The threat of an Ebola outbreak in the United States appears to be a real possibility. It is time to check your preparations and ensure that everything is in order. How do you prepare for a pandemic anyway?
Ebola has a very high mortality rate. Your best chance of surviving is to avoid the virus all together. This might mean isolating your family from any and all interaction with others to prevent exposure. Any interaction places you at risk of contracting the deadly disease. Just how do you pull that off in our society? Here are some ideas.
- Discuss options with your employer. Is there a way to telecommute? What precautions will be taken in the workplace? If you work in healthcare, emergency services or another critical field, you may need to protect your family by finding another place to live until the threat resolves.
- Do you have children in school? A school is a great place to share communicable diseases. We spoke with our junior high school principal and he is in the process of trying to work out a way for school to continue using Skype or FaceTime since all of the students have been provided with iPads. What are the options for homeschooling in your area? Do you need to gather necessary supplies?
- Avoid all public places. That means no travel, no stores, no church, no movie theaters, no parks, no hospitals or doctor’s office, nowhere where other people are or have recently been.
- Be prepared to stay home for at least one year. The Spanish Flu of 1918 lasted for just under two years. Public gatherings were outlawed and schools were closed.
None of this is easy. It takes hard work to get prepared and be determined to stay out of public places. We think it is worth your consideration to prepare just in case.
If Ebola hits the United States, there is a good possibility a lot of good people will die. Many will hunker down trying to avoid exposure. Who will man vital infrastructures such as power, sewer, water, emergency services, hospitals, etc.? Prepare to live without public utilities and emergency help. We discuss how to do all of this in our book The Provident Prepper – A Common-Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies.
Do you have enough food and other supplies to survive without visiting the store for a year or so? Depending on the extent of the pandemic, food and supplies may not even be available. How will you cook the food if the power is out? How will you stay warm?
As discussed, the best way to protect yourself is to avoid exposure. What if someone you love is exposed? What if the number of sick overruns the medical system and quality care is unavailable? Could you care for your loved one at home? Should you try? These are very individual decisions.
Patients do not usually survive Ebola even with medical care, but some do. Caregivers are at high risk of contracting the disease. Considering the odds, I would still prepare to care for my loved ones at home should it become necessary.
Kenneth B. Moravec sent me this list of suggested pandemic supplies that will provide minimal protection. I share his list with permission.
- 1 gallon of liquid bleach per person of the household (yes that is gallons) – to sanitize everything
- Pesticide sprayer and a small hand spray gun for the liquid bleach solution – to sanitize everything
- 4 boxes of latex or nitrile gloves (different sizes for every member of the household)
- 2 boxes of 20 of N95 masks for every member of the household
- Antibacterial soap – for meticulous hand washing
- Styrofoam “Take Out” containers – to give to people that come to your door looking for food
- 100′ roll of clear 4 mil plastic – for setting up an isolation room
- 10 rolls duct tape – for setting up an isolation room
- More HEPA filters – for whole room air filtration system
- Port-a-potty – for isolation room
- Urinal and bed pan – for sick patients
- Several boxes of Borax – for provisional toilets
- 25 lbs. of lime per person – for provisional toilets
- 50 “yard waste” black garbage bags per person – for provisional toilets and garbage
- 100 “kitchen” bags per person – for provisional toilets and garbage
- 25 lbs. of kitty litter per person – for sick people’s body fluids clean up
- 100 rolls of toilet paper per person – for personal sanitation
- 20 rolls of paper towels per person – for personal sanitation
- Several boxes of straws – for sick people so you don’t contaminate drinking cups too much
- Metal or plastic eating utensils and tableware for sick patients that can be cleaned easily
- Plastic or metal chairs and tables for an isolation room with no wood or cloth on them
- Extra bed linen
- Metal or plastic wash basins for clean room outside of isolation room
- Clothesline – for washing clothes by hand
- Laundry soap – for washing clothes by hand
- Good dish soap like “Dawn” or other aggressive anti-grease formula
- Burn barrel, kerosene and matches – for burning contaminated items that should not be buried or washed
- Water filtration and purification devices
- Water collection, storage and carrying containers
- Water, water, and more water
I am sure there are more items but this is a good list to start with.
Kenneth’s list is a great place to start. These basics are important, but may vary for each individual circumstance. I would add these items to his list.
- Start this instant to build your immune system by eating healthy foods and exercising.
- Get preventative medical and dental care now … it may be too risky to visit medical establishments soon.
- Healthy stash of vitamin C as explained in Dr. Kyle Christensen’s article on Ebola.
- Dry calcium hypochlorite which can be used to make fresh batches of chlorine for disinfection. Go to Disinfecting Water Using Calcium Hypochlorite to learn more.
- Quality medical reference books and diagnostic equipment as discussed in Prepping for Medical Care. Don’t underestimate the power of alternative medicine such as healing herbs and energy work.
- Build a supply of any critical prescription medications you are taking. You may need to work with your physician and pay cash for a few extra months of medications.
- Basic over-the-counter medications and pain relievers.
- Learn how to care for a critically ill patient using correct body fluid precautions and how to set up an isolation room. Get the right supplies and learn to use them appropriately.
Preparing to self-isolate is a really difficult challenge. Ignoring it will not make it easier. Procrastinating may put you in a “too little, too late” scenario. Do not go to extremes. Think about what options you have. Be creative. What are your resources and how you can use them to best protect your family? Do the best you can, just make sure it is your very best.
Above all else, do not allow fear to motivate you. Enjoy today while providing for your future.