A pandemic is what happens when a disease rapidly spreads and takes over entire cities and states – and is even a danger worldwide. These diseases are spread more easily in places where infectious disease control is not heavily practiced.
In order to protect your family, you’re going to want to know what you have to do to stay protected against this type of threat. Of course you want to prepare ahead of time, but when the health crisis hits, you have to go into self defense mode.
Keeping Loved Ones Safe with Protective Gear
With the majority of diseases, there is a delay between when they became infected and when their symptoms show up. This is known as the incubation period. By the time someone begins seriously ill from a pandemic, you know they were exposed days or weeks ago.
When someone is showing symptoms, it’s already too late to protect yourself and your family from the possibility of also becoming ill.
According to current estimates, it takes two to 14 days for COVID-19 symptoms to appear. In the Ebola outbreak, it took as long as three weeks for some of the victims to show symptoms. The bird flu incubation period is between two days and a week and a half. Whatever current, regular flu is going around can take between one and four days before the infected person shows symptoms.
The minute you know there’s a pandemic making rounds, you need to take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones by putting your preparation elements into effect.
You can start by avoiding public places.
Crowds can spread a pandemic as fast as wildfire runs through dry underbrush. Stay away from grocery stores and other public places where people congregate in large groups.
If you absolutely have to go out, wear protective gear and make no apologies for it, even if others aren’t yet donning the same gear. You’ll also want to avoid pharmacies, urgent care centers, and hospitals since people who are sick aren’t always diagnosed right away, so they’re spreading their contagion to others.
All it takes is for one infected person to rub his nose, then touch a door handle – and the disease spreads. Each person who comes along after him and touches the same object has now been exposed and each thing and each person they touch is then exposed.
If you know that a loved one has been exposed, you need to quarantine that person in a separate area of your house and not allow anyone into that room. Or you can quarantine them in a separate building. Only one person should care for them to minimize the risk of exposure to others.
Don’t use air travel, go anywhere by train or by bus. During a pandemic, it’s best to avoid all forms of public transportation.
Remember that during a pandemic, you don’t want to go out shopping for the things you need. It’s important to already have these supplies on hand.
You’ll need to have a large supply of gloves ready to care for the sick. You also need top of the line N95 masks. Wear these whenever you’re around someone who was exposed to a pandemic threat – even if they’re not yet showing symptoms.
If you absolutely have to go out in public, wear a mask then as well. You can also buy protective suits that cover you from head to toe. Look for the ones that have drawstring arm and leg holes.
After you pull these tight, use duct tape around your wrists and ankles. Use disposable foot booties whenever you’re in an infected area. It’s time consuming to always make sure you wear protective gear, but you can spare yourself the illness and possibly even death by taking these precautions.
First Line of Defense: Creating a Quarantine Room in Your Home
It can be hard to put someone you care about in quarantine, but it’s for your safety as well as theirs. One sick family member can quickly spread the pandemic and infect everyone who lives in your home as well as any visitors who stop by.
The second that you know someone is ill, you’ll need to decontaminate them. This means taking the clothes they were wearing and burning them. You’ll need an unused room that doesn’t have a vent directly underneath wherever the infected person is going to sleep or lie down.
Coughing or sneezing into the vent can spread the pandemic to the rest of the home. Disinfect the room and any items in the room both before and after the sick person uses it.
This room will need to be completely sealed off. If you have a garage or basement, you can create a quarantine room there. Having a camper that you can park several feet from your home can also work as a quarantine place.
Because airborne viruses are dangerous, you’ll want to use plastic to shroud the room both inside and out. Use plastic on the floor as well. Duct tape or seal every single crack that you can find.
Use plastic on the bedding and for all utensils, dishes or cups the infected person uses. Keep a large plastic garbage can handy to toss everything the infected person comes in contact with.
Biohazard fluid kits are something you’ll want to have on hand. Never enter the room without wearing a face mask. You should have these in bulk supplies already. You’ll also need goggles because infectious material that splashes up and hits your eyes can cause you to become sick.
You’ll need to decontaminate yourself before entering the room to keep from making the infected person sicker with a secondary illness. Decontaminating yourself after you leave the room is also something you’ll have to do.
You’ll need to strip off all the protective gear and burn it. Don’t leave things sitting around in trash bags. Viruses and germs can live on the surfaces of many items for days.
The infected person must remain in isolation until it’s proven that they’re no longer contagious so that they aren’t a risk to you or anyone else. After the person is no longer infected, burn everything that came in contact with the contagious patient.