Monday, May 4, 2009
* Know the risks
* Make a plan
* Assemble a 72-hour kit
May 3-9, 2009
Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week) is an annual event that takes place each year during the first full week of May. This national event is coordinated by Public Safety Canada, in close collaboration with the provinces and territories and partners.
During Emergency Preparedness Week, activities are organized across Canada to raise awareness of the importance of having an emergency kit; making an emergency plan; and identifying risks in the region. These three simple steps can help Canadians prepare for all types of emergencies.
For more information regarding what's happening across the country, please visit:
[What have you done today to prepare?]
Swine Flu is gonna kill us all! Swine flu is going away! Swine Flu is man-made! Swine Flu is a natural mutation! Oh, we offended the pigs. It’s H1N1! Does anyone know what’s actually going on??? Does it matter? Whatever the truth is about this H1N1 (formerly known as Swine Flu) virus there is ONE THING we can each know for sure. Has the last week caused you to think very seriously about your Pandemic Preparedness? Have you reviewed and identified holes in your preps? Have you done something about it? Are you Ready for Anything?
Hopefully everyone has taken this opportunity to do just that - consider the possible worst situation, review your preps and fill holes. Whatever the truth of the situation is, we can all know for ourselves if we were ready and, if you weren’t, if you are ready now! Have you taken the time in the last week to consider just what Pandemic Preparedness means for you? We’ve presented a couple scenarios here on the site and offered some ideas for Pandemic Preps. Hopefully they’ve been helpful. Now I would like to explore deeper down the Preparedness Rabbit Hole with you - and wander the quarantine branches of Pandemic Preparedness.
What EXACTLY is the point of Pandemic Preparedness? What are we trying to protect ourselves from? The simplest answer I can come up with is: We’re trying to NOT get ourselves or our family sick. For each one of us this will mean something very different. Our family make-up, our home, the location of our home, our work, kids in school, church responsibilities, etc. I want to explain a bit about my status of all these things to put my prep ideas/plans in context.
Many of you know I have a 3 year old with Leukemia. This means her immune system is compromised. In her life we are actually already into a semi-quarantine; we practice social distancing, we are sensitive to germs, cleanliness, and sanitation. She is comfortable and used to wearing an N95 mask, we are always wary when someone around us is sick, we rarely take her in very public places, we wipe down (sanitize) shopping carts before we put her in them. Because of her situation, I have two primary goals in my Pandemic Preps. 1) Keep her from getting infected and 2)Keep any family members from infecting her. Here is the rest of my personal environment. I live in a 2 story house, the basement is designed as a separate apartment; there is a kitchen, laundry room and 3 bedrooms down there, with a separate outside entrance. I live in the country on 50 acres and there are very few people around us. I have 8 children, 7 of whom live at home.
So, your plan will need to be tailored to your situation, but now you can understand mine and hopefully this post will give you some ideas for your quarantine plans. The scenario I’m working with here is one of my kids (not Serenity, my Cancer Chic) getting sick or showing symptoms of being sick. Isolation of the sick person from Serenity (and the rest of the kids so it doesn’t spread) is the objective here.
The entire basement will immediately become the sick ward. The air vents, doorways and the upstairs entrance to the basement will be sealed off with 6 mil plastic to deter air flow. The window to the sick room will be open to allow fresh air circulation. I plan to get a UV Air filtration system to use in the basement as well. The sick person will be confined to a bedroom while in the house and will be allowed to play outside in a designated area that the other children will not be allowed to go to. The bathroom will become a decon room to dress and undress for entry into the sick rooms. The basement laundry room will be the only place the sick person and caretakers laundry will be done. All dishes used by the sick person will be washed in the sink downstairs. The sick person will be required to wear an N95 mask anytime someone is in the room with them, anyone going into the room will need full protective gear on (more on that in a minute). The sick rooms will be sanitized twice a day including changing and washing all linens on the bed. All paper trash (kleenexes, etc) that is able will be burned in our fire pit daily. All other trash will be collected into a garbage bags and disposed of twice daily. To make this quarantine plan work requires several specific preps.
In another post I discussed a couple methods of making your own sanitizer. I also have a lot of cleaning supplies stored up as part of my regular preps. You can see many of them in this picture.
When thinking about cleaning preps, be sure to consider that you’ll likely be cleaning several areas at least a couple times a day. You should have enough cleaner stored to handle doing this for at least a couple weeks to a couple months. Think about needing to sanitize all of the following more than once a day: floors, walls, linens, dishes, clothes, toys, toothbrushes, bodies, etc.
Pandemic Preparedness Gear
I previously posted about my personal and vehicle Pandemic Go-Kits and discussed the preps I’ve taken there. This next kit is another Go-Kit but is meant for being able to take care of someone sick whether you’re at home or bugged out somewhere else. Here is my Pandemic 72 hour kit:
From left to right, front to back, here are the contents:
- Front Row
- Replacement razor blades
- Sanitizer spray
- Razor blade knife
- Battery powered shaver
- P95 replacement cartridges
- 2nd Row
- Pack of 10 N95 masks with exhale valves
- Industrial gloves
- Shoe covers
- Tyvex chemical suit with hood (2)
- Back Row
- 3rd Tyvex Suit
- Face Shield
- P95 Respirator
- Lysol Disinfectant Wipes
- Alcohol Wipes
The knife and flashlight are tools that can be left in the contaminated area and used easily with bulky gear on. The shaver is to remove facial hair if needed so that masks can achieve a good face seal, it is specifically battery powered instead of electric/rechargeable in case power is not readily available. N95 masks are for the patient disinfectant wipes and spray are for the reusable mask and other gear and for wiping up in the sick room.
Here’s what this very unflattering gear looks like on:
This gear setup isn’t perfect - or final for that matter - and much of it was bought this last week. Yes, I was surprised to find that I was not properly prepared for a Pandemic but have made sure this week that I have the minimum of what I needed.
I plan to find and purchase several washable bio suits - I’m looking for ones with booties and a hood built into them. This is very close to what I’m looking for. Currently, the filters I have for my respirator are 95% (like N95) filters - meaning they miss 5%. I’m planning on getting N100 filters to replace them. I’ll be doing that in the next week or two. The critical part for me is that I have the minimum preps required to implement my plan.
More Mask Information
I also want to pass on some further information I found this week. By now we’ve all heard of N95 masks, what you may not have heard of yet are P95 and R95 masks. With mask supplies acting like ammunition lately N95 masks have become rather scarce. However, most hardware stores still have decent supplies in their painting and tool safety sections. What you’ll find there though are N95, P95 and R95 masks. When I first saw this I wasn’t sure what the other two were or if they would work for me. What I found out about NIOSH ratings is this: N = Not resistant to oil, R = Resistant to oil, P = oil Proof. The 95, 99 and 100 rating are the filtration levels. The prefixed letter is the oil filtration rating. What this means is that any Nx, Px, Rx rated mask will work for you as a pandemic filtration mask. 95% filters are good enough to get you home, but for in home care I want a 100% filter. Here’s a pdf that explains all this.
Hopefully this post will give you some good ideas for considering your own pandemic quarantine preps. Remember, the main thing to gain from the swine flu outbreak to this point is a good understanding of how well prepped you are for a Pandemic! Don’t miss Angela’s excellent post on avoiding Cabin Fever during quarantine!
Have you gained a new perspective on pandemic preps from the current outbreak? Have you considered quarantine preparedness?
I have been talking to quite a few media outlets lately and they always want to discuss what I consider the “sexy” aspects of survivalism. Now I don’t consider them sexy myself but what I mean is the parts of survivalism that spin into an interesting news story, you know a mountain of stored food, an underground bunker or a small arsenal of weapons.
Each of those things is vastly misunderstood by the media to begin with but the one thing they really have a hard time making is the link between debt elimination and basic modern survival tenants. The reality is that debt elimination is survivalism 101, you simply cannot be a survivalist is you rely on Amex when the shit hits the fan.
Tune in today to hear…
- The basic rules of survival
- What the reaction to swine flu teaches us about debt and panic
- Why debt really is cancer and why it will make you act in fear
- How debt leads to bigger government
- Why 401k balances are not really what led people to run to government in the economic crash
- Why financial management and debt elimination cannot be separated from survivalism
- Why the stimulus will “work” short term and what you should do when it does
- A tale of two men John and Tom and what it teaches us about managing our lives
- Why people in debt spend more money then people who are not in debt (I am talking about new spending)
- Why you can’t do many of the simple survival steps well until you eliminate or at least begin to eliminate debt
- What planning vs panic teach us about debt
- The main way to be a survivor is to reduce dependence -
I’ve spent a long time looking for good granola recipes because a) it’s totally delicious b) it’s totally expensive to buy in the stores and 3) it’s a perfect way to use those oats sitting in your food storage. Well I have to say that I was literally giddy Saturday morning when I found these delicious recipes posted to my blog by Leslie H. I knew I had to try them and after I did, I knew I couldn’t wait until a Fanatic Friday to share them all with you. The recipes are SO easy and SO delicious. In fact the Crunchy Granola (the one I added dry cranberries to) tastes just like Post’s Cranberry Granola Crunch which runs for $5.00 in the store! Definitely not what I paid to make it myself. Plus, I like having more control over the ingredients when I make things myself. Leslie says her daughter eats the granola all the time for breakfast and that they will put the Peanut Butter Granola on top of ice cream and of course you can top your favorite yogurt with either recipe. Anyway, you’ve got to try them! You’ll be pleasantly surprised…again…that food storage can be so delicious!
1 ½ cups brown sugar
½ cup water
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
8 cups rolled oats
¾ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
¾ cup almonds, coarsely chopped
½ cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
½ cup shredded coconut
dried fruits, if desired (tropical fruit is good, raisins, blueberries, cranberries, cherries are all great.)
Heat oven to 275 degrees.
Combine brown sugar and water in a 4 cup microwave proof cup.
Microwave on high 5 minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove from microwave and stir in vanilla and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, mix oats and nuts.
Add the brown sugar mixture.
Spread onto 2 cookie sheets and bake for a total of 45 minutes or until golden brown.
After 25 minutes, stir and put back in the oven for the rest of the time.
When granola has cooked completely, add dried fruits.
*I added dry cranberries but next I’m going to try dehydrated Pineapple (mine comes from Shelf Reliance)
Peanut Butter Granola
Mix &; heat in 4-cup glass jug for 4 minutes on HIGH:
1-1/2 c white sugar
1-1/3 c margarine
1/2 t vanilla extract
2/3 c peanut butter
1/2 t salt
1 c water
Mix in large bowl:
12 c rolled oats
1 t cinnamon
Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix quickly and well.
Put onto two small greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.
Exchange cookie sheets in oven, cook 10 minutes.
Turn oven off and let granola dry for several hours.
Store in closed jar on kitchen counter and watch it disappear.
Also, FoodStorageMadeEasy.net just posted a GREAT video about swine flu, which explains what it is and how worried you should be about it. Also…it looks like they have some Mother’s Day fun brewing…so you’ll probably want to keep your eye on that as well.
Monday, May 04, 2009
The World Health Organization is likely to raise its alert for the H1N1 swine flu outbreak to the highest level and declare a pandemic, its director indicated in an interview published on Monday.
"Level six does not mean, in any way, that we are facing the end of the world. It is important to make this clear because (otherwise) when we announce level six it will cause an unnecessary panic," Reuters reported WHO Director General Margaret Chan told Spanish newspaper El Pais.
"Flu viruses are very unpredictable, very deceptive... We should not be overconfident. One must not give H1N1 the opportunity to mix with other viruses. That is why we are on alert," she reportedly told the newspaper.
Chan warned against over-confidence following a stabilization in the number of new cases of H1N1 because the southern hemisphere was about to enter winter, when flu cases naturally spike.
"We have to be very careful. No one can predict what is going to happen when countries in the south have flu peaks and this new one arrives — which it is going to do, without a doubt."
"It is true that the number (of cases in people who have not been to Mexico) is small but because of that I would say that we have not seen the full situation or the whole picture of what is happening. The situation is evolving and the virus is changing".
She said it was too early to predict what proportion of the population would catch the new influenza strain after the European Union predicted 40 percent of the population would become infected.
Meanwhile, Mexico decides today whether to reopen businesses and schools or extend a shutdown that has helped choke off the spread of swine flu but caused untold economic harm. The virus continued to spread around the world, with new cases in Europe and North and South America.
President Felipe Calderon said a nationwide shutdown and an aggressive informational campaign appeared to have helped curtail the outbreak in Mexico. His health secretary said the government is starting preparations for the return to classes and work, and plans to give safety recommendations to businesses and disinfect schools on Monday.
"We have succeeded in detaining or at least slowing the spread of the virus precisely because the measures have been the correct ones," Calderon said in an interview with state television broadcast Sunday night.
Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said the virus had killed at least 22 people in Mexico, raising the toll from 19, adding that the last confirmed death occurred April 29. He said the virus had sickened at least 568 people and apparently peaked in Mexico between April 23 and April 28.
While Mexico began its first tentative steps toward a return to normalcay, the virus spread to Colombia in the first confirmed case in South America, worrisome because flu season is about to begin in the Southern Hemisphere. More cases were confirmed in North America and Europe, with the total number sickened worldwide rising to at least 1,001 people, according to health and government officials.
Health officials raised the number of confirmed U.S. swine flu cases to 245 in 35 states late Sunday. The new number, up from 160 on Saturday, reflects streamlining in federal procedures and the results of tests by states, which have only recently begun confirming cases, said Dr. Anne Schuchat of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Officials in New Mexico announced that 14 schools in four towns were being closed for at least a week after the state's first swine flu case was confirmed, and the New Mexico Activities Association suspended all athletic and activity programs until further notice at member schools across the state. California officials suspended all visitations at prisons pending results of tests on an ill inmate at Centinela State Prison.
In Alberta, Canada, officials quarantined about 220 pigs that became infected from a worker who had recently returned from Mexico. It was the first documented case of the H1N1 virus being passed from a human to another species. Canada stressed that pigs often get the flu and there is no danger in eating pork.
In Trinidad, crew aboard a Mexican tanker had been isolated since Friday at the Point Lisas Port. The Ministry of Health said Sunday that they were tested and cleared of any flu infection and that the vessel was expected to be released.
Hong Kong isolated 350 people in a hotel after a Mexican traveler there was determined to have swine flu.
China quarantined more than 70 Mexican travelers in hospitals and hotels there, and Mexicans on arriving flights were being taken into isolation, said Mexico's ambassador, Jorge Guajardo. Even the Mexican consul in Guangzhou was briefly held after returning from a vacation in Cambodia, Guajardo said.
Calderon complained of the backlash against Mexicans abroad.
"I think it's unfair that because we have been honest and transparent with the world some countries and places are taking repressive and discriminatory measures because of ignorance and disinformation," Calderon said. "There are always people who are seizing on this pretext to assault Mexicans, even just verbally."
The president did not single out any country. But the Foreign Relations Department said afterward that Mexico was sending a chartered jetliner Monday to bring back any citizens who wanted to leave China. A statement said the plane would go to several Chinese cities "where Mexicans have expressed their intention to return to Mexico."
China's Foreign Ministry denied it was discriminating against Mexicans.
The CDC's acting chief, Dr. Richard Besser, said swine flu is spreading just as easily as regular winter flu.
"The good news is when we look at this virus right now, we're not seeing some of the things in the virus that have been associated in the past with more severe flu," Besser said. "That's encouraging, but it doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet."
Cordova said late Sunday that Mexico's government would start distributing swine flu safety recommendations to businesses, but warned the national lockdown would not be lifted in one fell swoop.
The reopening "will not happen just like that," Cordova said at a news conference. "There will have to be training, preparations for teachers and parents."
Possible safety recommendations would be that there be a 2-meter (6.5-foot) distance kept between people in restaurants or theaters and that workers be urged to wear masks on the subway. He said a decision on whether to extend or end the business and school shutdown was expected Monday.
Cordova presented the most comprehensive description yet of the dead in Mexico, although no conclusions have yet ben drawn about how their characterics may have contributed to their deaths.
He said 15 were female and seven were men. One possible explanation could be that women get poorer health care in Mexico because of its male-dominated culture, he said.
Cordova also said only 4 percent were unemployed; the rest either had jobs or were housewives and students. More than 50 percent had not graduated from high school and only 11 percent had university education.
Pablo Kuri, an epidemiologist advising Cordova, told The Associated Press on Sunday that tests have confirmed a swine flu death in Mexico City on April 11, two days earlier than what had been believed to be the first death.
Kuri also said there have been no deaths among health care workers treating swine flu patients in Mexico, an indication that the virus may not be as contagious or virulent as initially feared.
According to tallies by the CDC, World Health Organization and governments, there were 101 confirmed cases of swine flu in Canada; 40 in Spain; 18 in Britain; eight in Germany; four in New Zealand and Israel; two each in Italy and France; one each in Colombia, Costa