Harvard scientist: Coronavirus pandemic likely will infect 40-70% of world this year.

Scary headline but a real one.

So, what can you do to prepare yourself and your family for something like this?

Losing strategy = wait until something like this comes to a theatre near you. Wait too long and you’re screwed.

Winning strategy = do some simple preparation now and if the CDC locks down your city, and you’re stuck, at least you’ll be prepared.

So let’s focus on winning because we’ve all seen enough “Outbreak” types of movies with the empty supermarket shelves. The time to shop is BEFORE it happens folks.

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Some simple preparation you can do.

Basic Survival Shopping list (four-week supply on perishables. You’re smart, do the math.)

  • Clean drinking water. You can also buy some plastic storage containers and fill them up at home to save $.
  • Portable water filtration (helps if you have to fill the bathtub up to drink)
  • High-calorie Survival Meals that require no water or heat. We call these Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) in the military. Buy only from trusted commercial providers because the real deal MREs are often faked. No use giving yourself food poisoning; buy the good stuff.
  • Organic canned and dry food options are a good alternative to the above. (Trust me, I lived off MREs for a few months in Afghanistan; it was horrible. You’ll want to mix it up. Unless you don’t want to be taking a crap for two months, then eat all the MREs all the time. Sorry, not sorry…)
  • A good first aid kit.
  • Over the counter pain and flu medicine.
  • Toiletries
  • Soap, alcohol hand rub.
  • More water.
  • Pet supplies and food.
  • Good mask with filtration (Not the cheap ones). We sourced some good ones here.
  • If you have kids, better get some board games.
  • If you have infants, better stock up on required baby items.
  • Portable radio with spare batteries in case the internet goes out.
  • A few LED headlamps for when the lights go out. They’re hands-free and better than flashlights.
  • Portable GPS by Garmin (you never know). I’m also a fan of a map of your tri-state area. REI has plenty of these.
  • One good outfit you can put on and wear for a week.
  • One good backpack per person in case you have to go for a hike. Best to load it up with a small first aid kit and food… this is where those portable water filters come in handy too. We call this a “Go Bag” in the SEAL Teams.

Most importantly: Have a simple plan in place that all the family knows in advance. Meet here at Y, and do X. The simpler the better.

I’m always surprised by how silly people can be (maybe not after the behavioral classes at Harvard by professor Boris). We’ll spend more time planning a Disney vacation for our family, or a trip to the Greek islands than we do preparing a simple survival plan and spending a few hundred dollars at the store for our family in case of a natural disaster or worse.

I hope this helps. I can now personally divert the calls from my mom, my friends, and family and point them to this article. So I definitely had my own selfish interest in mind when I wrote this. Time management 101.

If you appreciated these tips please share this post. And remember, a little preparation now, goes a long way for when it matters.

For a practical resource on how to deal with the Coronavirus, visit Apple iBooks.