It’s finally official, we are in a pandemic. Most of us knew that weeks ago but here we are. Now things will really start to change. Suddenly we have found ourselves in a climate where we could be stopped in our tracks. Locked down, medical containment, quarantine, Martial law. Call it what you will.
Food and supply shortages, school and business closures, governments are enacting their continuity of operations plans. Mass gatherings and sporting events are being canceled or postponed all over the planet and it’s about to get worse here.
Large scale travel is being restricted across the board, but local movement is still allowed. For now. Washington State and a few others are trying to figure out how to shut their borders and New York has taken a cue from the Movie Outbreak and sealed off part of a town with the National Guard.
Which begs the question…
What would happen if you get stuck somewhere and not allowed to leave? If we’re lucky we’ll be at home, but what if we are at work, on a business trip or just passing through on our way to somewhere else?
All the normal things we prepare for are still a possibility but now we have to consider what would happen if we find ourselves in a medical containment area. Even worse, an unfamiliar area with no place to go.
Now we actually have a real situation right in front of us.
Regardless of your opinion about the severity of the virus, we still have the problem of people.
Anyone who knows me knows I always say people are your biggest problem. And now we have a nation already divided who now have to figure out how to deal with the uncertainty of an emerging viral pandemic.
Things are beginning to happen very quickly; we might be sitting in traffic only to find the stoppage is a quarantine roadblock. Things most people would never imagine outside of movies are happening such as the National Guard isolating entire areas, States considering closing borders and checkpoints. Mass transit and travel are being restricted in some areas and all it takes is a confirmed case of the virus in a crowded place and panic can ensue.
So, let’s do what we always do with this new reality. Let’s use the information we have to improve our preparedness and reduce our vulnerability.
We should all have normal Bug Out Bags prepared for situations but how about an unexpected layover in a hot zone?
There are things we can do to make our sudden containment a little safer and more comfortable.
Add-ins for our enhanced Bug Out Bag – Pandemic Edition:
- Extra overnight items – 2 weeks
- House shoes/shower shoes
- Nitrile gloves
- Eye protection
- Possibly a Tyvek jumpsuit with a hood
- Tape for the cuffs
- Rubber over boots
- Spray bleach or liquid surface cleaner
- Hand sanitizer – at least 60% alcohol
- Bar soap in travel dish or sandwich bag
- Washcloth/ towel
- Phone/device cables and chargers
- Extra batteries
- Paper maps of street level
- Offline GPS maps saved to phone
- Toilet paper
- Baby wipes
- Written phone numbers
- Out of area contact – once detained immediately activate commo plan and notify OOAC
- List of useful locations
Now, the key here is to think about everyone in your family when you travel. One enhanced kit won’t go very far if you have several people and kids in the car.
Think about each member of the family specifically.
Do you have any special needs?
- Kids diapers/wipes
- Pet containment or leashes
- Medical records of any current conditions that a doctor might need to know about
- Do you have enough medications with you for an extended trip?
- Can you secure medications, firearms, and other dangerous items from kids if you had to sleep in a car or somewhere unfamiliar?
- Add a stroller or folding wagon in the trunk at all times to make it easier to carry kids and gear
- What else might you need? Make a list.