If one day, you wake up and found out that a pandemic has begun and your area is at risk, what would you do?
We say pandemic, not an epidemic, which means it is a disease that spreads beyond national borders, possibly worldwide, while epidemic affects a large number of individuals within a community or region only.
We have heard about the Influenza pandemic that claimed 100 million lives ages ago. Influenza has different strains like Spanish Flu, which was considered the worst in history, Asian Flu, Hongkong Flu, and the most recent one, the Swine Flu. There was also this so-called Black Death that claimed the lives of over 75 million people in the 14th century.
In recent years, Ebola, the Coronavirus family including SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), HCov (Human Coronavirus), MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), and COVID-19 emerged which killed thousands and caused millions of people to be quarantined.
Scary isn’t it?
So how do we prepare for something like a pandemic?
First, don’t be left behind. As soon as you hear the first news or read the article about the disease, begin preparing. Follow the latest update from your favorite news channel or from the reports that agencies like WHO (World Health Organization) been releasing daily. We may be caught off-guard at times, but most illnesses have symptoms so we can prepare for it and plan for the worst.
What do we need? Some basic items could be:
- Cough remedies
- Fever medicines for adult and kids
- Nasal decongestants
- Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline) for dry, worn noses.
- Tissues like Kleenex
- Surgical Face Masks
- Drinking water
- Isopropyl Alcohol, Hand Sanitizer
- N95 respirator masks
- Thermometers – more than one
- Ice – in case you can’t get a very high temperature to go down
- Over the counter pain relievers like Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
- Food that can last for a minimum of 4 weeks
- Heavy-duty garbage bags
- Sanitation supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels, baby wipes, and feminine (hygiene supplies)
These are just basic items – you may add more. The important thing is you have what your family would need in such a situation, that can last for a while, instead of panic buying and going outside where the threat is just outside of your door. Also, if one of your family showed symptoms, it is best to apply for basic medicine first before going to the hospital.
How to be prepared for a pandemic – “the worst-case scenario”?
Should an outbreak occur in your area, it is best not to go outside for a while. This is the only effective way to protect yourself and your family from a disease outbreak.
Once you get back in your house, make sure to wash your hands first and use isopropyl alcohol too before having physical contact with your family.
How long should you and your family remain isolated?
It depends on where you live. If you live in a city, it may be longer than those living in rural areas that are less populated. Usually, those living in the city will leave and look for a safe, less populated areas because, in a large population, people keep moving around, and each one is possible to be a carrier of the disease.
Listen to the news, especially if your area has been locked down.
What does lockdown mean?
It means “No one goes out. No one comes in.”
It may sound harsh, but this is a very effective way to stop the disease from spreading.
And there are no exceptions. This means that the supplies you have are the supplies you’ll have until the government cleared everyone to go outside.
Once the lockdown has been started, you cannot go to the supermarket to get some more supplies.
Do you have the supplies you need to survive a pandemic?
People usually don’t listen to what the government advises but we’re telling you, by the time a lockdown has been announced in your area, it will be too late for you to stock up supplies. So once a pandemic broke the news the first time, go to the nearest store and buy all the supplies that you and your family might need.
You need to prepare a minimum of 4 weeks’ supplies should things get bad in your area. It is most unlikely that the water and electricity will be cut-off (long power outages), but it’s still best to prepare for this also, just in case.
Preparing how to handle such situations will definitely save you and your family. Make your plan and stick to it. Some people might think you are over-reacting, but don’t let that stop you. Because a pandemic can progress so much that it’ll be too late for you to act.