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 a few years ago and I’m updating that article. Flu season is right around the corner, and who knows what else may pop up in our community to make us sick this year or next.
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 FLU or MRSE. 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 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 Prefold Premium 6-ply with absorbent padding.
3. 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 Cough Suppressant Topical Analgesic Ointment 6 Oz (Pack of 2).
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. Flashlight 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 250 Flashlight with Integrated Solar Panel or this one: Goal Zero 90109 Solo V2 Solar Flashlight.
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.
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.
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 – 2 Pack, 60-Count Total.
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.
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.
14. Canned baby formula with 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. Dog food-yep, I am thinking about my beloved Shih-Tzu, Boston. 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…wash hands.
17. 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).
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.
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).
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.
30. Minimum 2 weeks of food for everyone in your family. See below how I store the food needed for my family.
31. From Roxanne-zip lock bags for vomit.
32. From Janet-Orajel for toothaches.
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. Down below you can see my clear plastic container with my 2 weeks worth of food. Here is the post on the clear plastic bag of food.
Here is a link to the Utah Flu Pandemic website. 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.
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.