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Pandemic Tips #9 – Storable food, classic cars, Home security

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Pandemic tips #9 covering increasing your stock of storable foods, classic cars, home security, meat shortages and a toilet paper update. 

We are still in lockdown. Fortunately, Pennsylvania isn’t going crazy like a couple of other states. 

Storable food

A classic concept of survival/prepping is storeable food. That is food that can be kept for long periods of time with no refrigeration. Prime examples are rice and pasta. You don’t need to go into a hoarding mode but it might pay to add some extra. When things are back to normal, there will be plenty of food pantrys that could use the donations.

The concept is simple. A box of pasta might be about 1600 calories. So, that is a basic calorie load for one person for one day. Heavy exercise will require additional calories. If someone has a condition such as diabetes or gluten issues, you need to be careful what you stock.

Some examples of food that can be stored are

  • rice, pasta, noodles
  • Nuts (Some such as walnuts might need a cooler location)
  • Oatmeal.
  • Canned pasta sauce – check the expiration dates. Avoid cream based sauces.
  • Jerky
  • Other canned fruits and vegetables.

Do some reading on how long you can actually use these foods. Also, be careful how you store them. You don’t want to go get a box of pasta and find that it has been chewed up and you have a super fat mouse sitting there.

Also, you don’t need to go with expensive MRE type food but that is an option. There are companies that sell packages with a fairly long shelf life.

The simple math is:

Number of people x calories per day x expected days needed = Total calories needed.

Home Security

I’m seeing a disturbing number of news reports of home invasions. This is something else to consider in addition to encroaching wildlife. Unfortunately many people have never considered personal security. The run on gun stores for guns and ammo showed that a lot of people suddenly woke up.

A lot depends on where you live. No place is inherently safe although some locations are better than others. A home invasion occurred in a suburban neighborhood. Fortunately quick action by the family resulted in the demise of one of the invaders and the other being driven off.

The best defense is being aware of your surroundings at all times. Col Jeff Cooper’s, color code is a structured way of doing this. It is geared toward people who are armed but the concepts apply to everyone.

Review your situation and see if you can improve your security. Every home will have unique needs. There are some evil people and a situation like this makes them more desperate.

Meat packing plants might shut down.

There are reports of employees at meat packing plants coming down with Covid-19. DO NOT PANIC – There is no need to run out and stock up on meat. This will probably be a temporary situation. You might need to change your diet a little depending on what is available. You can swap out eggs for meat for protein. Cheese and nuts are other options. A lot depends on your health needs, tastes and what is available. Be creative.

The meat packing plants were never designed and built with this type of situation in mind. As with everything else, they will evolve. Food stores are now placing Plexiglas barriers between the customers and cashiers. Meat packing plants will have to adjust to prevent employees from infecting each other and/or the products.

A classic car is in my future.

What the heck does that have to do with Covid-19 or Pandemics in general? Well, some of the governors have gone a bit draconian. For example, stores can’t sell seed packets in one state. The entire store is open but they cannot sell certain items such as seed packs. Other states are handing out 500 dollar fines for going to a drive in church. Damn, if someone can sneeze through two windshields, we have a much bigger problem.

Classic cars can't be remotely disabled

Now, back to the classic cars. Today’s cars are wired to the internet. Friendly hackers proved that they could take complete control of a Jeep Cherokee remotely. That isn’t peculiar to that make or model. Many modern cars are built with a remote kill switch where the manufacturer can send a command to prevent the vehicle from starting. I can picture some government hack giving an order to remotely disable all vehicles. Or, alternatively an EMP event would definitely kill newer vehicles but older vehicles might survive. A spare coil, points and condenser might get it back into service.

You can beat a remote shutdown that by having a classic vehicle as a second car. If you have a late 1960’s Barracuda with a 318, two barrel carb there simply isn’t any internet connection to disable the vehicle. A better choice would be something like an old Willy’s Jeep with four wheel drive, off road capability and a large cargo capacity. Most states offer classic tags. Also, if you follow the classic car rules, your insurance company will probably give you a very low rate. This means you have to limit the amount of miles you put on it but that should be manageable.

As I stated in a previous post, second homes are not a good bugout option. You can take the money you save by not investing in a second home and spend that on a decent low tech vehicle.

The great toilet paper update

It seems that Costco has shipped the order I placed about a week ago. That isn’t too bad. It should be here by Monday.

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See our Prepping and Survival Category for tips, tricks and hacks to help with the current Covid-19 outbreak.