- Jason Charles is a New York City firefighter and the lead organizer of the New York City Preppers Network.
- A prepper is someone who prepares for natural disasters, pandemics, and other emergencies.
- The three main areas you need to prep for a self-quarantine are food and supplies, safety, and entertainment.
- Self-quarantining is key to slowing the spread of COVID-19.
- For the latest case total, death toll, and travel information, see Business Insider’s live updates here.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Jason Charles: So, a prepper is someone who prepares for disasters, emergencies, and pretty much, you know, pandemics like this. We see bad outcomes in the future and react to it by preparing for that, whatever it might be. These are the things that we line ourselves up for so that we don’t get caught with our pants down. It’s like getting car insurance. You know you’re gonna get into an accident at some point in time, so what do you do? You get car insurance. Depends on your building structure. For example, my parents live in a 32-story building, I think there’s something like 200 units in it, right. So, with a building that big and that many units, you’re running into too many transients, plus you’re running into people who are visiting them. That’s too much of an exposure. When you get home, you gotta wash your hands a dozen times, you gotta disinfect the doorknobs and make sure, you know, that you didn’t infect it, so there’s too many variables with buildings that big. It’s why my parents left the city and went to PA. If you live in a home, you’re in the best-case scenario because it’s your home, you know who is coming in and out, you know that once you wipe down the surfaces you’re fine. So, I mean, listen. For a two-week lockdown, the necessities are food and water. I mean, and your own personal medical supplies. That’s all you’re gonna need. And you should only buy foods you’re gonna eat. Right, just because Spam’s on sale doesn’t mean you should buy that crap. In my pantry, I have a lot of canned goods. I have Chef Boyardee, which I grew up on. It’s the only reason why I still eat it. Tuna fish, corned beef hash, canned beans, tomato sauce to make, you know, like, pasta and red-sauce stuff, dried cereal, and meats that are in the freezer, but I vacuum-sealed the meats so they last longer. You get probably almost a year out of a lot of it if you vacuum-seal it. If you have kids, make sure you have an abundant amount of snacks so that they can eat three times a day. So, when you calculate how much food you should have, you should calculate three meals a day for 15 days. And then you take, and me personally, you take one meal out, so now you’re extended your 15 days to something like, I don’t know, 22 days or something like that. So, you should ration off your food, but you shouldn’t ration off your water. Rationing off water is bad because you can put yourself in a dehydrated state. Everyone should have 2 gallons of water per person per day, ‘cause one of those gallons is gonna be used to keep yourself clean. The other gallon’s for you to drink. If you have pets and you have to prepare for a lockdown, for example, my dog, I’m buying bags of food each week. They’re 50 pounds a bag, but he should be good a month a bag. So I’m gonna buy him two more bags, and hopefully this thing passes in three. If not, he’s gonna be eating human food. And not humans, but like, you know, our stuff we have stored away. There’s no such thing as going overboard with stocking your pantry, right? So, you can, I don’t know, you can go bananas all you want, but it also helps because if you want to, you know, give your neighbor food or something like that, you can. The anxiety of getting sick, the anxiety of staying in the apartment for days on end, you could break that monotony with, you know, entertainment. This is not 1918, right? This is 2020, so we have technology to keep us busy. We have Netflix and the rest of those to keep us busy. If the power goes out, that’s a different ball game altogether. With that, I would venture to say buy a couple board games, you know, just in case you get tired of TV. And then, talking. If you have someone to talk to. If you live alone, I don’t know, draw a face on the wall and talk to that. But, you know, if you live alone, then you’re gonna have to do a lot of texting and phone calls. If not, then talk to whoever you’re in hospital. That helps. Do some workouts, push-ups, air squats. If you have a pull-up bar, do that. Jump rope, if you have one. If you have a yoga mat, do some yoga. I don’t do that crap, but I hear it works. As far as my home gym goes, I don’t have one. What I do have is I collect programs online to do home workouts. So, you could use water jugs ‘cause they’re 8 pounds, right? So you put them on a rope on a stick, you could curl that, you know. There’s different little crude things you can do. A lockdown is important in this situation because of how fast the virus spreads. But if you go against the quarantine rules or the lockdown rules, you’re helping the virus spread, right? So you’re taking a person who’s sick, introducing them to someone healthy, and getting them sick for what? Out of you own personal gains or whatever it is. History has taught us that quarantine works.