What can you do you do to protect yourself?
Preparing for the possibility of a Pandemic Outbreak is similar to the preparations one would make for any disaster that would leave you without adequate food and water supplies, or access to emergency services for an extended period of time.
I suggest taking the following steps:
Start Stockpiling Emergency Supplies: The first thing you need to do, is make sure you have your essential needs covered. In the case of a pandemic, the essentials include water, shelter, food, sanitation, medications, and personal security. During a Pandemic, the less contact you have with others, the better your chances are of staying healthy.
Previous pandemics have gone through communities in a matter of six to eight weeks; at a minimum, you should have at least a six to eight weeks’ worth of emergency supplies on hand at all times. Once you have that covered, you can then set a goal to stockpile enough for 3, 6 and then 12 months.
Social Distancing is the Key to Avoiding the Outbreak: The best way to improve your chances of staying healthy during an outbreak is to practice social distancing. This means limiting your contact with others, and staying at least 6 feet away from people if you do have to go out.
Stay Clean & Practice Good Hygiene: Just like with all person to person disease, the key to prevention lies in good hygiene. Hand washing is obvious, and when used for 30 seconds even a simple alcohol based hand sanitizer, that has between 62 and 75% ethanol, can be enough to kill pretty much any pandemic pathogen.
Hospitals & Shelters Should Be Avoided: If you’re sick, then by all means you probably need to consult with a medical professional for medical advice. That being said, hospitals will be ground zero in the war and should be avoided if at all possible. Also, if you can, avoid shelters or areas where large groups of people gather, as disease spreads more quickly in those environments.
When venturing Out, Where a Mask: In my opinion, masks are really a last resort and cannot be relied on to 100% stop infection. Respirators are designed to help reduce, not eliminate, exposures to infection. With that being said, having some N95 Medical Masks is something that should be in any good emergency kit.