Prepping for Ebola Virus - What should I buy?
Some of my friends in the city alerted me they plan to come to my house in the event they feel directly threatened by Ebola because I have solar power, extensive vegetable gardens, chickens for eggs and meat, and an abundance of medicinal herbs. Suddenly they find my off-grid lifestyle very attractive compared to their cosmopolitan, shoulder-rubbing city living.
I agreed in principle, but warned there are certain circumstances that would make them unwelcome. Instead of assuming that I'll happily accommodate them, I've told them to start prepping for Ebola. We have to accept the Ebola threat could affect us on many levels - and we all need to take responsibility for looking after ourselves.
Yesterday I received an email from a first-time prepper asking "What should I buy to prep for ebola?" Instead of just answering one desperate mother who doesn't have a clue where to start, I'll publish my answer in this article. Hopefully it will useful to anyone considering prepping for the Ebola virus.
The financial cost of Prepping
Whichever way you look at it, prepping costs money. Stockpiling any item takes cash. If you are on a tight budget, make a list and decide which items you need most. I will group my suggestions and indicate the key items I consider essential.
It is up to you to decide which of the items are most relevant to your life - and lifestyle. Buy what you can afford.
Obviously it doesn't make sense to extend a credit card to its limit if you have no hope of paying it back. The Ebola threat is very real and very troubling, but the end of society as we know it is not guaranteed so there is every likelihood the bank will expect you to repay the money you borrow.
Having said that, you may only get one chance to adequately prepare. If you wait too long, you may miss your chance. If Ebola remains uncontrolled and takes hold in our region, the cost of the items I recommend may become exorbitant ... and may no longer be available at all.
So don't be a penny pincher. Spend what you can.
Pay particular attention to the essential items I recommend. If Ebola disrupts your world as you know it, you'll be desperate to get your hands on these. I'll tell you what they are and why they are essential.
Rest assured that all the items I am suggesting will have relevance to your life even if Ebola doesn't affect you directly. There should be no reason to throw anything away.
There is definitely a financial cost associated with prepping, but compare it to the ultimate cost if you are not prepared and suddenly become caught in an ebola crisis.
What foods should I buy?
Preppers generally stock up on lots of cans of fruit and vegetables (hopefully remembering a manual can opener.) Great if you can afford it, but I'm not recommending you spend that kind of money. Nothing will send you broke faster than filling a bedroom with pre-packaged foods.
The essential list of foods if you want to stay alive in this particular emergency is really short and simple. Here's what I believe are the key factors in your emergency food supply:
- Food that will fill your belly, so you don't feel hungry straight after you've eaten.
- Food that doesn't compromise your immune system.
- Food you can eat even if you're feeling sick.
- Food that offers some level of nutrition.
- Food that doesn't need refrigeration.
- Food that's easy to prepare/cook with no danger of contamination.
- Food with medicinal qualities.
- In the case of Ebola, food that helps fight viruses.
I am not aware of any specific health or dietary issues your family members may have, so I'm making the following recommendations based on beginning with good general health. Obviously you should talk to your doctor or nutritionist if you have concerns.
Basic Foods to keep you alive - Essential
You are prepping for ebola. This is not a time to worry about variety and culinary delights. Here are the basic foods I believe you should buy right now to ensure you won't starve if society crumbles and you can no longer safely go to the store ...
- RICE. Buy at least two really big bags/sacks of rice. Buy more if you can. Buy brown rice even if your kids prefer white. Brown rice only has the outer hull removed, leaving the bran layer in place so it retains niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin E and other nutrients (that are lost when you buy white or instant rice.) Your family will be more than happy to eat their brown rice if there's nothing else available. It meets the first six points on my list (above), plus it will provide fibre which is a bonus.
- ONIONS. Onions are anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antiviral and contain powerful antioxidants. The stronger and smellier, the better. Buy the brown ones if you can.
- HONEY. Buy at least 10 of the biggest tubs of honey you can find. Try to buy raw, unfiltered honey. Given a choice, avoid the runny thin stuff and buy thick or hard honey.
- GARLIC. Buy as many handfuls of garlic as you can. There's no such thing as too much garlic. Ideally you'll find plaits of fresh garlic to buy. They store well for a long time even if you don't need to use them. Just hang them up. (When you use garlic, chop it finely or crush it to release the medicinal compounds - and don't cook it for very long. The longer you cook it, the more you reduce its benefits.)
- CHILLI. Whether or not you think you like chilli, buy it. Buy fresh chilli peppers if you can get them. Spread them out on a paper towel and let them dry. (You are not deliberately drying them, just storing them in a safe way.) Don't leave them in a plastic bag in the fridge or they'll rot. (Keep your kids away from them if there's a danger they'll rub their eyes after handling them.)
- WATER. Lots of it. See below.
- A reliable source of VITAMIN C. If you can't store any of the fruits and vegetables listed below, buy Vitamin C supplements and take them daily.
If you have only these few foods when Ebola denies you access to your store (and the ability to boil water and cook rice), you should consider yourself very lucky. You can flavour the rice with anti-viral garlic or chili as a main meal, and sweeten some rice with honey for dessert. If you lose power (therefore fridge, stove etc) and are desperate to make your secondary fuel / cooking supplies last as long as possible, you could cook only once a day and eat some meals cold.
In the type of long-lasting emergency that Ebola could potentially cause, any food supplies more than these will be a bonus.
Start eating anti-viral foods now!
If you currently eat a diet of pre-packaged convenience foods, drink soda and sweet drinks, snack on fast foods and rarely encounter fresh fruit and vegetables, your immune system is probably severely compromised.
Approximately 85% of your immune system is in your gut lining - so if you want to give your body the best chance of fighting any unwelcome invaders including the Ebola virus, stop eating foods that make it hard for your immune system to function effectively.
If you buy the foods and herbs I recommend in this article, start eating them straight away. Buy enough to store for an emergency quarantine period (or active Ebola battle), but also introduce them to your diet now.
WATER - Essential
Buy big containers and fill them with tap water. Store them out of the sun. If life is still 'normal' in a month's time, you could empty the ones for drinking and replace with fresh water ... but only empty one at a time. You'll be kicking yourself if you empty all your water and just happen to lose your supply when the containers are empty.
Buy the biggest water storage containers you can afford. Never underestimate how much water you'll need in a survival situation. You'll need water for:
- personal washing / bathing / bedbaths
- cooling (if your weather is hot)
- warming (if your weather is cold, eg hot water bottles)
- boiling (to sterilize eating utensils, for instance)
Also get a small old-fashioned water filter for filtering drinking water if you can afford it.
This seems an appropriate time to mention my concern about washing faces. In the event you are actually experiencing an ebola crisis, I'd be inclined to discourage your kids from washing their faces in the usual way. I'll address this thought further in some notes below.
More about food for survival
I have given you my list of essential food supplies to buy pre-Ebola. Now let's talk about other food you could store; the foods I consider non-essential. These are things to consider once you have already sorted ALL the essential items for survival.
- I see no point in storing frozen foods because if the grid supply of power is interrupted, you'll be left with a pile of rotting food. Freeze food by all means, but don't rely on it as your only source of sustenance. Sure, you can think you'll just eat it all if you lose power ... but at what point do you stop eating and just throw it away?
You certainly won't want food poisoning during an Ebola outbreak. Where are you going to go for help? The hospital? I'm thinking your doctor's surgery will probably be closed so the doctor can stay home and out of harm's way (if the doctor hasn't already been taken out by exposure to a patient with Ebola) so you can't even phone up and ask for advice. A hospital is not going to be a good place to end up once Ebola takes hold. The whole idea of prepping for Ebola is to keep you safe and away from the virus.
- Buy healthy foods that are easily stored without refrigeration ... and relatively easy to cook and prepare. Can you steam them quickly using minimal water in a pot on a gas camping cooker or over a fire? Could you wrap the food in alfoil and cook it in embers if necessary? Vegetables like pumpkin, sweet potato etc spring to mind.
- Oranges, lemons and other fruit or vegetables that are long-lasting without extra storage considerations have definite advantages over buying apples or bananas that will spoil more quickly. In addition, citrus fruits contain Vitamin C - and Vitamin C (ideally in food form, but also as supplements when necessary) helps strengthen your body and keep viruses at bay.
Vegetables high in Vitamin C include:
- Green and red peppers (capsicum and chillis)
- Leafy greens (including kale, spinach, and the leaves from cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower as well as their flower heads we usually eat)
- Tomatoes and tomato juice (you could store some in cans)
- Sweet potato. White potatoes also have Vitamin C - but chop them up and steam them lightly. If you deep fry potato strips or boil potato for way too long you will destroy the Vitamin C.
Remember, you are not expecting to be able to return to the store every week or two. The Ebola threat may take you out of circulation for months. (Hopefully not too many months, but you never know. Timing will depend on how long it takes to contain.)
- Avoid stockpiling junk food and anything with sugar. Refined white sugar is your enemy. It is important to support and strengthen your immune system if you want to fight viral infections, and studies have shown even small amounts of sugar can reduce your immune response. If you don't have junk foods available, your family won't be tempted to eat them.
There is however, one exception ...
I believe it is a good idea to have a small number of treats hidden away, particularly in the early stages of bugging out. Let's say there's a few Ebola victims in your region so you want your family to stay indoors and begin avoiding all other people. Stores are still open (you think.) You don't want the kids (or yourself or your partner) to risk sneaking out to buy the things you miss most.
If you have a few of the familiar treats they've always loved, (this could include an adult's beer and smokes), you can take active steps to 'wean' them off them. By the time the news shows a severe number of confirmed cases or your power goes down or other signs indicate you are in definite survival mode, there will be no temptation to leave the house.
- Don't be greedy, and space consumption of your available food so supplies last as long as possible.
- Include herbs with medicinal qualities in your meals.
See how garbage bags saved this woman from Ebola!!
Garbage bags, Tape and Bleach - Essential
We all like to think that Ebola won't reach our own city, suburb, town, street, house ... family. But what if it does?
If one family member falls victim, you'll need to be able to tend them while protecting yourself and others. In that event, medical masks and plastic gloves would also be extremely useful. If a young girl in West Africa can cope alone while nursing her Ebola-infected family, (see the video), so can you.
However, for most of us, at the first warning of Ebola in our local region it is more likely that people will take to their homes and quarantine themselves as a precaution. Even if you don't have Ebola inside your home, it makes sense to be able to protect yourself - especially if you leave your home to be relocated at some time.
Without a mask, I would be likely to wrap clothing or cloth over my mouth and nose. A couple of layers of appropriate fabric would offer some protection. I'd improvise with glasses or goggles to protect my eyes. The rest of my body I'd cover with plastic.
So if you are serious about prepping ...
- Buy lots of big, thick GARBAGE / TRASH BAGS to wear as protective clothing if needed. And I mean lots. Don't buy thin bags that can easily rip or stretch until tearing.
- Buy smaller garbage bin bags to cover your kids hands and arms, feet and legs, and body. (You'll be glad you have them if needed. Even if you intend to keep the kids indoors and ride out the Ebola threat, what happens if you need to leave the house and transport them somewhere else? You'll want to be able to cover them effectively.)
- Buy packs of food storage bags of different sizes to cover hands etc. Adult hands, children's hands. They can also be used to cover or store left-over food.
- Buy some rolls of plastic cling-wrap in case it helps to wrap around your neck or other exposed part of your body (particularly if you are changing locations later on.)
In addition to the plastic garbage and storage bags that will make your protective suits, I recommend a few other related items as essential ...
- Masking TAPE or packing tape - big thick tape to seal the pieces of plastic together. Which tape you buy could be very important. Remember, some tapes don't seal very well. You don't want the tape to lift. But then, some tapes will rip the bags when you remove it ... so make sure you have plenty of bags. (In a pinch, you could use thin office-style Sellotape if you had enough to wrap it around securely - or even large, thick elastic bands.)
- BLEACH - and a BUCKET - to soak your bags after you've used them. Leave them in a bleach solution (one part bleach to ten parts water) for long enough to kill the virus (I'm thinking at least half an hour) before hanging them out to dry for reusing. This bit will be tricky - you don't want to infect yourself while cleaning your safety suits. Maybe the best idea would be to have an area outdoors or in a disused part of the house where you discard your used suit, then the next time (when you are still suited up) you could put the most recently used plastic bags in to soak.
- A plastic SPRAY bottle to hold a bleach solution (and reserved only for bleach - Write on it so you remember!) could be used to spray yourself thoroughly while you are still wearing your suit. Then perhaps wait half an hour before undressing.
A second spray bottle could be used in other parts of the house for cleaning and sterilizing.
This is clearly not a precise science. The plagues we learned about in history were bacterial, not viral. Just make sure you have plenty of plastic bags .... and lots of large containers of bleach. You can use a bleach solution to clean your counter tops etc and door handles, light switches etc. Bleach can be harsh on your hands, so use your spray bottle to apply it and put your hand in a plastic bag to hold the cloth.
More about Fatu nursing her Ebola infected familhy
- Ebola: Woman saves three relatives from death - CNN.com
Fatu used garbage bags, plus a mask and gloves etc to protect herself from the Ebola virus when nursing her family. Clearly the garbage bags were effective, so I believe we can all learn from her.
Toilet Paper - Essential
If you are prepping for Ebola, go out today and buy toilet paper. Many, many rolls of it.
- Diarrhea is a symptom of Ebola. Even if you are not struck by the virus, toilet rolls are always useful. I'll bet money that toilet rolls will be one of the first items to disappear from grocery shelves as soon as Ebola threatens your community.
- If your family gets diarrhea, you'll need toilet paper on hand. In any event, you should be careful to maintain personal hygiene. (Particularly if you lose water supply - which is possible if all the technicians who fix problems including leaking water mains decide to stay home during an Ebola threat.)
- Toilet paper can also be folded and used if you run out of tampons or monthly pads. (I'm inclined to suggest avoiding tampons even if you have them during an ebola crisis. They have to be touched to be inserted, and accidentally introducing the ebola virus to such a vulnerable part of a woman's body would seem to be very unwise.)
Aloe Vera Tissues
Not essential, but also worth putting on your list if you can afford it ... Aloe Vera facial tissues. I'm not talking about moist wipes, but the kind of dry facial tissue you use to blow your nose. If you can't buy them locally, buy some aloe vera toilet tissues from Amazon instead.
I always keep at least half a dozen boxes of Aloe Vera tissues stored here at home. Whenever I see them on special, I buy lots of them. If you don't use them in the short term, they'll be good for however many years it takes to use them up.
- They are much better than normal tissues if you have a runny nose. They don't make your nose red and sore like the usual type.
- They are also excellent fire starters scrunched up in a wood fire. Try one and see. They burn hot and bright.
- If anyone in your home becomes unwell (due to ebola or even just a common cold or flu), they'll be useful for coughing into, blowing into, or spitting into. Used tissues can be burned.
Here's why I recommend you buy Aloe Vera tissues now if you can afford them.
- Ebola is a virus. Aloe Vera is antiviral. If you have any reason to wipe your nose (and one of the early symptoms of Ebola is a runny nose), it makes sense to use an antiviral wipe.
- And, as gross as this sounds, if you - or particularly your kids - have to keep wiping their bums, it will be a lot easier on them if they can use a tissue impregnated with soothing aloe vera than the usual 'dry' toilet paper. (Plus, if things get really tough and you have to bury your family's sh*t in the garden, it could be very useful to be able to burn the toilet paper instead of filling your garden hole too quickly.)
Get plain toilet paper as well though! It is much cheaper. Don't waste your aloe vera tissues. Save them until they are needed.
If you cannot buy facial tissues enriched with aloe vera locally, buy some aloe vera toilet tissue rolls instead. I can't buy Andrex products in my part of my world, although I can buy aloe vera facial tissues made by Kleenex and other companies.
Other Prepping Items I recommend for surviving Ebola
Those who know me well would say I am not one to panic or become hysterical about perceived threats. When faced with genuine emergencies, I'm the type of person to put emotions on hold while my brain cranks up a few gears and looks for possible solutions. I can withstand a ridiculous amount of pressure and still keep thinking clearly, while those around me have crumbled.
Yes, I can be emotional and grieve like the next person when circumstances allow, but logic is always my driving force and has a far greater influence over me than emotion. My natural inclination to assess situations and weigh up the pros and cons long preceded the invention of the term 'risk analysis'.
So as we move into my further recommendations for ebola prepping, it is important for those who don't know me at all to accept that I have identified what I believe to be the most useful items for surviving the potential chaos and disruption that could accompany an Ebola pandemic.
I am not saying an Ebola pandemic is imminent, but I do accept there is a real potential threat to all of us. I don't know how long the chaos might last and I can't identify the full extent of disruptions, but based on the severity of Ebola I believe it is prudent to anticipate an element of 'worst case scenario'.
The following items are my personal recommendations. It is up to you to decide how valid you believe they are to your circumstances (and your expectations of just how great a threat Ebola poses.)
Solar Powered Light - Essential
An Ebola outbreak could easily result in your power grid going down. You won't want to be left in the dark.
Imagine spending one night in the dark ... then imagine if you or one of your family is sick (whether or not they've contracted the Ebola virus.) Do you want to vomit in the dark? Do you want to try to find the toilet in a hurry? How will you calm and care for your kids?
- Buy at least one decent solar-powered LIGHT capable of illuminating a decent sized area inside one room of your home. You need to be able to turn it on and off. (There's no point in the battery running flat in the hours after sunset if you suddenly need light at 3 o'clock in the morning.)
- The best solar light will have a decent sized solar panel and a decent sized storage battery. Some are also capable of charging other devices.
Go to your nearest electronics store and look at what's available. If you can't get to a store within the next few days, buy one on Amazon. As soon as it arrives, start charging it. (Make sure you read the instructions! You might need to charge it for a full day or two before using it for the first time. Don't break the darned thing before you get to use it!)
- If you can afford it, get an exterior motion-detecting solar light as well. (Not essential, but worth having if you have no power and you want to see who is approaching your front door - or to light your way up those difficult steps leading to your front door.) You might not have any desire to step outside your front door if you're avoiding everyone who may carry the Ebola virus, but if you can afford it, get one.
How helpful would this be to you in an emergency?
If you lose power from the grid, how vulnerable will you be? Light keeps families calm ... and the ability to charge your cell phone keeps you in contact with others.
Flashlight and Radio - Essential
I have written other articles about the advantage of flashlights that do not require replacement batteries. In the context of prepping for Ebola, I trust the reason is obvious.
Try and purchase at least one torch with a built-in radio. Even if your immediate location is brought down by ebola, hopefully you'll still be able to hear radio news transmitted from elsewhere.
Good even when the sun doesn't shine
I have a torch (flashlight) very similar to this one. If I forget to leave it in the sun to charge with solar - or if the weather is miserable for days on end - I can power it by hand cranking.
Back-up cooking source - Essential
If you are confined to your home and suddenly lose your electricity and LPG / natural gas supply, how will you cook? How will you boil water? Can you effectively feed your family?
If you have a barbecue, make sure you have plenty of fuel for it. If you have a really large barbecue that gobbles up lots of LPG, how many weeks or months could you use it before it became useless?
In a survival situation, you need to be confident that you could make a fire (every day, perhaps for months) or rely on a camping cooker or a solar oven or some other way of boiling water and preparing food. If you have your big bags of brown rice to keep you alive, how will you cook it?
Perhaps you've stored cans of food, including foods that don't need heating. That would help if you run out of fuel for cooking, but I hope you have a manual can opener. Maybe you have plenty of food in your pantry, but how will you prepare it if you are not ready for cooking off the grid.
I suggest you assess your current ability to boil water and cook food. Consider investing in a small camping stove (small is good for minimal fuel use), and a lot of fuel for it (so you'll be good for a long time.) In the case of LPG, you might need to buy an adapter to connect a large tank to a small stove.
If you intend relying on a wood-burner stove or making small fires in your open fireplace or backyard, make sure you have plenty of wood stored. A wood supply can dwindle surprisingly quickly. Which pots will you use on the fire? Do you have a grate or a support to rest them on? Can you pick them up without burning your fingers?
Perhaps invest in a log-maker (like I did) so you are able to make newspaper bricks for your fire. That big pile of old newspapers in your basement or shed can be put to good use - and will burn much hotter than if you just scrunch up the paper. Needs a little water, so start making them now. :)
Give thought to which type of cooking option will best suit your circumstances. There's many to choose from. This is surprisingly inexpensive and can be adapted to connect to bulk fuel, but it is designed to be used outdoors. You might just need one burner.
Medications and Alternative Medicines - Essential
This should be obvious, but I will remind you anyway ...
- Extra bottles of any medications your family relies on. Including asthma puffers etc.
Plus here are the alternative medicines I always have on hand, and I believe will be very useful in an ebola emergency.
- Colloidal Silver. I wrote about it in the context of Ebola, so just follow the link.
- Small Swedish Bitters. That's not the size of the bottle, but the name of the herbal mixture. (Small as opposed to Large Swedish Bitters.) There are many things it can be used for and it strengthens the immune system.
Off the top of my head, one important use in this situation would be to deal with toothache. Imagine an agonizing toothache during an Ebola crisis. Could you rely on going to a dentist? Can you think of anything in your current first aid box that could relieve that level of pain? I have used Small Swedish Bitters to eliminate gum infection, stop pain etc and have given it to others in the past who've had the same result. I actually have a broken back tooth (more than half is missing) that I've not bothered to go to a dentist to have removed. Why? Because it doesn't hurt at all any more, and I hate going to the dentist. :)
- Mobicosa gel. If you have any kind of accident that involves swelling or insect bites or a minor burn, you'll be happy you have this on hand. I have written about it in two articles. The one highlighted earlier plus this one about my husband's broken ankle.
I can't find a link to the actual bottle I use, but I always buy Maria Treben's authentic recipe. Here it is promoted as something to take with meals to aid digestion - but if you do that, you'll use a lot of it. I only use it medicinally so one bottle lasts a long time. (There's also a bigger bottle if you think you'll need it.)
Voice of experience with herbs
I am one of the 4 million people who have bought this book over the years, although my copy was published in the 1970s and has a white cover. lol. This is fascinating reading and will introduce you to the many medicinal uses of Maria Treben's Small Swedish Bitters recipe. (Plus other herbal remedies.) Maria Treben had a lot of herbal experience in the days before pharmaceutical companies took control of medicine.
There are some very specific herbs in nature's medicine chest that I believe should be included on any Ebola prepper's shopping list.
Because this article is already a hefty size, I have created a separate document with my thoughts about Medicinal Herbs.
It can be found here ... Prepper's Guide to Medicinal Herbs - Do Herbs Help?
Shopping List for Ebola Preppers
I have explained the reasons for my recommendations. Because you might be an Ebola prepper in a hurry to get your supplies together, I will compile the items into a list.
I suggest you print my shopping list and decide for yourself which items you want, which items you already have, and which you feel you can do without. Adjust the list to your own personal circumstances.
Whether or not you decide to prep immediately, at least you'll have a starting point. And in these uncertain times, I hope that will be helpful to you.
- Big bags of brown rice
- Water - lots of it
- Vitamin C - in foods and supplements
- Vegetables with skins that store well without refrigeration
- A few of the 'treats' you might be tempted to leave home to buy in the early days
- Strong, thick garbage bin bags of various sizes
- Cling wrap
- Masking tape
- Plastic spray bottles
- Toilet paper
- More toilet paper!
- Aloe vera tissues
- Solar powered light/s
- Torch (with a radio) that won't need you to buy new batteries
- Secondary cooking/heating source (eg barbecue with fuel; firewood; log-maker & newspapers)
- Manual can-opener if you don't have one
- Extra bottles of medications / pharmaceuticals (eg asthma puffer)
- Bottles of colloidal silver (or colloidal silver generator & bottles of pure water to make your own)
- Bottle of Small Swedish Bitters
- Mobicosa gel
- Medicinal herbs (See my separate article. Link provided above.)
I sincerely hope you won't need to use these items due to an Ebola crisis, however I understand if you'll feel safer having them on hand. Once the Ebola threat has passed, you'll be able to use all of them in your daily life - so I don't believe any investment you make will be wasted.
You might also choose to add ...
- Some real books and real games, in case your current sources of entertainment rely on power that might not be available.
- Pet food if you have pets. They'll need to eat as well. (You can also add medicinal herbs to your pets' water to help boost their immune systems.)
I have another similar book by this author. It is brilliant. If you are dreaming about one day living a self-sufficient lifestyle, you'll learn a great deal from John Seymour. This is the type of book you want to be reading if you are waiting for an ebola crisis to pass. :)
Keep your car filled with fuel - Essential
If you are to have any hope at all of getting away from your home and to a more remote (less populated) area, you are going to need a full tank of fuel.
Don't let your fuel level drop. Keep it topped up. If everyone starts panicking about getting somewhere safer, they'll be heading straight for the fuel station.
If getting to a distant friend who grows their own food and promises the best chance of survival takes more than one tank of fuel, you should buy and store extra tanks to bring in the car for refilling during the journey.
My friends should be prepared to spend the first few weeks in a tent in our garden if they come to our house after Ebola takes hold in their/our close region. I'll bring their family food and set up a camping toilet, but I won't be kissing them hello ... and I won't be inviting them and their kids into our house until we are all confident they are not infected.
If you are planning on taking refuge at one of your own friend's homes, I respectfully suggest you consider packing your own camping gear. If you have room in your car to pack a tent and sufficient bedding (so you can camp out if a quarantine period is needed to establish you have not been recently infected), take it.
Remember, however, you'll need to fit your family and your prepping supplies in the car as well - so don't overburden your vehicle with the camping gear.
What will you do in an absolute Emergency?
This is an article about prepping, so instead of writing here about my suggestions if one of your family is infected and Ebola is within your home (and what my specific plan would be), I will restrict myself to the prepping element only.
So what will you do in an absolute emergency if you have bought your supplies, but have the chance to get in your car and drive somewhere you hope will be safer? Should you go ... or stay?
Let's say there's news of confirmed Ebola cases within your actual community, and you fear your children may be at risk if they go to school and you may be at risk if you go to work. There are signs of community panic and your home really isn't sustainable. You fear you won't cope if the grid goes down and you are forced to live within the confines of your home.
If you do actually have somewhere safer to take refuge and you are confident you can reach your destination without further exposing yourself to the Ebola virus, I suggest you go there - quickly.
Pack your car with your family and your emergency supplies. Don't fill your car's storage space with suitcases of clothes at the expense of your valuable prepping items. Make sure you are all dressed appropriately for the weather, and toss in rugs or blankets if it is cold. (You might break down and become stranded on the way.) Be smart and take woollen blankets - not great big huge fluffy comforters that fill the car.
Pack as many of your preps as you can fit. Wherever you end up, you still might need them. This is not a time to fiddle around trying to stack everything in a tidy manner and stress if the toilet paper packages don't fit. You can always open the packet and shove single toilet rolls under seats and at the feet of your passengers, need be. If you can't fit your barbecue in but you know they have one at your destination (or they have wood for fires), leave the bbq behind.
Perhaps you've spent weeks making newspaper bricks to burn. Throw a few in for the journey in case you need them, but leave the rest. Do, however, take the log maker. You probably can't take all your stored water, but do take at least some. (Even if just enough for the trip.)
Do take your garbage bags, tape etc ... and keep hold of your medicinal supplies, herbs etc. Find room for your torches and solar light. Have a passenger sit on a big bag of rice if there's nowhere else to put it. (A blanket or rug over it might make it more comfortable.) Refer back to your shopping list to make sure you don't forget anything vital.
Panic can make intelligent people very stupid. You need to keep a clear head.
If you have nowhere safer to go?
Let's be realistic. Some people have nowhere to run to in an emergency. Circumstances might require you to just stay put and do the best you can.
I am quietly confident that the essential items on my list will be a great help if you are forced to ride out the potential chaos and disruption.
It is important to remember that 85% of your immune system is in your gut lining. Because the Ebola virus lies outside the realms of cures and vaccines offered by pharmaceutical companies, this is one situation where our food is likely to be our best medicine.
If you are equipped with anti-viral foods and herbs, and make sure you feed yourself and your family with basic foods that will support your immune system, you'll be in a much stronger position than most.
Best wishes. May you all stay strong and healthy. :)
© 2014 LongTimeMother