How to Keep Your Home Healthy and Safe in Time of Crisis
The confusion and complexity of this COVID-19 crisis is truly extraordinary. So, as of this moment in time, at least, you still need to stay home and take all appropriate measures to protect yourself—including your house. Because in the same way that eating right and exercising prevents diabetes and obesity, these are extra measures that will keep us from ending up in a far more drastic survival situation.
Survival is not just a product of luck. We can do far more than we think to improve our odds of preventing and surviving even the most horrendous of catastrophes. It’s a matter of preparation but also of mental conditioning.
Humans are programmed with basic survival skills. When frightened, we get a shot of performance-enhancing hormones, and the blood pumps to our limbs to help us outrun whatever enemy we face. But in modern times, we are hardly aware of such natural skills and most of us do little to understand or develop them.
Firefighters, police trainers — even stockbrokers — have told stories of seeing people freeze under extreme stress. I am one of those! Like deer in the headlights of a car, I have often chosen the wrong survival response in a crisis situation. Rather than choosing to fight in a crisis situation, I have been known to freeze in my tracks — especially when it comes to talking in front if a crowd!
Many flight attendants are now trained to scream at passengers in burning planes, “Get out! Get out! Go!” People respond well to leadership in a disaster, and then they can do remarkable things.
Are you ready to anticipate the strange behaviors that you will encounter at the worst of times?
But for many of us, preparation means little more than crossing our fingers and hoping to live. Regular people can learn from that knowledge, since, after all, we will be the first on the scene of any disaster.
During a crisis, you may not have the time or resources, nor will you be in the right frame of mind to consider everything you need to do. Here lies the importance of making well-thought out survival plan and storing supplies before disaster hits and you are surrounded by chaos, fighting, freezing or fleeing. Take precautions now, before it is too late. This includes mental adjustments, as well as physical.
Where to begin
The first, easiest and most logical place to begin is to create a kit or some type of document case that can be grabbed up quickly if you need to evacuate. This would contain such things as:
- Birth certificates
- Insurance documents
- Medical records
- Marriage license
- Divorce decree
- Government documents such as for Social Security or disability benefits
- Vehicle titles
Pick an emergency contact and have everyone in your family memorize the phone number. In case of emergency, each is to call the contact for a full report.
The next step is to stock interim survival supplies in the trunk of your car. Keep in mind this is short-term emergencies. This might include:
- A case of bottled water
- Sheet of heavy plastic
- Flashlights and batteries
- Signal flares
- Package of glow sticks
- 100-hour survival candles
- Matches (waterproof, windproof)
- First aid kit
- Beef jerky
- Protein bars
- Powdered milk
- Dried fruits
- In a cold climate, insulated coveralls and boots
- Emergency cash
- Toilet paper
- Whistle to signal for help
If you have these two kits compiled, then you have made a step that fewer than 5% of the population has ever thought to make.
A little at a time
This virus deserves to be handled with an ample amount of caution. But constant alarmism is only going to destroy your peace, steal your sleep, and weaken your immune system.
So, instead of watching cable news 24/7, here are a few things that I advise you to do.
- Learn to cook—With restaurants closed, you can use this time to learn how to make heathy meals for yourself and your family in the comfort of your own home. It’s a skill that will last a lot longer than this pandemic. Plus, you’ll have more control over what’s going into your own body—down to the cooking oil.
- Keep a record—Record everything that your family eats for one month. Keep a list of what you normally use in food such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, tea, coffee and don’t forget what you feed your pets.
- Create storage —By adding shelving units in your utility room or plastic bins under the beds.
- Begin a storage pile with condiments like canned items packages of pasta, cans of tuna, etc.
- When you think of storing grain, wheat is often considered but grains such as millet and barley are overlooked, even though they have a longer shelf life. Don’t forget popcorn! This nourishing treat will last for up to 10 years! Bay leaves will deter insects from any grain invasion!
- Start thinking of how you would survive with no power. Run through a number of possible scenarios and begin to prepare. If you have a camp stove, learn how to use it.
- Grow something—Whether you have a whole yard to work with or just a handful of pots or planters, there’s no better time to learn to grow your own food. It will save you a trip to the market, and it’s healthier for you and better for the environment, too.
- Grow miracle food — This miracle food costs very little, can be grown anywhere and is very simple. It is sprouting! You can sprout almost any type of seed for a tasty treat that contain vitamins (A, C, B) minerals, proteins and enzymes. In times of crisis, pour water over the seeds and cover with a porous lid or cheesecloth. When you have little fresh produce to enjoy, you can have consistently reliable sources of high nutrient vegetables in sprouts in just 3-4 days.
Recently, I came across a method for creating a pot-in-pot refrigerator. Otherwise known as the “zeer pot,” it is an invention that keeps food fresh without electricity. It can play a timely role in that of an emergency. Claims have been made that it can keep food edible for up to 20 days!
Making a flower-pot fridge is simple:
- Choose 2 ceramic pots of different sizes (be sure there is no glaze)
- Plug the hole in the bottom of both pots.
- Fill a layer of sand on the bottom of the largest pot before setting in the smaller pot.
- Fill around the sides with more sand
- Add the water almost to the brim (sea water, rain or river water could be used)
- Cover with wet towel
- Allow inner pot to cool down
- Store food items inside (meat for up to two weeks)
This is an excellent way to reduce our carbon footprint, get off the grid and eliminate using electricity. It may mean the difference between starvation and having enough food to fear yourself in an emergency survival situation.
I don’t pretend to provide a comprehensive study on preparation or survival. No one enjoys imagining the worst or how vulnerable we are. It only takes a disaster movie to realize what it might be like without modern conveniences: heat, light, running water, washers, dryers and automatic garage door openers! We never really think of how much we have until the day it goes away.
It reminds me of a proverb from the Bible.
“Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.” Proverbs 30:25
The ant diligently stores away food for the summer and when the cold hits, the ant is snug and fed. The time to prepare is prior to any calamity that might come.
National anxiety is as high as it’s ever been. But as a city, as a state, as a nation, and as a planet… we will survive this. So, when it all gets to be too much, I urge you to turn off the news. And take time for self-care. But whenever you can, move towards developing plans, habits and action steps that could possibly save your life and the lives of your loved ones.
Do this while you still can and you’ll never be sorry.