Pandemic Flu Prep

How can something so purty be so deadly?

FLA_Medic of the Avian Flu Diary announces a new, incredibly useful resource, Get Pandemic Ready.

This issue isn’t getting much news play, but public health officials remain very worried about bird flu. Pandemics happen at the rate of about 3 per century, and we are overdue for one. The 1918 Spanish Flu killed at least 50 million people, and some estimates put it at 100-150 million — 2-5% of the world’s population, iow, with 20% infected. At that death rate, with almost 7 billion people on the planet, avian flu would kill as many as 350 million people, in a 12-18 month period. That’s the equivalent of the US population. Imagine the global impact. 1.5B would be infected.

H5N1 is still out there. Right now it’s killing 60% of the people who contract it, and it is slowly spreading and evolving to be a better match to our upper respiratory tract. Researchers are looking for solutions, and they’ve made some progress in developing means to detect and vaccinate against the disease. But huge obstacles remain with regard to production and distribution of vaccine and medications to fight it.

A pandemic will last a year or more. At even moderate rates of infection, as much as 20-30% of the work force will fall ill. Food distribution, utilities, even hospitals will shut down for extended periods. Therefore, experts recommend people stockpile now, before the pandemic hits.


The hallmark of Get Pandemic Ready is that households should stockpile three months of food, water (or purification capability), medications, and basic supplies.

I’ve already done this for myself and my family. Consider: if it doesn’t happen and you have prepared, you simply have some extra supplies you can use. If it does happen and you aren’t prepared, things will be much worse than they have to be for you and your family.

As FLA_Medic puts it:

Once a pandemic erupts, there will be a mad scramble to prepare. Millions (likely billions) of people will be caught flat footed and will all be trying to acquire the goods they will need to survive, all at the same time. Most will find they waited too long, and won’t be able to get everything they will need.

The time to prepare is now, before a crisis begins.

Just take it a step at a time. But don’t wait. Nobody knows when the pandemic will hit. Everything you do now will be one less thing you have to do then.

6 thoughts on “Pandemic Flu Prep

  1. “stockpile three months of food, water (or purification capability), medications, and basic supplies.”

    We are all Half-Mormons now?

    (I don’t know about anyone else, but my insurance plan doesn’t allow me to stockpile three months worth of medications.)

  2. I can’t speak to what Mormons or anyone else does. But we do have direct evidence of what happened last time there was a severe flu pandemic. We know we have them periodically, and with hurricane Katrina, we got a good look at least in the US at how well our government responds to major natural disasters.

    With regard to medications, there are a couple of things you can do. Many doctors will prescribe you extra medications — much the way they do when you are about to go on an extended trip overseas.

    Otherwise, you can do what I did. I simply skipped a couple of pills a week while refilling 3 days early. It takes about 6 months to get a 6-week supply. Check medication shelf life, and cycle the older stuff out as you go.

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