Additional Pandemic Preparedness Tips

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Some general pointers regarding food and supply storage while preparing for swine flu:

1.  Shoot for a goal of about 4 weeks of self-sufficiency.  Anything less is too little and more might not be necessary.

2.  Regarding perishables, rotate your stock through in your 4 week supply and don’t set it aside as a separate “stash.”  For example, with food, buy what you normally consume and use the old food first as you restock with newer food supplies.  Too many people during Y2K set aside large store of food only to eventually see the expiration dates come and go and they lost all that food and money.

3.  Include water supplies in your list.  Several scenarios could see a disruption in critical infrastructure / utilities, and water is the most crucial item on the list.  One important water tip; many sources erroneously instruct people to use chlorine bleach in their expedient “chemical toilets.”  Nothing could be more wrong.  Use kitty litter.  It’s safer, cheaper, better on the environment, and drier is better.

4.  Consider your craving and vice foods or items.  For me it’s coffee, for others it might be cigarettes.  Stock a little extra of the things you’d really “go nuts” without.

5.  Having sufficient levels of both over-the-counter and prescription meds is a no-brainer.  However, one thing to keep in mind is that it’s a good thing if all family members (including the pets) get current medical and dental checkups.  Three reasons for this:  A.  If social distancing is implemented, you don’t want some minor ailment that could’ve been prevented driving you out of the house to the ER where you might be exposed to flu.  B.  Having a current medical baseline and current prescriptions is a good thing.  C.  By getting a checkup now you free up your medical provider to help others during the pandemic.

6.  Plan for entertainment.  One of the most probable official reactions to a pandemic will be mass social distancing (not quarantine) instituted by way of closing public gatherings, theaters, malls, schools, non-essential businesses, etc.  In short, there just won’t be anything to do but stay home for a while.  One of your biggest enemies in this scenario will be “cabin fever” or good old fashioned boredom.  Also, 2 issues associated with any sort of family “confinement” during stressful times are an increase potential

7.  Try to save more money over the coming weeks and months so you will be better prepared for the economic impact a pandemic will surely carry with it.

8.  Keep in mind that a pandemic can be described as a “flunami” since it will be massive and comes in waves.  This current wave, since we’re heading into summer, may be mild but the next, since it might take place during traditional cold & flu season, may be much more massive.  Don’t be deceived by an apparent lull in cases during late summer and early fall.

Paul Purcell