If the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic, what would you do? First of all, you need to remain calm. It may seem dangerous, and could be most of the time, but depending on the disease-causing virus and the fatality rate, most people are likely to survive. However, it is vital for you to be prepared so that you can comfortably stay indoors. Preparedness would also help in case a family member gets ill and needs to be isolated. Additionally, if the catastrophe becomes severe and total lock-down is implemented, you would not be affected.
I have witnessed about 4-5 disease catastrophes in my lifetime, two of which affected my area, and I had to maintain hygiene and have the right supplies in the house. These are the primary factors that guarantee your safety. They prevent you from having to go outside frequently to purchase food and other household essentials. By going out of your shelter, you put yourself at risk of inhaling or touching disease-causing microorganisms.
It is normal to feel scared or anxious when you are living through a tough time. Several information sources, such as social media and the news, tend to make people feel afraid. However, you only need to know the key information to keep you and your family safe. Pandemic survival incorporates everything you require and need to do to get through a pandemic* from following guidelines to purchasing emergency supplies.
Epidemics vs. Pandemics
While the two terms might suggest there is a difference by which an event is declared an epidemic or pandemic, their distinction is often confusing. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has had to change its statistics a number of times when some infectious diseases become lethal or less harmful. This has become one of the reasons why the distinction is often blurred. An example is the HIV outbreak in the 80s. The word pandemic has been gradually replaced by epidemic since the number of expected new infections have been constant for over a decade.
You may also wonder what you need in both situations in terms of emergency supplies. Also, the steps you need to take during either. The best place to start is to know the difference between the two situations. An epidemic is a sudden increase in the number of people who succumb to an infectious disease in a particular community or geographical region. The number of fatalities is usually significantly higher than the standard mortality rate expected. The word epidemic is used to refer only to infectious diseases but has been used in other situations, such as when referring to an increase in opioid use and gun violence.
On the other hand, a pandemic is a disease outbreak that has spread to a larger geographical area, usually several countries or worldwide. The spread of disease usually starts as an epidemic until the rate of infection increases drastically towards other regions. It affects a significantly high number of people causing more deaths than an epidemic.
Both situations require you to purchase emergency supplies you can live on for a while. The supplies needed are similar, but since pandemics affect the global economy, it would be best if you planned ahead and purchased more supplies. You need to have enough non-perishable food, water, medical emergency kits, disinfectants, and medicine. Epidemics affect only a specific geographical area, and hence dealing with the situation is easier when compared to a pandemics. If not forcefully quarantined or required to self-isolate, some people flee epidemic-affected areas.
Pandemic survival requires you to be prepared both materially and mentally. The main way to reduce anxiety and stress is to focus on things that make you busy or happy. People tend to panic during these situations because of the myths and misconceptions that come with these situations, especially in the present modern world. Ensure that you stay safe by keeping your distance from people, get updates from the right sources, and follow all the guidelines from trusted national and international sources.
How to avoid getting Infected & protection against Infection
Being safe requires you to be assertive and to purchase all the necessary tools for pandemic survival. Adhering to health-boosting routines like workouts and eating nutritious diets strengthens your immune system. Maintaining good health is the first step that gets you ready to avoid getting infected. Good health practices not only boosts your physical health but also supports brain function. You get to be stress-free, calm, and able to think critically. There are several items available for purchase – these are the most essential to guarantee your safety.
Bacteria and viruses are known to live on surfaces for hours and possibly days. This makes you vulnerable to coming in contact with germs. Disposable gloves prevent you from coming into contact with pathogens and other infectious diseases.
They are used in order to avoid the spread of diseases by victims when the touch surfaces, for example, in grocery stores or any other public place.
Disposable gloves are crucial in reminding you not to touch your face or any other part of the body that might be vulnerable to viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens during pandemics. Additionally, you could use them when disinfecting surfaces around your house or office, and it would be best for you if you wear other protective gear such as eye protection and a face mask when cleaning. After disposing of the gloves, you should wash your hands and sanitize frequently.
When you are stuck in your shelter, you should ensure that all surfaces and household items are clean, especially if you are taking care of an ill person. While everyone can be a victim of the rapid spread of an infectious disease, children are the most vulnerable for a number of reasons.
A child’s curiosity tends to make them frequently handle small objects and put them in their mouths. They are also fond of touching most surfaces around the house.
For this reason, you should disinfect your home every day. High-touch areas and items such as doorknobs and hand railings should be given the first priority when doing your daily cleaning.
Many nations may have different disinfecting protocols, but the most acceptable chemical disinfectants universally are alcohol and bleach. When used appropriately, alcohol is a broad-spectrum germicide that is used to disinfect small surfaces. The prolonged use of alcohol, however, may have some adverse effects like discoloration on some surfaces like rubber and plastic.
On the other hand, bleach is effective in killing viruses, fungi, and bacteria because of its active component- sodium hypochlorite. Household bleach can be diluted when cleaning your shelter and may take between 15 to 60 minutes to kill organisms. Bleach may irritate the skin and mucus membranes and should, therefore, be used with caution. Ensure that the room is well ventilated and that you are using the recommended dilutions.
Additionally, sanitizing and washing hands frequently is important. While sanitizing may not kill 1OO percent of harmful organisms when compared to disinfecting, it is essential in reducing the growth of fungi, bacteria, and viruses.
Pandemics affect our regular routines and also affects all business industries by reducing the availability of supplies significantly. This said, a first-aid kit is a must-have during pandemic survival and should be one of the first items you should acquire. A first aid kit has several essential items such as crêpe rolled bandages, triangular bandages, gauze dressings of all sizes, sterile eye dressings, tweezers, medical tapes, and a tourniquet among many others. All these items are useful in an endless list of medical emergencies.
Both adults and children are vulnerable to accidents and certain treatable medical conditions. Having a medical kit can be life-saving in these situations. When injured, you are exposed to harmful microscopic organisms putting you at risk of more severe diseases. Items in the first aid kit are essential in cleaning and covering up wounds. This prevents injuries from becoming worse.
Consider consulting or researching a comprehensive list of first-aid supplies that you may need during a pandemic.
Non-perishable and Shelf-Stable Goods
Like any other emergency that affects a significant number of the global population, pandemic survival requires you to be your best self in terms of physical and mental health. This said, you should have at least a two to four-week supply of food since a pandemic is likely to affect the availability of food and other edible supplies.
Shelf-stable foods, in particular, are and have always been the smartest choice to purchase during a pandemic.
The main reason is the fact that they can stay for several days, months, or years at room temperature and still be safe for consumption.
Non-perishable foods have been cleared of microscopic organisms that cause the food to spoil or cause foodborne illnesses.
The main way this is achieved is by drying or treating by heat. They are then packed in airtight cartons, pouches, bottles, or cans. Since shelf life varies depending on the types of foods and manufacturers, it would be best if you checked the expiry dates before consuming them.
Here are some healthy foods you may need to buy;
These foods are a great source of energy and have lengthy expiration dates. You should remember to clean and disinfect food-contact surfaces.
As said earlier, physical health directly affects our mental health. Therefore, you should consider including vitamins in your pandemic survival plan. It is a vital element that develops and boosts body function.
Vitamins do not expire i.e., become unsafe for consumption. They lose their potency over time. If appropriately stored away from humidity light and heat, vitamin supplements can stay up to 24 months on your shelf.You can also purchase unperishable vitamin-fortified foods.
They contain micronutrients that are either added to replace those that lost their potency during the manufacturing process or make the product more nutritious. Foods such as cereals may be fortified with vitamin A which is able to retain its potency for over six months.
To maintain a healthy immune system, it would be best if you reduced or quit bad habits such as drinking and smoking. They tend to make you vulnerable to the epidemic. On the other hand, you only need the necessary items for survival. Make sure you store your vitamins in a cool and dry place where you can easily see or reach them.
There are several uses of water for pandemic survival. For starters, the body needs water to stay healthy since it plays several roles. It boosts your immune system and is essential in making the body function efficiently.
Water also important in improving your brain health by supporting cognitive function. By improving your mental wellness, you become more aware of your surroundings. This leads to proper decision making.
There have been a number of pandemics in human history, and most of them required people to be cautious of their surroundings and what they come into contact with. Water has played an essential role in keeping us healthy, and our surroundings clean and safe. For pandemic survival, water minimizes the risk of contracting diseases when you clean household items, surfaces, and wash your hands with soap.
Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) have been part of the common measures medical experts have emphasized in a significant number of pandemics and epidemics in history. Water is also crucial when taking care of victims even if you are not infected yourself.
By safely managing your water and using it only when necessary, many other co-benefits will be realized. Sanitation and good hygiene practices reduce the probability of other opportunistic diseases affecting you. Some victims of pandemics succumb to other infectious diseases that are not related to the catastrophe.
Prescription and OTC medicine
About 50 percent of Americans take at least one over-the-counter drug. This means that a lot of people may be adversely affected by large scale catastrophes such as pandemics. This would make it difficult for them to acquire the drugs they need. This said, you would need to survive on an emergency supply. Though pharmacies and clinicians may have set regulations on how and when to refill medication, these rules tend to relax during a pandemic.
You need to know how much medicine you need and how much extra you would purchase as a backup. Having enough supply of medication gives you an upper hand when dealing with other mild illnesses such as cold or fever by you healthy.
It would be probable that you have heard from a physician the importance of a humidifier when treating some ailments or reducing their severity. For children, especially those who can’t use over-the-counter medicine, a humidifier offers relief to situations such as cough and congestion.
It does this by adding moisture into the air.
There are several reasons why humidifiers are vital in pandemic survival. First, they prevent the spread of airborne viruses.
Raising humidity in the house to about 40% assists in rendering airborne organisms ineffective. Doctors often use humidifiers in hospitals as an extra layer of protection. By releasing moisture in the air, humidifiers prevent pathogens from moving from one place to another. The reason behind this is that the germs become too heavy to float in the air and simply drop. This is precisely one of the most significant uses of a humidifier during pandemics.
Humidifiers also keep your home warmer. The fact that there is more water in the air causes slower evaporation of sweat hence keeping you warm. By keeping your nasal protective membrane moist, you are able to filter out pathogens. Mid-range humidity can also cause the decay of some viruses much faster. Additionally, it eases several symptoms of illnesses, including difficulty in breathing. Having a humidifier to contain such side effects helps you relax and also speeds up recovery time for infected patients.
Other uses include:
These are a few uses of humidifiers, among other pandemic-unrelated factors such as preventing static around the house, snoring, and damage of house surfaces such as wood.
Other Emergency supplies
This category accommodates every other item that you may need to survive. Since no one knows how long they may last, make sure you acquire other secondary supplies to guarantee your pandemic survival. Acquire at least two flashlights & some batteries, a headlamp to work hands-free at night, waterproof matches, a hand-crank portable radio or one powered by batteries, permanents markers and lanterns. You may also need a whistle in case you need to signal other people or emergency services.
A good quality emergency bag is important in keeping your items dry if you need to move. One of the primary keys to pandemic survival is having all your supplies in good shape. You won’t be able to run to the store and purchase new items just because some items were damaged. Consider the size and quality of materials used when acquiring an emergency bag.
You could also assemble communication devices such as tablets, mobile phones, and laptops phones with their chargers. You also need notebooks, pens, and envelopes in case there is no electricity. It is advisable to have solar-powered gadgets to keep you going.
Additionally, you would want to carry items such as soaps, towels, sleeping bags, rain ponchos, and wind and waterproof blankets in case you may need to move to another geographical location. Other supplies include; duct tape, pliers, a few mechanical tools like screwdrivers, sunscreen, insect repellants, hammer, rope, strapping, utility knives, scissors, face masks, a sewing kit, plastic ties among others.
Top Related Products:
3M 8511 Respirator N95 and the 3M Paint Project Respirator
Whether an illness is airborne such as influenza, measles, whooping cough, or any other novel disease that has reached an epidemic or pandemic status, you would need to acquire the right protective gear to prevent inhalation or ingestion of the pathogens causing these diseases.
Diseases that are spread by respiratory and other body secretions have become the most common causes of epidemics and pandemics in recent years.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has been working hard to educate people on the materials and products that have the highest probability of preventing the spread of diseases. Products such as the 3M 8511 Respirator N95 and the 3M Paint Project Respirator are essential products to purchase for pandemic survival.
3M 8511 Respirator N95
The N95 respirator is one of the most effective face masks in the market that has over 90% filtration efficiency against non-oil components. Its features include an exhalation valve that decreases the level of heat in the respirator. It also has a braided headband two-strap design that assists in providing a secure seal. There are several sizes in the market, and depending on your size, you will find that it is spacious and durable. The N95 has been specifically designed to provide comfort.
The N95 respirator has several benefits, which include a disposable particulate respirator. It is an all-round respirator designed to prevent inhalation of all particles from bagging, dusting, sawing, sweeping, sanding, and grinding, among other operations. Additionally, it is also essential in reducing the risk of inhaling airborne biological properties such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Bacillus anthracis, mold, and other biological pathogens. The N95 incorporates a cool valve that makes it 7.5 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than any other conventional mask. It is also made using 3M proprietary tech to ease breathing using an electrostatically charged microfiber filter media.
3M Paint Project Respirator
The Paint project respirator is almost similar to the N95. It also has the cool valve respirator technology that regulates the temperature. It comes with a proprietary quick latch that keeps you comfortable. Though the respirator may have been designed for specific purposes, it can be used during pandemic survival. It is also used when spraying pesticides and solvents.
The3M Paint Project Respirator has been approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). It comes with a convenient latch for easy wear and removal. It also incorporates cartridges that help you breathe with ease. Additionally, its interior is designed with a soft silicone face piece to increase comfort.
Anyone can use both the N95 and 3M paint project respirators during pandemic survival. The N95 specifically is often used by health professionals who manage the spread of disease or treat patients with infectious respiratory diseases. On the other hand, the 3M paint project respirator is used by workers in certain sectors such as the painting and pesticide industries. However, you could still use it to prevent inhalation or ingestion of pathogens.
For pandemic survival, you need to be disciplined with regard to following the stipulated regulations and guidelines for survival. Pandemic survival is determined by other people near you as well. By sheltering in place, you are not only doing the right thing for yourself but also for other people around you, especially those with weaker immune systems such as the sick and elderly. By reducing the spread of disease-causing pathogens, it becomes much easier for the affected individuals to get the quality care they need.
Pandemics cause congestion in hospitals, consequently overwhelming the limited medical personnel. All of us are part of the solution. Though sheltering in place might be difficult considering the high standards of living in the fast-paced 21st-century, it’s the only best option. Stock up, sit back, and binge-watch your favorite movie, knowing that it’s the right thing to do. Remember to wash your hands!