Pandemic Quarantine Preparedness

pandemic-rescue2smlSwine Flu is gonna kill us all! Swine flu is going away! Swine Flu is man-made! Swine Flu is a natural mutation! Oh, we offended the pigs. It’s H1N1! Does anyone know what’s actually going on??? Does it matter? Whatever the truth is about this H1N1 (formerly known as Swine Flu) virus there is ONE THING we can each know for sure. Has the last week caused you to think very seriously about your Pandemic Preparedness? Have you reviewed and identified holes in your preps? Have you done something about it? Are you Ready for Anything?

Hopefully everyone has taken this opportunity to do just that – consider the possible worst situation, review your preps and fill holes.  Whatever the truth of the situation is, we can all know for ourselves if we were ready and, if you weren’t, if you are ready now!  Have you taken the time in the last week to consider just what Pandemic Preparedness means for you?  We’ve presented a couple scenarios here on the site and offered some ideas for Pandemic Preps.  Hopefully they’ve been helpful.  Now I would like to explore deeper down the Preparedness Rabbit Hole with you – and wander the quarantine branches of Pandemic Preparedness.

What EXACTLY is the point of Pandemic Preparedness?  What are we trying to protect ourselves from?  The simplest answer I can come up with is: We’re trying to NOT get ourselves or our family sick.  For each one of us this will mean something very different.  Our family make-up, our home, the location of our home, our work, kids in school, church responsibilities, etc.  I want to explain a bit about my status of all these things to put my prep ideas/plans in context.

Many of you know I have a 3 year old with Leukemia.  This means her immune system is compromised.  In her life we are actually already into a semi-quarantine; we practice social distancing, we are sensitive to germs, cleanliness, and sanitation.  She is comfortable and used to wearing an N95 mask, we are always wary when someone around us is sick, we rarely take her in very public places, we wipe down (sanitize) shopping carts before we put her in them.  Because of her situation, I have two primary goals in my Pandemic Preps.  1) Keep her from getting infected  and 2)Keep any family members from infecting her.  Here is the rest of my personal environment.  I live in a 2 story house, the basement is designed as a separate apartment; there is a kitchen, laundry room and 3 bedrooms down there, with a separate outside entrance.  I live in the country on 50 acres and there are very few people around us.  I have 8 children, 7 of whom live at home.

So, your plan will need to be tailored to your situation, but now you can understand mine and hopefully this post will give you some ideas for your quarantine plans.  The scenario I’m working with here is one of my kids (not Serenity, my Cancer Chic) getting sick or showing symptoms of being sick.  Isolation of the sick person from Serenity (and the rest of the kids so it doesn’t spread) is the objective here.

Quarantine Plan

The entire basement will immediately become the sick ward.  The air vents, doorways and the upstairs entrance to the basement  will be sealed off with 6 mil plastic to deter air flow.  The window to the sick room will be open to allow fresh air circulation.  I plan to get a UV Air filtration system to use in the basement as well.  The sick person will be confined to a bedroom while in the house and will be allowed to play outside in a designated area that the other children will not be allowed to go to.  The bathroom will become a decon room to dress and undress for entry into the sick rooms.  The basement laundry room will be the only place the sick person and caretakers laundry will be done.  All dishes used by the sick person will be washed in the sink downstairs.  The sick person will be required to wear an N95 mask anytime someone is in the room with them, anyone going into the room will need full protective gear on (more on that in a minute).  The sick rooms will be sanitized twice a day including changing and washing all linens on the bed.  All paper trash (kleenexes, etc) that is able will be burned in our fire pit daily.  All other trash will be collected into a garbage bags and disposed of twice daily.  To make this quarantine plan work requires several specific preps.

Sanitation Preparedness

In another post I discussed a couple methods of making your own sanitizer.  I also have a lot of cleaning supplies stored up as part of my regular preps.  You can see many of them in this picture.

pandemic-cleaners

When thinking about cleaning preps, be sure to consider that you’ll likely be cleaning several areas at least a couple times a day.  You should have enough cleaner stored to handle doing this for at least a couple weeks to a couple months.  Think about needing to sanitize all of the following more than once a day: floors, walls, linens, dishes, clothes, toys, toothbrushes, bodies, etc.

Pandemic Preparedness Gear

I previously posted about my personal and vehicle Pandemic Go-Kits and discussed the preps I’ve taken there.  This next kit is another Go-Kit but is meant for being able to take care of someone sick whether you’re at home or bugged out somewhere else.  Here is my Pandemic 72 hour kit:

pandemic-bag

From left to right, front to back, here are the contents:

  • Front Row
    • Replacement razor blades
    • Sanitizer spray
    • Razor blade knife
    • Battery powered shaver
    • Flashlight
    • P95 replacement cartridges
  • 2nd Row
    • Pack of 10 N95 masks with exhale valves
    • Industrial gloves
    • Shoe covers
    • Tyvex chemical suit with hood (2)
  • Back Row
    • 3rd Tyvex Suit
    • Face Shield
    • P95 Respirator
    • Goggles
    • Lysol Disinfectant Wipes
    • Alcohol Wipes

The knife and flashlight are tools that can be left in the contaminated area and used easily with bulky gear on.  The shaver is to remove facial hair if needed so that masks can achieve a good face seal, it is specifically battery powered instead of electric/rechargeable in case power is not readily available.  N95 masks are for the patient disinfectant wipes and spray are for the reusable mask and other gear and for wiping up in the sick room.

Here’s what this very unflattering gear looks like on:

pandemic-suit

This gear setup isn’t perfect – or final for that matter – and much of it was bought this last week.  Yes, I was surprised to find that I was not properly prepared for a Pandemic but have made sure this week that I have the minimum of what I needed.

I plan to find and purchase several washable bio suits – I’m looking for ones with booties and a hood built into them.  This is very close to what I’m looking for.  Currently, the filters I have for my respirator are 95% (like N95) filters – meaning they miss 5%.  I’m planning on getting N100 filters to replace them.  I’ll be doing that in the next week or two.  The critical part for me is that I have the minimum preps required to implement my plan.

More Mask Information

I also want to pass on some further information I found this week.  By now we’ve all heard of N95 masks, what you may not have heard of yet are P95 and R95 masks.  With mask supplies acting like ammunition lately N95 masks have become rather scarce.  However, most hardware stores still have decent supplies in their painting and tool safety sections.  What you’ll find there though are N95, P95 and R95 masks.  When I first saw this I wasn’t sure what the other two were or if they would work for me.  What I found out about NIOSH ratings is this: N = Not resistant to oil, R = Resistant to oil, P = oil Proof.  The 95, 99 and 100 rating are the filtration levels.  The prefixed letter is the oil filtration rating.  What this means is that any Nx, Px, Rx rated mask will work for you as a pandemic filtration mask.  95% filters are good enough to get you home, but for in home care I want a 100% filter.  Here’s a pdf that explains all this.

Hopefully this post will give you some good ideas for considering your own pandemic quarantine preps.  Remember, the main thing to gain from the swine flu outbreak to this point is a good understanding of how well prepped you are for a Pandemic! Don’t miss Angela’s excellent post on avoiding Cabin Fever during quarantine!

Have you gained a new perspective on pandemic preps from the current outbreak?  Have you considered quarantine preparedness?

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  • http://www.birdflu-manual.com/ Nigel Thomas

    We really need to put this pandemic into perspective. At time of writing, there have been 26 confirmed deaths out of 1140 confirmed cases. That’s about a 2.2% mortality rate, or one death for every 40 or so infections. Not many countries have exceeded this number of infections yet.

    This is in fact down from 2.5% thanks to (more recently implemented) early detection and anti-virals being administered, which seem to have stopped the deaths from occuring and made the sickness ‘milder’. It cannot stop the spread though, with a further 10% being added daily. The 1918 pandemic killed about 2.75%, and they had no antivirals.

    When will governments start reserving their antivirals for only health care and emergency workers?

    Nigel Thomas.
    Bird Flu Manual Online.
    2009 H1N1 Flu preparedness for businesses.

  • http://www.birdflu-manual.com Nigel Thomas

    We really need to put this pandemic into perspective. At time of writing, there have been 26 confirmed deaths out of 1140 confirmed cases. That’s about a 2.2% mortality rate, or one death for every 40 or so infections. Not many countries have exceeded this number of infections yet.

    This is in fact down from 2.5% thanks to (more recently implemented) early detection and anti-virals being administered, which seem to have stopped the deaths from occuring and made the sickness ‘milder’. It cannot stop the spread though, with a further 10% being added daily. The 1918 pandemic killed about 2.75%, and they had no antivirals.

    When will governments start reserving their antivirals for only health care and emergency workers?

    Nigel Thomas.
    Bird Flu Manual Online.
    2009 H1N1 Flu preparedness for businesses.

  • http://preparednesspro.wordpress.com/ Preparedness Pro

    This is very thorough preparation that you have gone through for your family. In response to Nigel, the 1918 pandemic was initially very mild when it first hit in the spring, but by the fall it came back with a vengeance, killing millions. Since we don’t know what the future brings, being prepared is the least we can do. http://tinyurl.com/ck8856

  • http://preparednesspro.wordpress.com Preparedness Pro

    This is very thorough preparation that you have gone through for your family. In response to Nigel, the 1918 pandemic was initially very mild when it first hit in the spring, but by the fall it came back with a vengeance, killing millions. Since we don’t know what the future brings, being prepared is the least we can do. http://tinyurl.com/ck8856

  • http://purifiedairtobreathe.com/ Jack

    You have some valid concerns. It is crucial to have as much protection as you can and also be able to still feel like we are not in a prison. I am using a UV air purifier in my home and my families over all health has been much better. I also have a basement that has ben remodeled into a family room and large bedroom so I have an air purifier down there also. We have a cat and they really help with those cat issues.

  • http://purifiedairtobreathe.com Jack

    You have some valid concerns. It is crucial to have as much protection as you can and also be able to still feel like we are not in a prison. I am using a UV air purifier in my home and my families over all health has been much better. I also have a basement that has ben remodeled into a family room and large bedroom so I have an air purifier down there also. We have a cat and they really help with those cat issues.

  • Chris

    You say N95 masks are for the patient, I was under the impression that the exhale valve in N95 masks doesn’t filter as well as the mask itself(if at all.) Am I wrong?

    (Sorry, I’m new to this.)

  • Chris

    You say N95 masks are for the patient, I was under the impression that the exhale valve in N95 masks doesn’t filter as well as the mask itself(if at all.) Am I wrong?

    (Sorry, I’m new to this.)

  • Tony R.

    “When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.” — Robert A. Heinlein

    Hey, we’re talking about influenza H1N1 here, not the Andromeda Strain. By all reports we’ve heard so far, it’s producing mild to moderate symptoms compared to other flu viruses in the last 40-50 years. Wash hands with soap and water when returning from a shopping trip and remove outerwear in the laundry area if you think it might be contaminated. Some disposable surgical masks and few bottles of hand sanitizer should suffice. Influenza is spread mostly by airborne droplet infection, when a sick individual sneezes or coughs, much less by contact with surfaces.

    There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005, resulting in 42,636 fatalities. About 116 people died EVERY DAY in vehicle crashes in the United States — one death every 13 minutes.

    Compare that to the 353 people who have died of influenza in the United States from January 1 to July 31, 2009, according to CDC numbers. (Most of these were people with compromised immunity, including the elderly, infants, and women who were pregnant or had given birth shortly before getting sick. Of the pregnant women, they are dying mostly from pneumonia, caused by reduced lung capacity.)

    More people die on America’s highways in three days than have died in seven months from the flu, yet no one in the press is screaming and shouting about a vehicle carnage “pandemic”.

    It’s good to be prepared, but, stop a minute and think about it. Tyvek® hazmat suits? Full-face respirators? You’re likely to scare your kid to death with the Moon Suit!

  • Andrew P.

    “When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.” — Robert A. Heinlein

    Hey, we’re talking about influenza H1N1 here, not the Andromeda Strain. By all reports we’ve heard so far, it’s producing mild to moderate symptoms compared to other flu viruses in the last 40-50 years. Wash hands with soap and water when returning from a shopping trip and remove outerwear in the laundry area if you think it might be contaminated. Some disposable surgical masks and few bottles of hand sanitizer should suffice. Influenza is spread mostly by airborne droplet infection, when a sick individual sneezes or coughs, much less by contact with surfaces.

    There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005, resulting in 42,636 fatalities. About 116 people died EVERY DAY in vehicle crashes in the United States — one death every 13 minutes.

    Compare that to the 353 people who have died of influenza in the United States from January 1 to July 31, 2009, according to CDC numbers. (Most of these were people with compromised immunity, including the elderly, infants, and women who were pregnant or had given birth shortly before getting sick. Of the pregnant women, they are dying mostly from pneumonia, caused by reduced lung capacity.)

    More people die on America’s highways in three days than have died in seven months from the flu, yet no one in the press is screaming and shouting about a vehicle carnage “pandemic”.

    It’s good to be prepared, but, stop a minute and think about it. Tyvek® hazmat suits? Full-face respirators? You’re likely to scare your kid to death with the Moon Suit!

  • http://www.toothbrushsanitizerreviews.com/ Toothbrush Sanitizer

    Swine flu is very dangerous. Always wash your hand before eating.

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