Welcome to this week’s Survive The Coming Collapse newsletter. With all of the talk this week about the threat of this year’s bird flu in China turning into a pandemic, we thought that we should cover what you can do to prepare.
A quick note…The other day I told you that I arranged for a special bonus program for you called, “Point Shooting Secrets”.
This is a $27.45 value you get for free when you order a copy of the “Bulletproof Defense” DVD.
If you missed my email on this, check it out >here< The DVD is only $7 and is a “must-have” for anyone who owns a firearm for self-protection.
Now on to pandemics…
Survival Diva here with a confession; until recently, preparing for a pandemic was not at the top of my SHTF list. When I acted upon that “knowing” we sometimes get, it was over the concern of an economic crash that I see fast approaching.
That isn’t the case for everyone. Some preppers are preparing for a short-term crises of 1-3 months. That will work for life’s hiccups, where within a few weeks, life returns to normal. But what about a long term crisis like a pandemic? It’s something we should ask ourselves when setting up for self-sufficiency.
Preparing for a pandemic requires long-term prep goods because experts warn that a pandemic can last for a year or more. With the recent news of a new strain of bird flu in China, H7N9, being prepared for a global pandemic bears consideration. So far 102 human cases of H7N9 has been reported which led to 23 deaths.
(David’s note: Keep in mind that flu outbreaks normally correlate with a lack of sun exposure. What that means is that long-term widespread quarantines aren’t likely. Pandemic outbreaks of other viruses, like smallpox or cholera are a different story. It’s important to also understand what a pandemic is…in short, it’s a geographically widespread epidemic and an epidemic is a virus with a high rate of an infection in a given area.)
The World Health Organization reports there is no evidence of human to human transmission with this new strain of bird flu. However, the circumstances of this new virus is being watched closely, as this new strain is problematic on several levels. Reports of a 4-year old boy who tested positive for the H7N9 reflects he did not display symptoms of the flu and he is considered to be a carrier of this new strain of bird flu. Another issue with this low-pathogenic bird flu is that although flocks can be infected, they don’t necessarily die off at the rate of previous strains of bird flu, meaning humans may be unaware of an infected flock and are thus more likely to be exposed.
Contradictory to WHO’s lack of concern over human to human spread of the H7N9 virus, top American virologist Anthony Fauci has warned China to prepare for mutation of the virus, even though no case or evidence of any human-to-human transmission of H7N9 bird flu has been found yet.
With regards to historic pandemics, the various strains of bird flu pale in comparison to The Black Death (1347-1351) with estimates of 75 million deaths, or the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 which killed 20 to 40 million people (an estimated 675,000 Americans died of influenza during the 1918 pandemic). Thankfully, scientific advances has led to a clearer understanding of the spread of disease and its cure, putting us at lower risk than what our forefathers were.
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Although we may not be able to stop the progression of a pandemic, there’s plenty we can do to prepare and to protect ourselves when they occur and luckily it’s covered in David’s January 13, 2013 post titled Flu Prevention–Myths and Time Tested Strategies. Here are some of the excerpts from David’s article:
Very few people have ever died of the flu. When you read news reports saying that ## number of people have died from the flu, what they really mean is that those people had the flu and while their immune systems were compromised, they got a secondary infection, like pneumonia or hemorrhagic fever and the secondary infection killed them.
Neither drugs nor “natural medicine” are necessarily a silver bullet. When I got drug resistant pneumonia after a hospital stay, natural medicine is what saved me and what has kept our family healthy for years since then. Our 5 ½ year old has never needed antibiotics, despite getting all sorts of bugs. Our youngest got over croup in less than 24 hours instead of having to make a midnight visit to the ER like most of our friends’ kids. That being said, we have used antibiotics with our youngest son and for both my wife and I when absolutely necessary. While we prefer to avoid prescription drugs, we aren’t dogmatic about it.
Next time you get ill, consider working with your healthcare professional to figure out multiple ways that you can attack the illness. You might need to shop around for a healthcare professional who will take the time to help you with such a “non-traditional” quest. It’s no fun to be sick, but look at it as an opportunity to figure out how to beat illnesses without prescriptions. Personally, we have tried to find solutions that we can buy without having to get permission (a prescription,) that we can stock up on, that “bugs” can’t build up a resistance to, and that we can still get and use immediately if the medical system is overwhelmed.
As you’re figuring out your plans for survival situations, one of the variations you should throw into your scenarios is what you would do if one or more of your family was sick. How would it effect bugging out? If you had to do security watches, how would you adjust? Does your plan depend on everyone carrying their weight all the time, or does it account for life circumstances like temporary illness? Do you have an isolation/quarantine plan figured out? Are you allowing enough down time so that your immune systems won’t get compromised?
Make as many decisions as you can when you’re not under stress. When anyone in our family starts getting sick, we know it is time to pull out our little plastic storage container of supplements. We know which ones to take, how much to take, and how often from past use. We don’t have to figure it out from scratch. All we have to do is run the drill that we’ve used successfully in the past.
Don’t underestimate the importance of air quality. I am convinced that at least some part of our big cities’ air problems have to do with the new ethanol requirements in fuel. Besides having 34% less energy per gallon than gasoline and requiring more fuel to be burned to go the same distance, a 2007 Stanford University study showed that ethanol produces more formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and ground level ozone than burning gasoline.
Why do I mention this? Because there’s pressure in Washington to mandate MORE ethanol in our gas and if you believe that you are sensitive to smog and other airborne pollutants, you might want to consider the prevailing winds in your area and where you live in relation to your local city. If you determine that you’re in a bad spot and moving isn’t an option, then you might want to start looking into whole home air purifiers.
And, while on the topic of air quality—in a survival situation where local utilities aren’t able to provide fuel and electricity for heating and cooking, people will switch over to burning wood, coal, lumber (treated wood,) and trash like was common as recently as the early to mid 1900s. These will all put more particulate matter into the air than electricity and natural gas and bad air quality will become a VERY serious issue.
It’s vital that you figure out how to take care of your body without the help of the traditional healthcare system. I’m not a fan of what lawsuits, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, just in time supply chains, and a population with an entitlement mentality have done to medicine in the US, but what I’m about to tell you goes way beyond those factors. In a post disaster situation, you simply must be able to take care of as many health issues as possible without depending on the healthcare system. The “system” is overstretched during ideal times and has no way of flexing or adapting to anything remotely close to a true disaster.
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Later on in this post, I’ll be including excerpts from another post of David’s that is a must-read for anyone wanting to prepare for a pandemic. In the meantime, Outbreaks Global Incident Map is a site you can go to for breaking news, location and articles on pandemic breakouts (they also give alerts on all other threats). A secondary site is Google Flu Trends.
Since the advent of air travel, the spread of disease has become a growing concern for officials tasked with keeping the population safe.
During breaking news of a pandemic outbreak, it might be a good time to opt out of optional travel. If you find yourself stuck away from home–most notably a foreign country, without the lifeline of friends, family, or preparedness goods, survival will be all the more difficult.
If your plan to survive a pandemic involves getting to a bug-out location, it’s wise to set out for that location as soon as possible before areas are cordoned off in an attempt to prevent the spread of disease, especially in populated urban areas. With the exception of an orchestrated bio-attack, you’ll probably be able to predict when a quarantine will be enacted a few days in advance.
Exposure & Quarantine
In the midst of an easily spread pandemic, it is safest to stay isolated from others who may be infected.
It’s possible you may be faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to allow others into your home after a pandemic has begun. If you decide to help anyone who may have been exposed, it is safest to quarantine them away from others until sufficient time has passed to be certain they are not infectious.
The safest route to avoid the spread of disease is to have that person stay in a cordoned off area as far away as possible from others in your household. If they’re in the house with you, a series of barriers can be created with plastic sheeting that can be secured with duct tape.
This quarantine space should be supplied with water, prepared meals like MRE’s, and a camp toilet to allow for self-sustained living during the quarantine period.
On the surface, this approach may seem cold hearted, but if that person turn out to be infected, everyone in your group will have been exposed. It’s important to remember that with some viruses, like the flu, peak contagiousness happens BEFORE peak symptoms…or symptoms at all. Why risk it? Consider how you would wish the situation to be treated should it be you arriving after a pandemic has begun. I believe most of us would prefer to remain isolated away from loved ones to protect them until you’re certain it is safe.
Having medical supplies available will be extremely important during a pandemic—and this requires having those medical supplies set aside before a pandemic, because running out to buy them after the fact means you will be exposing yourself and your loved ones to illness. If you haven’t checked out the recommended medical lists already, you can Click Here.
Consider researching naturopathic remedies, and now would be a great time for those of you on the blog with knowledge of naturopathic healing to jump in with recommendations! To effectively administer natural remedies takes extensive knowledge, so it’s important you trust your source.
Wear gloves and don’t forget antibacterial soap when coming into contact with someone who may have been exposed. They are both cheap insurance in helping to avoid becoming infected and to prevent the spread of disease. If you must care for someone infected, another layer of protection is to wear protective disposable booties (which should be removed before exiting a quarantine space).
Do not buy into the safety of an N-95 mask! This is extremely valuable information that David teaches in the Survive In Place Urban Survival course. Unfortunately, many preppers believe the myth that the N-95 mask will protect them from disease, but it is a critical mistake.
Here’s why; when breathing in and out while wearing an N-95 mask, there are always gaps. These gaps allow the air, and thus airborne disease, in and the mask essentially offers nothing more than a false sense of security. N-95 masks help to protect others (if only slightly) when worn by someone who is ill because it catches fluids, but even then, it does not stop airborne illness from infecting others.
Time Isn’t Always On Our Side
The deadly pandemics that people are generally afraid of and prepare for can last for a year or more. During that time, it may not be possible to work, or risk being around others who may have been exposed. Automatically this excludes shopping for goods and services. Those who are able to live self-sufficiently, living in relative seclusion, are the most likely to survive a bull-blown pandemic.
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In an earlier post of David’s titled Preparing for a Pandemic Flu Worst Case Scenario, he brings up chilling facts over why the government fears a pandemic. The facts may surprise you!
Although I encourage you to read David’s post in its entirety, I’ve highlighted just a few excerpts here:
- During a full-blown pandemic vast numbers of people will flood across the Mexican border into the U.S., seeking the best healthcare possible, while hospitals will already be turning away U. S. patients because hospitals simply won’t have the bed space to accept them (and why we should expect to have to care for ourselves and our loved ones).
- The overwhelming influx of people seeking help from the U.S. would make it impossible to protect our borders. Add to that the fact that food will be in short supply.
- Here in the U.S., schools would shut down, parents would stay home and stores and malls would be empty. The effects on the economy will be devastating!
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One of the best ways to prepare for disasters like this and others is to get things in order to be able to survive them right where you currently live in case you can’t bug out or don’t have anywhere to bug out to. You can learn how to do this by following the step-by-step guide in the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course.
Do you believe a pandemic is worth preparing for? Do you have experience with naturopathic remedies and healing? If so, please share with the forum…it may save a life!
And for those of you reading the book, Implant, chapter 8 (part 1 0f 2) is available. Click Here to read. Your feedback, by the way, is greatly appreciated!
God bless and stay safe,
David Morris and Survival Diva.