Preparing for a Pandemic.
Considerations for a Pandemic Emergency Response Plan
“No one is immune to fear:” such was a line in advertising for the movie Contagion,
starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Kate Winslet. The movie follows
the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus. A pandemic is a virus or disease that
affects a large number people in multiple countries.
Hollywood may have dramatized a virus that doesn’t really exist, but they have also
illustrated a very real threat to mankind. Pandemics kill and can kill quickly! A pandemic
can happen in a matter of hours and last up to eight weeks, and you can get it simply
from being at the wrong end of a sneeze or by being on a transcontinental flight.
Historically, a virus has killed massive populations within days and medical
professionals agree our society is long overdue for such a pandemic. Indeed a threat is
imminent, and yet mankind has had some success in controlling. Compare the Bubonic
plague and Spanish Flu to the more recent outbreaks of Swine Flu and Avian Flu and
you can take comfort in knowing awareness is half of being prepared:
- Bubonic plague (pandemic). Many think the Bubonic Plague (also called the
Black Plague) is long gone, but beware the Bubonic Plague is still lurking! Back
in the 1600’s The plague wiped nearly 2/3 of the population of Europe.
- Spanish Flu (pandemic): Then as recent as 1918, the Spanish Flu killed 20
percent of the world’s population.
- eBola Virus (pandemic): Back in the 1976 the first eBola Virus appeared and
caused quite a stir. It’s back with live cases of eBola hitting close to home in an
Atlanta hospital. Deadly pandemics, like Ebola are only a plane ride away, and
one infected person can trigger a domino effect. Unlike the flu, however, Ebola
can’t be spread through the air, only through blood and bodily fluids.
- Swine Flu (pandemic). In 2009 Swine Flu hit the United States.
- Avian Flu (pandemic). While China has had Avian Flu, the United States has
virtually escaped threat. An exception is Texas in 2004, which had a strain of
avian flu. All other strains in the United States, “… have been extinguished and
have not been known to infect humans,” according to Wikipedia on Avian Flu.
When you know how to handle an epidemic, you are more likely to survive it. More
importantly, is being prepared for the inevitable. Are you ready?
Do you know what to do in case of a pandemic?
Learn how to prevent airborne contagions from getting into your home, and get the
necessary supplies while they are still available, because by the time the pandemic is
in the air, time is gone to get the supplies you’ll need to survive.
Following are some ideas for your pandemic emergency plan. It’s a pandemic
preparedness checklist of sorts…
Fifteen Ways to Prepare for a Pandemic:
Pandemic supply #1: Probiotic Supplements.
Not typically on a prepper’s list, but probiotic supplements will surely help you stay as
healthy as possible. if you stay healthy you may be able to avoid the pandemic
altogether. Something you can do today to improve your health and well being and
simultaneously prepare for a pandemic is to ensure you get more probiotics into your
diet. Acidophilus contributes to healthy immune function. While the Priobiotic pill,
pictured right, is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, it
certainly encourages intestinal balance. Talk with your doctor about increasing the
flora in your body.
Pandemic supply #2: Duct tape and plastic drop cloths.
During a pandemic, preppers must consider quarantine as part of their pandemic
response plan. Duct tape can aid in survival in many ways. Use duct tape to seal off
windows and doorways. Here’s how to set up a quarantined safe room.
Pandemic supply #3: Pandemic Mask (NIOSH-95 respirator).
The first line of defense, a pandemic mask helps reduce the risk of spreading germs, as
with the swine flu, common cold or a bird flu pandemic. Pictured right, is a pandemic
mask intended for pandemics; they are particulate respirators which filter out many
chemicals as well. NIOSH-95 is a must own respirator! Immediate right is the best
selling NIOSH-5 approved respirator: the 3M 8511 Particulate N95 Respirator with
Valve, and it comes in a 10-Pack for your family or group. Here is a short and sweet
video about the importance of owning and N95 NIOSH mask.
Pandemic supply #4: Goggles.
To prevent droplets from entering the cavities of the eye, you’ll want to wear goggles.
If someone in the family has been exposed to the virus, you’ll use these goggles. Or in
extreme cases if venturing out in escape to your bugout location. Obviously, you can’t
sleep in goggles!
Pandemic supply #5: Gloves.
Nitrile exam gloves are standard practice in the medical industry: even for CPR trained
individuals who are instructed to put on the gloves before helping an individual who
has fallen. Keep the gloves inside zip lock bag to keep the gloves clean of bacteria and
dirt. Learn also how to properly remove gloves, pulling them inside out and rolling
them so the possible bio-hazzard virus never touches your skin.
Pandemic supply #6: Tyvec suit.
Buy one for every member of the family and then some for unexpected guests or for
new exposures. Pictured at the bottom of the page, a tyvec suit provides inherent
barrier protection against dry particulate hazards, for such things as asbestos and
lead abatement. It’s better to have more Tyvec suits on hand than you think you’ll
need. Certainly you won’t want to discover a ripped suit at a critical time. In the case
of an Ebola outbreak, you’ll want to treat yourself like the bubble boy and seal all
points of contact to create a barrier.
Pandemic supply #7: Antiseptics (apply to skin).
Antiseptic wipes and hand sanitizers will help control exposure and help minimize the
risks of pandemics on your hands; however, unless you’re wearing gloves it may be
too late if the virus has made contact with your skin. Other points of entry to the body
include entry through nasal passages, eye and ear cavities, as well as contact through
Pandemic supply #8: Soaps, plus sanitizers and disinfectants (apply to
surfaces, not skin).
A disinfectant is a chemical liquid that destroys bacteria, viruses and fungi. A sanitizer
performs the same function; however, it is generally safe for food handling. Both kill
bacteria and both apply to surfaces. Stock them all: soaps, sanitizers and disinfectants.
- Steramine Quaternary Sanitizing tablets (for your food handling surfaces).
Steramine sanitizer tablets, pictured right, is a sanitizer ideal for food processing
equipment, sinks, countertops, cabinets, refrigerators, stovetops, cutting
boards, and all other non-porous articles and surfaces. The bottle includes 150
Steramine Sanitizing Tablets, and you’ll need just one tablet to make a gallon of
disinfectant. Odor-free, and non-corrosive, Steramine does not irritate the skin.
- Benefect Botanical Disinfectant (for other disinfecting other surfaces).
Pictured right, Benefect is the first and only botanical disinfectant in North
America. It kills Kills Over 99.99% of Bacteria, Fungus, TB and HIV. Use Benefect
as an alternative to chlorine, ammonia & oxidizers which isn’t corrosive,
flammable or reactive nor does it pose a public health risk. This means you don’t
need any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as: rubber gloves, boots,
aprons respirators or face shields to protect yourself from the product.
- Simple Green d Pro-5. Simple Green d Pro-5, pictured left, is absolutely
effective on the bacterial, viral, and fungal threats.Simple Green is a one-step
sanitizer, and fungicide. It can be used in food production, processing, and
service facilities, as can Steramine, but it goes above and beyond with it’s
extensive efficacy list including disinfecting against Hepatitis B and C, Human
Coronavirus, Canine Distemper Virus, and Avian Influenza. Keep this specific
Simple Green product in your pandemic prepping kit.
Pandemic supply #9. Thermometer.
Preferably an analog and not a digital thermometer as an extreme pandemic may
cause power failure as people in the power companies don’t show up to work. Have
disposable thermometers handy.
Pandemic supply #10: Medicine.
Ensure your prepper’s medicine cabinet has plenty of pain relievers, fever relievers,
cough suppressants, anti-diahreal medications and:
- Elderberry Extract. Immune enhancing, elderberry extract has strongly anti-
viral qualities. A natural choice for prepper pandemic preparedness, elderberry
extract is a homeopathic solution for colds, all types of viral infection, and even
chronic lung conditions. The berries, which are highly nutritious, help patients
with anemia as well. They are slightly laxative. Choose elderberry extract as it
may be helpful for colds, constipation, fluid retention, colic, diarrhea, colds,
coughs, nerve disorders, back pain and fever.
Pandemic supply #11: Electrolytes.
Ensure your overall prepper supply list includes plenty of emergency drinks on hand,
including the ingredients and recipe on how to make your own electrolytes in the event
you run out of emergency drinks.
Pandemic supply #12: Facial tissues.
As with toilet paper, a prepper can never stock too much facial tissue in the name of
preparedness. In a pandemic situation, you’ll want to have a recptacle ready for
disposal of facial tissues to help limit the cross contamination. To remove the bag itself,
you’ll need to use your entire protective gear tyvec suit, goggles, mask and all to
collect the bag and place it into a biohazard bag.
Pandemic supply #13: Bio-hazzard bags.
How is a bio-hazzard bag different from an ordinary trash bag? You won’t want to
skimp! A bio-hazzard bag provides a high density isolation liner to provide maximum
film strength for tough applications. They also feature star seal bottoms which allow
equal weight distribution and leak resistance. Additionally, bags are red to indicate use
for infectious waste or hazardous waste to warn others.
Pandemic supply #14: Cloth diapers and adult diapers.
Family members of cancer patients can appreciate more than most the necessity for
adult diapers when sickness strikes. Containing the mess resolves the unsanitary
conditions and reduces spread of disease. Cloth diapers serve as a first aid item for
stopping bleeding, and you can use them to clean up vomit or provide a cool water
compress for a fever. Learn more about the usefulness of cloth diapers in prepping
Pandemic supply #15: Vomit bags.
Single use emesis bags, pictured immediate left in blue, by Mediline will help sickness
cleanup. Used by Kaiser Hospitals, this brand is extremely hard to find.
Pandemic supply #16: Laundry detergent.
You’ll need to sterilize bedding or throw it away. Washing laundry on the sanitary
(deep clean) setting is imperative. In the old book Velveteen rabbit, the little sick boys
things were burned. It’s not a bad idea in modern times to get rid of the problem.
Pandemic supply #17: Portable radio.
As with any massive catastrophe, your list of pandemic supplies should include
Pandemic supply #18: water filtration system.
Water could also produce contaminants worthy of a pandemic. Even if the water is not
the cause of sickness, the fact remains that the entire water supply could be stopped if
the population is not able to work and ensure the municipal water supply operates
properly. A cutoff of the water supply would be uncertain doom and devastation.
Having a means to filter water would put your survival at better odds.
How to Put Together Your Own Pandemic Kit
Get your pandemic kit together, or buy a ready made pandemic kit. With so many
commercially available kits already put together for you, you’ll know exactly what to do
in case of a pandemic emergency: head to your kit! Stock a kit in your car during flu
season and you’ll be on top of things for pandemic preparedness.
- Basic Pandemic kit: For your pandemic kit you’ll need the following:
- NIOSH mask (and consider an NBC-gas Mask, which covers you from Nuclear,
Biological and Chemical warfare)
- Surface disinfectant
- Hand sanitizer
- Nitrile gloves
- Disposable thermometers.
A basic pandemic kit will include the following:
- isolation gowns, exam gloves buffount caps (hair covers) and foot covers
- N-95 masks and goggles
- antiviral tissues
- heavy duty sanitizers, such as steramine tablets, and antibacterial wipes
Here are a few pandemic kits, which are happy prepper’s recommended:
- Pandemic Flu Kit. The Pandemic Flu Kit, immediate left hand, by Sundstrom, is a
comprehensive kit that includes a high-efficiency P100 particle filter. Each filter
tested for 99.997% absorption capacity for very small particles such as bacteria
and viruses. A single respirator and filter can be disinfected and reused. The
very simple to understand disinfection procedure uses inexpensive alcohol bath.
Best of all, it’s NIOSH approved.
- Infection Protection Kit: Add the infection protection kit, right to your pandemic
flu kit. This has all the personal protective equipment and supplies, such as N95
respirators, eye protection, vinyl gloves, disposable thermometers, biohazard
bags and more.
How to Survive a Pandemic
In the event of a pandemic alert, here is a list of suggestions for you and your family to
follow. Mind you this list goes to extreme measures, but you will need to take extreme
measures to survive a pandemic. Following is a list to help you survive a pandemic:
- Stock up on supplies, now while they are still available. Ensure you have the
ten items described above to help you prepare for pandemic.
- Take Probiotics. Improve your family’s intestinal flora now and especially during
an outbreak! Have plenty of probiotics on hand and increase your intake of
probiotics in supplements and in the foods you eat, like Acidophilus in kefir and
yogurts. Eat well, including a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Reduce your dependency on antibiotics. Antibiotics are over used in the United
States and this compounds the problem of adaptive micro-organisms. Talk to
your physician about going without antibiotics.
- Get a survival prescription. Ask your doctor to prescribe Tamiflu or Relenza as
either medication may effectively treat avian flu. Alternatively, consider Boiron
Oscillococcinum* for Flu-like Symptoms. Boiron Oscillococcinu, pictured immediate
right, is a homeopathic product to help relieve body aches, headache, fever,
chills and fatigue. See prepper survival medicines.
- Don’t touch stuff others touch. Avoid as much as possible contact with pencils
and pens, elevator buttons, doorknobs, coins, handrails and places where many
other hands have touched, particularly during the flu season.
- Avoid shaking hands. During flu season, tell others that you’re not shaking
hands. Don’t worry about being rude: it’s your life!
- Wash hands frequently. Before eating and after having been out and about,
make it a routine to wash your hands with warm hot water and clean under the
fingernails. Recite the alphabet twice and you’ll have washed your hands for an
- Minimize the sneezes and coughs. Cover your mouth when you sneeze to avoid
spreading droplets to your family. Turn your body away from someone coughing
or sneezing. Again, don’t worry about being rude.
- Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose and mouth). It’s nearly impossible to
avoid touching your face. Give it a try! For one hour, try not to touch your face.
Humans tend to touch their face six more times every few minutes. You’ll quickly
realize this fact when you give it go.
- Stay away from people. Just stay home during an extreme outbreak. Don’t
send the kids to school. Don’t go to work.
- Wear a NIOSH-95 Respirator (pandemic mask). If you must venture out and
expose yourself and your family during a pandemic during extreme crisis, then by
all means wear your mask! Who cares what others may think! You’re a prepper
and your goal is to survive. Wearing a mast is an absolute minimum
requirement. Products such as masks and gloves, even an disposable apron or
clothing can help you avoid contact with the deadly virus.
- Wear also your Tyvec suit, gloves, and goggles. This of course warrants an
extreme situation or society may think you are “Howard Hughs-ing” on you.
- Quarantine Your Family: Set up a quarantine room if you suspect a family
member is sick during a pandemic outbreak. For starters, you’ll need duct tape
and plastic shielding. Here’s how to set up a Quarantine room.
- Watch this History Channel Pandemic dramatization to better understand the
impact a pandemic can have on life as we know it.
- Take note. Keep a record of diarrhea, vomiting, coughing and breathing
problems and rashes of anyone in your care, so that you can report to medical
staff if necessary. Make sure to mark the date and time, along with the severity
of the problem at hand. In this way, you can monitor the progress of the virus.
- Get information. Check in with the Centers for Disease Control and the World
Health organization for important alerts and information.
- Expect disruptions in power and water! As people stop showing up for work,
the mechanics behind the grid will weaken and may eventually fail. You may as
well expect the unexpected!
- Be alert about pneumonia. You may well survive a pandemic and yet succumb to
the secondary problem of a pneumonia infection. At risk groups include people
more than 65, people with diabetes, people with asthma and other chronic
Notably missing from this list of things you can do to survive a pandemic is getting a flu
shot. This is a personal decision to discuss with your physician. Many preppers abstain
from getting vaccines as they don’t protect you from new strains and are controversial.
How to help prevent a pandemic during an outbreak:
Watching China for H7N9, the new bird flu virus, is not enough. Preppers must have a
plan and prepare for the highly inevitable possibility that this new strain of bird flu or
another can quickly emerge. While there is currently not a person-to-person spread,
this is a serious concern for all preppers who realize the magnitude of the potential
catastrophe. They know how quickly services will be shut down as people huddle at
home or at the hospitals to deal with the immediate problems.
The domino effect will be in effect. People will swell into hospitals and care facilities.
Hospital staff will bring home the pandemic whether it’s the medical staff, the food
staff, the janitorial or administrative staff. Many will choose to stay at home rather
than to risk their lives. Gas stations could shut down as employees no longer return to
work. The store shelves will be empty as trucks will not have enough gas to deliver
groceries. Employees will not be available to load or unload trucks even if there were
enough gas. Soon water and electricity will halt as the grid shuts down to lack of
manpower. National Geographic did a good job of illustrating how a pandemic could
shut down society.
Make your Own Pandemic Preparedness Kit
Review our pandemic preparedness checklist and get ready to survive a pandemic. Get
your pandemic kit together before it’s too late. Preppers may like this list of supplies