Prepper Book Festival 11: Prepping for a Pandemic

Print Friendly

Every few months or so, a new threat to our safety seems to emerge.  One month it might be a terrorist attack, three months later it might be a cyber attack on the grid, and then, out of nowhere, there will be the threat of a pandemic.

Trying to decide what to prepare for and how to prepare for it is a dilemma we all face.  We do the best we can, building up our knowledge and practicing day to day skills that will protect us if the worse should happen.

Prepping for a Pandemic | Backdoor Survival

Today I want to address the topic of building knowledge and embracing skills that will see us through a pandemic.  Who better to do that then Cat Ellis, author of Prepping for a Pandemic: Life-Saving Supplies, Skills and Plans for Surviving an Outbreak.

In this week’s Prepper Book Festival #11 entry, Cat sorts through various type of pandemics by assigning them a threat level. The highest, which she calls “Treat Level I”, are Influenza, Tuberculosis, and Staphylococcus Aureas.  Ugly stuff, indeed, but in my opinion, the pandemics sited Threat Levels II and III are equally bad, just less likely to occur.

In her book you will learn everything you need to know about various pandemics, as well as what you need to do to prepare in advance, then treat the symptoms of the pandemic with both a traditional and herbal medical response.  She even addresses what to do after a disaster to help mitigate and prevent the spread of disease – perhaps not a pandemic but risky to your health none-the-less.

Towards the end of the book you will find what Cat calls “Pandemic Preparation 201: Actionable Steps” as well as a robust listing of resources where you can delve into the topic of pandemics and herbal medicine in greater detail.

In Book Festival tradition, I have an all an all-new interview with Cat, plus three copies of Prepping for a Pandemic available in a giveaway.

An Interview with Cat Ellis, Author of Prepping for a Pandemic

Given your background, knowledge and experience, what do you feel are the three most important survival or prepping skills?

1) Plant identification. This will allow you to recognize both edible and medicinal plants, providing you both food and medicine no matter where you may be.

2) Water purification. Clean, safe water for consumption and sanitation is an absolute must. There are many different ways to go about this, so having a couple of methods up your sleeve is a good idea.

3) Fire-starting. Fire will allow you to stay warm and dry, boil water, cook food, deter pests, and sterilize metal tools, just to name a few handy, life-saving applications.

I have to give an honorable mention to self-defense skills. It was very difficult to leave that out.

What would you purchase if you only had $500 to spend on preparedness supplies?

• Good sneakers and good boots
• Seeds
• Mason jars- as many as I can get
• A good knife

Do you feel totally prepared and if not, what prep area concerns you the most?

I don’t feel totally prepared.

Honestly, survival is not a lone wolf kind of thing. Chances of survival are better when there are others with which to share the chores and responsibilities. I don’t feel like we have enough of an established circle of trusted people for a mutual support group. Changing this is my next major preparedness goal.

To what extent does your family participate in your personal preparedness efforts?

My immediate family is very supportive. My husband will get right in there with me if we’re canning all day, pull weeds in the garden, help set up herbal tinctures, and whatever else I need.

However, by preference, he’s more the mechanical/builder type. He built our bug out cabin by hand, handles much of our auto repairs (good, barterable skill), and so on. He also keeps bees, which is a huge bonus to anyone who is prepping or making herbal medicines.

Our children are still elementary school age. We homeschool and include preparedness lessons into their education. They should know how to grow their own food, have some self-defense skills (karate), and they love going camping.

What work of fiction do you feel gives the best portrayal of what could happen in real life?

This is a toss up between One Second After by William R Forstchen and The Jakarta Pandemic by Steven Konkoly.

If there was a disruptive event and you had to evacuate, what non-fiction books or reference manuals would you take with you?

I am a confessed book addict and hoarder. This is one of those areas that my husband teases me all the time about, because there’s no way we can take my library with me. I may even start buying multiple copies of books just to keep a spare set at our cabin.

Since we may end up making some of our bug out trip on foot, and medical emergencies are always on my mind, those are the factors which I used to narrow down my choices. After grabbing my own two books, Prepper’s Natural Medicine and Prepping for a Pandemic, I would have to take:

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Civilization in the Aftermath of a Cataclysm, by Lewis Dartnell

Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Care Handbook, by David Werner, Carol Thuman, and Jane Maxwell

Where There is No Dentist: Murray Dickson

The Complete Survival Shelters Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building Lifesaving Structures for Every Climate and Wilderness Situation, by Anthonio Akkermans

Do you have anything else, such as an announcement, message, personal experience, that you would like to share with the readers on Backdoor Survival?

This spring and summer 2016, I will be launching a number of online herbal and traditional skills courses, including herbal certification courses created with the unique concerns of preppers, survivalists, and homesteaders in mind. I’m almost done with the edits and look forward to bringing these courses live.

And for people who want a taste of what my courses are like, they should sign up for my website’s newsletter for my webinar announcements. These are generally 2 hour online trainings in herbal and preparedness topics.

The Giveaway

Cat has reserved three copies of Prepping for a Pandemic for this Book Festival Giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note:  This giveaway is only open residents of the United States.

The Final Word

Knowing when and how to use nature’s remedies for various ailments is an important part of preparedness.  I currently take the lazy way out and purchase essential oils but that does not mean I do not continue to learn as much as I can about herbal remedies.  Nor does it mean I shun medical remedies

That is the beauty of books like these. Armed with knowledge, you can pick and choose what works best for you, your family, and circumstances of your illness.  But remember, regardless of your book knowledge, it means squat if you have not put it to practical use now, before your life depends upon it.

I hope you will take a few moments to enter this giveaway.  For more information about the books in this latest book festival, visit Prepper Book Festival 11: The Best New Books to Help You Survive.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.


Spotlight:  Prepping for a Pandemic: Life-Saving Supplies, Skills and Plans for Surviving an Outbreak

Every year pandemics strike! And they can easily spread all over the world—overwhelming doctors and hospitals. Will you be ready when a deadly epidemic hits your town?Prepping for a Pandemic by Cat Ellis

Prepping for a Pandemic provides the vital information and life-saving steps needed before and after an outbreak, including:

•Outbreak Warning Signs
•Initial Symptoms
•Ease of Transmission
•Quarantine Protocol
•First Aid Skills
•Medical Treatment
•Future Threats
•Home Remedies

With detailed information on deadly diseases, tips on stockpiling supplies and plans for bugging out, this book offers everything required to keep you and your family safe.

Bargain Bin:  For your convenience, here is a list of all of the books in the current Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 11.


Failures of Imagination: The Deadliest Threats to Our Homeland-and How to Thwart Them
Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation
Prepping for a Pandemic: Life-Saving Supplies, Skills and Plans for Surviving an Outbreak
The Prepper’s Guide to Caches: How to Bury, Hide, and Stash Guns and Gear
Prepper’s Communication Handbook: Life-Saving Strategies for Staying in Contact During and After a Disaster


Dark Ages: 2020: A Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian Thriller
Braving the Storms (Strengthen What Remains)


Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage

No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.  The eBook is only 99 cent plus the print version is available for less than $6.00.


Shop Emergency Essentials Sales for Fantastic Deals!

For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.  This month note the great sale prices two of my favorites, the Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine) now only $14.95 and the Tote-able Toilet Seat and Lid, now only $11.79.



Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)?

I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.

Amazon has a feature called Shop Amazon - Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are "wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are.  All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen.

The Amazon Top Most Wished For Emergency and Survival Kit Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from
Bug Out Bag - Get Home Bag Supplies
Amazon Gift Cards

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


Spark Naturals 2016 | Backdoor Survival


Prepper Book Festival 11: Prepping for a Pandemic — 48 Comments

  1. Great article with solid tips on basic preparedness which will help in more than just a pandemic. Only thing I’d add is that you CAN take your entire library with you if it’s in electronic form. Yes, physical books are critical as a backup, but if you pack a Kindle (or Nook, etc.) and a small solar panel recharger you can take thousands of books with you in just your backpack. My Kindle Touch currently has over 1500 books stored on it and with my SunJack solar panel system I can keep it charged for years. That said I’m adding her short list of books to my wish list to purchase in both physical and if possible electronic versions.

  2. I just wanted to comment that I also loved One Second After and the Jakarta Pandemic books. Best new fiction in the genre! Thanks for the article and the give away.

  3. I probably use more herbal remedies than I am aware of! One that comes to mind is using nettles in a tea when I’m ‘stuffy’. I’m really interested in learning how to perserve herbs and how to make tinctures. Definitely interested in reading this book because I feel that I am lacking in the necessary preps for a pandemic.

  4. I’m enrolled in an herbal study course so, I am learning how to use herbs and herbal remedies. My most used so far is elderberry syrup, taken 2 times a day and no cold or flu this year!

  5. When prepping, there are lots of things we need, but information and water are at the top of my list as essentials. You can never have too much information, especially in areas that may mean the difference between life and death. I’ve been making and using herbal remedies for over 30 years and I am still continually researching, learning and collecting new information on the subject. Learning common medical procedures is, also, important. It’s especially important to know how to take care of injuries in the field, especially if you know there will be no medial facility to transfer someone to.

  6. This is a book everyone needs. Especially if they have a bad heart, cancer, or any other diseases that turn off their immune system. Mine is so bad, I can’t hold any of my great-grandchildren after they have had their shots, because they fear I could get whatever was in the shot, just like I couldn’t hold their parents, in the same situation.

  7. I need to learn more about plants and herbal remedies and this book appears to be a big step in this direction.

  8. I look forward to the online herbal courses. That is definitely an area I feel I am seriously lacking. Saw your EDC keychain a few posts ago. Pretty good but I also keep my keys on mine. Streamlight Key mate light, home and truck keys, Swiss-Tech 6 tool device, Wenger Swiss Classic, Sliver Picker, British issue can opener, small ferro rod and one of my old dog tags (you never know).

  9. I’ve been an herbalist for 40 years & it still amazes me how much I have to learn! Sounds like a great book.

  10. Last year I started out making a healthy kidney support tea from Brigitte Mars that uses primarily nettle and dandelion leaf. I found the recipe in a book called Healing Herbal Teas. Several people who drink it regularly have reported their lab results show an improvement. When I heard that it made a difference I was hooked. Since then I’ve made some essential oil products that support my immune system. I also use herbal teas to fight cold symptoms and help me get to sleep. I’m planning to make a set of salves based on Gaye’s simple salve recipe and add essential oils for specific applications. This area is likely going to be one of my main prep investments in both time and $$.

  11. I’ve been using the Cold and Flu bomb from Spark Naturals with a diffuser. I liked it so much I bought all my kids one for Christmas.

  12. Couldn’t agree more with Drm.

    I went with a Kobo H2O – it’s waterproof, reasonably robust, but mainly because of the ‘format/ownership of downloaded product’ issues (it reads almost all ebook formats) and it allows for a(n) (up to 32 GB) memory card, so I can carry multiple back-ups/alternatives just in case.

    I use a small hand-crank generator to charge it as sun is only a rumour here.

    (I do have most of ‘the essentials’ in ‘dead-tree’ format just in case though!).

    One thing though, I cannot comment on how Mrs. Ellis addresses Staphylococcus Aureus as I still need to get my copy, but just one caveat.

    Staphylococcus Aureus has been ‘hyped’ an amount by the press. It is a ‘normal’ member of our ‘normal’ skin fauna and flora. Even when it is a ‘resistant’ strain (MRSA or VRSA), that changes very little … if you are well!

    In parts of The UK over 60% of the population are carriers of MRSA (ie. colonised) – without effect, or even being aware of it. A general assumption that it is a ‘Hospital Acquired Infection’ is also false I believe due to this and its development due to repeat incomplete prescribed antibiotic courses, often for viral illnesses (after ‘brow-beating’ a family practitioner for them to ‘do something’), in ‘the community’ being much more likely. 85% of cases causing ‘an infection’ are acquired outside of hospital. So you are much more likely to contact it on a bus/train/rest-room/locker-room or in a café, or even at the beach, in the Western US, than in any hospital. In fact you probably already have!

    It only becomes an issue if your health is ‘challenged’ due to another illness, injury, condition or age – or if it is introduced somewhere it shouldn’t be (in a wound or due to an ‘invasive device’ such as cannula and catheters for example).

    Part of the difficulty most will have in assessing it as a risk is the variability in reporting criteria and its citation as a ‘factor’ only in ‘increasing the morbidity of an other underlying condition’ (ie. It wasn’t the main cause, but an exacerbating/worsening factor). Morbidity/mortality caused ‘exclusively’ by invasive MRSA were and remain ‘very’ rare occurrences.

    The recent research showing a medieval herbal remedy as a ‘cure’ is an interesting development though:

    Now if only I could find the ‘recipe’. As is the effects of ‘copper coatings’.

    I ‘personally’ don’t class Staph. Aureus as as much of a ‘threat’ as TB or Influenza (or even in the same ball-park), it’s ‘yet another’ of those issues which needs to be considered as worsening in a collapse scenario (like tetanus) with precautions and provisions accordingly, but I look forward to reading Mrs. Ellis reasoning/advice though.

  13. I use essential oils, lavender for a variety of things to include calming as well as soothing skin, peppermint for headaches, DigestZen for digestive ailments. I also make a mixture of water, apple cider vinegar, lavender and rosemary for a hair rinse.

  14. I use Tea Tree oil a lot. I don’t like using drugs, so the natural way of treating injuries and illnesses feels better to me.

  15. Even though I’ve studied pain meds as a nurse, I like to try the herbal remedies first. They’re less toxic/stressful to the body and some seem to work for me. I rarely even take an over the counter pain med like ibuprofen and have good success with the numerous herbal pain meds I’ve tried, like white willow bark. It really depends on the person, the type and intensity of the pain, etc, whether it works at the time or not. Worth a try to go herbal first though.

  16. Herbal remedies is what I’m trying to work on now. I’m just learning about essential oils, as a friend has begun training on them. She has me using lavender for my eczema.

  17. I’ve used tea tree oil for MRSA, and given a bottle to my grandson for his acne, aloe vera for burns, lavender and lemon balm from my garden as a tea for anxiety, and arnica for pain.

  18. I’ve used aloe vera and tea…heard about oil of cloves and oregano from Gaye! Other than that, I am woefully ignorant of natural remedies. 🙁

  19. I have made various salves and balms to help with eczema, cuts, skin irritations and the like. We also use various read and honey to combat nausea, sore throat and colds. I’d like to learn to make tinctures.

  20. I’ve only tried herbal remedies for insomnia. I found them to be too unpredictable. I would be interested in learned about herbal remedies for skin conditions such as eczema.

  21. I have used tea tree oil in my husband’s desk fountain to keep algae down and I have tried a combination of a small sample I got at a women’s show but can’t remember the “flavors” I used.

  22. I haven’t used any herbal remedies except essential oils. I am most interested in learning as much as possible about any and all things herbal!!

  23. I’ve just started really learning about Essential Oils and Herbal Remedies. I’ve just made my first purchases – Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, Tea tree oil and Oregano. There are so many herbal remedies I’d like to try so I’m not sure what I will try first. I do want to learn everything I can

  24. I am not yet that prepared for illness. I have a first aid kit, and some masks, but we are a pretty healthy family so I have not worried about it yet. This might just be my next area of prepping!

  25. I agree with the 3 essential skills. I was surprised by how many of my co-workers have no idea how to start/sustain a fire.

  26. I’ve used Gaye’s Miracle Salve for skin conditions, lavender oil for relaxation, herbal teas for help with sleep or upset stomach, tea tree oil and thieves oil to boost immunity, and I put cinnamon in my coffee in the morning to help keep blood sugar more stable.

  27. Prepping for a disaster is difficult. Prepping alone is (almost) impossible. There is simply too much to do…to much responsibility for one person…too much stress for one person.

    However, the more people involved the more “open” you are to “leaking” information and thus scuttling all your well-thought-out plans, well-considered security measures, your…well…everything! Kids naturally brag to their friends. Your friends and fellow preparers may inadvertently blab and let others in on your “secrets”.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve figured out approximately “where” a prepper lives by his U-tube videos describing “helpful hints”. Yes, even the best of them “leak” this kind of information. They WILL become targets.

    OpSec, short for operational security, is something taught and reinforced by the military. And while they practice OpSec all the time, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what they’re up to (at least) half the time. Unless the “cloak of invisibility” is invented, there is no way any human will achieve 100% operational security 100% of the time.

    If you have a smart phone, you can be tracked. If you use a credit card for most of your purchases, your buying habits are KNOWN by anyone with the authority to investigate (police, FBI, CIA, insurance company, credit agencies, credit card companies, etc., etc.). Your location can easily be determined from real estate tax records, IRS, schools your children attend, driver’s license, auto license, doctors or dentists you visit, online shopping you do, your phone or fuel bill, or any number of the other agencies of the US government.

    Basically, unless you’re homeless and use only cash and don’t drive a car, you can easily be located and everything about you is already KNOWN. You can’t leave (or enter) the country without a passport and every time you do, you’re automatically logged into a government computer. Sure, they ask you the ‘question’ at the border, but they already KNOW! (We learned this because my wife and I are somewhat forgetful in our old age and didn’t remember one trip to Canada…YES! They KNOW!)

    When it comes time to take your supplies (be it food or guns and ammo) they already know not only what, but how much you have. The only way around it is to “cache” some of it (and they’ll already know you bought X number of feet of PVC pipe and caps and cement if you paid for it on a credit card). When they come to take you away, they’ll know exactly WHERE to look.

    Let’s hope it never gets to that point, but OpSec IS something to consider, nonetheless. Be devious in your thinking. Learn about hiding (yourself OR your stuff) in plain sight. Be observant (there are some great library books to learn from–but be aware that your “library usage” can also be tracked by the government).

    Our society is quickly moving to a “cashless” one (meaning all purchases will be made with plastic cards)…ever wonder why? So the government ‘enquirers’ can better KEEP TRACK of its citizens. Oh…they’ll say it is for YOUR security they do this, and they’ll cite examples like the tracking of recent terrorists…but we know better, don’t we? A little paranoia can be a helpful thing when thinking about OpSec for you and yours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.