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Pandemics-7 'Must Do' steps to get you ready before it hits-Act Now!

Darrell Weaver Emergency Medicine Emergency Preparedness Pandemic

Pandemics-7 'Must Do' steps to get you ready before it hits-Act Now!

“What happens before [a pandemic] is far more productive [than what happens after one starts] and individual preparations on a household basis are key. It’s not just state and local governments - every tribe, business and family needs to talk through a pandemic plan.”
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt

Pandemic Virus Warning SignA pandemic is inevitable. Fortunately, we know what many of the problems will be. 
What can you learn from the pandemic of 1918-19 to help you get ready now before the next pandemic hits?
Imagine after arriving home from work you turn on the evening news and learn that the new virus which has been spreading across the US over last several months has now reached your city and there's discussion of instituting a full quarantine.

Are you ready to spend 3 months in your home...right now?

The adage that the best time to start preparing was 5 years ago definitely holds true in a pandemic.

7 Life-saving Steps You Must Take Now before the Pandemic Hits

  1. Store water...A LOT of water - The very first thing on anyone's emergency preparedness list must be water. Why water? Simple. You can go weeks without food but only about 3 days without water. Each person needs a MINIMUM of 2 gallons of water daily. An IBC container is the best option for high volume/long term emergency water storage. IBC containers come in several volume amounts with 275 gallon and 300 gallon versions being most popular.

    Two things make IBC's great for water storage: First IBC containers can be stacked (some 3 high) thus allowing you to save a lot of space. Second, the 275 gallon IBC's footprint is only 48 inches by 43 inches which means you stack them in your garage two high. Finally, each 275 gallon IBC is equal to five 55 gallon barrels which frees up a lot of space for other preps.

  2. Long term food storage - Build up at minimum a 3-month supply of food and at best, a year's supply of long term food storage cache in your home. First, make sure you select foods that you'll want to eat. Forcing down dried beans and rolled oats for three months may seems just as bad as the very flu you're trying to outlive. Wise Food Storage offers a great selection of 25 year shelf life foods.

  3. Stockpile essential medical supplies - Purchase both common and trauma medical supplies. Ensure you've at least 3 months of the typical Over The Counter medicines especially cold and flu remedies and various pain relievers. A number of people in a small area for a prolonged period of time nearly guarantees an accident which will require stitches therefore, you'll also need trauma supplies.

  4. Financial savings - work on a 3 to 6 month financial reserve and set up online bill payment to avoid having to leave your home.

  5. Alternative heating and fuel supplies - Store enough fuel for alternative cooking, heating and light sources in case utilities are disrupted. Do you have an alternate way of heating your home? If not, consider purchasing a paper brick maker. Utilizing junk mail and old newspapers around the house, you can crank out hundreds of compressed paper bricks which burn for a surprising long time. 

  6. Communication - Obtain multiple communications methods including most importantly a solar/dynamo radio to keep up on news reports. Include a set of walkie-talkies and if possible, a shortwave radio.

  7. Work and School - Be ready to work from home via the Internet and be ready to have your children home from school for an extended period. Make sure you've plenty of school projects, books and hopefully internet access.