When there is a concern for dangerous communicable diseases spreading, the CDC activates pandemic mitigation measures. Among these measures are isolation and quarantines. These are the first steps in protecting the public by preventing exposure to infected persons or to persons who may be infected. Social distancing measures will follow in order to reduce further contact between the community. Quarantines can last anywhere from days to months depending on the severity of the contagion. Mandatory quarantines are backed up by laws and executive orders.
The official CDC website details ‘Specific Laws and Regulations Governing the Control of Communicable Diseases’, that even healthy citizens who have no existing symptoms would be forced to adhere to.
Prepping For a Quarantine
At the very least, a mandatory quarantine would last as long as the contagion exists in the community. Therefore, plan on having at the very least one month’s worth of supplies. The three-day mandatory quarantines that occurred in Sierra Leone resulted in food shortages in many parts of the country because the citizens were not prepared. Now is the time to prepare your homes and your families for riding out this type of disaster.
This type of disaster is very unique in that you will not be able to run to the store if your supplies run out. A mandatory quarantine of this nature will require that the roads are clear of anything other than non-essential travel. Further, the shops and stores that you are dependent on will no longer be available; therefore, you need to have everything in place before mitigation measures are activated.
Ensure that your family has enough food and water to sit out for an extended event. Understand your community’s role in pandemic preparedness and find out their protocols. Further, do some research on previous quarantine events to inform yourself about what to expect. Some other suggestions are:
- Never touch your face with your hands. Your hands by default will be the most likely area of your body to contain infected debris.
- Avoid contact with others and limit social protocols – resist shaking hands, kissing, hugging. Limit your exposure as much as possible.
- Make a plan. Daisy Luther provides an excellent template for creating a pandemic plan. Further, to prepare for a pandemic event, if you plan on bugging out, do it before the quarantine measures are placed. Talk with country cousins about staying with them for the duration or begin fixing up any remote properties in preparation for a long term pandemic event.
- Make preparations and discuss with family members the family’s pandemic plan.
- Have some entertainment available to family members: board games, books, art supplies, etc.
- For those with special needs, ensure that you have supplies ready for them (infants, elderly, handicapped, etc.).
- Prepare a sick room for the home to limit family member’s exposure to the virus. If someone in the house is infected, then the person needs to be segregated to a room of the house and that room needs to be sealed off from the rest of the home either using plastic sheeting or duct-taped closed with limited interaction from other family members.
- Consider all items coming in from the outside to be contaminated and should be washed with antibacterial soap or a chlorine mix before handling with bare hands. Therefore, any item you pick up after the emergency begins needs to be handled accordingly.
- Seal air leaks in your home. All it takes is one particle of infectious material to doom your whole family. Since you will be indoors with not a lot to do, do this.
Any time you come into near contact with anybody who is infected, you will need a shower. This is not an option.
- All common items in the house should be disinfected after use regardless if anyone is sick. The kitchen and bathrooms should be meticulously cleaned after use.
- If a family member dies in quarantine, seal off the room until professionals can deal with it. Don’t risk it. If you decide to take matters into your own hands, Wear long pants and long sleeves. Tuck your sleeves into your gloves. Dig your grave prior to moving the body. Spray the areas of the body you intend to touch with your bleach solution and wait 10 minutes before touching the body. Avoid touching the torso and head of the deceased person and only touch the disinfected extremities. Disinfect your clothing and shower after the operation is complete.
- Looters and crime waves can occur during this so ensure you have the means to protect yourself and your preps.
- Stay isolated until the quarantine is lifted.
In the event you have no choice but to leave your home, i recommends the following:
If you’re forced to exit your home, you’re going to want to be fully protected, and that includes covering your hands, eyes, nose, and mouth.
In addition to the N-95 respirator masks, you may also consider upgrading to the more expensive N-100 respirators recommended by the World Health Organization.
Or, go with a full facemask. Insofar as your preparedness efforts are concerned, you may also be able to kill two birds with one stone here and go with a full face mask that includes NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) protection like the US-made NATO SGE 400/3 Military Gas Mask. If going with such a mask, be sure to include some NBC filters.
Pandemic Supply List
In The Prepper’s Blueprint, I have suggested these preps to purchase to prepare for pandemics:
- One month supply of emergency foods that require no refrigeration.
- Store 1 gallon of water per person per day, in clean plastic containers.
- Plastic sheeting
- Gallon-sized zip-loc bags
- A portable toilet with disposable liners
- Supply of nonprescription drugs and pain relievers
- Cold medicines and decongestants
- Stomach remedies
- Duct tape
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Essential oils
- Vitamins that have immune-boosting enhancers
- Bleach or disinfectant
- Garbage bags to collect soiled clothing and bedding before they are washed.
- A thermometer
- Protective eye gear and/or face shield
- Tychem protective suit and shoe covers
- Disposable cleaning gloves (in quantity)
- Hand wipes
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizers or homemade hand sanitizer supplies
- Protective clothing
- Disposable aprons or smocks (at least 2 cases)
- Duct tape for sealing off doorways and vents
- Disposable nitrile gloves (2-3 boxes)
- Garbage bags
- N95 masks or N100 respirator masks for use when the sick person is coughing or sneezing (can be purchased at hardware stores and some drugstores)
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