Prepping in Malaysia 101: Readying for Devastating Flu Pandemic

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Definition of a pandemic: a pandemic, simply put, is a disease outbreak on a global scale. This is different than an epidemic and a simple disease outbreak. An epidemic is when an infectious disease spreads through many people quickly (definition: True Prepper). The above is the scale used in Singapore – image source: www.straitstimes.com.

In recent time, the world has been grappling with a serious case of flu infections (in Malaysia we been fighting H1N1 and 2019-nCoV infections), natural disasters, man-made disasters (in Malaysia, water pollution) and massive forest fires. Many people lost their lives, loved ones and their homes.

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The concept of prepping is nothing new.

Back in 2011, there was a big concern that the world as we know it would end in 2012. In fact, there was a blockbuster movie made on the very subject. With a better exposure to emergency readiness and how things can go terribly wrong if the situation gets worse, I started toying around with the concept of prepping.

Given the worst-case scenario – it was obvious that we were not prepared for any emergencies. So we started to pick up some tips from the net and made changes at home. We changed the small storage under the staircase to be our doomsday storeroom – with proper cabinets to store all essentials from canned food, other food, detergents, candles, first aid, etc.

We also added water containers which came very handy during the unscheduled water disruptions which unfortunately still happen even now. And more importantly, I try to pick up some DIY skills so that minor repairs can be fixed without the need to engage any contractors.

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Now with the coronavirus on the loose, the worst-case scenario of what will happen when the world is facing the end is already happening – in Hong Kong with supermarkets quickly becoming short of essential supplies. Image source: www.reuters.com.

Panic-stricken residents have emptied shelves in major supermarkets in Hong Kong, stockpiling meat, rice, cleaning products and soap as fears escalate over the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) epidemic on the mainland.

The rush to procure food in the city of 7.4 million people is unprecedented, residents say, describing it as far worse than the panic during the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that killed nearly 800 people around the world, including nearly 300 in Hong Kong.

At a major supermarket in the bustling Wan Chai district, counters selling chilled meat and seafood were empty by mid-morning on Friday and over the weekend, with stocks of fresh vegetables dwindling.

The rush to buy food and cleaning products comes as some shoppers said they were concerned that a potential shutdown of the border would impact the supply of products.

(Source)

And this panic buying has now spread to Singapore as well:-

Politicians and supermarket chain representatives on Friday called on shoppers to remain calm, saying Singapore has sufficient stocks of essential supplies and food.

This was after items began flying off shelves at some supermarkets here when Singapore announced earlier in the day that it will be raising its disease outbreak response to the coronavirus situation by a notch to orange, which is just below the highest level of red.

Many photos and posts circulating on social media showed long queues at supermarkets and empty shelves.

(Source)

Both Hong Kong & Singapore share a common trait – both do not have natural resources, both are a trading nation and most of their foodstuff are imported. So when panic buying starts, such worst-case scenario is expected.

In Malaysia, we fared slightly better – we produce most of our foodstuff and other essentials and credit to the Government, we have our emergency supplies at home considering we have natural disasters like the annual floods and man-made water crisis.

However, when the lockdown like in China comes, I don’t think most of the household is in the right state of readiness. Do they have enough food & water to last them for a couple of weeks? Do they have medical & other essentials for cleaning at hand?

Now with a virus pandemic, there are more confirmed cases, what can a prepper do to minimise possible infection and be ready for the possible lockdown?

The Simple Prepper suggest the following quarantine kit that will keep people outside the sick room safe and the people inside the room recovering:-

Protective Body Suits
N95 Masks (or more)
Thick Plastic Sheeting (common at home improvement stores)
Simple cot for laying down and sleeping
Essential Oils
Strong High Mil Trash Bags
Hydration and Electrolyte Options (sports drinks or others)
Immune Booster (store bought or something like pine needle tea)
A good amount of cleaning solution or spray that disinfects
High quality soap and scrubbing tools
Disposable latex gloves
Duck tape or painters tape depending on where you set up your quarantine room
5 gallon bucket to act as a back up toilet (multiple would be preferred)
Bleach to disinfect buckets between uses
Water, water, water – in this case, at least 2 gallons of water per person for up to 7 days if possible

(Source)

To keep one healthy and minimise the chances of spreading the virus to others, True Prepper suggests the following tips:-

Vaccinations
Wash Your Hands
Quit Touching Your Face
Cover Your Cough
Wear a N95 Mask
Antiviral Drugs

(Source)

Personally I have always ensured some form of readiness at home – key part is to always keep the home’s doomsday storeroom stocked up for any eventualities – food, water, medicine, etc. I still have a problem getting facial masks due to limited supplies but I have some emergency stock on standby.

Another step is to keep a close eye on any breaking news so that in case the situation turns ugly and thus family members and friends are alerted immediately. Similarly on the other way around, having good networking also helps.

In Malaysia, despite recording 12 confirmed coronavirus cases, it is yet to become critical and the Health Ministry is certainly doing a good job on monitoring and isolating suspected cases. We have yet to see any full-blown pandemic in this country. However, that does not mean one can just sit on our laurels and don’t do anything to prepping ourselves in the event things goes under.

Stay safe and always be ready…

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