Viral pandemic is one of the most frightening SHTF scenarios a prepper and their family could face, even when you’re more than adequately prepared. Unlike most common disasters a viral pandemic has no visible end in sight or an enemy to combat. To prepare for a viral pandemic you must be mentally and physically prepared with a suitable contingency plan outlined.
Why you should prepare for a viral pandemic
Viral strains such as influenza or Ebola (hemorrhagic fever) are highly mutative strains capable of decimating entire populations in the blink of an eye. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) itself houses genetically mutated viral strains capable of wiping out every last American. If such a strain were to be released in a densely populated area by a rogue psychopath we would be utterly defenseless.
Is a viral pandemic likely?
Time tells us, yes, it is more than likely to happen within our lifetimes based on statistics and history. Even today, with all of our advancements in medical science and biotech, Ebola continues to ravage our third world neighbors. Just talking about it doesn’t really illustrate the risks we face, with this in mind the following bullet points represent the viral pandemics that have occurred on American soil since its founding:
- Cholera Epidemic: 1902–1904 claimed over 200,000 lives in the Philippines
- Spanish Flu: Unusually deadly and virulent, it ended nearly as quickly as it began, vanishing completely within 18 months. In six months, some 50 million were dead
- Asian Flu: 1957–58. An H2N2 virus caused about 70,000 deaths in the United States
- Hong Kong Flu: 1968–69. An H3N2 caused about 34,000 deaths in the United States
- Smallpox: it is estimated that smallpox was responsible for 300–500 million deaths
- The Soviets suspected that two separate epidemics of hemorrhagic fever that swept the region in the late 1980s were caused by an accident in a lab where Chinese scientists were weaponizing viral diseases. In January 2009, an Al-Qaeda training camp in Algeria was reportedly wiped out by the plague, killing approximately 40 Islamic extremists
- Ebola: 425 deaths occurred in Gulu, Masindi, and Mbarara districts of Uganda.
Now let’s prepare for a Viral Pandemic
If you hear news of a widespread sickness sweeping your hometown, immediately flee with your bug out bags or bug out locations, you don’t want to be at ground zero if the government decides to eradicate the pestilence. Know this; the government is not there to help you. New strains of the virus require new vaccines, and these can take months or years to develop and even longer to produce and distribute on a large-scale. If your pandemic has been localized to a town or small city your home will be quarantined. Be mindful of the news and discover the incubation times for the viral strain (how long will the virus be in the patient’s body before demonstrating symptoms).
You must pay attention to the information being broadcasted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC); they will provide you with incubation times and updates for possible vaccines. Long story short, stay informed.
Steps to survive a viral pandemic
- Immediately institute quarantine procedures based off of the incubation periods, whether you’ve decided to hunker down or bug out.
- Keep your bug out bag and survival shelter adequately stocked with antiviral and antibiotic medications. View the usCrow Prepper Bunker Surplus for all the necessary items or have a storage of these basic supplies if you do not have the necessary financing:
- Store a two-week supply of water for everyone in your household. Keep at least 1 gallon per person per day in clear plastic containers.
- Store a two-week supply of food. Opt for non-perishable foods that don’t need to be cooked and that don’t require a lot of water to prepare.
- Make sure you have an adequate supply of essential medications.
- Upon news of the outbreak immediately cover all openings (windows, doors, vents) in your home with industrial plastic sheeting. In addition, you need to create a quarantine room (using your industrial sheeting and duct tape) such as your garage or sally port to hold additional family members who are at risk for infection until the incubation time has passed.
- DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILDREN TO SCHOOL AND DO NOT GO TO WORK
Two antiviral medications, Tamiflu and Relenza, have shown the potential to effectively prevent and treat avian flu. These are both available only by prescription and will probably be effective only if taken before infection or very shortly afterward.
Do not rush into the first signs of good news, sometimes governmental trial and error leads to more damage than good. Ensure the vaccines they are eliciting have been tested and approved.
- If no progress is made and your resources have become depleted you will need to evacuate your property with an industrial NBC Suit (preferably marked as NIOSH certified, N95,N99, or N100) with as many supplies as you can carry.
- Dispose of biologically contaminated materials such as; Gloves, masks, tissues, and other potential bio-hazards should be handled carefully and disposed of properly. Place these materials in approved bio-hazard containers or seal them in clearly marked plastic bags.
- Prepare for disruption of services. If a pandemic strikes, many of the basic services we take for granted, such as electricity, phone, and mass transit, may be disrupted temporarily. Widespread employee absenteeism and massive death tolls can shut down everything from the corner store to hospitals.
In case of infection
Seek medical attention at the onset of symptoms. The effectiveness of antiviral medications decreases as the illness progresses, so prompt medical treatment is imperative. If someone with whom you have had close contact becomes infected, be sure to seek medical care even if you do not display symptoms.