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Disasters to Prepare for: Part 1 – Pandemic

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The good thing about New Zealand is that anything that is happening globally will usually reach here with a bit of a delay, even when there is a pandemic. That means that simply checking out what is happening across the rest of the world will give you a good idea of your own future in many aspects.


Lessons learned around and during the march lockdown


For me, the march lockdown was a very interesting time. I have to admit we made it through very well, as both me and my partner continued to work from home. We live fairly rurally anyway and I actually don’t mind spending time at home. But feeling like it was forbidden and a bad thing to go outside actually really put a lot of strain on us and we felt trapped.

Interestingly, already in January I had a pretty good idea of what was coming (luckily it turned out to be far less severe than I had anticipated). Still when the lockdown was finally announced I was surprised and even shocked by the speed that things progressed and had a bit of a panic moment myself as well. So, what are the lessons learned for me:


  • Facemasks, bleach, rubber gloves all were gone, pretty much as soon as the first reports of a “deadly virus spreading in china” started coming in. If you want to be prepared for a particular scenario you need to be prepared way in advance. Even if you plan on getting your preps as soon as the first signs start tickling in, you might already be too late.
  • Even when you think you have done everything to prepare something is going to be missing. We roughly have a years’ worth of food at home, but we still ended up going to the grocery shop to get a few more things before level 4.
  • When your plan involves getting to a bug out location somewhere else, better go there early or expect to not be able to go there at all. A lot of people that thought they could spend the lockdown at their batches got turned around at checkpoints. Also, a lot of communities did not want any visitors in their area. Some communities even had their own private road blocks sending away and even threatening people trying to get there.
  • Hunting was banned, even on private land, so was boating (fishing). Expect the government in its unlimited wisdom to prevent you from (legally) getting food of the land, should disaster strike. To be fair though, going on a hunt on public land during lockdown would have been a bad idea. Guess how busy it would have been with everybody having time to do so, and people trying to bug out there.
  • The supply chain did not run out, but there were severe shortages of certain goods and they had to limit the amount you could buy to prevent the chain from breaking down. Of course, preppers (or hoarders) got the blame for the supply shortage. Also, the media caused a small toilet paper panic to ridicule the people that tried to stockpile. People fighting over something as irrelevant as toilet paper in the face of a pandemic is ridiculous. And that just happened because it was said that toilet paper was running out. Everybody started to buy a bit more and the shelves were empty. Imagine they had spread rumours that the food was going to run out. Officials obviously can’t admit how fickle our food supply chain really is. Go into any supermarket the day before Christmas and see how empty the shelves are during normal times. That’s just because people by a little bit extra for the holidays. If people really started to panic with regards to food things would look different and many shops would likely close for good.
  • While it is arguable if the New Zealand Government did a good job or not, so far, we got through this very well. New Zealand’s geographic isolation is usually beneficial during global catastrophes. That said the world did not end in Europe either, and most places did not have lockdowns as severe as the one here, yet.

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