The threat presented by Ebola has been grossly overblown in recent weeks. It’s true that there have been a few cases in the US, but the reality is that the disease has been well and responsibly contained where it has appeared.
The possibility of pandemic is very real, however, and it is worth it to prepare for any eventuality.
The first step to meeting the threat of pandemic is to be realistic about understandings of disease and how it spreads. In the case of an aggressive illness, your first step to avoiding contamination is to stay away from crowded places, especially places where travelers congregate, like airports and train or bus terminals. It’s also a good idea to stay away from places where sick people congregate, such as hospitals and pharmacies.
In addition to avoiding crowded places, washing your hands regularly with soap and warm water is one of the best ways to control the spread of disease. Getting in the habit of regular hand washing now will go a long way in the event of a pandemic.
If the spread of this hypothetical pathogen is left unchecked, or the CDC has trouble containing the disease, then your best bet for safety is to shelter-in-place. In order to safely do this, you must have a well-planned strategy and a fully stocked cupboard of emergency supplies. For a complete list of shelter-in-place survival supplies, check out our resources page. In an emergency like this, it is possible that you would need to stay in your home for weeks, or even months. Having a long-term plan for your family’s survival can make a huge difference in a situation like this, especially if you find yourself forced into very suddenly hunkering down. Disaster Guyz clients have peace of mind that they are prepared for emergencies like this.
If you do have to go out, at the bare minimum, it is worth it to wear a particulate mask. The masks are not effective at preventing you from coming into contact with a pathogen, but it will help to keep you from spreading the disease should you become infected. Assuming a worst-case scenario, it might be worth your time to pick up a hazardous materials suit. These will be much better at protecting you than a paper mask, and though they look funny, if used properly, they will certainly keep you safer than the alternative.
In a worst-case pandemic disaster, the best way to protect yourself and your family is to stay informed, be prepared to shelter-in-place, and use your common sense. Stay safe out there!