Pandemic Preparedness 101

by | May 3, 2017


Public health experts are worried that we are unprepared for a global infectious disease pandemic.  In the early 20th century influenza wiped out over 50 million people. The AIDS/HIV virus infected 70 million. In the past decade, we’ve battled Ebola, SARS, West Nile, and Zika. What steps can you take to be prepared if a superbug (whether natural or engineered) becomes a pandemic?

Prior to a Pandemic:

  • Store a few weeks of water and food in your house, so that you can wait out an outbreak.  FEMA recommends at least two weeks.  However, 4-6 weeks is recommended by many experts. A gallon of water per person per day is a good rule of thumb for water. This is cheap and easy to do!!!!
  • Have a battery-operated radio, as well as a number of charged flashlights and lamps.
  • Have a few extra weeks of any prescription medications as well as any over-the-counter medications you regularly take.  Have a stocked first aid kit.
  • Plan on regular services provided by banks, hospitals, and stores to be disrupted. Have cash on hand in case ATMs are down.
  • Do not count on the internet and cell phone being available.  Pre-plan with loved ones about how to communicate and what to do should there be a major pandemic.
  • Consider buying face masks that will limit the spread of disease.

During a Pandemic

  • Once a pandemic has occurred, it is important to avoid contact with infected persons. If possible, stay home from work and school and other travel outside the home. Avoid flying!
  • Wash your hands regularly.  Practice good hygiene.
  • If you have purchased face masks, use them.
  • If you get sick – quarantine yourself! Do not become part of the problem by spreading the infection.
  • In the case of a major pandemic, expect panic and possible societal breakdown.

The CDC has created a graphic novella of what to if there was an outbreak of a virus that caused zombies.  What we should do with a non-zombie virus pandemic is (largely) the same as what we should do if there were a zombie causing virus.  Here’s the great novella:


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Subscribe To The IFOD

Get the Interesting Fact of the Day delivered twice a week. Plus, sign up today and get Chapter 2 of John's book The Uncertainty Solution to not only Think Better, but Live Better. Don't miss a single post!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This