Every ‘prepper’ prepares for something different. Some coastal residents prepare for hurricanes, those in California prepare for earthquakes and landslides, residents of big metropolitan areas think about terrorist attacks and the list goes on.
Whether you’re preparing simply because it’s the smart thing to do, because of your faith, or some future event you think might happen one should also consider preparing themselves for a pandemic.
While most Baby Boomers have probably had chicken pox, mumps and both kinds of measles it pays to be aware of what’s happening, world-wide, in the health arena. This month, the CDC confirmed measles in 25 states and DC. Measles still exist and is almost common in parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Citizens that travel to foreign countries can bring the disease back with them without realizing it. There’s also no-telling what the caravan from South America might be bringing with them unknowingly.
There have been outbreaks of disease throughout our history. Pandemics are an outbreak of a disease, typically viral or bacterial, that happens over a wide area and affects a large number of people. Did you learn about the influenza pandemic that happened in the early 1900’s? That disease took the lives of an estimated 50 million people worldwide.
Is it time for another pandemic?
How do you know if you need to prepare? Has this disease or illness been around before? If this strain has been here before it’s quite possible that there were medicines created to combat the infection.
Is the disease spreading now? If it’s going around, or getting closer in distance then it becomes a higher risk. Has it crossed borders? Is it a new strain?
Is it easily treated? Have our scientists developed a cure for this affliction?
Is there a high mortality rate? Today’s population travels, alot. They can cross the US in a matter of hours via plane, carrying potential ailments with them, spreading it far and wide.
Is it transmitted easily? Airborne diseases can run rampant quite quickly. Diseases that transmit via bodily fluids have a much lower transmission rate.
Has it or can it mutate? We see this each year when the flu shots become available. There are over a hundred influenza centers that monitor influenza. They test virus samples and make an educated guess as to which strain of flu will become most problematic over the season and that’s the flu shot that’s offered to the general public.
In order to protect yourself and your family in the event of a pandemic your best bet is to stay away from the general public. Stay at home. This will mean making certain that your family is prepared to ‘bug in’ for a period of time. This leads back to general preparedness. Keep water on hand, easy to prepare foods, as well as your typical medical supplies. This might include aspirin or other pain relievers, antiseptics, an old fashioned glass thermometer, trash bags, a heat source in the winter, blankets, books/games for the kiddos, vitamin C and your favorite herbal supplements.
In a worse case scenario you may want to include plastic sheeting and duct tape as well as nitrile gloves, bleach, paper masks and even respirators.
With a little forethought you can help prepare your family for the unexpected, even if that’s a pandemic.