In the spring of 2014, Dr. Ian Crozier walked into a crowded room wearing a Tyvek suit, mask, rubber boots, goggles and multiple layers of gloves. He was surrounded by people on death’s doorstep with blood and vomit littering the floor. Each day, he did everything he could to save his patients, but the mortality rate was incredibly high.
One day, the doctor began feeling sick himself. Tests showed that he too had contracted the Ebola virus he had been fighting. He was immediately flown from Sierra Leone to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta where he was told his chances of survival were slim.
Incredibly, after spending 40 days in the hospital, Dr. Crozier recovered. However, long-lasting symptoms of the disease continue to plague him to this day. He’s one of the few people who’ve been on the brink of death yet survived the virus that killed an estimated 12,000 people and infected thousands more in the deadliest outbreak of the disease since its discovery in 1976.
Diseases Know No Borders
The majority of these deaths occurred in West Africa. We are very fortunate to live in the United States, where pandemics such as cholera or Ebola don’t usually affect us. Our top-notch medical care and sanitation generally keep diseases from spreading.
However, pandemics have cropped up around the world since the beginning of time. You need to give some thought as to how you can protect your family if an outbreak does come to your town. The best way to do this is to ask yourself the following question:
Will I be able to shelter in place for up to eight weeks if a pandemic hits my area?
By “shelter in place,” I mean quite literally to survive in one place — most likely your home. Believe me, I know the thought of having to stay locked in your house for eight weeks isn’t very appealing.
But if your town is being ravaged by a virus, you’ll do whatever you need to in order to survive. And quarantining you and your family in your home will give you the best chances of making it through alive.
Of course, you’ve got to have the correct supplies in your house to survive for eight weeks. Let me share with you the short and simple list I use for my own family.
First, you need enough food and water for two months. Even if you’re not worried about a pandemic, it’s a good idea to have several months of food and water on hand for any type of crisis situation.
I get my food from the LDS Cannery. This food comes in No. 10 cans and has a 25–30-year shelf life. There are plenty of other places online where you can get long-term food storage, so choose whatever suits you best.
As far as water, I use the 3.5 gallon WaterBricks to store two months’ worth of water in my basement. I know plenty of people who use 55-gallon water drums, but I prefer the smaller containers because they’re easier to move around.
Plus, WaterBricks can cross stack and interlock up to four feet high and you can store them virtually anywhere to maximize space. Click here to get your own WaterBricks water storage system.
In addition to food and water, you’ll want to get a box or two of N95 respirator masks. Although you shouldn’t be leaving your house in the event of a pandemic, you may need to go into your yard. Every time you step outside, you should have a mask on.
You’ll also want to get a box or two of Nitrile surgical gloves. Obviously, if you have to touch anything that may have a chance of being contaminated with the disease, you’ll want your hands protected.
Don’t forget to stock up on antibacterial soap so your family can wash their hands several times a day. Also, have plenty of bleach on hand so you can sanitize surfaces.
Other items you should seriously consider having at home include plastic sheeting, so you can create an isolation room in your home if a family member becomes infected, and duct tape to seal the plastic. Also, get Tyvek suits for family members, goggles, prescription medications and lots of contractor-grade trash bags for waste removal.
As I mentioned above, this is a simple list although it is not all-inclusive. You can certainly add convenience items such as board games or toys to keep people entertained.
But if you only have the list above, which isn’t terribly hard to assemble, you’ll be leaps and bounds above everyone else if a deadly virus does end up crippling the United States and the city you live in.