A. Homeland Security Isn’t Ready To Combat A Deadly Pandemic
9 Sep 2014, ThinkProgress, by Tara Culp-Ressler
Posted from: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/09/09/3564842/deadly-pandemic-dhs/
The Department of Homeland Security is “ill-prepared” to take the necessary steps to stem a future outbreak of a deadly disease — like a particularly dangerous strain of the flu, or even the continued spread of the Ebola virus — according to a federal audit released this week.
In 2006, Congress gave $47 million to DHS to take the necessary steps to prepare for a national medical crisis. So, for nearly a decade by now, the department has been stocking up on supplies like surgical masks, antiviral medications, and hand sanitizer. But that process hasn’t been undertaken in the most effective way. The audit discovered that many of those supplies are now totally useless because they’re either about to expire or because they’ve already surpassed their expiration date.
For instance, more than 80 percent of the department’s antiviral drugs will expire by the end of next year. Most of the hand sanitizer is already too old. A stockpile of about $5 million worth of antibiotics might not be effective because they’re being stored incorrectly. And because DHS hasn’t kept accurate records of its materials, employees don’t even know how to locate their emergency gear, like personal protective masks.
“As a result, the department has no assurance it has sufficient personal protective equipment and antiviral medical countermeasures for a pandemic response,” the report, which was prepared by the Office of the Inspector General, concludes.
DHS is specifically tasked with protecting the United States from external threats, including weather disasters and potential disruptions to the nation’s infrastructure. “A severe influenza pandemic presents a tremendous challenge, which may affect millions of Americans, cause significant illnesses and fatalities, and substantially disrupt our economic and social stability,” the report points out. “It is DHS’s responsibility to ensure it is adequately prepared to continue critical operations in the event of a pandemic.”
We already saw the firsthand consequences of that type of crisis during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak — popularly called “swine flu” — which killed more than 12,000 people. Experts anticipate similar health disasters in the future. For years, the public health community has been worried about an impending global flu pandemic, which is expected to be even more deadly than previous outbreaks of respiratory illnesses like SARS. [And now they have it, Enterovirus D68.–Mr Larry.]
Previous reports have found similar gaps in the country’s readiness to address potential public health disasters. An annual review from the Trust for America’s Health on whether we’re prepared to protect Americans from “diseases, disasters, and bioterrorism” has consistently found that too many states are cutting their public health budgets. States are also falling behind on initiatives to prepare for the impending health consequences of climate change. And a 2012 study found that, despite the 2009 swine flu outbreak, most U.S. schools haven’t improved their ability to respond to infectious diseases.
Congress has recently attempted to take some steps forward in this area. Last March, lawmakers approved and President Obama signed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act, or PAHPRA, which authorizes more funding for medical preparedness programs. PAHPRA is an update to the original 2006 legislation that first designated the $47 million in funding to the Department of Homeland Security.
In response the release of this week’s audit, a spokesperson for DHS said that the department was previously aware of the issues and has already begun taking steps to address them.
B. SHTF Medical: Basic Pandemic Preps
21 July 2014, The Rebel Prepper Network, by Rebel
Pasted from: http://www.therebelpreppernetwork.com/pandemic-preps1/
With the recent rise in global epidemics, including the flesh eating Ebola virus spreading from Africa to Italy, I was not surprised to receive messages asking if I could cover the subject of preparations to prevent exposure to a pandemic level threat. With the US/Mexican border crisis bringing thousands of disease carrying children in to the country and their relocation being kept from the general population the next Spanish flu may be closer than you think. In the last week (article written 7/21/14) there have been four confirmed cases of pneumonic plague in Colorado, this stands as a reminder that not all enemies are on two legs.
The fact is that viruses and bacteria have it out for us. Nature has developed many forms of transmission to spread disease; insects, birds, mammals, surface exposure, person to person, water borne, and the most frightening of all transmission, air borne. The mission is to multiply and when humans become the carriers then we become the battle field and the enemies secret weapon. Coughing, sneezing, mucus secretions, blood contact all aid in transfer of the illness.
If you are looking to survive a pandemic then your best bet for survival will be preventing yourself from becoming infected. This will mean a drastic change in your daily life once it is announced that the given illness (we will be using a flu for this article) has reached the epidemic level. Advanced preparation will save you from further risking exposure when the initial word goes out about what steps should be taken to help reduce chances contracting the illness.
The irony is that the CDC would put out a message to the general population to stay indoors, cover windows, avoid large groups of people and in response the vast majority of the general public would rush out to the stores for supplies exposing themselves to the conditions they should be avoiding.
Knowing that people will be the enemy in most pandemic situations you will stock up well before the CDC makes its panic inducing announcement.
1) First you need to stock up on duct tape and 3mm plastic sheeting for doors and windows. I recommend spending the extra money on gorilla brand tape and choosing clear sheeting rather than the “fogged” type or black, you will want to be able to see through your windows. Creating a barrier is your first line of defense. I recommend covering the interior and exterior of your windows, this will create a makeshift air seal. You should also have enough to quarantine members of your family showing symptoms for observation.
2) Latex or polypropylene gloves are another excellent item to stock up on, but touching your face will make your efforts pointless so it should be at all costs. If the illness is air born then there is a higher risk of transmission person to person via touch which is more likely.
3) Purchasing a quality gas mask, disposable 3M dust masks, or even a bandana coated in vapor rub will help filter the air if you have to leave the safety of your home. Make sure to change filters, dispose of used dust masks and sterilize bandanas after use.
4) Next you will want some way of sanitizing yourself and your home. Rubbing alcohol between 70% – 90% (hand sanitizer could also be used) and soap will help clean/disinfect you after venturing out of your home.
5) In a bad situation stripping down, sealing your clothing in a trash bag and showering in an outdoor shower before reentering the house will be an additional step for the cautious. Washing clothing in hot water should prevent the spread of infection. Keeping your home clean will be a daily chore, bleach and room temperature water should be used to wipe down all smooth surfaces in the home including counters, floors, door knobs, toilets and refrigerators.
6) Having basic medications is always a good idea. Things like cough drops, anti-inflammatory, fever reducers and the like may help you hang on a bit longer, especially if hospitals become over crowded. However in a true epidemic a vaccine will need to be produced or nature will just have to run its course. Remember that if you are stocking antibiotics they are useless against flu viruses, so do not waste them if you have them.
7) Bolster your food and water stocks, will keep you from having to leave your home unnecessarily. It can take quite some time for scientists to come up with a cure and at a minimum flu season is three months long. Knowing this I recommend having at least three months of food stored, not including what is in your pantry or fridge, if you are prepping for pandemic. You should also have a 3 month supply of multivitamins as well as an additional stock of vitamin C, D, E and calcium. When it comes to water I believe that four months would be the smart course of action using the two gallons per person per day, so 240 gallons. Why so much water? Staying hydrated while ill is imperative to healing as well as regulating body temperature. If you cannot store that much water then you will need to make sure you have a way to obtain, filter and purify large amounts on a regular basis.
Some diseases like plague are spread by blood sucking insects fleas, ticks and mosquitoes rather than contact with humans. In a dire situation you may be forced to choose between your families safety or your pets life. I am sure this will cause outrage to some people, but in all honesty there should be no second thought when it comes to your families well being.
Be warned that once you have made your preparations, especially those to your home, you have marked yourself to the outside world as target of possible resources. As always there will be those who did not take heed to the warning and will want to take what you have, putting you and your loved ones at risk. All the defensive safeguards in the world will not save you if someone infected busts your door down and comes in to contact with your family. You must be ready to stop all threats. Make sure you are justified in all life or death situations. Security cameras or even cell phone video could aid in you defense if you must take a life. Remember that after a WROL situation laws will return and you may be held accountable for any lives you take.
The information above is just a basic overview, if you would like more specific info let me know and I will do my best to get the information out. These points should go hand in hand with your everyday preps As always being prepared for the worst will not guarantee your survival, but anything you can do to increase your odds will not hurt. Having ways to pass the time will help from going stir crazy; playing cards, board games, art supplies are all useful tools that do not rely on electricity. As a Christian I believe that this rise in illness is just the beginning of the horsemen “Pestilence’s” run and more sickness is on its way. Having faith in something will help you deal with loss, regardless of your religious views I guarantee that in your darkest moment you will talk to something in the darkness about finding the light.
C. Why An Epic Food Crisis Will Follow A Pandemic
August 25, 2014, modernsurvivalblog.com, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/pandemic/why-an-epic-food-crisis-will-follow-a-pandemic/
While the pandemic assaults the population, stores will shut down and a devastating food crisis will rapidly develop – starving millions – even those who have escaped the deadly grasp of the virus itself.
While the current Ebola virus rages in Africa, and although the mainstream media is keeping it mostly quiet, the problems there are mounting in ways which we should take notice – because one day, a pandemic will happen here…
As fear grips the population, many will stop doing their jobs as they begin to realize that their lives will literally be in grave risk while in proximity to others.
Given our ‘just in time’ (JIT) delivery systems – especially our food chains – grocery stores will rapidly deplete their food supplies (days, not weeks).
When the truckers stop delivering, when people stop showing up for work, it’s over. It will happen faster than you think.
Excerpts from a recent news report exemplifies what will happen – and what is happening right now in Africa as a result of the Ebola virus:
The first food source that disappeared from markets was “bush meat,” meat from forest animals. Other foods have become scarce as a side effect of efforts to keep the virus from spreading. Governments stopped people from moving from country to country, or even from one town to another, it stopped traders from delivering food to the markets. Imports are down. Ships are reluctant to dock in places affected by the epidemic. The Ebola came in at a time when farmers were ready to go to the field to work together, in groups, but people now have been advised to avoid such activities. Coming together in groups could spread the disease. So essential work is not happening. —--NPR.org, A Food Crisis Follows Africa’s Ebola Crisis
When you consider the follow-on effects of a deadly pandemic such as mandatory shut-down’s, the breakdown of ‘just in time’ delivery systems, people not showing up for work, coupled with the death toll itself, there will no doubt be a food crisis during and after a Pandemic.
You can prepare for a pandemic. You will need food storage.
For prepper’s, I’m ‘speaking to the choir’, but for any of you who might happen across this article who have not yet established at least a 3-month food storage, please consider it for your own life’s sake.
Set food storage goals. 3 weeks. 3 months. 6 months. 1 year. etc.
A deadly pandemic WILL happen here: 1) Given the 7 billion people on the planet, 2) given our modern world of global travel, 3) given the increase of drug-resistant strains, 4) given the tampering with biological weaponry, 5) given the reportedly careless activities at some of the world’s most dangerous biological labs, something is bound to happen one day.
The flu pandemic of 1918 infected half a billion people (that was way back then!) – before the days of world travel, etc. Don’t let your normalcy bias cloud your thinking…
(Survival Manual/ Prepper Articles/ Pandemic preps: don’t count on government agencies for protection or help)