Experts says it’s not a matter of if, but when a global scale flu pandemic will wipe out millions of people around the globe. With the recent Aussie Flu of 2018 (H3N2), we have witnessed first hand how quickly a flu virus can spread around the world. In the event of a devastating flu outbreak, be it triggered by a mutated strain of an existing flu virus, or a bioengineered terror weapon, there are some steps you can take to start prepping for an influenza pandemic.
With people now traveling worldwide each day via air and boat, if a deadly virus was to mutate and gain the ability to spread from one human to the next via the air, and the outbreak wasn’t contained immediately, it would spread across the globe in days killing millions, if not billions, on its journey, and there will be nothing anyone could do to stop it. This is reason enough to start prepping for a pandemic.
Throughout history, viruses have wiped out millions of humans, during the 20th century, there where actually 3 global scale outbreaks, the worst of which killed between 50 and 100 million people, or about 3-5% of the global population. At the same time, we are currently setting ourselves up for a full scale disaster, as global travel is becoming ever more popular, urbanisation is increasing, lack of sanitation in poor areas, and to top it off, ineffective mosquito control, which can contribute to the spreading of tropical diseases.
It is difficult to know exactly how the next pandemic may occur, but, for the sake of this post, I am going to assume it is a influenza pandemic outbreak, which means, the virus will spread through the air, and can be passed from human to human easily in close contact, via coughing, sneezing, touching, or even just breathing.
What Would Happen? Typical Influenza Pandemic Scenario
Lets take a typical example here of how this could occur, and then we can look at influenza pandemic prepping.
A backpacker from the USA is traveling in Thailand, his last stop before returning home to the USA. Along his travels, he has been working with many different people and animals, ranging from pigs to chickens. The day before he is set to return home, he begins to feel under the weather, with aching muscles and a sore chest.
Sitting in the airport waiting on his flight gate to open, he is coughing uncontrollably, spreading his germs to people nearby, infecting them with the virus he is carrying. Now the virus is starting to pick up pace, and has infected over 10 people, most of them traveling to different places by air.
By the time he gets home to the USA, he has infected 30% of people on the plane, and the other 10 infected at the airport have infected 30% of people on their flights also.
These infected people are now going to further spread the infection to ones with whom they come into contact with, and the virus will continue to spread, gaining pace by the hour.
Within days, the virus will have spread to nearly every major city around the globe causing widespread panic and high demand on the emergency services. Soon, hospitals will close, police will quit to return home to look after what loved ones remain, and all hell will break loose on city streets. Looting will be rife, fires will be burning on the roads as gangs setup road blocks to stop people entering their territory, people will be getting robbed of what food they have left, it will be hell. Banking, transport, public services, electric, everything will be down, you will be left to fend for yourself.
Soon though, things will calm down as more and more people die from the influenza pandemic, the first wave is over, millions are dead, the world has changed forever.
Would you know what to do in order to survive such an event? Are you prepared for an influenza pandemic?
Lets now take a look at how influenza pandemic prepping can help save your life!
Flu Outbreak Preparedness
The US Federal Management Agency, otherwise known as FEMA suggest that you store a two week supply of food and water for a influenza pandemic situation (yes, FEMA have been prepping for a pandemic), but given that some outbreaks can last considerably longer than that, it is advisable to stock up on 6-8 weeks of food and water.
There are a number of other measures you can take to start prepping for a pandemic, which will be covered below.
Flu Prevention Prepping Guide
Below is a list of items that are essential when prepping for a flu pandemic, you will find most of them will be out of stock within days of a pandemic hitting the main stream news, so it is wise to stock up now while you have the chance.
You should already have basic items, such as toothpaste, shower-gel, toilet roll, and other basic necessities stored in your preps.
1. FFP3 Respirator Mask
Respirator masks are the first thing that will go out of stock in the shops when news breaks that an influenza pandemic is on the rise. Having a few of these in your preps store may be the difference between life and death.
You need to make sure you buy the correct type of mask, many masks do not actually filter virus droplets from the air. I have done the research so you don’t have to, and pulled together a list of masks that work for influenza type situations.
A good mask is a must have for influenza pandemic prepping, and you shouldn’t skip buying one, they don’t cost that much, and will save your life!
2. Hand Sanitiser and Antibacterial Wipes
Keeping your hands clean will be very important in an influenza pandemic scenario, so having a few bottles of hand sanitiser and some antibacterial wipes in your preps will be a must. A bottle that you can carry on your person is also a good idea.
Prepping for a flu outbreak will require you to have bleach on hand, though, storing bleach long term is hard, as liquid bleach has a shelf life of about 6 months to 1 year, therefore, it’s better to stock Calcium Hypochlorite, which can be mixed with water, to make a bleach solution, and also to purify water for survival.
4. 6-8 Weeks of Food and Water
Having enough food to get by for 6-8 weeks should be enough to get you through the worst part of the first wave of a pandemic, but, remember, there will be no shops open once the first wave is over. There will be no public services, or they will be very limited, no food being restocked in shops, so it is really up to your to make sure you have a means of gathering food when you run out.
5. First Aid Kit
A first aid kit can be a life saver, you don’t need an expensive one, something that includes bandages, plasters, antiseptic wipes and medical tape would be enough to get you by. This can be useful for minor cuts and accidents that can be treated at home in a grid down situation. When prepping for a pandemic, you should make sure you first aid kit contains some form of anti-bacterial hand wipes.
6. Thermometer for body temperature monitoring
Part of your Influenza Pandemic Prepping kit should include a thermometer, it can be used for monitoring body temperature on a daily basis. Make sure to properly sanitise it after use.
To prevent droplets entering your eyes, you will want to wear goggles. If you are venturing out of your house to a bug out location, or in search of food, you will want to be wearing these. They are an important part of your preps for a pandemic.
8. Duct Tape
During a pandemic, it will be vital to seal up your home, you can do this using duct tape, seal up doors, windows, and any other gap that outside air could enter via. Duct tape can also be used to seal the cuffs of your protective suit to your gloves.
Nitrile examination gloves are standard practise in the medical industry. Keep gloves in your preps for times like this, as they will be a must have. You will need them to protect your hands from any germs you may come into contact with. After you have finished with them, burn the gloves. You will also need to make use of these gloves for doing things like taking the rubbish out, caring for sick people and washing up contaminated clothes.
10. Washable Suit
I use waterproof trousers and a waterproof jacket, as these can be washed down with a bleach solution, which means I can reuse them. You will want to wear these when venturing outside, along with the gloves, mask and goggles. Make sure the cuffs of the jacket are taped to your gloves using the duct tape, and the bottoms of the trousers are taped to your boots.
11. Means to Generate Electricity
When prepping for a pandemic, one thing you need to think about is how you are going to generate electric, for the short term anyway. You may need electricity to recharge devices such as torches, radios, or other important things. You can check out my guide on how to generate electric in a grid down SHTF situation.
12. A Means to Cook
Having a way to cook the food you have stored is pretty much a no brainer. The grid will be down, so you cannot rely on electric. A gas camping stove or wood burning stove would be ideal in this kind of situation.
Here is a film which outlines a typical influenza pandemic. You can maybe learn something about influenza pandemic prepping from it, and what an actual pandemic would play out like.