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Stay Safe From The H1N1 Mexican Swine Flu: The 40 Products In Greatest Pandemic Demand

Updated on April 29, 2009

I am the first to agree that this is a borderline debasing and disgusting way to do business. Personally, I don't know if I would have the chutzpah and cojones to act in this manner if I were in the CEO office. However, if it is true that the executives of a corporation have to first and foremost consider the welfare and survivability of their company through a disaster, then it's quite obvious that there is no other choice.

If you can bear to cross the line into loathsome, ghoulish opportunism, these items should be in overwhelming demand during a pandemic and represent an opportunity to charge a huge premium over retail price:

Air filters
Air purifiers
Alcohol hand sanitizers
Alcoholic beverages
Antiviral (if you can find it)
Camp stoves
Camping and survivalist gear
Canned, dried and jarred food
Disinfectant sprays and liquids
Electric generators
Female sanitary supplies
First aid kits
Fuel of any type
Heat pads
Hydrogen peroxide
Lime (calcium oxide)
Military food rations
Medical and surgical supplies
Morgue and funeral supplies
Plastic water barrels
Rubber gloves
Rubbing alcohol
Sanitation kits
Stay-dry matches
Vaccine (if you can get it)
Water filters
Water in sealed bottles
Water purifiers
Wind-up radios

Thank goodness that I'm not in retail, because if I were inclined towards this type of opportunism (and for the record, I'm not), I would be liquidating out my stock right now and scouring the suppliers in the Thomas Register for as much of the above products as they could ship me. If I could get my hands on an entire 40'FCL container-load of this stuff, I'd buy it in a New York minute.

The single greatest demand item on that list is antiviral or vaccine. I can easily see a single course of antiviral or a shot of vaccine fetching $1,000 or much much more during the panic. That could be a 1,000% profit margin, which surely beats anything you can net from any other product! Keep in mind that if the pandemic ends up not materializing at all you can still sell it off at retail price as there will always be a market for good, fresh, in date product!

If you consider yourself a prime example of the enterpreneurial spirit, consider setting up a business specifically for the pandemic. Why not book out an entire remote country 4 or 5 star hotel, fill it with food, water and supplies, seal it off, call it a “flu-free oasis” and offer pandemic-long full-board accommodation at outrageous room rates? You may be surprised how many people will actually take you up on that.

You will have to test everyone incoming for H1N1, but generic test kits are becoming available from companies such as Veredus and Qiagen and should be rather inexpensive. The staff will have to sign a contract that they will be there 24/7 until the pandemic has passed. Give them an incentive by allowing them to bring a family member or two along for the duration. A little math: If you have 100 double rooms available, you can easily charge $3,500/week, of which almost half can be net profit if you play your cards right, negotiate a good deal with the hotel ownership and keep a close eye on expenses.

Given the fact that the "oasis" should operate for at least two months and possibly four, you could stand to net approximately half a million dollars a month. Don't think that there aren't enough concerned, well-off people that you won't fill your hotel. It comes out to less than $250 per person per night which is very reasonable for luxury full board even without the added advantage of being in a secure, flu-free zone and surviving the pandemic!

Continued in
Stay Safe From The H1N1 Mexican Swine Flu: Confronting A Global Pandemic's Social Upheavals

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    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      10 years ago from Toronto

      As distasteful as it may seem, there is no doubt that entrepreneurs are looking at a potential pandemic as a profitable opportunity, but as you pointed out, it would be very wise to have a good stock of these items in any home.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      10 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      I can't say I would ever in a million years think in this entrepreneurial direction. But stockpiling some of these materials sounds like a wise plan!! thank you. MM


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