Coronavirus has been in the public spotlight this week as it has spread to more than 36 countries and infected over 80,000 people worldwide, and continues to grow. Supply chain shortages for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as Tyvek and 3M coveralls tested to the ASTM 1670/1671 and EN 14126 Standards for protection against pathogens are a reality. As of this week, Dupont, the maker of Tyvek coveralls, is behind more than three months in their supply, and the shelves and warehouses of nearly every PPE distributor and retailer in the country are empty. This means if you didn't have the right gear in advance of this global pandemic, it's going to be very hard to get it now, and demand is still rising. (We can still help get the right gear - just email us at email@example.com)
This is inherently why ReadyNation espouses the term "Emergency Preparedness" as opposed to "Emergency Response." Response is an after-the-event/after-the-fact reaction, whereas Preparedness is conducted well in advance. If you don't have a generator or battery backup when the lights go out, it's not going to be fun trying to get to the local Home Depot to buy one after the fact. Coronavirus has been a crucial reminder that when a mass event occurs and panic sets in, demand for equipment quickly exceeds the available supply. We have also seen other retailers engage in price gouging for the limited supplies available, which adds a financial advantage to Preparedness over Response.
We won't belabor the point, but let this be a reminder that Preparedness means ensuring you have the right gear before you need it -- because it may not be available when it counts the most.
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