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Ebola - How To Survive A Global Pandemic: Pandemic Survival Guide

Updated on October 3, 2014

How to Survive A Global Pandemic

Could we survive a global Ebola pandemic?
Could we survive a global Ebola pandemic? | Source

Could We Survive a Global Pandemic?

New infections and diseases such as Ebola can pop any time, and many organizations like our governments or the WHO seem to be somewhat ill prepared to cope with a global pandemic. Preparing, or prepping, for a global pandemic is vitally important as it could mean the difference between the survival and extinction of our species.

There are some important questions which need to be contemplated.

1) How would we manage resources during a global pandemic?

2) How would we avoid becoming infected?

The Ebola virus is spreading rapidly through Western Africa, and we are now also seeing cases elsewhere. The borders to countries where there are a high incident of Ebola cases remain open, and aircraft are still moving people from these countries around the world.

The rapid movement of people also mean a higher risk of infection as the virus spreads faster around the world. The Ebola virus is not airborne but it can be transmitted through bodily fluids, even sweat will transmit the Ebola virus. It can also survive several days outside the body.

Pandemic

Could a pandemic cause lights to out all over the world?
Could a pandemic cause lights to out all over the world? | Source

What is a Global Pandemic?

Simply put a global pandemic is an outbreak of a contagious disease which affects many, if not all, countries, of the world. The outbreak of the H1N1 strain of the bird flu virus in 2009 was a global pandemic.

The WHO (World Health Organization) has a special classification which defines a pandemic, and this classification is applicable to the Ebola virus.

According to the WHO a virus starts of infecting mostly animals, in Ebola’s case fruit bats. A few people become infected after coming into contact with infected animals through bites, scratches or eating the meat. The virus incubates in the person’s body until he or she passes it on to another individual. The infection then starts to spread from person to person until it has eventually spread all over the world.

Often pandemics also have associated health risks. The Bird flu virus increased the likelihood of other diseases such as chest infections and other respiratory health problems.

There have been quite a few global pandemics. The most recent one was the Bird Flu but one major pandemic which we often forget about is HIV and Aids which is classified as current pandemic.

The Spanish Flu 1918 -1919 was also a global pandemic. It infected 500 million across the world and killed between 50 – 100 million of them.

Ebola can kill up to 90% of the individuals it infects so if 500 million people became infected with the Ebola virus 450 million people around the world could potentially die from the virus. Our current global population is estimated to be around 7 billion people (7,000,000,000), and if we apply a 90% death rate to a new killer virus it would mean we could potentially see 630,000,000 deaths world wide. What would this mean?


Historic Pandemics

There has been pandemics in the past and they include:

Influenza

Typhoid

Measles

Leprosy

Malaria

Yellow fever

Cholera

Tuberculosis

How Would a Pandemic Affect Us All?

Would we be able to rely on international wealth organizations and governments to come to our rescue? The honest answer is that we may not be able to do that. If a really serious infection hit, it would most certainly cause problems for public institutions as well as private companies.

Manpower at national and global agencies would also be severely affected by the outbreak of the virus and many of them would have to shut down to reduce the infection risk. We are already seeing this Africa where public sector workers have told to stay in their homes to minimize infection.

We may even have to face the possibility that we would be forced to manage and live without electricity, gas, communications systems, health, sanitation, transport and many other welfare systems which we often take for granted.

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How Can We Best Prepare for A Pandemic?

There are many things we would need to do, and there maybe some unique local requirements which must be taken into consideration such as climate or the health of the persons in the household. What if someone in the family suffers diabetes and needs to have insulin on a daily basis?

An outbreak could last between 30 to 120 days, perhaps even longer, and how would you manage?

Some tips to consider if you would like to prep for a global pandemic

  • 1) Isolation – how would you be able to protect yourself from the infection?
  • 2) Shelter – do you need to prepare your shelter in a special way?
  • 3) Food – would you be able to store, or grow enough food?
  • 4) Water – what if the water supply becomes infected?
  • 5) Documentation – what do you need?
  • 6) Health – what if someone becomes sick?
  • 7) Sanitation and hygiene– how will you keep your environment clean?
  • 8) Safety – will you be able to protect yourself from others?
  • 9) Space – how much space will you need?
  • 10) Communication – how would you communicate with others?

Isolation Shopping List

Insulation tape

Gloves

Disinfectant

Coveralls – Hazmat suit

Respirator

Face Mask

Disinfectant

Isolation Equals Low Infection Risk

Isolation will be of prime importance as without isolating yourself from others you, and your family, could potentially become infected.

Prevention of disease and isolation go hand in hand, and knowing how you could have as little contact with others could save your life.

If you are planning to isolate yourself in your own home, you need to be able to make sure your home is self contained. This means that everything which you will require on a daily or long term basis needs to be safely stored in your shelter so you don’t have to access the outside world.

Also if you are dealing with an airborne contagion, remember to tape up windows and any outside vents plus places where outside air can enter your shelter.

If you do need to access the outside world, you have to make sure you can do so safely.

There are many things which you would need to create your own little bubble if you would have to interact with the outside world. Also remember once you prepare to re-enter your isolated world, you need to make sure any contagion is brought into your isolated environment.

Shelter

Remember to include a storage area in your shelter
Remember to include a storage area in your shelter | Source

Shelter

Your shelter will become your living space and storage area, so it is important to remember if you need to take any special precautions.

Airborne infections need to be treated with extra caution. If you know you are going to be dealing with this type of contagion consider installing an air purification system. There are many different ones on the market, and make sure you invest in one which will minimize the risk of infectious matter entering your home.

It is a good idea to divide your shelter into different areas. Different areas could include one for day time activities, sleeping area, food preparation, sanitation and storage area.

Where is your shelter going to be? Are you going to prepare a purpose built shelter, or will you use your home as your shelter? There are pros and cons for both places.

Your home is likely to be in an area where there are more people. You would therefore be more at risk from infection, and perhaps even at risk from having your shelter invaded.

Some preppers build a purpose built shelter away from their home, and travel to it once they realize a situation has become critical. Travel can be a risk as well as you may encounter groups of people with the infection.

You must remember to take into account climate or seasonal changes as well. Make sure you have a way of heating and cooling your shelter.

There are many ways to generate power in your shelter, generators, battery or solar powered devices are probably the best option. There are now even small solar powered panels which can generate enough power to charge a phone or lap-top.

If your shelter is an isolated area, you can also build your own wind turbine to generate power for a more acceptable living standard, and solar panels are another great idea.

Food

Sprouts is an excellent source of nutrition
Sprouts is an excellent source of nutrition | Source

Best Sprouts to Grow

Alfa

Flax seeds,

Quinoa,

Sunflower

Sesame

Soya

Tomatoes

Lettuce

Celery

Cucumber

Lentils

Radishes

Kale

Sweetcorn

Haricot bean

Mustard


Food

It goes without saying that food is vital when it comes to surviving in your shelter.

Many preppers spend years canning, purchasing and storing food. Making sure you invest in the right food stuffs can make a lot of difference to your health.

Also remember that you might lose vital services such as electricity so it is best to can produce.

And buy the good quality dry goods. If you find yourself without electricity you don’t want to be left with freezers full of food which will go off, and turn into a health hazard.

Nutrition should always be the main focus, and there are many good products you should put on your shopping list.

  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Pasta
  • Tomato sauces
  • Spices
  • Canned Foods
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Dried yeast
  • Dried fruits
  • Vitamin and Supplements
  • Nuts
  • Grains


All of these foods are rich in vitamins such as the B Group of vitamins which will not only give you energy but also help to keep your nervous system healthy.

Fresh foods may not be totally out of the question. You may not be able to grow your own vegetables in your shelter but you should be able to grow sprouts.

Sprouts, including sprouted nuts and grains, are some of the most undervalued foods available in today’s modern life. Pound for pound, they are more nutritious than any other food. You don’t need to have specialized knowledge to grow them, and they don’t take up a lot of space. All sprouts are rich in natural plant enzymes which can help to keep us healthy, fulfill nutritional requirements and are safe to eat.

Water

Without water you are not going to survive a pandemic
Without water you are not going to survive a pandemic | Source

Water

Without water we cannot survive for very long. It is not only important to be able to have a water source for drinking but it is just as important to have water washing as well.

If you are planning to store water, you need to be prepared to store at least one galloon of water per person per day. If you are dealing with a crisis which could last more than a few weeks you would need to be able to store a lot of water.

Water could become a real problem. Outside water sources may become contaminated and stay contaminated for a long time after the event so perhaps it is a good idea to look out a few alternatives.

Water purification tablets should be on your shopping list. They would allow you to bring in water from the outside and purify the water in your shelter.

Another alternative is to build, or buy, a water purification system or what is known as a bio filter. This will help you to control your water supply both during the immediate outbreak and after the event. Even though outside, or public water, may not have been infected, it can be contaminated in other ways. If water companies have not been able to clean the water, it could be contaminated with pathogens or raw sewage.

Documentation

It is easy to assume that all our electronic records of our lives are going to survive a global pandemic. The truth is they may not, what if there are major crashes of servers which control the world’s infrastructure such as banks, governments and health records.

After you come out of your shelter you may not be able to access the funds in your bank, and your may be there physically but electronic records could be gone.

Keeping copies and records of the most important things in life is crucial.

  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificate
  • Bank Statement
  • Pension details
  • Health care
  • Passport
  • Social Security Number
  • School and higher education records
  • Proof of home ownership
  • Share certificates

It is really easy to take all of these things for granted in our daily lives, but if there were a major crisis we cannot tell what damage could be done to major infrastructure.

Health

A blood pressure monitor could be good to have in your shelter during a pandemic
A blood pressure monitor could be good to have in your shelter during a pandemic | Source

Health

Keeping yourself healthy will improve your chances of surviving a pandemic. There are many measures which you can take to eliminate risk in your shelter. They include having access to safe water, ventilation but you also want to eliminate the risk of injury.

If you were to break an arm or a leg you may not be able to get to hospital.

Remember to prioritize members of your shelter community with health issues. You may have someone in your family in need of insulin, and perhaps another family member will be in need of heart medication.

Stocking up on essential medicines needed by shelter members is of course top priority but don’t forget to include more basic items such as paracetamol, good quality vitamins, and broad spectrum antibiotics.

There are many emergencies which can occur in a shelter situation which could be potentially lethal. You may cut yourself, or somebody might take a bad fall. It is vital for one or more of the members in your shelter community to be trained in basic first aid. There are many more advanced courses available as well which are worth considering.


Health Shopping List

Prescription Medication, Paracetamol, Defibrillator, Bandages, Aspirin, Plasters, Crutches, Broad Spectrum Antibiotics, Blood Pressure Monitor, Blood Glucose Monitor, Suturing Kit


Aspirin can be useful when it comes to preventing strokes and heart attacks if you are not able to exercise or move around a lot


How to use a Bokashi compost bin

Sanitation

Good sanitation is part of good health. When you are in your shelter you are still going to need to deal with your bodily functions on a daily basis. If you don’t have access to a toilet with running, or perhaps if the water supply stops functioning, you need to be able to have some type of waste management. There are many good chemical toilets on the market today but alternatively you can also make your own organic compost toilet.

Being able to take a shower, have a wash, brush your teeth, launder clothes and do dishes are all important daily routines. If you have a purpose built shelter remember to include a drainage system, or perhaps better still, a system which allows you to recycle waste and turn it into reusable water. A water recycling system may initially sound like the most expensive option but in reality it is probably the most cost effective option. You need to store less water, and can rely on your recycled water for your personal hygiene.

Cleaning products are important as well. If you need to leave your shelter, you want to make sure you have somewhere to disinfectant and remove any possible contagion before your re-enter the main part of the shelter. Designing a primitive airlock can help you to do this, and this link to the outside world should not be part of the main shelter.

Also remember you will have other waste products such as food waste. There are many clever and easy ways in which you can now use in-house composting methods such as wormery or a Japanese style Bokashi compost bin.

If you are bringing pets into your shelter remember to provide sanitation facilities for them as well. Cats would require a litter tray, and dogs would require a doggie toilet.


Safety

There could be outbreaks of violence during a pandemic, and you might even find yourself personally threatened. Many will not have prepared for any type of emergency, and when infrastructure starts to fail, they may find themselves out of food, water, shelter and medication.

This could be an extremely hazardous situation, and you could find your shelter might even come under attack.

The question of having the right to defend your shelter and yourself is a tricky one, and deciding to bring any type of weapon into a shelter could be a difficult one. This is very much a personal choice but sometimes even the threat of a weapon can be enough. Remember at all times this is all about survival for your shelter community.


Inside a Shelter

Space

Space may be at a premium in your shelter, and limited space can lead to stress.

Try to see if there is a way you can create a “home situation” in your shelter. Small separate areas for sleeping, relaxing, cooking and sanitation can make a huge difference in a purpose built shelter.

If you are using your home as your shelter, the question of space might be easier to deal with, but you may want to keep some areas closed off in case the pandemic takes place during the colder months of the year. This would make your shelter easier to keep warm

Communication

Will the internet survive a pandemic?
Will the internet survive a pandemic? | Source

Communication

During a major pandemic we could expect many, if not all, major communications resources to fail. Yes, you could probably still charge your phone, tablet or lap top by using self generated power.

Your best investment would be a battery operated or hand cranked radio for listening to broadcasts and communicate with other shelter communities.

Survival of the Fittest or . . .

Many say that survival of the fittest will be the most important factor during a pandemic, or any other major emergency. However, you can easily argue that survival of the best prepared can also make the difference between life and death.

© 2014 Healthyannie

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    • Healthyannie profile image
      Author

      Healthyannie 3 years ago from Spain

      I have only used Ebola as an example but there may be future pandemics. Ebola has not as yet been qualified as a pandemic but in the future we may see other contagions causing problems. There are new viruses being discovered, and created, every day.

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 3 years ago from USA

      Then which pandemia were you referring to?

    • Healthyannie profile image
      Author

      Healthyannie 3 years ago from Spain

      Food supplies would be a major problem for most people. It would be great to think we could keep many of our services going but there is always a likelihood that we will not be able to. Some loss of vital services has already been seen in countries with Ebola.

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      I think people will be able to shut themselves away pretty easily in their houses. This will largely stop the spread. The problem will be when people have to venture out for food and water. The supermarkets will be completely `destocked' of all their food and bottled water. When there's a tangible threat to safety, people throw altruism and cooperation out of the window and become as selfish as possible. It's like when there's a gasoline shortage, people will be filling up extra cans of the stuff! I don't think the electricity, internet, phone will go down unless the pandemic is so serious that ~90% of people are killed. Given the way we can isolate ourselves, I don't think that could happen unless it became airborne.

    • Healthyannie profile image
      Author

      Healthyannie 3 years ago from Spain

      The article discusses the event of a global pandemic, not Ebola or any other contagion being used as a biological weapon. If this were to happen I think a lot of countries would close their borders to US citizens anyhow, especially if there was a widespread infection. Ebola, or any other virus, could easily be carried into the US without the help of any national security agency. In fact, it may already have happened. The incubation period of Ebola is 2 - 21 days so somewhat from Sierra Leone or other country with Ebola, may already be resident in the general population.

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 3 years ago from USA

      You are joking right? You are telling me that if the CIA through the CDC decides to infect with the ebola virus the people you will be protected? You're an optimist. Travelling abroad will be the best.