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 MRSA. Let me explain what I call a Pandemic Flu Outbreak.
In my opinion, Pandemic Flu is the 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 new 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 Essential bucket. I know we all have first aid kits. When was the last time we looked to see if we have current items or are we missing some badly needed Motrin or Tylenol for we 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.
30 Pandemic Essentials We Need:
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-its who I am).
2. Diapers (cloth): they can be used for many things. Cleaning, babies, stop the bleeding from cuts, wash or dry dishes. Or you can 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 days if possible) Hydrogen Peroxide and rubbing alcohol, Vicks VapoRub. Product for stitches, besides Butterfly Bandaids. ZipStitch
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 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.
8. Cans of 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 to see if they are dry and shiny, red or cracked, these are possible signs they need water, asap.
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 it’s in the morning, it’s just me. If I can’t break a fever I will worry. If I can break a fever I feel the fever is good and the body is fighting the virus naturally. Remember, I’m not a doctor. I am 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 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-Tzus, Bentley, and Bailey. If you have pets, at least the small pets, you can take them with you, along with 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 gloves are 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, well, 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 of my readers 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 shorts 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 extra cents of cost 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 needs. I have WaterBricks with handles to grab and go.
30. Food: minimum 2 weeks of food for everyone in your family (see below how I store the food needed for my family).
31. Lysol (not generic) wipe down everything possible.
32. Sanitary napkins (can be used for so many things)
33. Regular unfolded diapers can be used for scarves, bandages, slings, and for diapers.
34. DRIP DROP designed by a doctor for dehydration. Thank you, Nurse Mom.
Here is a link to the Weekly US Map Influenza I am sure all the states have a website where you can view 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.
Copyright Images: Depositphotos_12301402_m-2015