21 days later… thoughts on enjoying some quarantine en masse

How we live now. Fear in the modern era.

How we live now. Fear in the modern era.

And now for something entirely different.  My dad, as some of you may know, is a disaster prepper. Or as he likes to call it “prepared.” Conspiracy theories, lunacy and other connotations of “prepper”  aside, there’s something to be said for being able to take care of yourself when the normal ebb and flow of life isn’t practical or safe.

I’m not even necessarily talking about Ebola. As hot and sensational (and stressful) as that is, there are a lot of other (far more likely) scenarios in which forethought pays off big time.

1991 Halloween Mega Storm

1991 Halloween Mega Storm

For example; massive snow fall. There’s been a couple instances in my time here in Uptown where the blizzard was so prolific that all restaurants had to close their kitchens for 4+ days as any kitchen fire would have been unreachable by rescue workers.  This also included any food delivery truck reaching  local grocery stores.  Almost a week off from work was awesome. Eating plain noodles and pie filling… got annoying.

That being said, here’s my poppy’s guest blog. Something just to think about, and maybe act on, if you feel so inclined:

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Ice storms, blizzards, floods, power outages, bird flu, civil unrest, Ebola.  Some may inconvenience us – and some could possibly kill us.  It boils down to a few simple things.  Do you have what it takes to survive 3 days, 10 days, or 30 days without the normal infrastructure we all take for granted.  I guess I am talking about preparedness, disaster preparedness. Bugging In.

Everyone has the responsibility to take care of themselves and their loved ones.  So what am I talking about?  Boxes and boxes of MRE’s (meals ready to eat), gas masks, machete’s and Zombie killing sniper rifles? Not really but that stuff is pretty cool to play with if you have it.

Shelf stable food can be found anywhere.

Shelf stable food can be found anywhere.

Every person should have enough basic essentials to hunker down wait out a three day blizzard.  So what are basic essentials? Enough food, water, and meds for every person and pet in your home.  So how much is enough?  An adult needs between 1500 and 2000) calories a day depending on amount of physical activity.  Children need less.  Foods with a stable shelf life are desirable.  These include canned goods such as vegetables, beans, stew, soups, canned meat, and pasta.  Dry foods should include, beans, rice, wheat berries, flour, sugar salt, cocoa powder (a strong anti depressant) , hard candy, powdered milk, powdered drink mixes and instant coffee.  Yes I said INSTANT COFFEE.           I too am a coffee snob however when it is blizzarding out or you have been ordered to “shelter in place”  instant coffee will  do the trick.  For those of us that like a cocktail you may want to have a stash of your favorite red wine, brandy, or bourbon. Just sayin…

There are a number of other items that it would be wise to have a supply of.  Can you imagine no toilet paper?  Good God.  Not me.  So keep a supply of TP, favorite pain killer, unscented household bleach (more on that later) and an adequate first aid kit.

Mood lighting!

Mood lighting!

Now let’s talk about the power going out.  This is going to cause a number of things to happen and not happen.  Your apartment is going to get cold, and you will be in the dark – literally.   Your toilet will quit flushing and the tap will run dry.  If it is  minus 30 outside you better be prepared and have layers of warm clothes on, blankets and sleeping bags.  If you live in a large building it may take sometimes for the building to get uncomfortably cold –but it will get cold.  There are propane and kerosene heaters available on the market but use them at your own risk.  They may heat a single room which is all you need.  Ventilation is the key to safety. 

If the water quits running you can always drain your water heater for several gallons of clean potable water.  Remember the minimum of one gallon per day?  Your bathtub can hold from 30 to 50 gallons.  When in doubt fill your tub for water storage.  To purify water boil it for up to five minutes or add 8 to 16 drops of unscented chlorine bleach (depending on cloudiness )to gallon of water and wait a half an hour.

Now let’s talk about the toilet not flushing.  The last thing you want to do is use your drinking water to pour down the toilet after a nasty number 2.  Why not purchase a five gallon bucket and double line it with garbage bags.  You can purchase a toilet seat that fits on the bucket.  When the last of the Dinty Moore stew has exited your southern orfice and you have papered profusely just snap the lid on and move the bucket from in front of the TV back to the bathroom.

Candles and batteries.  They are your friend buy lots and store them in a cool dark place.  Get batteries that go in at least three good flashlights.  Get batteries for your emergency radio.  If the power is out no TV, no PC, or wireless connection.  Unless you have a solar charger your smart phone will be a dead phone before too long.

Mr. Brendan Gleeson on surviving the infected.

Mr. Brendan Gleeson on surviving the infected. [28 Days Later]

Everyone needs to take a first step in being prepared.  That’s why I here I am talking about three days.  Why not be prepared for 10 days?  Easy enough to do.  What if God forbid that we are all quarantined in place for 21 days (waiting for the ravages of Ebola to subside).  Grab a calculator and do the math.  1600 calories per day per person.  Plan out easy nutritious meals.  Purchase dry foods in bulk and store in plastic five gallon pails.  Keep several cases of bottled water on hand.  Rotate your canned foods.  Eat those nearing an expiration date and replace them.

So my “lil preppers” do not fear the unknown.  Plan for it.  Take the necessary steps to prepare for a three day blizzard, 10 day power outage, or 21 day quarantine.

~ quietprepper

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Thanks dad!

So there you go. Even if you are an optimist (or perhaps “realist” depending on your perspective) and mass quarantine seems ridiculous and highly unlikely… at least you’ve now read about ways to protect / prepare for other natural occurrences that could keep you from your Glam Doll donut or Chipotle burrito bowl.

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