Viruses, flus and respiratory illnesses don’t respect borders and boundaries anymore, and it is key to know how to prepare for a pandemic. Disaster can strike at any time, and we all know that disease can spread quickly, exposing thousands to potentially deadly illnesses. Unlike natural disasters, a pandemic poses it’s own special threat but with careful planning, you can limit the risk to you and your family.
What You Need to Know
Be vigilant, when pandemic strikes, make sure that you are up to date on all relevant information. Google is your friend, and you should definitely be reading multiple sources at least once a day. The government and media are likely to downplay this at first, so make sure you do your research and plan accordingly. If you have a vacation home, or friends or family in another area that you can stay with, consider that before things get out of control, as it is difficult to leave the city. If you have no where to go, hunker down and wait it out.
You can get your stockpile going fairly easily by starting to build your emergency water supply. In a pandemic, your taps will likely still be running, at least in the beginning, but with a dangerous disease floating about, you want to make sure you have an uncontaminated supply at the ready. It is recommended to have at least 6-8 weeks supply at 1 gallon or 4 litres per person per day. When people start to panic, it will be difficult to stock up during the emergency, so get started on storing your clean water as soon as possible. You can also treat your tap water with purification tablets, or simply by boiling it for one minute.
Like water, food will be hard to come by when a pandemic strikes. Having a supply of non perishable food to keep you and our family going is key to staying safe. You will not need to leave home and expose yourself to illness if you have planned for this event properly. At this point, you should have 3 days of emergency food tucked away, which is a good start, but to wait out a potentially long lasting pandemic, that ain’t going to cut it. By picking up a few extra items per weekly grocery shop, you should aim to build an emergency food supply of at least 6-8 weeks. Be smart and stock highly nutritious foods rich in protein and fiber and don’t forget the canned veggies! If you want to make it easy, and space efficient, pick up a pre-packaged freeze dried food supply.
Keeping your environment and body clean are extremely important during a pandemic disaster. Disease can easily spread by neglecting to do simple tasks like washing your hands, by sharing foods and beverages, or even simply touching your face. Be vigilant here, and make sure you are doing everything you can to stay clean and hygienic. Your pandemic supplies should include bars of soap, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, toothbrush and tooth paste, feminine products, diapers, latex gloves, garbage bags, bleach, toilet paper (lots of toilet paper!) and of course clean clothes, underwear, and bedding. Remove waste from your home regularly and make sure all pet messes are cleaned up quickly and efficiently.
It is important to ensure that everyone in your household has all necessary medications for at least 6-8 weeks. You should also be stocking up on your advil, tylenol, antihistamines, anti-diarrhea meds, alcohol wipes and swabs, clean bandages, anti-biotic creams and other over the counter supplies. Medical masks are also highly recommended in case you need to go outdoors during a pandemic.
If you have been preparing a 72 hour emergency kit you will likely have these items already. Crank/battery radios, batteries, flashlights, solar chargers, candles, emergency blankets and copies of all important documents. If you don’t have these items yet, make a plan to add them to your stockpile soon.
During an outbreak, it is very important to isolate your self from the general public, and avoid any unnecessary contact with others. Don’t wait for the school board to cancel school, keep your kids home and away from other kids. Children often bring home bugs from school and chance infecting the entire household. Remember what happens during cold and flu season? Imagine this with a deadly virus. When signs of the illness reach your city, plan to take some vacation from work or to work at home. No sense in exposing yourself unnecessarily. Avoid large crowds, public transit, and even the hospital, often the epicentre of a major outbreak.
How is your pandemic preparedness coming along? Leave your questions below, and I’ll be happy to get back to you,