With all of the news surrounding ebola, it’s curious why there is so little information on preparing oneself for a full blown ebola outbreak. Obvious someone is trying to save face.
As any survivalist knows, there is a big difference between being prepared and being in a state of panic. Responsible citizens prepare for potential catastrophes and irresponsible citizens expect the government to solve all their problems.
Below, I’ve put together a list of some things I am doing in order to prepare for an outbreak. Keep in mind, I’m not a doctor and I only have as much information regarding the ebola disease as any concerned citizen.
1. Keep an eye on ebola in the news.
The news is your best bet when it comes to keeping up with current ebola events. Knowing where ebola is, what researchers are learning, and what the government is doing about ebola is half the battle of staying alive.
Personally, I check the news three times a day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and sometimes more. My feeling is that if ebola is spreading as quickly as they say, then I want to know everything I can about this enemy.
2. Know what ebola is and how it thrives.
You can’t prepare properly if you don’t know what you’re dealing with. Here’s a little recap on ebola:
- Ebola kills 50% of it’s infected by causing severe hemorrhaging. This means sever bleeding and de-hydration are what typically kills those infected.
- Ebola is typically transmitted by contact with bodily fluids, however the government has been unclear if it is airborne – which naturally this makes me believe it could be airborne.
- Ebola evolves quickly and strengthens with each outbreak. If it was not airborne originally, it could be by now.
- Household bleach kills ebola outside of the human body.
- There are no known vaccines for ebola, but antibodies have been successfully transfused from one person to another. This means survivors with good blood can help stop the virus in those with similar blood types.
- Ebola can live for several hours on seemingly dry surfaces like doorknobs and counter-tops.
- Those who survive ebola after contracting the disease develop antibodies that can last for 10 years.
- Ebola is spread through mammals – humans, dogs, cats, etc.
- Ebola’s transmission rate is 1.7. This means that for every person infected with ebola, approximately 1.7 people are infected from that same person. For example, for every 10 people infected right now, statistics proves those 10 people will infect 17 more people. That’s a staggering statistic.
For more information, here is a great page from the CDC on ebola.
3. Purchase some general sanitation and decontamination “preps”.
- Non-latex surgical gloves. Some people have latex allergies.
- A organic-vapor respirator or gas mask. (More on this below)
- Sheet plastic. For sectioning off rooms and/or covering yourself with.
- Bottle of bleach. It’s a great inexpensive disinfectant.
- Paper towels. Ebola typically travels through fluid. Dry = your friend.
- Sealable garbage bags. You’ll need to safely throw away potentially contaminated items.
- Bottled water. Staying hydrated is key with ebola.
Ok, let’s discuss the respirator topic. First off, there is no evidence that ebola is airborne, BUT given that we know ebola evolves so quickly, we know it could become airborne at any point. Given this fact, I think it’s wisest to buy a respirator now, while they only cost $24 and not $100. By the way, the guy in the pic is not me:
This (right) is a 3M Reusable Medium Organic Vapor Respirator. It’s designed to keep 95%+ of all air impurities out of your respiratory system. The Organic Vapor cartridges are replaceable and cost about $12 per set. I purchased 2 respirator/filter sets, one for myself and one for my girlfriend. I figure if ebola gets really out of hand, we’ll at least be able to go to the grocery store or find a convenience store if food runs low.
To me, gas masks are too much and N95 surgical masks are too little. Surgical masks are really only designed to keep infection in. In other words, people that are infected with disease wear a surgical mask in order to prevent infecting others. Doctors wear them during surgery to prevent their sweat and mouth vapors from infecting their patients.
Gas masks are effective, but to me they’re overkill. Sure, they’ll likely stop any disease or chemicals, but you’ll have a hard time traveling in them and they’re a pain in the ass to see through. But again, they’re effective in emergency, so to each his own.
These are only suggestions. I put this list together based on what I have learned about ebola. Do your own research in order to make your own decisions about ebola. I am not a doctor.
4. Purchase some food.
If ebola gets out of control, you won’t want to be visiting the grocery store or pharmacy. In my personal opinion, I believe having 15 days worth of food is best. Keep in mind – this is only backup food. Don’t consider these everyday groceries.
These are foods that will satisfy your hunger and keep your immune system strong in the unfortunate event that you do get infected. Again, we’re planning for everything here.
- Try to purchase foods that are supportive of a strong immune system. This is key for ebola.
- Bottled water to stay hydrated.
- Canned vegetables. Organic is best, but any is better than none.
- Rice. It’s universal. It lasts a long time. It’s cheap.
- Keep some fruit around. It’s good for natural energy.
- Garlic is good. I’ve read garlic is good for a strong immune system.
- Nuts – especially brazil nuts which are awesome for the circulatory system (ebola’s primary target).
- Beef. It’s high in zync, which is a difficiency in many adults.
- Tea. I’m not much into tea, but every health website I’ve come across seems to mention tea for immune support.
- Yogurt is great. It’s probiotic and makes your digestion process more sound.
- Avoid highly processed foods. They often take important nutrients out of processed foods.
- Avoid too much salt. Salt dehydrates. Ebola loves dehydrated hosts.
5. Have a plan.
If ebola hits your community hard, its important you ask some difficult questions:
- Will you stay at home, or travel to your family?
- What will you do if someone in your home is infected?
- What will you do if you yourself are infected?
- Where is the nearest hospital?
- Do you know the back-roads to get the hospital if local roads are shut down?
- Do you know any doctors or nurses that could help if hospitals are overwhelmed?
- Do you have general hydration supplies? (De-hydration is the biggest issue with ebola.)
- Is your vehicle prepared for travel, if necessary? Gas? Good tires? A medical bag?
- How long will your food supplies last?
6. Practice good general hygene.
Practicing cleanliness is easy. Washing your hands, keeping your surroundings clean, wiping down wet surfaces, and throwing away dirty and potentially contaminated items.
Think before you act. Don’t touch unknown fluids and be as tidy as possible in the event of an outbreak.
7. Keep being a skeptic.
I question everything. Maybe I’m jaded after the 2008 financial crisis, but I don’t care. I don’t trust anyone or any single news source until I’ve researched things heavily myself. I don’t make financial or life impacting decisions until I know the full scoop. And believe me, I’ve looked a lot into ebola. I don’t really trust government organizations for so many reasons, so I do the best research I can online. I take everything online with a grain of salt, but with time I believe common sense and a lot of reading from various sources can make everything more clear.
Anyway, being a skeptic is important. Question everything, question motives, question politics, etc. Keep in mind, there is no reason to panic. Responsible citizens plan and prepare. By being prepared, you can feel confident that you are ready in case things head for the worst. If nothing happens, then fantastic, at least you were prepared. However, if it does get bad, then you were smart and were prepared.
8. Finally, trust your instincts.
Humans have made it this far. Chances are ebola will just be another disease that will be added to the history books of diseases we overcame with minimal damage. I doubt this will be as big as the bubonic plague which swept through Europe during the 14th century, but I haven’t let my doubts get in the way of me preparing. To me, it is semi-paranoid instincts like this that has lead to the long-term survival of humans.
Good luck. Post a comment if I missed anything! And don’t blame me if any of this information is incorrect. Do your own research, I’m not a health professional of any kind.