30 Items You Need To Survive A Pandemic

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I have 30 items you need to survive a pandemic today. This is just a small list to get you started. I wrote a post about this several years ago and I’m updating that article. My book: Prepare Your Family For Survival

Flu season is right around the corner or it’s hit your community already, and who knows what else may pop up in our community to make us sick this year or next. Please refer to the CDC for accurate information on COVID-19 or any viruses/illnesses.

Below is a list of 30 pandemic essentials to start with that I feel we need in our emergency buckets, boxes or containers. Here’s the deal we all keep hearing about the different strains of Influenza Stats or MRSA.

Pandemic Flu Outbreak

Let me explain what I call a Pandemic Flu Outbreak. A Pandemic Flu is a virulent human flu that will cause a global outbreak or pandemic of a very serious illness.

Right now there is currently no pandemic flu but because our bodies might have very little immunity to a HUGE outbreak the disease can spread easily from person to person.

In other words, a pandemic is a global disease. It’s when influenza emerges and begins to cause serious illness. It passes from person to person and then spreads worldwide.

In the last century, three Influenza Pandemics occurred, 1918-19, 1957-58 and 1968-69. Many scientists believe it is a matter of time before another influenza pandemic occurs.

This is why I feel so strongly about having a Pandemic Essentials bucket. I know we all have first aid kits. When was the last time we looked to see if we have current items in our cabinets?

Are we missing some badly needed Motrin or Tylenol for us as adults and our kids? What are the dates on the medicine containers?

How many alternative home remedies are we prepared to make or use? These 30 pandemic essentials are the bare minimum needed. Please note I am not a doctor, nurse or anyone in the medical field.

I just want to be prepared if the stores are closed or I don’t want to go out in public if a major outbreak occurs.

Survive A PandemicSurvive a Pandemic

1. Face Masks

(N-95’s) to help stop the dust from an earthquake or infections spreading from sneezing (I store 100’s of these).

2. Diapers (cloth)

They can be used for many things. Cleaning, babies, stop the bleeding from cuts, wash or dry dishes…add a scarf for your head as well. These are the diapers I recommend: Gerber 10-Pack Cloth Diaper.

3. OTC Medications

Cough medicine, fever medications, ****prescriptions as required (stock up on 90 day supply if possible) see below by PrepNow, Hydrogen Peroxide and rubbing alcohol, Vicks VapoRub Vicks VapoRub

Don’t forget eye solutions or pain remedies for your teeth. Here is my post on 35 OTC Medications You Should Store

4. Portable Radio

Hopefully you have a crank one or some way to power it to hear what is going on locally if you lose power.

5. Flashlights or Lanterns

With extra batteries, or a solar flashlight is even better with a crank as well. My favorite is the Goal Zero flashlight: Goal Zero Torch Flashlight or this one: Goal Zero Solar Lantern

6. Manual Can Opener

This is a must-have for every kit. You might need to open other’s food storage cans as well as your own.

7. Garbage Bags and Kitchen Size Bags

These can be used for trash, body bags if need be, potty chairs, etc. Plus bags for people who may vomit. I like these bags because they are 10-gallon size bags with a quantity of 500. 10-Gallon Bags

8. Canned Juices (bag/cartons)

I put 100% juice in this container-ten pouches. I am sure it has some sugar, I still need it in my bucket.

9. Fluids with Electrolytes

I can also make my own electrolyte solution that is very similar, but I want one large bottle ready to serve. DRIP DROP

10. Anti-Diarrhea Medicine

Diarrhea can kill if the person gets too dehydrated. I always look at a child’s lips. If they are dry and shiny red or cracked they need water ASAP Imodium Multi-Symptom Relief.

11. Paper Towels

I only put 4 rolls of paper towels in the bucket, of course, we can use more, but this bucket is just an emergency grab container.

12. Toilet Paper

This is a must-have in my 30 Pandemic Essentials list! LOL! You can never have too much toilet paper. Mini Toilet Paper Wipes

13. Thermometer

I put this in the bucket, but really, if someone is that sick we can usually tell if they have a fever. It’s when the fever gets over 104 degrees in the morning that things become so critical.

Typically fevers are always higher in the afternoon. I get worried if the child wakes up with a fever in the morning..its just me. If I can’t break a fever I will worry. If I can break a fever I feel the fever is a good thing and shows the body is fighting the virus naturally.

Remember, I’m not a doctor, I’m a mother and grandma, we have a mother’s intuition. If the child is lethargic we know what to do, but if we have zero access to a doctor or antibiotics I want to be able to think through what I must do to help someone until professional help arrives. Survival Medical Handbook 

14. Canned Baby Formula

You will some bottles ready to serve if needed-I feel I must put some baby formula in my bucket. I don’t have any babies around me, but if I had to feed a newborn baby I will have something hopefully that is nourishing to a baby.

15. Pet Food

Dog food-yep, I am thinking about my beloved Shih-Tzu, Bailey and now Izzy as well.. If you have pets, at least the small pets you can take with you, add some cans of food for them in your bucket.

16. Soap and Anti-Bacterial Soap

I am constantly washing my hands. I know this is one more way we can not only keep hands clean but also slow down the spread of infection, wash hands, wash hands, and wash hands.

17. Paper Goods

Cups-lots of cups-I decided on some small 4-ounce size cups because I can put 100 in a small area of the bucket-this means I will have 100 cups for whatever or whoever needs them.

18. Disposable Rubber Gloves

You can never have too many disposable gloves, latex free is even better when you decide to buy some to add to your stash.

19. Bleach

Okay I have to say I need bleach. I know some people are against bleach, but I will use it to help clean up the sewage backup overflow or whatever I need to kill bacteria. Pool shock works well too (very concentrated-be careful). Bleach:Everything You Need To Know

20. Clear Plastic Sheeting (4mil)

100 feet for setting up an isolation room. One reader mentioned about adding Mosquito netting (folds up very small) to the bucket.

21. Duct Tape

Oh my gosh, just start talking about Duct Tape, it has a million ways we can use it. That’s the link where I share 25 ways to use duct tape.

22. Borax

Great for toilet provisions-it helps clean the potty chair but also put a little in the bottom of the portable toilet to help control the odor.

23. Clothesline Rope and Clothes Pins

We might have a washing/rinsing bucket, but we might need to hang up some wet clothes to dry. Please think about how you will hang up your wet clothes. Have you found a clothesline you like? Clotheline for Emergencies. These are my favorite clothespins in case you need some. Kevin’s Clothespins

24. Laundry Soap

Ready to use for dirty underwear. At the very least we can wear shirts and short or pants several times, but it would be nice to have clean underwear.

25. Dawn Dish Soap

This is my favorite liquid soap. It might cost a bit more, but the few cents is totally worth the grease this stuff can clean. One of my readers mentioned using Dawn Soap in baggies with a little water to clean underwear, rinse and dry them. Plus she uses Dawn Liquid Soap to wash her hair!

26. Kitty Litter

Great for potty chairs (also a reader mentioned you can get “oil dry” much cheaper at automotive stores).

27. Water Filters and Purification Devices

I use the LifeStraw and the Berkey Sports Water Bottle for filtering water.

28. Water Containers

Collection, storage, and carrying containers-never throw out a bucket. You can never have too many buckets for washing, rinsing or mixing large batches of meals for your neighborhood (food containers only for meal preparation). My favorite 5-year Water Preserver

29. Water

LOTS of water in WaterBricks with handles to grab and go, cases of bottled water. Store as much water as you can afford the containers to store the water. My favorite water for long-term is BlueCans. The cheapest place to buy these is Brownells’s.

30. Food

Minimum 2 weeks of food for everyone in your family. Here’s the deal, I filled this huge blue bucket/container with everything shown above EXCEPT the 2 weeks worth of food, the kitty litter, and the water we will need.

I am sure all the states have a website you can view regarding how they are prepared for a Pandemic Outbreak should one occur.

Please remember, I am not a doctor or someone in the medical field. I just want to be prepared for the unexpected. Be sure and watch the Center for Disease Control updates.

Stock Your Home Pharmacy

Final Word

These are just 30 Pandemic Essentials to get you started, it”s one more step to being prepared for an unforeseen emergency or disaster. This is part one of my pandemic preparedness project. I’ll be providing additional information in the days to come. And please remember you always need matches or a way to start a fire. May God bless this world, Linda

Pandemic Supplies You Will Need For Survival

Influenza Statistics: What to Know About the Flu

Copyright Images: Hospital Depositphotos_16885437_s-2019

34 thoughts on “30 Items You Need To Survive A Pandemic

  • November 15, 2016 at 10:20 am
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    Great list Linda! The only thing I would add to it is some herbs. I would add ginger and turmeric for treating the flu, especially if the virus strain is resistant. If you catch it early enough, within the first 24 hours, ginger is great for killing viruses. If you don’t catch it early, you may want to avoid ginger, since it can cause irritation. Turmeric is, also, an extremely effective anti-viral and doesn’t tend to cause irritation, for most people, so it can be taken after the virus takes hold. Either can be taken as teas, so they are easy to administer. I always have a liter of 4 thieves tonic in my cupboard, too. Mullein, peppermint, and willow are all very good for treating diarrhea. Willow is useful for fevers and aches associated with flu, as well. As with the anti-viral herbs, these can easily be taken as teas.. I keep several one pound bags of each of these herbs on hand. None of these herbs are expensive and may be purchased in sealed mylar bags, so they last a long time, until they are opened. Peppermint and Frankincense essential oils mixed with a carrier oil is a great alternative to the Vicks.

    I hope you are having a great day? Hugs, Mare

    Reply
    • November 16, 2016 at 11:19 am
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      HI Mare, oh girlfriend, do I love your ideas! I am going to add your whole comment to my post. Happy Thanksgiving!! Hugs, Linda

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    • January 31, 2020 at 6:45 pm
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      I have turmeric pills.
      What form should the ginger, peppermint, mullein, willow come in?

      Reply
      • February 1, 2020 at 7:55 am
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        Hi, John, turmeric and ginger are fine in their powdered form. Dried peppermint can be purchased in bulk or in tea bags. I purchase mine in bulk because it’s a lot less expensive. You can, also, use fresh peppermint. It’s quite easy to grow in a pot, on a windowsill. I purchase the willow bark dried and in chips. I use white willow bark. It can be used right away, by being boiled for 10 to 15 minutes, then allowed to steep, with a lid on the pan, for 20 to 30 minutes. I don’t mind the taste straight, but you can add some honey if you don’t like it. If you know how to make a tincture, this is the most effective form, but needs to sit for at least a month.

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        • February 2, 2020 at 8:07 am
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          Hi Mare, thank you for explaining the different ones. Hugs! Linda

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    • July 16, 2020 at 6:38 am
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      What is your recipe for 4 thieves tonic? I would like to keep that on hand.
      Thanks

      Reply
  • November 15, 2016 at 10:25 am
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    My little grandson had an ear infection last week, and I didn’t have a single med to comfort him. I had put off restocking because everyone was healthy (I know, I know). Thanks to you, I just filled my online Walmart Grocery cart with many of your recommended items, and I am going to make a “sick bucket” stocked with everyday cold & flu supplies. One great hint from BeckysFeatheredNest is to use ziplock slider bags for vomit: even children can just zip them closed and throw away. In fact, I think I will fill my bucket with individual bags containing hand sanitizer, kleenex, cough drops, etc.. The time to do this is NOW, not after people get sick. Keep up the good work, Linda!

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    • November 16, 2016 at 11:09 am
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      Hi Roxanne, oh my gosh, I have got to add your comment to my post. Plus, I am adding the zip lock bags!!!! Don’t you just love being a grandma? I feel so bad you didn’t have something to comfort your little grandson. But now you do have stuff, way to go girl! Hugs! Linda

      Reply
  • November 15, 2016 at 3:46 pm
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    Have some Orajel in your preps… Last night I had a toothache, and my husband got the Orajel out of our preps and it got me through until I could see the dentist today.

    Reply
    • November 16, 2016 at 11:15 am
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      Hi Janet, oh my gosh, that’s a great idea! I’m adding it to my post right now. Hugs! Linda

      Reply
  • November 17, 2016 at 4:02 pm
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    Another great post Linda! thank you!
    A note about Dawn dish washing liquid… It is very gentle. I worked as a surgical nurse at a veterinary hospital and we used Dawn (original) to bathe animals that for whatever reason had gasoline on their fur. Cuts through it in a jiffy! Also kills fleas and you can use it on puppies…Love reading your posts, thanks for all the great info. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Reply
    • November 18, 2016 at 5:58 pm
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      Hi Carrie, Happy Thanksgiving to you girlfriend! I love your comment and I’m adding it to my post! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! See we all learn from each other! Hugs! Linda

      Reply
  • November 18, 2016 at 1:54 pm
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    Another trick that may be useful: When we were kids, Mom would save the ice cream buckets after we emptied them. the would put a few layers of paper towels in the bottom, and set it on the floor next to the bed/couch where we would rest when we were sick. If we needed to get sick, we did so in the bucket. The up side: it had hard sides, so it couldn’t spill open, and there was a lid to mask the smell until it could be taken to the trash. Usually, we kept some paper towels near by, as well as some cool water to drink. Now, I save the same type of containers (anything with a lid, that may be deep enough).

    Reply
    • November 18, 2016 at 6:02 pm
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      Hi Victoria, oh how I remember the buckets! I never thought about using one with a lid, great tip! I adding your comment to my post, thank you so much! Hugs! Linda

      Reply
  • November 19, 2016 at 12:43 pm
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    Thank you for all the info you give us. I will be 80 in a couple of months, and on social security only, so limited funds. However, I manage to stock up a little every month. I would have to shelter in place, due to age and no family near enough to help. I wanted to add a tip you might consider. I take the core out of the toilet paper, and am able to get more in my pack, as they moosh down more. Today I will be working with my Food Saver, and plan to vacuum seal a few rolls of TP, which are “coreless”. lol thank again for all you do. Pat in Northern California

    Reply
    • November 19, 2016 at 6:13 pm
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      Hi, Pat, that is an awesome way to store more toilet paper. I love the idea of using the FoodSaver to remove the air and therefore take up less room. I’m adding you comment to my post, girlfriend! That’s awesome that you will be 80 in a couple months. What a great example you are to the world! Hugs! Linda

      Reply
    • July 3, 2020 at 10:10 am
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      We get a lot of junk mail over here in SW Florida, they’re not much different than the Sears Catalogs my great-grandparents used 100 years ago.

      Reply
  • November 21, 2016 at 8:10 pm
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    I stock up on Lysol spray, tea tree, and vinegar. It’s one thing to treat an infected person, but we also need to limit it’s spread. I like the antibacterial properties the ingredients have. Salt is a good cheap remedy for several maladies as well.

    Reply
    • November 22, 2016 at 7:19 am
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      Hi Sheila, oh you are so right on this tip! I’m adding your comment to my pandemic list! Thank you so much!!! Hugs, Linda

      Reply
  • February 27, 2020 at 8:42 pm
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    You forget to mention the one of the most important thing, “MATCHES” to start a fire for food. In case of any disasters, outbreaks, storms, emergency, etc., usually the electricity is out.

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    • February 28, 2020 at 6:38 am
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      Hi Blackhawk, great reminder, I figured those were a given, but I will go add them! Thank you! Linda

      Reply
  • March 21, 2020 at 7:35 am
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    Hi Mare! Thanks so much for sharing all these wonderful tips. However what is your 4 thieves tonic? What is it for and how do you make it?

    Reply
  • March 24, 2020 at 1:28 pm
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    Hi everyone!! I hope all of y’all are doing (and feeling) well! My hubby and I are dealing with this stuff and doing well. We just wanted y’all to know that we truly appreciate y’all’s website about the “bucket list” of preparations for a pandemic. We both have weak immune systems so we have that stuff on hand all the time. But we really appreciate y’all talking about God!! If we, as a nation, turn to Christ Jesus we would not have the problems we have now. I just wanted to thank y’all for listening to us. So I guess the one thing everyone needs to put in the bucket is a Bible!!!! Just thought I would share that with y’all. Have a very blessed day.

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    • March 24, 2020 at 2:13 pm
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      Hi Paula, great comment, glad you’re both doing well. Let’s hope we flatten the curve soon. Linda

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  • April 4, 2020 at 8:29 pm
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    I like that you recommend a home pharmacy. It’s more important now than ever that people appreciate the value in learning how to administer medical care to their family members. We should all know how to care for our loved ones and it’s now necessary in order to survive through this pandemic. Thanks for posts like this. I wish you and your loved ones the best.

    Reply
    • April 5, 2020 at 5:54 am
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      Hi Bob, thank you for your kind words, hopefully, people can get the products they need or know how to “make do”. Harder times are coming. We can get through this pandemic if we stay home if at all possible. I’m so grateful to those workers who are working so we can get groceries or prescriptions. And of course, our health workers. May God bless this world, Linda

      Reply
  • May 23, 2020 at 6:23 am
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    Just ordered your book from amazon. On top of this awful pandemic, we have tornado season here! Looking forward to reading all your great advice, tips, hints and info! LC

    Reply
    • May 23, 2020 at 7:35 am
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      Hi Lynn, oh, thank you so much for ordering my book. I hope this year the tornadoes will not be as horrific as others. Praying for you and your family to be safe and well. Linda

      Reply
  • May 25, 2020 at 5:51 pm
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    I come from a background of pharmacy/apothecary. We were a very old pharmacy in a town in the hill country of Texas. All those little drawers in our wall cases contained herbs and roots still ordered from Lascoff’s Pharmacy in New York. It was still the day of grinding, mixing, weighing and preparing compounds for medicines. We bought in bulk. As a dedicated clerk, I was taught how to measure, mix, and fill the very first capsules, packing each with hands washed in alcohol. I got the products from the shelves, weighed out what the prescription stated, had the registered pharmacist check each and every step, received approval and moved to the next step in preparation. After packing capsules for specific prescriptions, the capsules were handed to the pharmacist to fill the bottles. the same was true for salves, and all treatments. The sixties saw the disappearance of bulk products made from true herbs, barks and such. It was then that all the artificial drugs flooded the market. Today we have statin and non-statin medications. I always tell my doctors I refuse to take one statin drug. Of course, they’re all younger than I. Need I say more. My great, great grandfather was a trained German herbal doctor in New Braunfels, Texas. Invariably, when a university educated doctor came to him personally, it was because they had exhausted all efforts to cure a patient. It was at a last resort that they would come to him. He would mix herbs and whatever for the patient and surprisingly would cure the child or adult of ailment. He always told the family that whatever in medication was needed for an illness could be found in the flora of Texas or in whatever lay right in front of you. I am so proud of my heritage and my experience at the pharmacy. Even today surrounding the Braunfels castle in Germany, there thrives an ancient herbal garden, each herb of which is identified and explained as to a particular remedy for most all ailments. Here in Texas, many of the remedies are based on Indian culture. And they still work just fine if one knows what one is doing.

    Reply
    • May 25, 2020 at 6:55 pm
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      David, oh my gosh, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment! I could listen to how you worked in your family pharmacy/apothecary for hours, yes hours. I love hearing these stories, thank you!! Linda

      Reply
  • May 31, 2020 at 1:49 pm
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    Have an extra new toilet brush in your preps, maybe 2. One for a sick room others for just useage.
    They have some at $ store. I also keep some scrub brushes and a package of sponges etc. Sponges can be kept in the freezer wet in a baggie so they can be used on sore or pulled muscle etc. Also, extra buckets from $ store.

    Reply
    • May 31, 2020 at 2:48 pm
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      Hi Sam, great tips!!! Thank you! I never thought about keeping a wet sponge in the freezer! Brilliant, thank you! Linda

      Reply
  • July 3, 2020 at 10:02 am
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    Dawn Dish Soap is a detergent, not actual soap. I wasn’t aware there was a difference until I checked out a ’90s-era Australian soapmaking book from my local public library (in Florida). There’s quite a few; for example, soap doesn’t contain the destructive chemical cocktails that detergents contain. Many of those chemicals will damage your body’s immunity and healing capability… hence your pandemics.

    Soap also does a much better job at cleaning your dishes and in the same amount that’s recommended by Dawn. Don’t let the lack of suds bother you, soap doesn’t normally create that much foam.

    Reply
    • July 3, 2020 at 10:07 am
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      Hi Nick, wow, I did not know this!! Now, I will be looking at soap versus detergent. Love it, Linda

      Reply

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