How to Prepare for a Pandemic

A Pandemic Needs Just One Patient Zero

I’m not into fear mongering, but a pandemic is something we all should have a healthy fear of. It only takes one infected person to spread a disease like wildfire.

Think about cold and flu season. How do you think colds and the flu get transmitted so quickly from one person to the next?

One person has symptoms.

Person sneezes onto hand.

Now contaminated hand touches something, which leaves behind the germs.

Another person comes along and touches that object.

Germs cling to their hand.

They touch their nose, mouth, food, drink, etc. and now they’re sick.

It happens quickly and silently.

People who are sick and don’t stay home spread the infections to other people and it just keeps spreading and spreading and spreading.

Not everything is contracted this way. In fact, some things can be contracted through the air, as well. Other things can only be contracted through fluid. Such is the case of an Ebola outbreak in West Africa where experts suspect it was initially contracted from a human coming in contact with infected animal fluid.

Between 2013 and 2016 there was an Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. The case mortality rate was just above 70%!

You might be saying “yeah, but that’s Africa. Their healthcare is terrible”.

Don’t be fooled. It could happen here in the US just as easily as anywhere else.

It takes just one contaminated person from somewhere else to bring it here, remain untreated, and spread the disease.

Don’t fret. Just like with most things, the best thing to do is to be prepared.

In the majority of pandemic situations, bugging in is usually the best thing to do. I’d say you should only bug out if you’re going to a location that has very few or no people around, which means the risk of spreading the pandemic would be lowered.

In any other case, staying away from the general populace and bugging in would be ideal.

Here are Some Ways We Can Get Prepared to Combat a Pandemic:

  1. Prevention:

    The absolute best way to stay safe before, during, and after a pandemic is prevention. Prevention is key. If you notice someone coughing or sneezing or looking ill, avoid them. When you’re out and about, use hand sanitizer often (I keep one hooked to the outside of my bag for easy access) and wash your hands frequently. You may even look into wearing a mask, like an N95 mask. Avoid contact with unfamiliar fluids. If you haven’t washed your hands or used hand sanitizer in a while, avoid hand contact with your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  2. If you’re sick, stay home:

    Unless you need medical attention, stay home. Don’t continue to spread the sickness to others.

  3. Store food and water:

    Just like for any emergency or disaster, we want to make sure we have plenty of food and water stored at home. If you can’t leave your home for some period of time, you’ll want those supplies there. I’d suggest storing at least 2 weeks-worth of food and water for your whole household.

  4. Keep medications and first aid supplies stocked up:

    Make sure to keep plenty of medications around, such as pain medications, cold medications, a well-stocked first aid kit, vitamins, electrolytes, stomach remedies, and so on.

  5. Make a pandemic kit:

    Things to include in this kit would be: Splash guard goggles, gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, garbage bags, antimicrobial wipes, and tissues. You can also buy a pre-made pandemic kit, but it’s probably cheaper to just make one yourself.

  6. Consider a quarantine room:

    In the event that someone is sick, you will want to quarantine them to one room. When you enter that room, you’d wear a mask and gloves and throw away any trash in a designated trash can/trash bag. That trash would only be moved from the room to the outside trash can. You’d use hand sanitizer and/or wash your hands with soap before entering and after leaving.

  7. Clean your home:

    Keep plenty of cleaning supplies at your home and keep your home clean. Removing germs from your home will be a great line of defense.

  8. Entertainment:

    If you’re stuck at home, you want to be entertained! Keep plenty of games on hand.

  9. Stay informed:

    You need to stay informed as to what’s going on in the world even if you’re stuck at home. If there’s still power, stay up-to-date with local news through the internet, TV, radio, etc. If you’re a HAM operator, stay informed by getting information through your HAM radio. Information is power in any emergency or disaster situation, especially when it comes to one that is almost literally keeping you locked inside of your home.

I’ll say it again, prevention is key. The absolute best way to stay safe during a pandemic is staying away from the outside world as much as possible. Depending on the type of illness, this may not totally prevent you from getting sick, but it’s a good place to start. Stock up on hand sanitizer, soap, disinfecting wipes and cleaning supplies.

Conquer tomorrow, by preparing today!

Morgan is a wife, mother and preparedness advocate. She’s the founder of Rogue Preparedness where she teaches people how to be prepared through her website, YouTube, social media and local classes. She loves to spend time outdoors and learning to be more self-reliant.

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