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.
- 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...
Fourteen Supplies to Own 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
- 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. 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!
- 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 biohazard
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 succh 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
- 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 the
- Pandemic supply #8: Disinfectants and sanitizers (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.
- 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,
- 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
- 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
- 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 reciptacle 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: Biohazard bags. How is a biohazard bag different from an
ordinary trash bag? You won't want to skimp! A biohazard 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: 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
- Pandemic supply #13: 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.
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
- 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
Other items to include in a pandemic kit would include: emesis bags (for vomit).
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 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.
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.
Review our pandemic preparedness checklist and get ready to survive a pandemic. Get
your pandemic kit together before it's too late.
Are you into pandemic prepping? We're happy to hear your prepping ideas and link to your
site. Please drop us a note on Twitter at HappyPreppers. Tell us about how you plan to
survive a pandemic. Visit us on Pinterest, and Facebook, too!
* This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For any health or
dietary matter, always consult your physician. This information is intended for your general
knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific
medical conditions. Never disregard or delay in seeking medical advice when available.
Prepare to live happily ever after! Learn to store food, water, fuel, and survival medicines. Get tips
about sanitation, self defense and more at happypreppers.com.
------------------------------------------------- Revised 6/29/14
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