Recreating a Nightmare
In 1918, the Spanish flu swept across the globe.
In its wake, it left 50 million dead, and is still by far the deadliest pandemic the world has seen in the last century.
Fortunately, the virus responsible for that horrific event is extinct.
Or, at least it was – until a group of scientists decided to recreate it.
Why, you may wonder, would scientists do such a thing?
They say their experiment is designed to study how easy it would be for the deadly strain of the flu to reemerge and wreak havoc. (These are the same scientists that mutated the avian flu into an airborne strain to show how easily that could happen.)
Other scientists are calling the experiment dangerous. If this manufactured Spanish flu virus is ever released (either accidently or on purpose), we could be facing another deadly pandemic.
Only this time, it would undoubtedly be worse. Just think about how much easier it is for people to travel today than it was in 1918. The easier it is for people to travel, the easier it is for a deadly virus to travel, too.
Is a Pandemic Inevitable?
The possibility that the scientists will lose control of their research is real, and frigtening. Even more worrying are the results of their study. Over the course of the experiment, the scientists showed that current strains of avian flu could easily adapt and change in to a virus very similar to the 1918 strain.
Based on their work, the scientists are urging public officials to prepare for the likely event of a pandemic that could be on par with the 1918 disaster.
Public planning for such a disaster certainly has its place. But if you rely solely on government readiness, when an outbreak does happen, I’m afraid you’ll find yourself in a bad spot.
Today, I’m want to share three things you can do to prepare for the likely possibility that we’ll be facing a deadly pandemic within the next ten years.
In a Crisis, Knowledge Is Power
Even in a severe pandemic, it’s unlikely that society will break down. At least not completely. People will still go to work. They’ll still go grocery shopping and continue to do the things that they did before the outbreak.
But there will likely be serious disruptions in services.
So it is important now, before a pandemic happens – to think about how you’ll deal with those interruptions.
Schools may be closed. If you have children or grandchildren, how will you handle their education and care during the day if they can’t go to school?
Banks may be closed. Do you have enough cash on hand to function for a week? What about two weeks? Or a month?
Buses and other public transportation may stop, or run on limited or alternate routes. If you rely on public transportation to get to work or to run important errands, do you have a back up plan?
Grocery stores may have shortages or limit their hours or even close completely. What will you do for food? The same goes for pharmacies. If you need a prescription refilled and your local pharmacy is closed, what is you contingency plan?
The first step to getting prepared for any disaster is to think through the possibilities and make a plan.
Protect Your Family
In the case of a pandemic on par with the Spanish flu, you also need to know how to prevent infection. You can find the basics of preventing infection and strengthening your immune system here.
During a pandemic, you want to avoid exposure as much as possible. You might consider setting up a work-at-home arrangement with your employer during a pandemic. And keep your kids home from school until the danger passes. Avoid public transportation if you can, shop during off-hours, and generally keep to yourself.
Prepare to Shelter in Place
A pandemic may last for months at a time. And the severity of the disruptions to services may vary. Depending on the situation, you may need to shelter in place.
Make sure you have an adequate supply of all the essentials on hand – enough to last you and your family for at least a month. (Three months is better, and six months is perfectly reasonable.) Things to consider:
- Non-perishable food
- Water, or water purification
- Fuel, both for heat and for cooking
- Security – there may be looters
- Medicine and basic first aid supplies
- Hygiene supplies
- Cleaning supplies
- Bartering items
- Communication – a hand-crank radio is an excellent thing to have
- Back-up power to run lights, a freezer, and other small appliances
A deadly pandemic is a very real possibility – one that you absolutely should be ready for. Follow these three steps and start preparing today.
P.S. In a pandemic situation, not having to run to the grocery store for supplies can be a lifesaver. Simply avoiding the crowd of a grocery store could save you from infection – an infection that you’d bring back home to your family.
Having a back-up food supply will keep you and your family comfortable, well-fed, and healthy while helping you avoid exposure to deadly diseases. If you haven’t already taken care of this essential prepping step, I urge you to take action today. Let me help you get started …