Monthly Archives: March 2009

Ready or Not #36: Social Collapse

This is going to be my last article on the pandemic.  I’m tired of running around yelling, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!”  Even though a pandemic will be a difficult thing to live through, most of us will.  Basically, in order to be prepared for a pandemic, all we need to do is what we are already supposed to be doing: storing a two-week supply of water, storing a one-year supply of food and supplies, having a six-month supply of cash on hand, and taking responsibility of the care of your family.  Not too difficult.  You just have to get started.

But…one last thing needs to be addressed: the social implications and most certainly the economic implications of a pandemic.  As I have said before, and as we all know, we are no longer dealing with just national problems.  Whatever we are dealing with, everyone globally is also feeling the ramifications.  We can see this with our extreme economic fluctuations – and we aren’t even in a pandemic.  Can you just imagine what it would be like if the major economic nations were involved in a pandemic and the economic tailspin that it would start.

There is a reason we need to build up our food supply – we want to have food to eat.  We also need to store clothing and quality shoes that aren’t the wear-for-a-couple-of-months and throw away variety.  We need to get out of debt as quickly as possible and have a financial backup that isn’t tied into the stock market; something that we can access easily.  At least six-months worth of income would be good and make sure that you have a variety of denominations so that you don’t have to pay more for something because you don’t have the exact change.

I know that it is very difficult to talk about (having six-months worth of money stashed away) especially if you are living paycheck to paycheck because I am right there with you.  But do what you can, re-evaluate your spending practices, and take a hard look at your budget.  When the gas prices went higher, we cut down on our extra expenses so that we could afford to buy the gas to get to work.  When the prices went back down and gas was more affordable, did you loosen up your budget and start buying more discretionary items again?  If you did, then I would ask you to reconsider and maybe tighten up a bit and put that little bit of extra money away for when it really gets tight again – and it will.

Another thing that you might want to consider is your work.  We have talked about possibly working from home and what to do to protect yourself from getting infected if you have to go to work, but let’s discuss issues about actually getting the job done.  It would be a useful thing for both you and your employer if you were able to cross-train, if possible, on the different aspects of the business you work for.  One of the problems that will occur is the lack of qualified people that can keep a business going.  Even if the product is important and must continue to be manufactured, it won’t get done if the majority of employees are home sick and there is no one that is qualified to put out a finished product.  Make yourself more valuable as an employee by learning different aspects of your job so that if you are called on to help in another area, you will actually be helpful.

Harlin Dolgin and Tim Woerther, volunteers for PandemicPrep.org stated, “Our goal is to prevent the social collapse that could occur as the result of a pandemic.”  Think about that statement.  If the pandemic were to get really bad, our society could teeter on the brink of social collapse and it would be horrific – if it happened.  Just for your information.  It was reported by the Channel 5 news in Salt Lake City, Utah, that Africa is in the middle of a cholera epidemic.

“UN reports 2,201 cholera deaths in Zimbabwe
January 16th, 2009 @ 4:59am
GENEVA (AP) – The United Nations says the death toll from Zimbabwe’s cholera outbreak has risen to 2,201 and the epidemic is still not under control.

The U.N. humanitarian office says 1,550 new cases are being reported every day. It says 41,986 people are now affected.  The U.N. said Friday that many people are dying of the disease in their homes. Those making it to the impoverished country’s depleted hospitals are faring somewhat better.  It said a lack of clean water and proper hygiene in the country is causing many to get re-infected after treatment.  Cholera has spread in Zimbabwe because of the country’s crumbling health care system and economy. Many doctors can no longer afford to work.”

W.H.O. (World Health Organization) is hoping that it won’t spread to other countries in Africa, but it has seen cases outside of the Zimbabwe borders.  Something is always going on, isn’t it.  Could something that bad happen here?  Absolutely!  Maybe even worse, most probably something worse.  They at least know how to treat cholera.

Get prepared.  Gain knowledge, store food and water, and get your medical supplies and medical training.  Then when our community, state and government are able to help after an outbreak, it won’t be so overwhelming because we did our part and our society will still be intact.  Now go check your water, food, clothes, and medical supplies and then tomorrow – learn something new.