Bird Flu
        and You

                                                   Tips To Help Survive The Impeding Flu Pandemic

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Tips To Help Survive The Impeding Flu Pandemic

Julie Butler

If you liked what you've read so far, you'll love the rest. Now you too can access the resources created by top experts. Flu pandemics occur with predictable regularity, generally about three per century. The last major one was in 1918 when approximately 50 million people died. There were two more of less serious magnitude in 1957 and 1968.

Today there is a new, extremely virulent strain of virus ermerging in Southeast Asia which is already responsible for killing dozens of people. So far those infected have contracted the illness directly from birds but health officials are concerned that if and when the virus mutates so that it can be passed from human to human it will lead to a worldwide pandemic far more severe than that of 1918.

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst...

Addressing the Pan American Health Organizations (PAHO) 46th Directing Council meeting in Washington on September 27, 2005, WHO (World Health Organization) Director-General, Lee Jong-wook stated that there will be another influenza pandemic and failure to prepare for it appropriately will have catastrophic consequences".

There is a storm brewing that will test us all. We must anticipate it and prepare to the very best of our combined ability, he said.

Perhaps it won't happen. Perhaps it will all fizzle out and die away.

Let's hope so.

But are you prepared to take that chance with the well-being of your loved ones at stake? As parents, do we even have the right to take that chance?

What You Can Do to Prepare Now

Fortunately there are a number of steps that every one of us can take to minimize the risks to ourselves and our families.

And let's not kid ourselves...we won't be able to count on the government for help. Hurricane Katrina taught us that.

Keep Informed. If and when the virus mutates so that it is being spread from human to human, it is likely to start in Southeast Asia. Pay attention to the news. When you hear that this has taken place, it's time to act. We might have two or three months before the pandemic reaches North America, but with international travel so fast and easy it could be much sooner.

Do not travel to areas where you know the flu virus is found. The Center for Disease Control has a website that will give you this information. It's at

Prepare your Children for Homeschooling. Most outbreaks get their start at schools. You can be certain that the schools will be closed. And even if they're not, you should give very serious thought to keeping your children at home.

Minimize Contact with Others. The virus can be transmitted for two days before a person is showing any symptoms and for a week after symptoms have disappeared. You never know who isn't and who might be infected.

Wash Your Hands. Did you know that sneeze particles can travel across a room at 600 miles per hour? If the person sneezing has the flu, everything in that room is covered with flu virus. And when you touch anything, the virus is transmitted to your hand. Eventually it will be transmitted to your mouth. Your only protection is to wash your hands, well and often. Each washing should involve vigorous scrubbing with soap for at least 20 seconds.

Stock up on Food and Water. Most supermakets only have enough food for about a week. It's critical that you stock up on enough food to last you for the duration which could be 3-4 months.

Update your Will. Hopefully this won't be necessary but not all of us are going to survive.

Get a Flu Vaccination. There is no vaccination yet for this particular strain of flu but a vaccination will give you protection from contracting any other flu which could weaken your system, making you more prone to fall victim to the dealier avian strain.

Buy Enough Anti-Viral Medication for Every Member of you Family. Currently the only drug that can help mitigate the effects of the avian flu virus is oseltamivir, otherwise known as Tamiflu. The world supply is very low, and not nearly adequate to provide sufficient protection for everyone, so you should stock up on this drug immediately. You can buy it online, but do your shopping because the price varies considerably. And once a pandemic strikes, it will be impossible to get at any price.

Life Insurance. Make sure your life insurance is adequate, and check the fine print. Some policies have clauses that don't cover you in the event of a pandemic.

Stock up on face masks. You will need to wear these when you absolutely have to come into close contact with others. It's likely that any public businesses or government offices that remain open will make it mandatory that you wear a mask before entering. Make sure that your mask has a rating of N100. The more common N95 masks will not give you enough protection.

Prepare a quarantine room. If anyone in your family becomes stricken, he/she should be immediately moved to a location that is isolated from the rest of the house. This room should be as far away as possible and should be stocked with food and water, medical supplies, sanitation facilities, communication, cleaning tools, entertainment (books, radio, TV, etc.)

Communication. There's a good chance that TV and radio stations will no longer be able to broadcast if there is a power failure in your area. A good quality battery operated radio, capable of receiving short wave stations will enable you to stay informed of developments in the outside world.

Power. There could be an extended interruption to your electric power. You should consider alternative lighting and heating methods. Battery, propane, kerosine, and gasoline generators are possible options.

Protection. New Orleans showed us how quickly civilization breaks down under catastrophic conditions. And that was mild in comparison to what we could be facing in a pandemic. The bottom line is this: most people won't take the necessary steps to prepare for disaster. And once it hits, they will be panic stricken. And they will do anything to try to save themselves. Which includes trying to take whatever you have that they might want.

You will need to have some means toprotect your family. If you own firearms, makesure you are stocked up with ammunition. Remember, you won't be able to call a patrolman if you find an intruder on your property.

Find a Place in the Country. If you live in the city, you will be surrounded by anarchy. Catastrophes such as this always lead to civil disorder. If you can escape the city you will be much safer. If you don't have one, consider purchasing a trailer. If you can't afford it, consider a tent.

"Up to one billion people could die around the whole world in six months.... We are half a step away from a worldwide pandemic catastrophe." Dmitry K. Lvov, Director, D.I. Ivanovsky Institute of Virology, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences.

Whether or not it will happen this year, and whether or not it will be as catastrophic as many virologists are predicting, one thing is clear: There WILL be a pandemic of unimaginable proportions some time soon.

We can either bury our heads in the sand and hope it won't happen, or we can begin taking immediate steps to ensure that in a worst case scenario, we've given ourselves and our loved ones the best possible chance for survival.

About the Author: A mother of 4, living in central British Columbia, Julie Butler became curious about Avian Flu on a recent trip to California, where residents are required to report dead birds to authorities. Her website, provides updated information and timely tips.

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