How To Protect Your Home During This Pandemic

While self-defense is not normally listed as one of the top three survival priorities, it supersedes all of them in a way. It’s really pretty simple – if someone kills you, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve got heat for your house, drinking water, or eating food. We only think of the normal survival priorities so long as you’re alive. If someone or something succeeds in killing you they are not going to be priorities at all.

There are two separate and distinct threats to our lives in the current situation that we find ourselves in. The first is the very same disease. Collectively, we are fighting a war against an enemy that is too low to see and too dangerous to ignore. Although it may take that enemy time to kill, and it may not be able to kill everybody it attacks, it can still kill, yet. We just cannot ignore that.

It cannot only kill but it can get into our homes and kill us there. And it can do that, even without us knowing it’s come. That is frightening, if you think about it. An enemy you can see is bad enough; one you can’t see, and you can’t detect, is far more deadly.

But this isn’t the only menace we face. There is the threat of desperate people, who decide to do things desperate. Though we haven’t seen any of that yet, some people have been targeting shoppers to steal what they had. If things follow the normal pattern seen in the wake of most catastrophes, this will increase in the coming weeks, with people breaking into homes to get the supplies they need.

Protecting Your Home From Home Invaders

Let’s get to grips with people breaking into your home first. This might not happen, just because the stores are still open. If the supply conditions keep improving, this will protect against people bullying others to get what they need. But that coin has a flip side to it. As more people lose their jobs, we’re likely seeing an increase in intrusions from home. So just being ready makes sense.

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The only positive thing we can say is that the intruders in the home are not really imaginative people. All of them come the same way -through the front door.

The classic attack is to kick open the door, and rush in for two or three people, crushing the residents.

You’ve probably heard that a deadbolt lock will keep that from happening on your door, but that’s not true. Although even the cheapest of deadbolts are powerful enough to withstand the blow, the deadbolt only goes through the door frame of a small striker plate. That frame is 3⁄4″ thick pine, and it is only 1⁄2″ from the edge of the hole for the deadbolt to go in. When someone kicks open the door the deadbolt breaks through the frame of the door, allowing them to enter.

Related: This Is How to Improve Your Home Security System

In fact, this is a relatively easy problem to fix. All you need to do is replace the striker plate of the deadbolt and the striker plate of the door lock with what is known as a “security striker plate”

This is a longer plate, covering both locks, and allowing the use of many more screws.

How To Protect Your Home During This Pandemic

That spreads the kick out force farther, so it’s not concentrated in one place, allowing the intruder to kick open the door.

When properly mounted, the screws go through the door frame and through the studs behind it, with 3″ or longer screws, so that the force of the kick is directly transmitted to the foundation of the house, which is more than they can crack.

When installing this, make sure to remove the hinge side screws as well, placing 3″ or longer screws into the frame and 1 1⁄2″ long screws into the doorway.

You can add a door club to the bottom of the door for greater security. This is a device which goes into the floor, acting essentially like a second deadbolt. If you have a hard floor surface (not carpeting) for it to brace against, you can also use a door prop.

Related: Body Shields for Home Defense

Protect Your Home From This Pandemic

The tougher challenge is to keep the invisible enemy out of your home, the virus that is causing the pandemic. The fundamental problem is, we can’t see the virus. It’s so small that we could take thousands of them into our home on a received envelope in the mail, a food package we purchased at the store, or our hands. If we had it or not, there is no way we will know.

I know it sounds paranoid, but the only way we can keep this virus out of our homes is to assume it’s contaminated everything.

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All it takes is someone who doesn’t know they’re sick in the grocery store to cough on a shelf of items.

Or a worker who packs your shipment to cough as they pull and prepare your order.

Or it can be your local mailman who has the virus on his gloved hands, and will contaminate your package.

If you’re bringing that package to your home, you’ve just let the condition in. The only question then is, which member of the family will get sick?

It helps that we obey social distancing. Most of us don’t get to see friends and our friends don’t get to visit us. So if one of them becomes infected, he’s not going to bring it into your home. Of course, you’re not going to know if they’re bringing it to your home for a few weeks, so it’s best not to let them come visit. If they insist then you would want to decontaminate them when they arrive at your home.

But what do you do with those packages? The stuff you ‘re buying at the store, or coming in the mail? That is the bigger issue.

Those can be decontaminated, too. In fact, you should decontaminate them, each one.

I know it’s a lot of extra work (trust me, I know), but it’s the only way that you can be sure your family is safe. All it takes is a package coming in the door that hasn’t been decontaminated and could end up sick or worse for your entire family.

So, how do you disinfect this whole thing?

It’s not all that hard, though it can be a bit time-consuming. You need to have paper towels and some kind of disinfectant spray to do it. I prefer to use chlorine bleach or at least 60% alcohol. Mix 1/8 cup, plus 4 teaspoons and a gallon of water to give you the right concentration for the bleach. Using it then putting in a spray bottle.

Related: 5 Easy Steps to Decontaminate Yourself at Home

Disinfecting items outside is safest, and then moving them into the house. My wife and I did this today, as we returned from the grocery store.

We would disinfect the things outside, then pass them through the door and put them on a chair.

My last swipe with the paper towels would be the section of the jar I had carried. Then she would take the decontaminated items out of the chair and put them away.

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In this way, I only touched the contaminated items, and I was wearing rubber gloves. She never touched them.

Soak your disinfectant with three or four paper towels. You want them just shy of the point where they are dripping. Then:

  • Wipe the exterior down for items that are in hard, sealed containers, such as canned food, boxes, bags and clam-shell packaging.
  • For items such as breakfast cereal, where a bag is inside the box, open the box and dump the bag out, the box may be contaminated, but the bag inside may be clean.
  • For items where it is difficult to clean the packaging, such as a bag of nuts, open the packaging and dump the contents for storage in a plastic container, throw the packaging away.
  • For fruits and vegetables, put them in the sink and wash them, just like washing your hands.
  • For incoming shipments, open the shipping box, remove and disinfect the contents, throwing the shipping box away.

Related: How To Help Your Immune System

All boxes, bags and other containers that are not disinfected should be thrown into the outside trash can immediately. Don’t even bother to take them inside. Then, if you’re just back from the store, disinfect your car, pay special attention to the door handles, steering wheel, gearshift level, turn signal lever and anything else you might have touched.

One last detail – if you’ve been through all that trouble, about the chance that COVID-19 virus was on something you bought in the store, then there’s a good chance the virus got on your clothes while you were there. So take off your clothes and put them in the washing machine. Then wash your hands before re-dressing.

Either add 1⁄2 cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (the type they sell for first aid use), color-safe bleach or 20 Mule Team Borax into the wash to disinfect your clothes. Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful disinfectant. It contains color-safe bleach, and to make it, the borax mixes with the water. And you’ll have hydrogen peroxide in the water in all of those situations to clean your clothes, making sure they ‘re ready for the next time you wear them.

I know, as I said, that sounds paranoid but am I paranoid enough? It’s only time to tell.