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On a rainy day: who are the preppers and what can they teach during a pandemic

“I am seriously interested in what is in the minds of people who furiously buy up all the food and household goods they see? What - there will be hunger? Or will all factories, farms and factories be closed? " - this question was asked by the author of the channel "Notes of an emigrant, life in the USA" on Yandex.Zen at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when mass purchases of various goods began everywhere. But all this can be easily explained in one term, who are these people, and why do they all like to buy in advance?

Photo: Shutterstock

In the US, there is generally such a special category of people - preppers (from the word "prepare"). In a nutshell, these are people who believe in the imminent end of the world and, accordingly, are preparing for it. They build shelters, defensive systems, stock up on weapons and ammunition, learn the basics of hunting and combat, try to live with a minimum of resources and, of course, stock up on water and food.

At the same time, everyone is preparing for their own end of the world: someone for economic collapse, someone for an epidemic, someone for war, someone for a nuclear explosion, and someone for a zombie apocalypse. In general, here who has enough imagination and conspiracy theory for that.

Moreover, this topic is quite popular in the States. They have their own shows and programs, where they show what they did and how, and experts assess the degree and quality of their training. And there are even glossy magazines with useful information.

That's who is having a holiday now. Not in the sense of a holiday-holiday, but this moment: "Aha, but I told you so!" Everyone was twisting a finger at their temples, and now they are panicking.

What preppers can teach us during a pandemic

While the number of people infected with coronavirus continues to grow, people are actively stocking up on food, medicine and other materials. Although fears of the virus spreads faster than the disease itself, products like cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer are disappearing from store shelves. Some people, sensing economic opportunities, even sell masks and other protective equipment on the streets or online, often at inflated prices.

But there is one group of people who don't need to rush to Target or Walmart for supplies: so-called preppers, or people who go to some sort of extreme measures to be always prepared for emergencies. Preppers always have what they need to withstand the shock.

Actually notes TimeMany of us could learn a thing or two from preppers - a 2017 report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that nearly half of Americans don't even have a basic emergency kit in their home.

Of course, some preppers go far beyond a simple emergency kit. Jason Charles, the firefighter who runs the YouTube channel The Angry Prepper, has a closet in his apartment for storing emergency rations and other equipment. Each member of his family even has a special bag for possible immediate evacuation.

“My supplies can support my family for a year and a half,” he says.

On the subject: 'Everybody takes, and I take': why do people buy toilet paper en masse

James Hobel, founder of the Mountain Survival School, says situations like the coronavirus make it clear that it's wise for people to have some basic necessities on hand. It is also vital to have a plan in case something goes wrong. It is particularly concerned that urban dwellers tend to be overly dependent on services that may not be available in an emergency. Also, these people are usually not sure what to do if they have to stay at home for a long time, for example, during a mass quarantine.

What should ordinary people store in case of emergency, such as an outbreak of coronavirus?

The CDC recommends having at least one gallon (3,8 liters) of water per person per day and a three-day supply of food that requires little to no cooking or refrigeration. The expert also recommends avoiding salty or spicy foods as they can increase your need for drinking water. You will need to keep this kit up to date - CDC recommends replacing consumables every six months.

What preppers advise to buy in case of a crisis

With many states asking people to stay at home as long as possible, it is helpful to have a few basic essentials on hand - other than toilet paper and hand sanitizer. About my personal prepper experience USA Today told by Josh Centers. Here's what he recommends stocking up on to deal with the crisis.

1. Batteries

A good prepper always has batteries at hand. Most often they are intended for flashlights, radio and other things. But you certainly won’t want to be without them if you are locked at home. You may not use batteries to turn on the radio to contact rescuers, but what about your kids' toys and remote controls (especially during the evenings with Netflix)? Think about all the things in your home that require replaceable batteries, and imagine life without them.

2. Multitools

I don't know how I would live without a multitool - it's like another hand. Here are a few things that I often use it for:

  • opening packages with a knife;
  • pulling a splinter with a knife;
  • wire cutting;
  • pruning small branches.

Infrequent use includes anything from opening cans.

3. Knife sharpeners

A sharp knife is safer than a dull one. It is illogical, but it is a fact. It is also unbearable to use a dull knife. Buy a special knife sharpening tool - it will cost you less than $ 25. Follow the instructions included and your knives will sharpen quickly, even if you had no idea how to sharpen them. I use the tool to sharpen, including kitchen knives, chisels, scissors, and a razor.

4. Nitrile gloves

These are difficult to buy now, so I'm very glad I always kept a large bag of nitrile gloves close at hand. Nitrile is more durable than latex and does not pose an allergy risk. Gloves are convenient for a wide variety of things: cleaning, changing dirty diapers, working with dirty cars and dead animals. But now I like to wear them whenever I need to go to the store. When you take them off, be careful not to get your hands dirty.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York

5. Food stock

Now, after respiratory masks, food rations became one of the first items to sell. Emergency food packages can feed one person or family for several days or even months and remain unspoiled in the pantry for literally decades. They are often sold in a bucket with a lid. Some vendors sell large jars of various foods that can be stored safely for years.

For those with too many dry foods, such as beans or rice, it is advisable to buy 5-gallon mylar bags that can be filled with food and then sealed with a hair iron or for clothes. The bag should then be placed in a 5 gallon storage bucket.

6. Adhesive tape

Is there something that duct tape can't fix? I recently used a bundle to fix a tear in the tarp that serves as a roof for my tractor. As a last resort, it can be used to patch holes in clothing, as emergency gear, to light a fire, or even make a wallet. Just do not apply tape on wet surfaces - it will not stick.

7. Positive psychological attitude

The best thing you can acquire during this time: a positive mental attitude. This has been proven to greatly increase the chances of surviving a bad situation. We all have moments of weakness, but negative outlooks defeat you before you even take action. We live in dire times, but your best bet is to remain optimistic, focus on the positive, and remember what you are grateful for.

8. Home garden

Not everyone owns the land, but even having a backyard can offer opportunities that are not available to residents of apartments, such as creating a garden or raising chickens. Many preppers even have remote areas in the countryside, ideal for social isolation.

If you have a time machine, go back in time and buy 50 acres (2K ares), but for now it is best to use what you have. The food supply chain is at the limit of its capacity, and even if empty shelves are more a symptom of panic buying than actual shortages, anything can help relieve supply strains. Now is the right time.

Read also on ForumDaily:

Bottled water has an expiration date: why it matters

11 stores offering product delivery and pick-up during quarantine

War for life: how US states fight each other for protection against coronavirus

About fear, war and people: sincere stories of a Russian-speaking doctor about the fight against coronavirus in the USA

Educational program pandemic coronavirus Special Projects
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