How to Prepare for and Survive an Epidemic
What is an epidemic?
An epidemic occurs when there are new cases of a certain disease among a given human population during a given period, and that disease substantially exceeds what is expected, based on recent experiences.
It is not to be confused with an “outbreak” which affects a smaller group in a very specific area.
Causes can be ‘source outbreaks’ where everyone was exposed to the same agent and then there is a ‘propagated outbreak’ where humans have become or are the source and the disease and then it can be transmitted from one human to another.
Typically, an epidemic will have both characteristics because once a human is infected from a common source they can then infect others that have not been exposed to the common source.
What Is an Epidemic and What Does It mean for You?
Biological warfare has been around for hundreds if not thousands of years. In some military campaigns, military commanders would literally toss diseased corpses of victims into the camps, towns and even the cities of their enemies to spread the disease.
Today however, technology allows for ‘multiple dispersal systems’. Essentially any contagious disease can be spread into a heavily populated area quite easily without anyone being aware until people begin showing symptoms.
Heavily populated areas are targets for biological attacks because of the increased human element. A small vial of any disease can be used to infect a large number of people quickly even if only a few are initially infected because of people’s ability to travel great distances in a short period.
Once one person is infected, the disease can spread throughout the city, country and eventually the world.
Unless there is information of an attack, the only way, you or anyone else will know is when the actual disease itself manifests itself in humans.
At this point, you will not know if the water or food supply is contaminated, if the disease was spread by aerosol canisters from aircraft or if it was a smashed vial at a train station.
If you suspect it was a deliberate biological attack, stop drinking your tap water and begin using your emergency supplies.
Various diseases are water-borne and it is possible the local water supply has been contaminated.
Do not bathe or prepare meals using your local water supply and begin using hand sanitizer and body wipes for personal hygiene.
Do not leave your home. Any fresh fruits, vegetables or any fresh foods should be discarded because you have no way of knowing if the food supply has been contaminated as well.
What Is an Epidemic and How Do You Survive One?
One of the best defences against any disease is a healthy body. Rarely does any infectious disease have a 100 percent mortality rate unless that disease has been mutated purposely and specifically for a so-called germ warfare program.
For example – Ebola, called the Ebola Virus Disease, has a mortality rate of roughly 68 percent.
However, there is currently no vaccine or treatment available for the Ebola virus and once infected there is 99.9% of certain death.
The Ebola virus will incubate within the body for several days before showing signs of infection – this is where it is at it’s most dangerous as it can then be unknowingly spread to others.
If there is an infection in humans, the Ebola virus can be spread in several ways.
Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with
- blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
- objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
- infected animals
- Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or, in general by food.
- However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats.
- There is no evidence that mosquito’s or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread the Ebola virus.
Protections against any disease include good sanitation practices, avoiding persons/areas infected and using personal protection equipment when around anyone infected.
Clean drinking water, good health and nutrition and an overall clean living environment is what is needed to survive an epidemic.
Once there is evidence of a disease spreading quickly, quarantines may be put into place and this is problematic if you have not prepared.
You will be unable to Bug Out as the authorities may restrict travel to prevent the spread and this may mean you are forced to live in an area where the disease is present.
**This means you may not be able to leave to gather any supplies or materials you may need.
What Is an Epidemic and How to Prepare For One?
The main areas where you can protect against any virus are through reducing the amount of direct contact with an infected person, proper sterilisation of any equipment handled by yourself and stopping any airborne particles from entering your body from an infected person.
With an airborne virus, the minimum protection is a face mask filter – A Moldex FFP3-D Reusable Mask shown here, is specifically designed to protect against airborne diseases that are spread by humans and various other dispersal means that would cause the disease to become airborne.
Although many viruses are not airborne, a mask will protect your mouth, preventing accidental ingestion of any fluid or such like.
This is an important 1st line of defence against ANY potential epidemic.
Additional personal protection methods would include Tyvek Disposable Coverall, Nitrile Powder-Free Gloves, Eye protection and Disposable Shoe Covering that protect against bodily fluids such as blood and saliva.
It is important that you have enough safety protection equipment for each person in the family and those with a disease should wear a mask as well as those not infected.
Hand and body cleansing is important so a fresh and adequate supply of clean water is needed as well as hand sanitizer and soaps.
Hydration needs will increase for those infected so extra water supplies will be needed.
Stay informed of all events happening in the area and world by monitoring local and world news organisations. If your neighbour has to knock on your door to inform you of a problem in the area, and by the way, they might be infected, then your chances of survival have decreased dramatically.
Other Emergency Essentials to Have On Hand
- Hand Sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, soap and pre-moistened bathing wipes
- Duct tape and sheets of plastic for covering windows and slowing down the spread within the home/area by quarantining certain areas using Heavy Duty Polythene Sheeting.
- One Month Water Supply and if preparing for an epidemic use the recommended amount of 16 litres per person daily to calculate total amounts needed. An average healthy person needs at least two litres daily to maintain hydration levels, people infected may require twice these amounts or even more daily for hydration and personal hygiene.
- Additional water safeguards would be good quality Water filtration bottle suitable of delivering enough safe water for your family.
- A minimum of one months supply of tinned foods and other Self Heating Field Ration Pack Ready To Eat Meal that do not require any preparations
What Is an Epidemic and Should You Be Worried About One?
You should be concerned, but not to the point of panic and to where it disrupts your daily life.
To survive you must have information and know how to implement protective measures – Staying in place once there is an epidemic can reduce your chances of infection unless you are close to a biological attack.
If this is the case, you must grab your bug out bag and go – by being prepared to do this immediately will increases your chances of survival.
You must be clear of the area before quarantines are put in place because local officials may very well block you from leaving.
On the other hand, you do not want to flee if you are infected because you may not have access to medical care if you leave the area and you will spread the infection to others.
Being informed is crucial, you must have information to make the decision on whether to evacuate or stay.
What is an epidemic and will you survive one?
Yes, you can survive if you have prepared and know where the so-called common exposure risk is highest and you must always assume any person can spread the disease.
In other words if there is an attack or an outbreak in a certain area that is likely to develop into an epidemic then you should have enough information to decide if you should leave immediately or take precautions and stay in place.
If there were a biological or terrorist attack, where an epidemic outbreak resulted from a chemical attack, you would have limited time to prepare for yourself and your family – unless you have been able to systematically gather extra provisions over the last weeks and months, you have just left yourself wide open to being at high risk.
- Epidemic Protective Clothing and Equipment
- Signs and Symptoms of Ebola
- Children’s protective essentials
Of course, this is the essence of prepping.
Having the provisions and learning the skills to survive BEFORE you need them.
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