30 Pandemic Essentials

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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.

Final Word

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.

First aid kit by Linda

Copyright Images: Depositphotos_12301402_m-2015

21 thoughts on “30 Pandemic Essentials

  • January 24, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Linda ~
    I don’t have babies at home any more but when it comes to diapers – I would want both pre-fold diapers as well as unfolded. My daughter has a newborn and she opted to diaper using flour sack towels and fold them herself. The benefit to these is that they are big enough for diapers, bandaging, head scarf, and drying dishes! In fact, when I had my daughter 33 years ago, I used disposable diapers because I worked full time BUT, it gave me an excuse to purchase flour sack towels! I am still using some of them.

    Something else that I would add to the list is sanitary pads. They can be useful for more that what they were intended in some of the ways that prefold diapers are used – soaking up blood from an injury. Because they are disposable, I would find them more convenient to use in the event of a pandemic. I would likely take them and vacuum seal them to take up less space. Not sure if doing that, however, would impact their absorb-ability.

    • January 24, 2019 at 12:35 pm

      HI, Leanne, I added sanitary pads and open diapers to the list. I love flour sacks, you are rocking with ideas today! Thank you! Linda

  • January 24, 2019 at 9:18 am

    26. Kitty Litter: great for potty chairs (also a reader mentioned you can get “oil dry” much cheaper at automotive stores).

    Around me you have to go apples to apples. that oil dry stuff is equal to the cheapest kitty non-clumping litter. It might be worth having some odor control / clumping litter for the potty bucket. (especially if you are trapped in close quarters with it :p ewwwww)
    I’m not sure what the best way to cover or neutralize the smell of puke in a bucket… but (at least to me) that would be the worst!!
    As usual Linda, a post to keep the gears turning!

    • January 24, 2019 at 12:30 pm

      Hi Bruce, oh my gosh, I can almost smell the puke! LOL! You nailed it on this one! We need something to get rid of the smell! You are the best! Linda

      • January 24, 2019 at 1:41 pm

        OK, I sit in front of a computer all day 😉
        Here’s what I found (sound like Siri LOL)

        —- How to Remove Vomit Smell —-

        Put a bag of untreated charchol briquettes and overnight the smell was gone

        Use disinfectant spray (Lysol) for that purpose. works perfectly.

        You can also spread baking soda and leave it overnight, then vacuum.

        You can also try saturating the area with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Let it sit for a few minutes. Then, using a clean white absorbent cloth, blot the area, pressing down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. Repeat this blotting process until the area is dry.

        The vomit smell was completely absorbed into the bowl of vinegar! An open bowl of white vinegar will soak up most strong odours – including the smell of fresh paint in a house!

        Odoban. You can mix a little and spray it for an instance smell-be-gone or use it in a stronger solution for floors, laundry etc.

        Sprinkle coffee gounds (fresh) in your car–leave overnight, then vacuum. My husband worked in a distribution center and rail cars came in smelling terrible and coffee is what was used. Hope this will help.

        Put straight vinegar in a pint jar or jars and leave them sitting somewhere in the room where no one will see them and it takes care of all smells from pets, to tobacco smoke, and persons being/getting sick in the house.

        Generic Listerine, (the amber colored from wal mart) is excellent. I put it in spray bottle and use it for vomit, pet smells, cat urine, etc. and works very well. Use it as a general cleaner for the bathrooms and kitchen too… even windows, dirt cheap!

        Try an enzyme based cleaner. Thats what they use in nursing homes etc. You can get these from pet shops. Instead of masking the smell the enzyme eats any traces of the desposit. It works on soiling so could well work well on vomit.
        If the area is now dry, saturate the problem area and cover with a plastic sheet for a few hours (so it doesnt dry up).
        When you pick the cleaner, make sure it states that it is enzyme based, it will be a few quid more expensive but many times more effective.

        Clean it up as best as you can and assuming the area affected is still damp sprinkle on generous amounts of bicarbonate of Soda and leave it over night.

        Bio-Sure Septic Treatment – It is a dry flake/granular material

        • January 24, 2019 at 2:48 pm

          HI Bruce, you are awesome!!! This gives ALL of us so many ways to get rid of the puke/vomit smell. I LOVE it! I’m hoping they will barf in their own bag. Store lots of bags! LOL! Great comment! Linda

  • January 24, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Linda, this is an excellent list. A true pandemic could affect so many areas of our lives, from stores receiving goods to availability of clinics. I remember when H1N1 flu was raging a few years ago. One of my sons was diagnosed fairly early, so no long wait for clinic. Within a few days, our clinic had to set up perimeters, almost like a triage, as it was standing room only. And my clinic is in a good size hospital, with many types of clinics within this (lol) Megamall of healthcare. My doctor asked how many people lived in our household: 4. He gave Tamiflu prescriptions for all of us. Said if any of us other 3 started the same symptoms, to take the meds, don’t come back to clinic unless I deemed somebody needed ER care. Also told me to use Lysol spray (or liquid) in any area my son was in…on light switches, toilet, sink, etc. Told me to wash son’s bedding, clothing, towels, dishes with some Lysol put in rinse water. So maybe I’d add Real Lysol to your list, along with the bleach. Doctor said generic might be ok but his wife said it’s not as potent. (She’s a chemist. ) I used the Lysol and none of us others caught it. Yes, I saved the Tamiflu scrips. Ya just never know when they might be needed.

    • January 24, 2019 at 12:23 pm

      Hi Wendy, wow! Thank you, I’m going to add Lysol to the list!! Glad you saved the scripts! Great comment!!! Linda

  • January 24, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Good stuff and good commentary

  • January 24, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    SO what container did you put all of this stuff. I’m thinking the North side of my basement. LOL I don’t think that much stuff(all needed) will fit in any container I have.

    • January 24, 2019 at 8:34 pm

      Hi Carol, I had a large blue rectangle container and it all fit inside. It’s huge. The north side of your basement would work! Lol! Linda

  • January 24, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    I live in Washington. Down in Vancouver, WA there is a measles outbreak. Started with one un-vaccinated child. Now it is up to 26 people–including adults. Many of the adults knew or thought they knew they were vaccinated as children! One person was at a basketball game in Portland, Oregon, before coming down with a case of measles. This event is even on National news. Cannot be too careful. I had measles as a child and my sister had the mumps at the same time! (my poor mother). My sister got the measles but I never go the mumps. Years later, when I was pregnant with my fourth child, my dr. told me I was to get a measles vaccination because I was not covered anymore. Wonder how we can find out what our titer would be like for measles, mumps, rubella, and polio. It would be scary if all those came back again because people don’t believe in vaccinating their children.

    • January 25, 2019 at 12:47 pm

      Hi Joanne, wow! I remember seeing that on the news. I have a reader who is a nurse. Let me check. Linda

    • January 25, 2019 at 12:56 pm

      Joanne, it looks like you can be tested with a titer blood test to see if you are immune to certain diseases, like the measles. Great comment, we may all want to be checked. Linda

  • January 26, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    my grand daughter,who is an EMT , told me to use coffee grounds on vomit.So I save used coffee grounds in the plastic cans they came in,marked as used.I have most of everything you have on your list. I have a bucket full of things for a pandemic. Several sizes of disposable gloves,N95 and N100 masks,with vents, peroxide,alcohol,anti-diarrhea, dawn,cloth diapers,wet wipes,lysol wipes, powdered gatorade, disposable bags and trash bags of several sizes.Several different types of otc pain relievers,anti itch creams and neosporin. Blood clotting powder,band aids, several different splints and braces. The list goes on. I also keep another bucket with food and prep items right beside the other bucket. I have a tote with the paper items and plastic ware. I know I am missing a few items, such as plastic sheeting and clothes line. I have duct tape. I buy toilet paper and paper towels by the case when I find them on sale. Thank you for the list, lets me know what I have missed. God Bless and keep you safe.

    • January 26, 2019 at 4:26 pm

      Hi Judy, you reminded me I’m out of Gatorade powder, thank you! See how we all help each other! Great comment! Linda

  • February 5, 2019 at 1:29 am

    Hi guys Nurse Mom here, there is a product called drip drops, it was created by a doctor not a drink company for electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. Much better then the sports drinks, easy to store and it is used by professionals very effective and works faster than the previous mentioned without all of the harmful chemicals. Look it up on their website and Happy prepping.

    • February 5, 2019 at 6:37 am

      Hi Nurse Mom, I LOVE your comment! I’m going to add a link to my post!! I LOVE tips like this, thank you so much! Linda

  • February 21, 2019 at 12:39 am

    I keep bottles of Elderberry Syrup on hand, one for each member of my family. Works the same as Tamiflu only better and no side affects. Last year, when the flu hit our area, it was a 3 week wait to get some. So glad I was prepared, especially after hearing about others who weren’t.

    • February 21, 2019 at 7:16 am

      Hi Patty, what a great comment! I wish people would learn to use natural remedies!!! I use Elderberry Syrup when needed and always have several bottles in my stash. Keep prepping! Linda


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