Friday, April 8, 2011

Pandemics & New York City

     I came across this article recently as I was reading one of the many news sites I sift through daily.  Though I am typically not a fan of Yahoo! News, I make it a point to take in as many differing points of view as I can.  That way I can attempt to not be swayed by one side or the other, finding my own version of the truth.

     To me, this type of article does not scare me as it might some people.  Rather it serves as a quick reminder to re-check my emergency preps that deal with pandemics.  The recent nuclear disaster in Japan has proven that 90% of the population of this country prefers to wait until the last possible moment to deal with a disaster.  The whole mass iodine (KIO), and powdered milk sell off (at ridiculous prices) was a great example of that.  The funny part about the iodine is that most of the people that bought iodine pills don't know why you would need them, or even when the proper time to take the pills is.  

     I will tell you now that waiting for a plausible disaster to happen, and then preparing for it is a very bad idea.  For example; if you live in an area prone to earthquakes, make proper preparations!  It is truthfully the crux of why people like myself are preppers.  We like to use reason, and take control of our lives by not having to rely on others.  By waiting till it's too late, you will be susceptible to outlandish prices, and a complete and total lack of said supply.  You also allow yourself to be taking advantage of by others because of your desperation.  Desperation in any form is not good, and is one of the most detrimental states of being.

     Preparing ahead of time can be easy, and relatively cheap.  Most supplies, especially those supplies that don't have much demand right now can be just a few dollars, and extremely easy to acquire.  The trick is to know what would be important to the masses during a disaster.  Next is to figure out what types of disasters are most pertinent in your area.  Here in New York, there are unfortunately numerous possible scenarios that we have to contend with.  Putting your preps in order of most realistic (i.e. loss of utilities due to a strong storm.)  To possible, but less plausible (i.e. meteor strike).  One of the fundamental things to keep in mind is that certain preps would be important to everyone during any disasters.  Things like; potable water, food, and sanitation are constants, and should be your first priorities.

     A pandemic would have a dramatic effect on a major city like ours.  Worldwide, or even a regional pandemic can make its way into NYC fairly easily due to the amount of travelers we get on a daily bases.  It would shut down everything, and would almost certainly cause a mandatory quarantine.  These quarantines can last upwards of three months, or more.  Most people would assume they could bug-out, even those people who don't know what the term "bugging-out" means.  Bugging out is not very realistic, as the island would most likely be "locked down" fairly quickly leaving us to fend for ourselves.  Even if you had the foresight to bug-out before a quarantine, there are no guarantees that the pandemic won't find you.  Your best bet would be to hunker down in place with your supplies, and 'ride it out'.

     So what supplies would be important to prepare you for a pandemic, other then the obvious, and hopefully already in place fundamental supplies of long- to medium-term water procurement, and food?  Here is a list of a few of the most important items you should have as a part of your preps.  They are easily found on Amazon, or at your local Duane Reade/pharmacy as of right now:

  • N95 Mask - There are a few options of size, and grade when buying these.  It's up to you what you decide.  You don't have to break the bank in my opinion.  You also don't need to buy hundreds of them, as you hopefully will be able to bug-in for the required amount of time, limiting your contact with the outside world.  There is also no guarantees that these would work, due to no way of knowing what way the virus could be contracted.  History has proven though that the most devastating virus's are typically those that are able to be transmitted through the air (i.e. coughing, sneezing.)  Make sure to buy smaller sizes if you have children.
  • Rubber Gloves - Pretty self explanatory.  You would need these if you were to touch any contaminated liquid, or materials.  Also important if you have to deal with dead bodies, which is an unfortunate reality.

  • Bleach - Love it or hate it, bleach is still one of the most effective ways to kill bacteria, and viruses on surfaces.  You can put it in a spray bottle and cut it with water to sanitize all the surfaces of your apartment.  Also good for sanitizing anything you bring into your humble abode that you get from the outside world.      
  • Plastic Sheet or Contractor Bags - These would come in handy if you had to quarantine a person in your house or apartment.  It could also be used to wrap up dead bodies if someone passes due to the conditions.  You should also have a few rolls of duct tape in the apartment to seal the bags.  Duct tape has a million uses, and you should always have a good quality duct tape in your apartment.
     Another thing to remember is that if you have to quarantine in your house or apartment, you will need a way to defend you, and your family.  Most New Yorker's will not be anywhere near prepared for something this devastating.  If you are in your apartment making great smelling food, and it's lit up like Christmas, you're probably not going to make it.  Doing things like eating food cold, and keeping a low profile will be of the utmost importance.

     Spike TV has a great show on how to deal with pandemics linked here.  I definitely suggest watching it with your loved ones.

     Pandemics are a realistic threat that humanity has faced in the past, and will almost certainly face again.  When it comes to pandemics, it is not a matter of if, but when...


No comments: