Are You Pandemic Prepared? How to Prepare for Pandemic and Survive, Too

SurvivalWoman SurvivalWoman  |  Updated: September 9, 2020
Are You Pandemic Prepared? How to Prepare for Pandemic and Survive, Too

It seems like every time we turn around there is some deadly disease in the news. In recent years, there has been Ebola and the Avian influence A (H7N9) virus. There has also been MERS-CoV and many more. While these are epidemics of serious proportion, they are not yet pandemics, but they could be…

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is no different.

The best time to prepare for a pandemic is when a serious disruptive event of the pandemic-type is not on the immediate horizon. That said, a pandemic can occur at any time. It is this unknown aspect of pandemics that make them a potential reality we must prepare for.

The Spanish Influenza Pandemic

My father is buried in a beautiful old southern cemetery studded with azaleas and old-growth trees. It’s a good place to sit on a bench and meditate life and death. As I was walking through this place one bright spring morning, I came across a uniform row of small grey headstones.

I read each stone in that sad row. It started with an infant child, and then followed a succession of nine siblings. Each died a few days apart, followed by their mother. 

The date on the stones?  Nov. 1918: the height of the Spanish influenza pandemic.

Those tombstones were a very powerful visual to me as I reflected on the suffering and sadness that was endured by people who had lived in this area.  Thousands of families all over the world suffered such great loss. This kind of devastation is difficult for us to truly imagine today.

influenza epidemic gravestone pandemic preparation
New Zealand Memorial Marker representing the 8, 573 people who perished there during the Influenza outbreak in 1918 – 1919.

But we need to come to attention and realize that epidemics and pandemics are situations for which we need to be as prepared, just as prepared as for any other threat to our wellbeing and safety.

The pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than the Great War, known today as World War I (WWI), at somewhere between 30 and 100 million people, depending on where you get your statistics.  It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history.

Although it is mostly referred to as an epidemic, it does not meet those criteria. Strictly speaking, an epidemic is a marked rise in disease in a region affecting a localized population, while a pandemic refers to a disease outbreak that is worldwide and affects global populations.  The Spanish flu outbreak of 1918 – 1919 was worldwide and so qualifies as a pandemic.

spanish flu graphic 1918
Approximately 675,000 U.S. Deaths and 50 Million Deaths Worldwide

What is the Difference between an Epidemic and a Pandemic?

Because of their similarities, the terms epidemic and pandemic are often used interchangeably, but it is incorrect to do so. The difference between the two is the scope. Let me explain.

Both happen quickly, usually spreading to a large segment of the population in days or weeks. However, an epidemic is typically contained in a defined area. You might say that pandemics are epidemics that have gotten out of control and have spread to multiple areas worldwide.

earth globe round map

Here is something else you need to know.  Widespread diseases are not all pandemics. To be a pandemic, the disease must also be deadly. It must also be contagious.

You might not even know there are pandemic diseases that could become an issue for you personally. An example is H1N1 that evolved into a pandemic in 2009. There are even oldies rearing their ugly heads once again such as cholera, malaria and the measles.

Just remember this: in most cases, these diseases start out as regional outbreaks.  At that point, they are an epidemic.  If they spread out and become national or global, they become a pandemic.  That is the difference between the two.

Can a Pandemic Really Happen?

Pandemics are popular science fiction fodder. Most people have seen the movies detailing the horrors of living through a pandemic. Such popular current shows the serious side-effects that go beyond the immediate terror of the disease. The point is, there is more to deal with when a pandemic breaks out than just staying healthy. You have to stay safe from other dangers as well.

Alas, scary movies about pandemics don’t make the threat real to most people. In spite of hearing about pandemics, they don’t seem to be a real threat.  Being a victim of a pandemic will typically fall into the “it will never happen to me” mindset aka the normalcy bias.

Most of us have been exposed to the dangers, though. We just don’t always see the surrounding diseases as something that could produce the effects of the disasters in the movies.

Historically speaking there have been many pandemics that killed large percentages of the population of the world. Current pandemics that exist today include:

  • SARS
  • Smallpox
  • Typhus
  • Tuberculosis
  • Coronavirus COVID-19

More Recent Outbreaks

In the past several years, the U.S. had a few infectious disease scares, the main one being the Ebola outbreak. The outbreak that began in West Africa sickened at least 14,413 people from March through November 2014, killing at least 5,177 of them — making it by far the worst outbreak of the virus in history, according to the World Health Organization.

The virus first arrived in the United States via U.S. missionaries flown here for treatment. The Ebola virus was also unwittingly imported by Liberian tourist Thomas Eric Duncan, who flew from Liberia to Texas with the virus and later died in Dallas.

Two nurses who took care of Mr. Duncan also became ill but both recovered.  Dr. Martin Salia, a U.S. resident who contracted Ebola while treating over one hundred patients in Sierra Leone, died of the virus at Nebraska Medical Center. He was the third patient to be treated there and the only one to have died.

Over 100 other people who had come into contact with infected people were quarantined for various periods of time until their tests returned negative for Ebola. Other people who had been in contact with the disease were never located. The U.S. was fortunate to have had limited spread of this deadly disease.

ebola outbreak pandemic preparedness

During and after the Ebola illnesses in the U.S., it became apparent that the CDC protocols were too lax in the beginning and this fact probably caused the spread of Ebola cases to improperly trained hospital staff.  Since that time, updated and more thorough guidelines have been established uniformly across the United States.

I was in the hospital a short time ago and one of the first things I was asked upon entering the Emergency Department was if I had recently traveled outside of the United States. This question is now part of the updated CDC protocols mandated in every U.S hospital.

“All of the recent floods, hurricanes, firestorms, and earthquakes have distracted us or drawn our attention away from the health emergencies taking place in the world.  While the floods, hurricanes, fires, and earthquakes cannot spread long distances and affect us as personally as those who live with them, health emergencies in another part of the world can and do spread long distances and can be our own emergency in a matter of days or weeks.” [CFDPublications]

The following is taken from a recent article in the Washington Post. “In today’s connected world, a disease can be transported from a rural village to any major city in the world within 36 hours.” 

Here are other quotes from two Washington Post articles to think about:

  •  “Outbreaks of life-threatening infectious diseases are spreading faster and with more unpredictability than ever.”
  • “An unusually large plague outbreak in Madagascar has killed 106 people since August. About 70 percent of the cases are the more virulent form of pneumonic plague that spreads by coughing, sneezing or spitting and is almost always fatal if untreated with antibiotics. [In as little as 18-24 hours after symptoms appear] 

In Uganda, officials are on high alert because of a recently reported outbreak of the deadly Marburg virus that has killed one person and may have exposed hundreds more at health facilities and during traditional burial ceremonies. Marburg is a highly infectious hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola and is among the most virulent pathogens known to infect humans.”

“In today’s fast-paced world, information flows through unofficial channels much faster than through official ones…Government officials need to be more in sync with that and adjust to that…Officials who rely on once-a-day updates in outbreak situations need to understand the importance of releasing accurate information in real time…”

sick man with thermometer in mouth

Other alarming quotes:

  • “Although there is more awareness about the issue, experts agree that the world is not prepared for the next pandemic. 
  • “Every president since Ronald Reagan has faced threats from infectious diseases, and the number of outbreaks is on the rise.”
  • “Global health experts warn that a pandemic threat could be as deadly as a nuclear attack — and is much more probable.”
  • “In a speech to a security conference in Munich earlier this year, billionaire Bill Gates said a pandemic threat needs to be taken as seriously as other national security issues.”
  • “Whether it occurs by a quirk of nature or at the hand of a terrorist, epidemiologists say a fast-moving airborne pathogen could kill more than 30 million people in less than a year.”
  • “If the idea of a government is to protect the United States and its people, then these people [health agencies] contribute as much as another wing on an F-35 [fighter jet], and actually do more to save tens of thousands of lives.”

There is a 100% chance of having a pandemic (pandemic influenza or another disease) in the future and it will probably be sooner than most expect.

Do you know how to prepare? Do you know what to do if one occurs? Let’s go over things we can now to be better prepared for an epidemic or pandemic. You need to be able to prepare for a pandemic at home. Quarantines are currently happening all over the world due to the novel coronavirus. Just because restrictions are lifting in some areas does not mean that you don’t need to be ready for a second wave of infection or a different pandemic entirely.

How to Safely Shelter in Place During a Pandemic

With Ebola in the news, Frank has written to me about something we all should be concerned with, namely how to safely shelter in place during a pandemic. What he has to say is important because while we may be familiar with the need for plastic sheeting and duct tape when sheltering in place, what about fresh, filtered air?

An Open Letter from FJ Bohan:  Sheltering in Place During a Pandemic

Dear Gaye and Backdoor Survival readers:

The concerning events of the last few months have had me thinking about writing you.

There are many threats to U.S. citizens in the news. Ebola, along with nearly every third-world disease we as a nation had eliminated decades ago, is back at our door and infiltrating the nation as the masses of illegal immigrants are (transported by our own government), reaching every corner of the country.

Meanwhile, the CDC is busy issuing guidelines to hospitals and mortuaries detailing how to handle Ebola patients and the proper disposal of bodies, but it has yet to announce whether or not Ebola is now an airborne pathogen.

It is for these reasons I fear there may well be a pandemic coming our way soon.

I want to let you and those who follow your website know how to protect themselves and their loved ones should a pandemic crisis come to their neighborhood.

If, indeed, Ebola (or any other virus) is airborne (spread through the air/breathing), isolation is the only true protection. Difficult choices will have to be made by anyone in an area which is infected. Once it has been decided to stay home from work until the pandemic passes from the community, protecting the home will be the next step.

Having stored food, water, and other living essentials already at home may prove to be a life saver. Imagine taking your vacation leave in order to protect your family, only to catch the virus while standing at the checkout counter of the grocery store?

In neighborhoods with confirmed cases of infection, filtering your air might be the only thing that prevents you from acquiring the virus.

In my book, Emergency Air for Shelter-In-Place Preppers and Home-Built Bunkers, I detail how to take a regular wet/dry vac along with a HEPA filter and convert them into an air filter for the home/shelter/bunker.

Ordinary wet/dry vacuum
Ordinary wet/dry vac

By using a shop-vac type vacuum (purchased virtually anywhere) along with a HEPA filter that fits the unit and by following the FEMA guidelines for sheltering-in-place (using plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal a room or shelter), anyone can make a flow-room, of sorts, to protect them self from airborne viruses.

vacuum seal window pandemic preparedness

Buy drawing air from outside of the sealed room and running it through the HEPA filter, the vacuum’s exhaust port will be blowing filtered air into your room. Airborne contaminants will be contained in the vacuum (see my book for details of how to seal the vacuum).

vacuum seal window pandemic preparedness

Even though viruses are smaller in size than the HEPA can filter, they (viruses) generally lack the mass to penetrate the electro-static shield formed over the filter as air flows through it.

I would advise sealing an inner room of the home and drawing air with the vacuum/filter from an adjacent room.

Stay home and indoors.

Do not open your doors to infected people.

Remember to run the vacuum/filter for 10 minutes every half hour and allow a small opening near the floor for CO2 to escape into the adjacent room while the vacuum is running. This will keep the sealed room’s air supply fresh.

NOTE: Failing to run the vacuum or failing to use the system at all will see everyone dead from suffocation!!! Sealing a room without a filtered air system is just like putting a plastic bag over your head. You will run out of breathable air! Do not follow any FEMA sealed-room instructions without using a filtered air supply!!!

I know, Gaye, you have read my book and realize how important this issue is.  Please feel free to share this letter of concern with your readers.

How to Shelter in Place

Sheltering in place is not difficult. In the simplest of terms, you take some duct tape and plastic sheeting, add some ventilation and seal yourself up in a room.  The following diagram depicts this setup:

shelter in place pandemic preparedness window tape

For a downloadable flyer, check out this document from the State of Washington Emergency Management Division:  Sheltering in Place – Creating a “Safe Room” in Your HomeJust don’t forget that you will also need some emergency air as well a food, water, lighting and amusement (games, puzzles, reading material) to get you through the sheltering period.

With thanks I use the following, with permission, from Cheryl Driggs, CDF Publications. Mrs. Driggs serves as Preparedness Specialist, Houston Public Affairs Council.

Skills, Strategies, and Supplies You Need to Prepare for a Pandemic

Most of the historic pandemics lasted for more than 2 years. Some are still going on. Others are popping up such as the Zika virus. Dealing with a long-term outbreak takes some special preparations.

  • Know the symptoms

It is important to know what to look for regarding the prevailing illness. If you must meet with an outside person, it will help you identify whether it is safe to approach.

Knowing what to look for will also help you keep an eye on loved ones during isolation, and to prepare to quarantine them immediately at the first sign of symptoms.  It is important to remember that w hen in doubt, always assume infection. It is much better to be safe than sorry.

  • Wear protective gear

When dealing with outsiders, always wear protective gear, even if they don’t seem infected.

  • Learn how to properly disinfect your home and your clothing

Make washing your hands with plenty of soap and water a habit now, before sickness settles in. Also become proficient at using essential oils, alcohol, and bleach as disinfecting agents.


Additional Reading:  Survival Basics: Hand & Surface Hygiene When There’s No Water to Spare

  • Develop sealed air ventilation

Locking yourself inside your home isn’t enough. It will protect you from the angry mobs roaming the streets. It won’t necessarily protect you from the reason the mobs exist.

If the virus or disease is airborne it can infiltrate a home. You need to have supplies to seal up all vents, windows and doors.

But then how will you get fresh air? Sealed rooms would be fine for a few days, but not months or more. You can find out how seal your home and build a sealed air ventilation system by reading Safely Shelter in Place During a Pandemic.

Heaven forbid anyone in your family does get sick, but if they do, you need to be prepared. When you are confined for long periods of time, it may not even be the danger outside that causes the illness.

People become hurt, catch colds, and get headaches.  It is a fact of life. You can’t just run out to the store easily when there is a pandemic going on. You have to have all of the supplies you need ready.

Make sure you have the common pain killers and antibiotics. If anyone in the home needs prescription medications, it is a good idea to have a rotating supply that will last. You should also have plenty of sanitation supplies like disposable gloves, bleach, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and masks.

  • Learn how to Effectively Use Essential Oils

Essential oils store well and a little goes a long way. Become proficient at using essential oils for common first aid ailments (see DIY Miracle Healing Salve) and for relief from aches an pains.


Essential oils are also powerful antimicrobials, and can ward off sickness and germs when used topically or diffused into the air with an essential oil diffuser. Two especially useful oils are Oregano and Shield Blend (or other thieves-like blend).

  • Prepare for Possible Outdoor Excursions

Anytime there is a long-term disaster, the possibility of needing to leave home for an emergency run for supplies becomes a possibility. When the disaster is a pandemic, however, there is the added danger of exposure.

Always wear a mask to protect yourself from airborne disease. Wear long sleeves and long pants. Preferably seal the cuffs of sleeves and pant legs. Stay clear of other people if at all possible.

  • Stock Up on Games

That may not seem like something important during serious illness outbreaks, but boredom sets in quickly. You are likely going to be stuck in a small space with your entire family for a long time. Having board games, card games and even video games at the ready will help alleviate frustration and cabin fever.

  • Store Plenty of Food and Water

Have enough food and clean water to survive in isolated quarantine conditions for up to a year or more.

  • Set Up Sanitation Stations

Have bleach trays and sanitations stations set up at entrances to walk through before entering the home.

  • Use Disinfectant Liberally and Often

Have spray bottles filled with a bleach/water mixture to disinfect the home and clothes. Use them liberally and use them often. Remember, however, that bleach has a shelf life and should be rotated and replaced on an annual basis.


Here is a the disinfecting: ratio: 1/4 (minimum) to 3/4 (maximum) cup of bleach to 1 gallon of cool water or 1 tablespoon (minimum) to 3 tablespoons (maximum) of bleach to 1 quart of water.

Contact Time: Let stand for 2 minutes, then wipe or air dry

  • Set Up a Quarantine Area

The quarantine area should be set up outside, if at all possible. Having a quarantine area will allow late arrivals to remain isolated until you are sure they are safe to enter. The quarantine spot should be well-stocked with food, water, and amusements such as books and games.

  • Have a Plan for Safe Burial

If the unthinkable happens and authorities have lost control of the situation, there will be sickness and death.  This is an aspect of prepping no one likes to talk about but the reality is that with a massive pandemic, there will be deaths.

  • Be Prepared!

Nothing beats having things in place when you need them. By the time an outbreak happens, it will likely be too late to gather up the necessary supplies. I realize that this may seem as though I am preaching to the choir, but get your food, water, and first aid supplies together, know what you need to do to shelter in place, and gather everything you need to set up a sick room in your home.

Lessons from the 1918-1919 flu pandemic

  • Plan and prepare ahead.
  • Have food stored in your home.
  • Have medical supplies in your home.
  • Have savings.
  • Have alternate fuel supplies.
  • Have multiple communications methods.
  • Prepare for self-medication.
  • Social distancing makes a difference. Cities that implemented social distancing had a much lower incidence of infection spread than cities that did not. This limited frequency of and closeness of contact between individuals in a public setting.
  • Prepare to have religious services at home.
  • Prepare to have children home from school.
  • Volunteer your help; don’t be afraid to help. Terror was created in 1918 when officials and the press did not report the truth of what was happening. “The public could trust nothing and so they knew nothing…this terror prevented one woman from caring for her sister, prevented volunteers from bringing food to families too ill to feed themselves and who then starved to death, prevented trained nurses from responding to the most urgent calls for their services. The fear, not the disease, threatened to break the society apart.1
  • Survivors who had the flu are immune. Survivors are invaluable volunteers in subsequent waves of the flu because they are immune.
  • Lead out, if necessary. If you see a need, lead out.

What can I do NOW?

  • Store 3 months of food for each person in your household. This should get you through two waves of flu.
  • Store medications for pain, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and respiratory infections as well as medical supplies and learn how to use them. Even items as simple as over the counter pain relievers can be hard to find during a pandemic.
  • Keep extra prescription medications stored.
  • Store at least 2 weeks (14 gallons) of water for each person in case water is disrupted.
  • Store fuel for alternate cooking, heating and light sources in case utilities are disrupted.
  • Have more than one way to communicate with others outside your household.
  • Prepare to have children home from school for an extended period
  • Prepare to work from home.
  • Have some cash at home and savings in the bank in case you are unable to work.
  • Have life insurance in case the worst happens.
  • Find out if there is a pandemic plan for your community.
  • Help your family, friends, and neighbors to get prepared.
  • Get involved in community volunteer groups such as CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams)
  • Check out public health websites for updates on pandemic conditions and advice for your area. As we have seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, this information can be confusing and not always accurate but it does help give you an idea of the mindset and conditions that you have to deal with.

Help limit the spread of influenza

You can help limit the spread of influenza by practicing some self-protection methods. You should begin when the flu first strikes the United States because it can spread cross-country rapidly. Also practice these methods when going anywhere that infection can enter the country, such as international airports.


  • Avoid shaking hands. Viruses can be unknowingly transferred from infected individuals or from surfaces they have previously touched.
  • Wear a surgical mask/respirator. The flu virus is often transmitted through the air. A tight-fitting surgical mask that is resistance to fluids provides adequate protection. It should be worn at all times when you are in contact with individuals outside of your home. The masks can be hung to dry and reused unless they have been contaminated with body fluids or blood.
  • Clean hands often. The flu virus can live up to two days on surfaces. You can spread the virus by touching those surfaces and then your mouth or eyes or other people before washing. Anti-bacterial soap or alcohol based hand cleaners are most effective. (I would add here that when using alcohol based and cleaners use at least 70% alcohol, and then rub your hands together vigorously, making sure to get between the fingers and include the backs of the hands.)
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. Infected droplets can be projected 1 yard in front of you and you are contagious 48 to 72 hours before symptoms appear.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to lessen the chance of infecting yourself.
  • Limit contact with those outside your home especially inside buildings. Consider everyone outside your own home as potentially infected. Distance yourselves from others by not going into public places such as school, church, cultural events, sporting events, and social activities and possibly even work. It is recommended that you stay more than 3 feet away from anyone else when you are around others. You may even decide to reverse-quarantine or go into self-isolation by staying in your home and not going out at all when the flu is active in your community.

1The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry, page 462.

Recommendation: Bug In or Bug Out?

Your best bet during a pandemic is to bug in (also used interchangeably with the term “hunker down”) and stay safe. Bugging out is not a good option during a pandemic for a couple of reasons. First, going outside exposes you to the prevalent disease. Second, going outside exposes you to the desperate masses who were not prepared.

Remember, a pandemic is not something that will be short in duration. You and your loved ones need to be prepared to hunker down and survive until the danger is past. That could take months, maybe up to a year before the outbreak is under control.

house green garden countryside

In some cases, it could take longer and indeed, some historic pandemics took many years to contain. Between 1347 and 1453 the Black Death decimated a third of the population of Europe. Even though the US is a much younger country than others doesn’t mean it is immune. Between 1900 and 1904, the San Francisco bubonic plague decimated the West Coast.

The US has also had several outbreaks of Cholera, the measles, scarlet fever, typhoid, polio, whooping cough, diphtheria, the Spanish Flu and of course HIV/AIDS.

Additional Resources

Throughout this article, there are a number of links you can click to learn more about preparing for a pandemic and especially about bugging in during a shelter in place situation.

Here are some additional resources:

The Final Word

Pandemics are difficult because you are battling three separate problems:

  1. Staying healthy
  2. Staying safe
  3. Staying sane during isolation

That being said, being aware of the seriousness of the situation, and what you need to do to survive a pandemic gives you a big advantage over your neighbors who may not be at all prepared.

Former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt has said “What happens before [a pandemic] is far more productive [than what happens after one starts] and individual preparations on a household basis are the key. It’s not just state and local governments – every tribe, business and family needs to talk through a pandemic plan.

Preppers have a unique advantage in that they come to this table with a strong self-reliance mind set. Most have already thought about various crisis situations and what might be needed to meet those scenarios.

So the challenge to every Backdoor Survival reader is to take this information to heart and follow through with plans to fill in any gaps in your total preparedness plan wherever you see a need. Preparation is not static. We are constantly learning how to be more self- reliant and better able to take care of ourselves and our families in any situation.

backpack hat wilderness pandemic preparedness

Prepare to self-quarantine with everything you might need for three months. Consider the recommendations in this article.  Research your local emergency preparedness resources to see if your town or city has them available. If they don’t then perhaps you could be the match which ignites the flame. 

Sit down with those in your household and brainstorm specifically about what would be needed for physical, emotional, spiritual, recreational educational and medical well-being if you were required to shelter within your home for an extended period.

If you live alone, there are other considerations as well. There may be special needs individuals whose requirements come into consideration. I’m an advocate of brainstorming with others, followed by methodical planning.

After the plan is made, begin putting the plan into action until it is as complete as you can make it. We need to be proactive and prepare now instead of being reactive under emergency conditions.

Being prepared will increase the chances that everyone in your home will be able to deal with it all, and come out on the other side in good shape.

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167 Responses to “Are You Pandemic Prepared? How to Prepare for Pandemic and Survive, Too”

  1. It has already been confirmed in Oregon, I believe and healthcare professionals are monitoring someone that may be exposed to it here in Jackson County. However, I would not be worried unless there are more cases confirmed.

  2. How close? The nearest town is 24 miles away. That’s too close and I would go into lockdown as soon as I suspected Ebola’s presence there or closer.

  3. That’s a tough call… we’re 28 miles from a big city and fairly isolated from the closest town but have neighbors within 1/4 mile that commute to work in the city on a daily basis, so I’d have to say an outbreak within a 50 mile radius would have us closing the gates.

  4. We are shutting down at two cases within 25 miles. My children will not have this option. One is a OR specialist, a career director at a collage and another in public service. Before they come they will be quarentined at their homes. We are all within five miles, and could bring them here after if needed. Hopefully they are supplied for as long as it takes though. Yikes….scary stuff, but a reality of our present times.

  5. We’re in New Jersey and NY is close enough! We’d be locking down as soon as it crossed the state lines. In fact, there was a scare in Newark Airport where the person was found to not be infected, but we were already in the prep stages. We realized how short we are in Pandemic prepping and started working our plan for it.

  6. Full hunkerdown? Probably my immediate neighborhood or 3 mile radius if my sons school was at risk. I couldnt pull him out for any length of time unless possible threat was in the school. Luckily I work from home.

    • Lori: It might be helpful to check out your area’s homeschool rules or “sick/at home” provisions for your area. I know here in Florida they have on line school as well as very liberal homeschool rules that allow parents to take their kids out of school for a period of time or for good, especially in situations like this. If you make some calls or do a search you could have that information at hand and be ready to bring your child home until the crisis passes. Since you work from home, this might allow you the peace of mind to be more productive if Ebola gets that close. Just a thought. Good luck!

  7. We live about 50 miles southwest of Dallas. We started making plans as soon as the first person was identified. We opted not to panic, just prepare and play the wait and see game. We were lucky this time.

  8. Nearest small community is 25 miles, large city 80 miles. I would start shutting down when it reaches the large city since people commute from the smaller one.

  9. I would hunker down as soon as someone in my county became infected. I would also avoid traveling into any county/townn where Ebola was infecting people.

  10. I think when it’s in our area I would “shut down” Like the idea of using an old microwave in Decomp area to make sure mail is ok. Just wonder if we could “degerm” the clothes without too much trouble. I have dried gloves and hats in my old one when grandkids come in from outside in the winter.

  11. We live apx. 12 miles east from a small village and 30 miles west from a small town. Lots of folks wrk in the small town, too. We’d probably hunker down if virus was in either locality.

  12. I live in the tri-state area of Ky, In, and IL. If anyone in one of these 3 states was diagnosed with Ebola, I would put out the word to my children and grandchildren, that I am going into quarantine and give them my thoughts on the reasons. I would give them the opportunity to join me, as they know of my preps.

  13. I am feeling like the Doberman guarding the front door and watching and listening. I am watching to see where the suspected cases are and if any are confirmed. It is distressing to think the media would hide it from us.
    If there were any suspected cases in our immediate area we would stop all trips out to local stores or businesses. I would say perhaps the concern would be the greatest if it were within 25 miles from home.
    I am working as quickly as possible on filling the gaps in my preps. That’s not always easy when you are married to a non prepper but I’m carrying on.

    • Just a word of encouragement as a person living with a non prepper – keep being the watchman on the walls for your family and friends. Maybe/hopefully nothing happens, but if it does, your work will be invaluable. Keep watch, my friend. You’re doing the right thing!

  14. We also live in a very rural area. However, we also have 3 adult children who criss cross the nation doing their jobs. So I disagree with those saying they have few commuters and therefore not so worried. My children come to visit for a weekend and the community would have no idea where they have been. One needs to assume, I believe that there is always a possibilty for a pandemic to rear its ugly head. Talk to your family about being watchful and to take whatever precautions that are necessary. Disease has a unique way of protecting itself from eradication. Now how close does it need to be, to me is irrelevant. Fact is it is here and we are not being fully informed by our government. So, common sense and precautions should be the phrase for the day. Be aware and trust your instincts. We are truly the only ones responsibele for our survival.

  15. In my community which is rural. Unfortunately I live in an apartment so some of these suggestions will be difficult if not impossible.

    • Do you have an apartment manager or an apartment association, like a neighborhood association with your apartment complex? If so, perhaps you can begin sharing with them what you’re doing and why, giving them data the supports being prepared, and the steps the group should take in the event Ebola (or any disaster) comes close. If there isn’t an ability to discuss these things with the whole complex, talk with those nearest you, invite them over for cookies/coffee or some other open house and begin discussion. In any preparation scenario, banding together and working together is one of the greatest tools you’ll have to survive. Don’t give up and don’t get discouraged. Prepare and then reach out!

  16. We are country mice and plan to gather and close up at the first hint within our three county area. The real issue is, how will we get reliable, timely information…….

  17. Well, we already implemented partial lock down when the case was confirmed in Dallas. A very close relative of mine had a neighbor who was visiting TX at that moment and was heading home two weeks later. I called my relative and bluntly informed her that after her neighbor returned from TX I didn’t want any visits from her for 21 days minimum. I have made only mandatory trips to town since then and used extreme cautions while there. I know that a nearby airport has a direct daily flight to/from the Dallas Airport and there would be no telling if somebody who had shared a flight with that guy or encountered him in the airport had then boarded a flight to the one near me. (near as in 50 miles but it is a very popular metro that a lot of local ppl go on weekends to go shopping and such). To me the possible chain of transmission is just too easy to go too far in this day of mass/distant transportation.

  18. I Would hunker down as soon as there are cases anywhere on the North American continent that cannot be easily traced and explained. So far all the cases in the US have explanations and have been self limiting. I think Nigeria is a good example of a limited outbreak. They know who brought it in and they contained it. I have food, water , and PPE. I can hold out a long time.

  19. If it reaches my state – michigan, then my husband and I would have to have a serious chat about his work travel. He’s already said that a 21 day quarantine would be professional suicide. If it got w/in 50 miles of our house any unnecessary travel would be out of the question. Trips would be short and with precautions.

    • We are in Michigan also and I have talked to my husband about the question of working from home if we started to see cases in our area. Normally his company doesn’t allow it. He doesn’t think it will be necessary but at least I put the thought in his mind.

  20. Here is a link to Mr. Richard Preston, he wrote an article in the New York Times about Ebola back in 1992, then wrote a book about it called “The Hot Zone” Richard also has a facebook page.
    he has a lot of info on it.
    Also you can go to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) they also have info Ebola, that the CDC is not talking about. Hope this helps


  21. My son and I have talked often of what will be our “trigger point”, the thing that causes us to go into “lock down” mode. He teaches at a local university where there are many international students and they do a lot of research using animals from Ebola infected countries. Our trigger (so far) is when someone within a 200 mile radius of our home becomes infected.That number is arbitrary, but we felt that with the heavy movement of people through our area this would cover most of the larger population centers where we would get information. It’s concerning and difficult to decide. We just prepare as best we can. Ebola, unlike other diseases, has such a high kill rate and we are still in the process of figuring it out. Without a real “cure” for it, supportive care is the most effective way we have of dealing with it. So far, we’ve been lucky. The instances of Ebola in America have been scattered and we’ve had the time, resources, and ability to monitor the hundreds of people who might have been exposed. But what happens if this begins to spread exponentially in areas where we have higher concentrations of people, and this happens in greater numbers spread out over the whole country. The system will be overwhelmed quickly. That is the real concern. Your information on this disease has been cautious, without causing fear. I like that. You’ve given us detailed, simple information that is as effective as anything we know so far. I appreciate it and love that you bring it to my inbox often. Keep up the good work!

  22. We live in a rural area but within 15 minutes of a all town and an hour from large city with an international airport. If any cases appeared in the lg city we would take precautions but if it reached any other towns between the lg city and us, we would lick down. We are not fully prepared for a pandemic but are working on it. In the meantime we are continuing our longer term food and water preps.

  23. It’s not just ebola, this year we’ve had a respiratory disease, a few years ago we had ‘the bird flu’ and then there’s all the ‘stuff’ we have coming across with illegals across the southwest. LA’s skid row has been dealing with scabies and resistant strains of TB for years. As well throughout most of the southwest they’ve confirmed ‘the plague’ in rodents. ANYONE of these could become the next pandemic.

    Being aware and prepared is the key.

  24. I think anywhere in my county is too close. Due to multi-area contact from sports, I would pull my children from school immediately. My husband (a teacher there) would be harder to convince.

  25. Living right next to the Mexican border has my family and me on edge. We are watching it closely and are prepared if the virus shows up on our side of the border.

  26. We live in south Texas in a large city where my husband teaches in a large high school. If Ebola was reported anywhere in the city, we would hunker down.

  27. A problem here in Michigan is that the heath department says there are several people they are monitoring for symptoms but refuse to say what city or part of the state they are in. They cite privacy issues for the individuals but I think that attitude in unfair to the general population.
    In cases like this you never know how far away you might be from someone who is infected.

  28. I am involved with CERT. This would be a good time to help people to prepare to hunker down. Most people do not have the slightest idea on even where to start to not expose themselves, family, friends and coworkers. Just the basic knowledge shared with the locals would help. This book sounds like many pages to share with people to get prepared. Winning this book would help many.

  29. We have been laying in extra supplies – food, water, medical supplies (including nano silver)
    We will hunker down if it is within 25 miles of us.

  30. Full bunker down? If I hear of anything within 100 miles. If the news is actually commenting on one case, there are sure to be more exposures that aren’t talked about.

    Any how are we supposed to hear about anything if there’s essentially a ‘news blackout’ going on? Can anyone pass on resources to use to check on things? I use ‘Alert USA’, but I love to have additional sources.

  31. for myself it’s not necessarily where it is but how widespread it is becoming, one person who came from overseas is not enough for me to implement any changes a dozen cases? and yeah lockdown.

  32. I work next door to the busiest ER in the area. Any word of any sign and the family and I will be proceeding with extreme caution. I can, fortunately work from home and our local schools are very cooperative. Yeah, working for the hospital system puts me at risk, but it also keeps me in the know and not reliant on our rediculous media services.

  33. Where we live most people work in Baton Rouge or New Orleans, therefore we would hunkerdown as soon as there were reports of Ebola in any of the 8 parishs (counties) around us.

  34. I would start worrying if there was a case within our county as they would be using the same hospital, pharmacies, grocery stores, etc. Good information to know in the report.

  35. Have any of you read the #Ebolagate and #Vaccinegate threads at Jon Rappoport’s blog? There’s a lot of facts there which a great many people seem to be very averse to even contemplating, let alone consider. Here’s just few key quotes:

    “The “experts” present a unified front. They assert that their tests for these viruses are correct, pure, and extremely useful.

    Yes, the tests are useful to the pharmaceutical companies who make the drugs that purport to kill the viruses and the vaccines that purport to give immunity to the viruses.

    But as I’ve shown in prior articles, these tests (antibody, PCR) are far from accurate. Worse, they’re irrelevant.

    And they mask the fact that actual isolation of the virus from the human body is not being done. […]

    David Rasnick, PhD, has done a search of the literature on Ebola, looking for evidence that the Ebola virus has been properly isolated from a human being. He reports:

    “I have examined in detail the literature on isolation and Ems [EM: electron microscope pictures] of both Ebola and Marburg viruses. I have not found any convincing evidence that Ebola virus (and for that matter Marburg) has been isolated from humans. There is certainly no confirmatory evidence of human isolation.”

    If you don’t isolate what you’re claiming is the cause of a disease, you’re making it up. You’re faking it.

    The cover-up reaches into every corner of the planet and goes back in time.

    It’s a scandal of scandals, a hoax of hoaxes. […]

    Rasnick’s findings are a direct challenge to the basis of the whole “Ebola outbreak.” If indeed the Ebola virus has never been isolated from a human being, the so-called epidemic is unproven.

    “…the swine-flu vaccination program was one of its (CDC) greatest blunders. It all began in 1976 when CDC scientists saw that a virus involved in a flu attack outbreak at Fort Dix, N.J., was similar to the swine-flu virus that killed 500,000 Americans in 1918. Health officials immediately launched a 100-million dollar program to immunize every American. But the expected epidemic never materialized, and the vaccine led to partial paralysis in 532 people. There were 32 deaths.” —U.S. News and World Report, Joseph Carey, October 14, 1985, p. 70, “How Medical Sleuths Track Killer Diseases.”

    “Consider Pellagra. In the first half of the 20th century, in the US, there were three million cases. 100,000 people died. Researchers at health agencies insisted there had to be germ at the bottom of it. They looked and looked and looked.

    Meanwhile, other researchers found out Pellagra was mainly a deficiency of niacin. They were pushed into the background. “A bunch of whackos. Pay no attention to them.”

    Finally, after 100,000 deaths, most of which were unnecessary, the “experts” grudgingly admitted, “Yes, it’s niacin.””

  36. The book looks good.
    We could last a long time with the supplies we have here if I could keep the family home. The only hardship would canned instead of fresh produce.
    Gosh, my husband would be the real problem. He works in a grocery store, so he would run into it eventually, and he is not the sort to hunker down. I might move him into the travel trailer if I thought the risk was there.
    I work in a small company and have my own office, so my risk would be lower and at some point I would just start working from home if it got too close.

  37. I would implement in stages.
    If suspected case within 100 miles: no more volunteering. make sure pantry inventory is all I would want for 3 month stay. Get more fish for the aquaponics and start ratchet it up. Bring be sure at least 20 gallons of fresh water in the house (can purify from aquaponics for addition 125 gallons.) Upgrade pet food storage to 3 month supply. more than 2 confirmed cases in 100 miles Hunker down .

  38. I think that if it hit LA, which is about 30 or 40 miles from us, that would be enough to keep us hunkered down. If it were to hit there, I know it would spread out to the suburbs pretty quickly, unfortunately.

  39. I would become concerned when cases become present in CA. I live in the LA area which is fast moving and hard to lock down

  40. Since I work at the local hospital, I monitor the news and other websites to see where its located. My concern is the city I live in is a port city. If one person from a ship has it, how many more from the same ship has been exposed. As soon as the hospital confirms a case AND suspects other cases will follow, I will hunker down.

  41. I would start to circle the wagons if Ebola hit San Diego, as I live in a suburb, and I think it would be wise to limit our exposure.

  42. I believe that we would consider hunkering down if there were any cases within 25 miles of us. I would perhaps start to limit my activities before that time if there were reported cases of Ebola in people other than directly exposed health care workers or family members of Ebola patients. We live near to a number of hospitals, so that might be something else to consider.

  43. If it were in our state we would be careful, & stay home if in the towns we go into.

    Thank you for the giveaway! This sounds most helpful & informative.

  44. Since the majority of us are eating food grown in soil depleted of many of the nutrients that our immune systems require to deal with any new infectious agent, the least we can do is add 10,000IU of vitamin D to our daily consumption. In addition to Ebola, this would help in surviving cancer and a number of other diseases that are exacerbated by a deficient immune response.

  45. I really hope to win this book because anything from an outbreak to an epidemic to a pandemic is likely. With proper preparation perhaps it can be stopped at the outbreak level. I have done a lot of reading on Ebola. Truly protective gear for this crisis would be very expensive. So I hope to learn pandemic preps that are affordable. Thank you for another great book contest.

  46. Thanks for the updates and a really nice blog. I recently found your blog and it really is an informative source! I have enjoyed going back and reading previous posts and the updates throughout the week are nice. Keep up theg reat work!!!

  47. I have read a lot of books/articles on pandemics, but not a lot on preparation. Thanks for the opportunity!

  48. I am trained EMT, but have never been involved in or had any specific training in handling a pandemic. Even if I never run across a pandemic, having this information would be invaluable in a long term disaster scenario. People will get sick and without hospitals, clinics, and meds, we will be facing outbreaks that could go through a small group like wildfire. The techniques in this book could save a group.

  49. Glad you and hubby are doing some fun stuff. Balance is key to mental health and we all need that strength for days ahead. Break a leg!

  50. I hope I learn enough to keep my grandchildren safer. It is I fear going to be rough going for their futures. I can give them knowledge and hopefully a path to faith which is the ultimate prep after all!

  51. Love your website! It has been very informative. I’m really quite sure this book will help me to be better prepared to care for myself & family.

  52. Knowing when a so-called pandemic is actually just a pack of lies is worth knowing, too. Does this book cover that aspect?

    I hope you all read Jon Rapopport’s series of articles about Zika at NoMoreFakeNews so you’ll be better at knowing when you’re being taken for a ride.

    He’s written about Ebola as well. Yeesh, Ebola, the boogie monster that wasn’t.

    The most affordable protection for these scares is right between your ears.

  53. Pandemics are one thing I haven’t checked out as I read about surviving. Now would be a good time to get started. The book would be a good start in that direction.

  54. My nursing journals cover every potential pandemic coming down the pike. I remember the hospital I was working at, had a meeting with employees about bird flu and that never came of anything. The book would help me prepare others, as they look to most medical professionals to have all the answers, but of course we don’t! I do my research and don’t believe every thing I read–common sense.

  55. Try to get the things that are necessary but realize I can always learn, store and prepare more. This resource looks very helpful.

  56. This is a must read book to have and to add to my survival library since I know very little about to prepare for a pandemic.

  57. A scary thought but vigilance is necessary. Prep for the worst, pray for the best.
    I have several different types of flashlights, but I have been looking at those 9v ones lately.

  58. Pandemic is one thing I don’t feel well prepared for> This book can really help me prepare as we will have care of our grandchildren too.

  59. I hope to learn what supplies to store, what signs to look for that will foretell the start of a pandemic and what steps to take long before the government makes the announcement.

  60. I’d like to learn if it’s really possible to prepare for a pandemic. With two parents working and kids in school then coming together at home, the potential for exposure must be off the charts. I need to research methods of protecting my family from a pandemic. Examples, when to pull the kids from school, when not to go to work, and then limit our need for public gatherings, (grocery store ect.).

  61. I’m not very prepared for something like this, so the book would be a welcomed addition to my preparedness library.

  62. I’d like to learn as much as possible as far as skills needed and supplies to handle all sorts of possible scenarios.

  63. I’m hoping to learn how to keep my family safe should a pandemic arise, and to learn what the best preps are to have on hand in such a circumstance. Thanks for sharing the knowledge!

  64. I did research today because I read somewhere this week that meds don’t go in the freezer.
    Guess where I have been keeping mine??
    So, this is what I learned…..dry meds are fine in the freezer, not recommended for liquid; keep those cool-refrigerated if you want.
    BUT…..I read the liquid Elderberry Syrup is fine frozen(thank goodness,I have 4 bottles in freezer and partial one in the fridge).

    Any info negating this is appreciated.

  65. Off Topic—I am never sick. Was public school teacher and NEVER got sick. Had preschool/daycare for years at home and NEVER got sick…even as the sweeties deposited in the trash bag lined waste baskets(you know)YUK!!

    Well, I may have contracted something Wednesday–fever/chills off and on for 12 hours; headache out of this world that even a prescription pain pill didn’t alleviate; backache; arms from shoulders to fingertips ached, esp. joints.
    It started with a heat sensation from my head to my feet–a feeling I have never felt before.

    Any guesses??? Lasted exactly 12 hours with chill/fever outlasting the other symptoms.

  66. I hope to learn some skills and preps that are specific to a pandemic or outbreak. Having a well-rounded knowledge base is important to me.

  67. I know it isn’t a matter of if there will be a pandemic, but when. I hope this book can help me be ready to deal with it.

  68. I would like to know when is it time to when a case of the sniffles is just the sniffles and when it’s time to go to prepper mode.

    Also like to learn more about home remedies since I grew up having hot toddies as a cure for most illnesses and husband grew up believing blackberry brandy can do anything short of replacing organs.

  69. With all the germs at school, super bugs, worldly travel, this would be a great resource to help us all prepare for anything life throws our way. Thanks

  70. I hope to learn how to diagnose and treat problems that could be pandemic in nature. How to keep family, friends, and myself healthy in less than ideal conditions!

  71. I hope this book deals with quarantine and long-term isolation care. Somewhere I have an old nursing book (pre-antibiotic) which dealt with such things.

  72. I hope to learn more about being as prepared as I can for any situation, be it pandemic, epidemic etc. I sort of new to prepping, but I want to keep learning & growing as prepper & survivalist. This book would help me on my journey to become more self sustained.

  73. I’m hoping to ensure that my preps cover all necessities, without winding up with a bunch of unnecessary items. I’m walking that fine line between preparedness and preventing clutter!

    • Jeanne thank you sp much for saying this. I crossed that line a couple years ago. Trying hard to declutter now. But my home has a lot of floor space but no real storage. All my storage places are filled with water bottles. The buckets and bugout bags are on the floor. I have big plastic boxes of first aid. Plus I have a lot more tools and outdoor stuff than I used to. Anyway, thanks for mentioning that fine line.

  74. This would be invaluable to me With a compromised immune system I will need all the help I can get to keep not only myself healthy but the family as well

  75. I would like to learn what are the most necessary and most affordable items to have in case of a pandemic. I would also like to get some idea of how long one might expect to have to be isolated during the various types of pandemic situations.

  76. I hope to learn the basics to keep my family safe. I hate all of the scare tactics and sensationalizing that goes on, especially in the news media. But, if something really does happen you need to know what is best to do, right from the start.

  77. Would love to win this book so I can see if I’ve missed anything in my preps. When the Ebola crisis was ramping up I did a lot of research and got some more items to add to my preps, but it’s always nice to see what experts have to say as well.
    Two biggest items I got specifically for Ebola prepping: pool shock and a full face shield. The face shield goes over my goggle and half face respirator to avoid any droplets on exposed facial skin. And the pool shock is so I can make hundreds of gallons of bleach (one gallon at a time) to then make disinfectant solutions.

  78. I would like to learn what skills & supplies are needed for a pandemic. Also, how to know when it is really a pandemic. I need all the help I can get to be prepared!

    Thank you so much for this giveaway!

  79. 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.

  80. 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.

  81. 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).

  82. 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.

  83. 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.

  84. 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!

  85. 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.

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

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

  88. 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 $$.

  89. 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.

  90. 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.

  91. 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.

  92. 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.

  93. 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.

  94. 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.

  95. 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.

  96. 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. 🙁

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

  100. 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!!

  101. I’d love to win a copy of one of these books to add to my collection of Prepping & Survival books.

  102. 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

  103. 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!

  104. 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.

  105. 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.

  106. 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.

  107. Very timely info. I was just reading about H7N9 in China, and it currently has a 40% fatality rate. Fortunately it’s not spreading human to human yet, but given the large numbers of birds in China and their population, it’s not impossible for that mutation to happen. Hopefully it never does, or if it does that the lethality is reduced! (As a point of reference, the Spanish Flu of 1918 had a mortality rate of just 2.5%!)

    One minor wording quibble, surgical masks aren’t necessarily N95 masks. Cheap surgical masks are great for preventing the wearer from spreading germs, but won’t protect the wearer from environmental germs. N95 (or better) masks are needed to protect the wearer from infections via inhalation. And be careful of exhalation valves…they make extended wearing of masks more comfortable, but if the wearer is sick the valve is letting the germs out!

    • Good point about identifying the proper type of medical mask. The distinction between a standard surgical mask and an N95 mask was important enough to make this clarification in the article. Although the link was to an N95 mask, not everyone was going to click on it.

      The goal, as always, is to be as accurate as possible.

  108. Smallpox is not currently in a pandemic. It was supposed to have been eradicated, and I’m unaware of any outbreaks since it was declared eradicated. That is why we have stopped vaccinating against it.

    It has been rumored that the Russians have weaponized it into a bio weapon, which means that with the unvaccinated world population, if released it would quickly become a pandemic.

  109. I like to keep liquid bandaid solution in my first aid kit. It is great for hangnails as well as sealing smaller cuts. It can even go on top of stitches to seal and protect them.

  110. An every-day prep precaution is to get into the habit of shopping at the times when there are the fewest other shoppers (early morning, typically), and disinfect the handle of your shopping cart as soon as you start pushing it. Some stores have disinfecting wipes dispensers near the front door, which you may never notice unless you look for them. If they’re empty, let the store staff know. By helping to keep your neighbors healthy, you also keep yourself safe.

    Exposure to direct sunshine allows our bodies to synthesize Vitamin D, which has been shown to help prevent respiratory (cold, flu) infections.

  111. Another good article. I have been exploring water disinfection for over a year and am happy now with what I have managed to distill (excuse the pun!); there are many articles out there and some are just wrong/dangerous pertaining to dosing :

    It was mentioned in the article that bleach has a limited shelf life; in the UK we have difficulty in sourcing unscented bleach as well so my recommendation would be to store Ca (OCl)2 in briquette form (shelf life at least 10 years) and then dosing to get whatever bleach concentration you require and then further dosing to Chlorinate (disinfect) water for drinking.

    If it helps I can provide dosing data?


    • Could you please explain a bit more about “Ca (OCI)2 in briquette form”. I don’t think I’ve heard of this unless it goes by a different name?? Your advice is most appreciated.

  112. You know, generally, when people complain about illegal immigrants bringing in diseases, that’s a pretty good sign that they’re racist as hell. Congratulations on continuing to place the blame on one of society’s most marginalized groups. You won’t catch me here again. Shame on you.

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