Preparing for a Pandemic

Chances are, we won’t have to deal with a pandemic. But wouldn’t it be better to be prepared if the worst happened? I sure think so! Here are a few basic tips for preparing for a pandemic that you can do today!

Chances are, we won't have to deal with a pandemic. But wouldn't it be better to be prepared if the worst happened? I sure think so! Here are a few basic tips for preparing for a pandemic that you can do today!

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard the recent news about an Ebola outbreak in Africa. It’s made it’s way to the United States, and while there have only been a couple confirmed cases, it’s still a very scary thing. I remember watching a movie about Ebola while I was in high school and being deeply disturbed. It’s definitely NOT something I want to mess with!

While I don’t believe in spreading fear, I do believe in being prepared. Sure, Ebola could be contained in a few months, and everyone worrying is something we can all laugh about later. However, it could become a pandemic. And if it’s not Ebola, it could be something else. So, I thought I’d share a few things we’ve been adding to our preparedness kits, just in case. I’m not a doctor, or a nurse, or even a prepper, but these are just a few simple things everyone can do.

Hand Sanitizer (Babyganics is safe for children)

Antibacterial cleaners – a friend of mine shared this list from Lysol of hospital grade disinfectants that are likely to be effective against Ebola and other viruses. I won’t list all of them, but here are a few I’m going to be picking up:

Particulate N95 Respirator with Valve Masks

Nitrile Industrial Gloves

Bleach

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Heavy Duty Goggles

Tyvek Protective Coveralls

Fluid Resistant Hospital Isolation Gowns

Stay as Healthy as You Can

This is as simple as getting enough sleep, exercising, and staying away from sick people. Keep your body in as healthy shape as possible, so if it did contract some kind of virus, it would have a better chance of fighting it off. I’ve seen people suggest things like eating raw garlic, increasing your Vitamin C and Vitamin D, and other random supplements, but honestly, I haven’t looked much into that. Just keep yourself as healthy as possible!

Food and Water

I won’t go into too much detail on food storage and water storage, simply because there are about 1.5 million resources out there that can help you better than me. While I honestly don’t know how long, in worst case scenario, people could be on lockdown for in case of a pandemic, I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet to have at least a three month supply of water (with one gallon per person, per day) and a three month supply of food. Water is obviously most important, but I would imagine if you are stuck in your house for an extended period of time, you will want to have a substantial amount of food!

Believe me, it’s better to stock up now before there’s a huge demand, rather than trying to find food and water when you really need it.

Wash Your Hands

This is important just to prevent you from getting any kind of sickness! Being vigilant about washing your hands or using hand sanitizer before you touch your face or others is important, especially if there is a pandemic on the horizon. Make sure your kiddos wash their hands regularly, too — especially if they are in school, daycare, etc. Kids touch everything.

Be wary of your surroundings and your health

This is important not only so you can keep from getting sick, but so you can avoid getting others sick. It’s important to be aware of what’s going on around you. I read on some site that if Ebola was found within 100 miles of them, they would bunker out for a few months. While that might seem a bit crazy…I actually think I might want to, too! While the media sensationalizes everything, and there’s usually a bit of bias in everything they say, be sure to follow the news for updates about what’s going on around you.

And for goodness sake, if you are sick – stay home! I always cringe a little bit when I see a newborn baby at church during flu season, because there are always sick people. Jack got RSV at two weeks old when we didn’t even leave the house and had very few people near him. Sit on that one for awhile!

Know Symptoms

If there’s a pandemic of some sort, it’s good to know what the early symptoms are. With most illnesses, the earlier it’s caught, the better it can be treated.

In case of Ebola, here are the symptoms. Be aware that many of these symptoms are common of many other sicknesses, such as the flu. While Ebola shouldn’t be taken lightly, if you have absolutely zero chance of having Ebola, don’t let a cold give you a heart attack! Most people are not at risk of contracting Ebola.

  • Fever
  • Severe headache
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea (may be bloody)
  • Red eyes
  • Raised rash
  • Chest pain and cough
  • Stomach pain
  • Severe weight loss
  • Bleeding, usually from the eyes, and bruising (people near death may bleed from other orifices, such as ears, nose and rectum)
  • Internal bleeding

Just prepare yourself and your family in general. Here are two posts I’ve written in the past on the topic of preparedness:

How to Prepare Your Family For Disaster

Preparing For a Disaster with Small Children

Hopefully some of these tips will help prepare for you for the unexpected. I hope that none of us will ever have to deal with something as terrible as a pandemic, but, as I’ve already said, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

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