewage disposal. In a crisis, there’s no guarantee these services will continue to run, especially if all the maintenance workers have left to go take care of their families. Put plans in place to ensure your home is completely self-sufficient, so that no matter what, you’ve got lights, heat, and a means to stay sanitary.

Avoid crowds of people

Depending on what’s happened, probably the scariest element you will face is other people. In a pandemic like coronavirus, there are people right now, going around trying to infect others. Coughing, spitting and infecting every public surface they can. It’s disgusting to watch, but it highlights a particularly scary fact. People are your worst enemy, and in a crisis, other people should be avoided at all costs. You never know what they’re planning.

That’s why I want you to be stocked up on supplies, and be as self-sufficient as you can in your own home. Because in a crisis you can simply hunker down inside, riding out whatever pandemic you are facing without needing to venture out into the world. Other people are your worst enemies in a crisis like this.

Get ready to fight back

Once a few days have passed this is when things will get particularly dangerous, as that’s when everyone who hadn’t made plans will start getting very, very hungry. They’ll be looking to scavenge and steal whatever they need to keep their own families fed, and you ultimately are going to have to make a call. Are you ready to do what’s in the best interest of your own family? It’s highly likely you’ll need to be ready to fight back.

Again, now is the time to start preparing your weapons stockpile, getting the firearms, ammunition and all of the other tactical gear like a strike light that will give you any advantage you can. Once a crisis hits it’ll be too late to prepare, and if you’ve not got the weapons you need to keep your family safe, you’ll struggle finding them at all when a disaster strikes.

Don’t re-infect other people

Right now, there’s a growing list of countries which are restricting entrants for any visitors who have been in China within the last 14 days. And for good reason, the coronavirus can infect people and leave them highly contagious, during the initial 14-day incubation period. In a pandemic like this, you need to be ready to create your own quarantines.

We’ve got an ample supply of medical equipment, but also the plastic sheeting, and procedures in place that can quickly turn our garage into a “quarantine zone,” on the off-chance someone in our family does get sick, we can still keep them close to care for them, without putting the rest of the family at risk. For a pandemic like coronavirus, this is a very smart strategy, because when you run the numbers, it’s been family members of those infected who have been given the virus. I for one, would never want my kids to suffer like this, and it’s critical you’re not re-infecting other people. And even simply wearing a proper protective mask can make all the difference.

Of course, surviving a global pandemic like this does have an element of luck. For all of the people who were unfortunate enough to be in Wuhan when coronavirus broke, it is indeed an unfortunate turn of events. But following these guidelines, minimizing your contact with the outside world while living off your stockpiled supplies, is going to be your best chance to surviving a disaster like this, if you find yourself in the epicenter of the dead zone.

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