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When do we go into self lockedown?

Category: Emergency Preparedness

Gross mismanagement of the Ebola crisis by CDC and health officials around the country has left many Americans wondering what steps they need to take to prevent getting infected.

Some of the key questions facing concerned citizens revolve around the concepts of self quarantine and social distancing.

When do you make the call to bug in or bug out? When do you stop going to work out of concern of being exposed to a virulent disease? When should I put my self and family into full pandemic lockdown mode?

Before you dismiss this article as just another over-sensationalized attempt at fear mongering, understand this: Ebola has a 70% mortality rate and there is no cure.

Let’s be absolutely clear – this is not a common cold or flu. If you get Ebola, odds are you will die.

Despite the CDCs efforts it has missed vital opportunities to contain the virus and we are now facing the potential for a widespread pandemic on U.S. soil. There are no protocols in place for medical professionals to follow, no systematic approaches in place to deal with this type of large scale disaster, and no significant attempts at controlling the spread of this contagion. The American public can and should expect that each week will bring more infections and death.

The time to make preparations for a worst-case scenario is now. The following are six key warning signs you should be looking for. When these events come to pass or you see these signals, you should strongly consider implementing a self quarantine lockdown:

  1. Emergency officials say they have the situation under control, but more cases continue to pop up.
  2. Local and state governments officially declare an emergency.
  3. Cases have been identified at your local hospital or at schools in your general vicinity.
  4. The general public begins to panic and store shelves start running out of key supplies like food and bottled water.
  5. Looting and lawlessness occurs within the local community.
  6. The virus breaches a 50-mile radius surrounding your home or town.

If any of these signs begin to appear around you, it’s time to seriously consider distancing yourself from society, and especially highly dense venues like retail stores, sporting events or schools.

Here’s an important factor to consider: You want to have all supplies and a plan in place before the virus spreads out of control and before government officials force mandatory quarantines. Once the signs start to appear, it may already be too late to start stockpiling supplies because panic-buying will be the order of the day. We’ve already seen this with major internet suppliers of medical gear, who report that their inventories have been nearly cleaned out. The same will happen on a local level.

In this type of disaster, you need to prepare for the likelihood of living in an off grid setting with the supplies in your home for a at least a month. That’s the bare minimum. If you have the means to do it, consider a longer-term preparedness plan like the one we’ve outlined in The Prepper’s Blueprint, which is designed to provide for your family for an emergency lasting in excess of six months or longer.

If you do not have necessary supplies, you will be ill-equipped to survive this disaster. You’ll want to concentrate your efforts on the essentials first. This means emergency foods that can include pre-packaged Meals-Ready-To-Eat (MRE), freeze dried foods, and dry goods, all of which can be incorporated into your meal planning in order toprevent food fatigue over extended periods. It also means access to water, and because utility workers may stop showing up for work you’re going to need a water source or reserve water stores. Other critical yet often overlooked preparedness considerations for a self-quarantine scenario includes alternative lightingsanitation, alternative cooking and energy needs. Time is of the essence, and preparation is key.

If the Government Won’t Close Their Borders, You Should Close Yours

Because each of our circumstances are different and we live in varying population densities, each of us will have to make choices based on our specific needs. Some people commute to work, some work from home, and some live in the country where the threat of contagious viruses spreading in high volume isn’t as much of a concern as urban areas.

The government has made no attempts at closing its borders or to ban travelers living in Ebola zones even though the majority of Americans have said they want the borders temporarily closed from people originating in these countries. If they won’t close their borders, you can close yours. If Ebola makes its way to your community, shows up in your local hospital or within 50 miles of your home, consider activating a total lockdown procedure for your home and plan to bug in place until the threat has passed.

  • Activating social distancing protocols is the best way to avoid Ebola altogether. If you are prepared to live in your home for a month or longer without venturing into public areas, then you stand a better chance of surviving this pandemic. If you are able to work from home and live full-time at your bug out retreat, take any remaining supplies you have and go now before the pandemic escalates. When there is a concern for dangerous communicable diseases spreading, the CDC activates mandatory quarantines which are backed up bylaws and executive orders. No one goes in, and no one goes out.
  • James Rawles recently suggested that if you have 6 months worth of savings, perhaps it is worthwhile to take a leave of absence from your employment and live at your bug out retreat full time until the crisis passes.
  • If you do not have the flexibility of working from home and have to work in an office or warehouse setting, discuss contingency plans with your employer. In addition to educating employees, companies should review their emergency preparedness plans on how to respond if an employee falls sick on the job. The plan should include communicating with other employees, setting up an isolation room, transporting ill employees to the appropriate medical authorities, protecting employees who come into contact with those who are ill, setting up a disinfecting program, and monitoring contact tracing. Organizations could also consider screening employees at the worksite.

Have Supplies In Place

As more cases are confirmed in the United States people will panic. This is a given. We’ve seen it in West Africa already.

In the United States, after just a few confirmed cases, we’re already seeing shortages of pandemic prevention supplies such as respirator masks and full body coveralls. If we see an escalation with Ebola and cases continue to spread to more cities across America, you should fully expect a run on essential supplies like food, gas and bottled water.

Some will continue to believe this is under control. And maybe it will be soon. But what if it isn’t? Are you prepared to take that risk when developing a contingency plan takes very little effort and can be done on a shoestring budget?

Here is a basic starter list compiled from portions of The Prepper’s Blueprint. If you are serious about protecting yourself from a potential pandemic there is a lot to do, but the following guidelines can fast-track your preparedness and contingency plans.

Bug In Supplies

Water – Have a short term water supply. Emergency organizations suggest 1 gallon per person for 30 days. If one goes by this suggestion, to have 1 gallon per person per day, a family of 5 will need 35 gallons of water per week. Further, it would be ideal to have some tools to treat water such as a portable filtration system, chemical treatment tablets, etc., as well as a portable filtration system for your bug out bags. To learn the different methods of purifying water, click here.

Note: As a backup plan, consider investing in manual water pumps, tarps, rain gutters for the home to collect rain water and condensation from the ground, trees and bushes. This could save your life!

Food – Have a 30-day supply of shelf stable foods. You need to assume that electricity could go out, therefore look to foods that do not require refrigeration. To see how much your family would need, click here. Create a menu based around your shelf stable foods to ensure you have enough food to feed your family. Your menu should be realistic in the sense that it will provide your body with the necessary energy needs. This chart can help in researching caloric needs based on gender and ages. At the very least, plan for 1200 calories per meal. Keep healthy whole grains in mind when adding carbohydrates to your larder.

Sanitation – In a pandemic, everyone will fear going to their jobs and all forms of normal life will be on hold. This includes your trash pick ups. Have a basic sanitation kit and prepare for the fact that toilets won’t flush, trash won’t be collected and you will be on your own. When sanitary conditions are not up to par, there is an increase of diseases such as cholera, typhoid and diphtheria. Typically, women and children are the most affected by poor sanitary conditions. Women’s personal hygiene is essential to her health and should be considered a priority in your sanitation preparedness measures. Taking proper precautions and stocking up on sanitary items will help eliminate most issues regarding poor sanitation.

Alternative power – Disasters of any kind cause grid down scenarios. In this case, if a pandemic ensues, people are not going to risk exposing themselves to a deadly contagion just so the public has their electricity. Prepare to live in an off grid environment and invest in alternative means of power and invest in rechargeable batteries, solar battery chargers, generators, ample supplies of fuel and even a siphon for fuel. As well, if cold weather threatens the area where you live, have ample firewood and matches or a way to start a fire.

Communication – You can’t cut yourself off from the world, especially in a disaster. Our normal forms of communication – television, cell phones, land lines may not be available following a disaster. Therefore, you will need alternative forms of communication to communicate with neighbors, loved ones or to learn what is happening in your community. Having police scanners, radios, Ham radios to communicate to the outside world will give you a huge advantage in survival and security.

Security – Never underestimate the desperation of those who are unprepared or ill-equipped to survive. When one’s needs are not met, there is nothing they won’t do. Bugging in will require more planning and security on your part. Although living in an urban center may be the most difficult in terms of survival, those that live on the city’s outskirts and suburban areas will not be without their own set of challenges.

Considering that the majority of the U.S. population is centered in 146 of the country’s 3000 counties, chances are most of us live in urban areas, and special attention must be placed on security. We’ve read enough survival stories to know that drug addicts, released prisoners, those with mental illnesses and the unprepared will be the ones looting and pillaging. Those that live in densely populated areas will be the most vulnerable to this. To curtail this, amp up your security endeavors and preps.

For those with special needs, ensure that you have supplies and necessary medication ready for them (infants, elderly, handicapped, etc.).

Pandemic Supplies

Also, consider these tips for preparing your home and reducing the chances of contamination.

  1. Prepare a sick room for the home to limit family member’s exposure to the virus. If someone in the house is infected, then the person needs to be segregated to a room of the house and that room needs to be sealed off from the rest of the home either using plastic sheeting or duct taped closed with limited interaction from other family members.
  2. Consider all items coming in from the outside to be contaminated and should be washed with antibacterial soap or a chlorine mix before handling with bare hands. Therefore, any item you pick up after the emergency starts need to be handled accordingly.
  3. Seal air leaks in your home. All it takes is one particle of infectious material to doom your whole family. Since you will be indoors with not alot to do, do this.
  4. Any time you come into near contact with anybody who is infected, you will need a shower. This is not an option.
  5. All common items in the house should be disinfected after use regardless if anyone is sick. The kitchen and bathrooms should be meticulously cleaned after use.
  6. If a family member dies in quarantine, seal off the room until professionals can deal with it. Don’t risk it. If you decide to take matters into your own hands, Wear long pants and long sleeves. Tuck your sleeves into your gloves. Dig your grave prior to moving the body. Spray the areas of the body you intend to touch with your bleach solution and wait 10 minutes before touching the body. Avoid touching the torso and head of the deceased person and only touch the disinfected extremities. Disinfect your clothing and shower after the operation is complete.
  7. Looters and crime waves can occur during this so ensure you have a means to protect yourself and your preps.

With the holiday season almost upon us we can expect large swaths of people at retail outlets and airports. The best advice is to keep your social distance. Unless you absolutely have to, try to avoid highly dense social situations. Why take a chance when you don’t really have to?

As for friends and family showing up at your home, if Ebola has breached your personal borders then you should either send them away or require them to decontaminate in a pre-staged home quarantine area.

What you decide to do with this information is entirely up to you. This may well be the most significant national crisis since 9/11. Stock markets are crashing, city officials are scrambling to maintain order, and the public is second-guessing what officials are telling them.

The time is now for each of us take personal responsibility in preparing for this disaster. It’s real. It will spread. People will get sick and die. There will be panic.

An aggressive prevention plan is our only option.

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Ebola: "I'm a Hazmat-Trained Hospital Worker: Here's What No One Is…

Category: Health

Ebola: “I’m a Hazmat-Trained Hospital Worker: Here’s What No One Is Telling You About Ebola”


http://beforeitsnews.com/opinion-liberal/2014/10/ebola-im-a-hazmat-trained-hospital-worker-heres-what-no-one-is-telling-you-about-ebola-2492638.html

B4INREMOTE-aHR0cDovLzQuYnAuYmxvZ3Nwb3QuY29tLy1feE5EVlBmWDFwYy9WRUdFZEdja1VCSS9BQUFBQUFBQlZ6OC9KaVU1QkRDNzF0TS9zMTYwMC9uLUVCT0xBLUJPVFRMRS1sYXJnZTU3MC5qcGc=
by Abby Norman
Ebola is brilliant. It is a superior virus that has evolved and fine-tuned its mechanism of transmission to be near-perfect. That’s why we’re all so terrified. We know we can’t destroy it. All we can do is try to divert it, outrun it.

 
I’ve worked in health care for a few years now. One of the first things I took advantage of was training to become FEMA-certified for hazmat ops in a hospital setting. My rationale for this was that, in my home state of Maine, natural disasters are almost a given. We’re also, though you may not know it, a state that has many major ports that receive hazardous liquids from ships and transport them inland. In the back of my mind, of course, I was aware that any hospital in the world could potentially find itself at the epicenter of a scene from The Hot Zone. That was several years ago. Today I’m thinking, by God, I might actually have to use this training. Mostly, though, I’m aware of just that- that I did receive training. Lots of it. Because you can’t just expect any nurse or any doctor or any health care worker or layperson to understand the deconning procedures by way of some kind of pamphlet or 10-minute training video. Not only is it mentally rigorous, but it’s physically exhausting.

 
PPE, or, personal protective equipment, is sort of a catch-all phrase for the suits, booties, gloves, hoods and in many cases respirators worn by individuals who are entering a hot zone. These suits are incredibly difficult to move in. You are wearing several layers of gloves, which limits your dexterity to basically nil, the hoods limit the scope of your vision- especially your peripheral vision, which all but disappears. The suits are hot- almost unbearably so. The respirator gives you clean air, but not cool air. These suits are for protection, not comfort. Before you even suit up, your vitals need to be taken. You can’t perform in the suit for more than about a half hour at a time- if you make it that long. Heat stroke is almost a given at that point. You have to be fully hydrated and calm before you even step into the suit. By the time you come out of it, and your vitals are taken again, you’re likely to be feeling the impact- you may not have taken more than a few steps in the suit, but you’ll feel like you’ve run a marathon on a 90-degree day.

 
Getting the suit on is easy enough, but it requires team work. Your gloves, all layers of them, are taped to your suit. This provides an extra layer of protection and also limits your movement. There is a very specific way to tape all the way around so that there are no gaps or “tenting” of the tape. If you don’t do this properly, there ends up being more than enough open pockets for contamination to seep in.

 
If you’re wearing a respirator, it needs to be tested prior to donning to make sure it is in good condition and that the filter has been changed recently, so that it will do its job. Ebola is not airborne. It is not like influenza, which spreads on particles that you sneeze or cough. However, Ebola lives in vomit, diarrhea and saliva- and these avenues for infection can travel. Projectile vomiting is called so for a reason. Particles that are in vomit may aerosolize at the moment the patient vomits. This is why if the nurses in Dallas were in the room when the first patient, Thomas Duncan, was actively vomiting, it would be fairly easy for them to become infected. Especially if they were not utilizing their PPE correctly.

 
The other consideration is this: The “doffing” procedure, that is, the removal of PPE, is the most crucial part. It is also the point at which the majority of mistakes are made, and my guess is that this is what happened in Dallas.

 
The PPE, if worn correctly, does an excellent job of protecting you while you are wearing it. But eventually you’ll need to take it off. Before you begin, you need to decon the outside of the PPE. That’s the first thing. This is often done in the field with hoses or mobile showers/tents. Once this crucial step has occurred, the removal of PPE needs to be done in pairs. You cannot safely remove it by yourself. One reason you are wearing several sets of gloves is so that you have sterile gloves beneath your exterior gloves that will help you to get out of your suit. The procedure for this is taught in FEMA courses, and you run drills with a buddy over and over again until you get it right. You remove the tape and discard it. You throw it away from you. You step out of your boots, careful not to let your body touch the sides. Your partner helps you to slither out of the suit, again, not touching the outside of it. This is difficult, and it cannot be rushed. The respirators need to be deconned, batteries changed, filters changed. The hoods, once deconnned, need to be stored properly. If the suits are disposable, they need to be disposed of properly. If not, they need to be thoroughly deconned and stored safely. And they always need to be checked for rips, tears, holes, punctures or any other even tiny, practically invisible openings that could make the suit vulnerable. Can anyone tell me if this happened in Dallas?

 
We run at least an annual drill at my hospital each year. We are a small hospital and thus are a small emergency response team. But because we make a point to review our protocols, train our staff (actually practice donning/doffing gear), I realized this week that this puts us ahead at some much larger and more notable hospitals in the United States. Every hospital should be running these types of emergency response drills yearly, at least. To hear that the nurses in Dallas reported that there were no protocols at their hospital broke my heart. Their health care system failed them. In the United States we always talk about how the health care system is failing patients, but the truth is, it has failed its employees too. Not just doctors and nurses, but allied health professionals as well. The presence of Ebola on American soil has drawn out the true vulnerabilities in the health care system, and they are not fiscally based. We spend trillions of dollars on health care in this country- yet the allocation of those funds are grossly disproportionate to how other countries spend their health care expenditures. We aren’t focused on population health. Now, with Ebola threatening our population, the truth is out.

 
The truth is, in terms of virology, Ebola should not be a threat to American citizens. We have clean water. We have information. We have the means to educate ourselves, practice proper hand-washing procedures, protect ourselves with hazmat suits. The CDC Disease Detectives were dispatched to Dallas almost immediately to work on the front lines to identify those who might be at risk, who could have been exposed. We have the technology, and we certainly have the money to keep Ebola at bay. What we don’t have is communication. What we don’t have is a health care system that values preventative care. What we don’t have is an equal playing field between nurses and physicians and allied health professionals and patients. What we don’t have is a culture of health where we work symbiotically with one another and with the technology that was created specifically to bridge communication gaps, but has in so many ways failed. What we don’t have is the social culture of transparency, what we don’t have is a stopgap against mounting hysteria and hypochondria, what we don’t have is nation of health literate individuals. We don’t even have health-literate professionals. Most doctors are specialists and are well versed only in their field. Ask your orthopedist a general question about your health- see if they can comfortably answer it.

 
Health care operates in silos- we can’t properly isolate our patients, but we sure as hell can isolate ourselves as health care workers.  As we slide now into flu season, into a time of year when we are normally braced for winter diseases, colds, flus, sick days and cancelled plans, the American people has also now been truly exposed to another disease entirely: the excruciating truth about our health care system’s dysfunction- and the prognosis doesn’t look good.

 
Note: In response to some comments, I would like to clarify that I am FEMA-trained in level 3 hazmat in a hospital setting. I am a student, health guide and writer, but I am not a nurse.“

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