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September 21, 2005

New and Improved List for Surviving the Avian Flu


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Bijou: Waddya think Petey, are they ready for this again?
Petey: Well the Pres did mention us at the UN the other day, and we're making the front page more often.
Bijou: Got your Tamiflu yet?
Petey: No, but I'm spending alot of time in the elderberry bushes.

Enough frivolity - at the risk of beating a dead ..... errrr - I am repeating a previous entry . If you overwhelm easily, best start with the list that keeps its simple.

As we have learned from our experience with a Katrina, preparation is a good thing. A pandemic of avian flu may or may not be on its way, so here's my new and improved prep list for a voluntary quarantine to save you some research. The clickies are just there to facilitate ordering for the busy. They're places I've purchased stuff, but not necessarily the best. Feel free to do your own research.

If it really gets bad, those that provide essential services will be too sick to do so, or as the experience of SARS in Canada showed us, people just won't show up to do their jobs, thus the camping equipment.

. READ FLUWIKI a most reliable source of information about the avian flu. Begun as a cooperative venture by a variety of experts, it will tell you everything you need to know about this issue, and more.

. KEEP YOUR CAR FILLED WITH GAS at all times - maybe store some extra fuel in lawn mower gas carriers.

. KEEP CASH on hand, though it may not do you any good. Think of barterables.

. ESTABLISH AN EMAIL ACCOUNT AT GMAIL OR YAHOO that can be remotely accessed

. PREPARE A LIST OF IMPORTANT FINANCIAL AND MEDICAL DATA AND STORE IT ON A USB CARD that you can grab quickly if you have to leave your house suddenly

Probably the worst place to visit during a pandemic is the drugstore, since relatives of the sick are most likely to be there. So, along with supplies to keep your symptoms at bay if you catch the flu, keep your good grooming stuff on hand -- soap, deodorant, kleenex, toilet paper, razors (shave beards so that face masks can seal properly)

. WATER - This is essential. You will be dead in a week without it, whereas you can live quite sometime without food, (some of us longer than others). The rule of thumb seems to be a gallon of water per person per day. Some experts are saying that a flu seige could last as long as three months, though I doubt that the water supply will be cut off for that long. Order collapsible containers from the net - bottled water is treated for bacteria and may last longer in storage. You will need to refill the collapsibles regularly, or just wait until it looks like water might be in short supply before filling them. I have ordered two 55 gallon water barrels , which, with the proper preservatives, will, ostensibly, keep water safe for five years without having to replenish it. The shipping cost as much as the barrels, but I figured time is money.
A friend who lives in earthquake country says she was told to fill old bleach bottles with water, after they're empty - just enough chlorine left for purification. This water purification aficionado has a number of different systems for gathering and purifying water, have cotton, white socks, charcoal and coffee filters on hand for homemade solutions. Consider having a water filtration system in place, small or large.

. goggles that seal, like swim goggles
. safety goggles (found in hardware stores) will fit over glasses and, at least, stop you from rubbing your eyes
. face masks - nanomasks are supposedly virus proof, others recommend 3M 95N PC2000 respirators, I have some of both .
. large garbage bags
. smallish garbage bags
. bleach - a primary viricidal - have many gallons on hand, but don't buy it until the last minute, since it loses potency when stored
. laundry detergent
. baby wipes - for personal cleanup without water
. latex gloves --large supply disposable
. household rubber gloves
. batteries
. flashlights and lanterns (LED preferably) a shakeable sort or the crank kind (as clickied) so you won't have to worry about running out of batteries
. candles
. matches
. charcoal briquettes
. fill BBQ propane tanks
. campstove + fuel or
. a hurricane stove that connects to a BBQ butane tank - you will need a special hookup tube too.
. a Big Green Egg or a little one-- uses very little charcoal, but a hibachi and a big bucket with which to quench its fire would probably be a decent alternative
. a solar oven, download plans to build your own, if it comes to that
. water purification tabs
. a wind-up radio that doesn't depend on
. denatured alcohol
. TWO can openers, just in case one breaks
.empty spray bottles to use for spraying self, clothing, cars, outerwear shoes with 10% bleach solution if you have to go out and come in
. PRINT OUT Dr. Grattan Woodson's preparation manual , so that you will have it on hand if your computer doesn't work. Make extra copies and distribute them. Put them in your waiting room, libraries,


.. Be sure to have at least a month's supply of all the prescription drugs you and your family take for existing conditions

. Tamiflu - be sure to check the expiration date. It's very expensive - maybe your doctor will write you a prescription (though most doctors don't think there's a problem, but they're not epidemiologists, who definitely do), or you can get them on the net for a premium without a scrip. NOTE: Tamiflu is in VERY short supply, if you do nothing else, order it now. If you cannot get Tamiflu, try to order Relenza, an antiviral inhalant, which is also supposed to be effective in preventing the lethal symptoms of H5N1. There is no vaccine at this time. Alternative medicine - see below -- is certainly worth a try, since there definitely won't be enough Tamiflu for all those affected if H5N1 becomes a pandemic

. you might want to order some amantadine (another antiviral) too

. antibiotics for secondary infections - I personally ordered tetracycline (Doxine 100mg, 250 tabs) and erythromycin (E-mycin 400mg, 200 tabs), without a prescription on line from a pharmacy in New Zealand. You might not want to do this, or maybe your doctor would prescribe it for you.

. Have your hepatitus, typhoid and tetanus shots updated.

. get your regular flu shots this fall, as well as a pneumonia shot

Sambucol elderberry syrup - a proven viricidal that comes in sugarless too. (on a somewhat chilling note, I noticed that they are limiting orders to 3 bottles per person)--some additional information on elderberry syrup read befor ordering
. red wine - a viricidal for its ingredient resveratrol - evidently New York State Pinot Noir has the highest resveratrol levels, but it isn't available, because it doesn't taste very good. -- Trader Joes has Charles Shaw red for @ $3.00/ bottle, not bad for medicinal purposes
. if you cannot drink wine, you can get the anitviral ingredient resveratrol in capsule form at health food stores or on line - however, there is something about grape skins soaked in alcohol that cannot be matched

. IMMUNE SYSTEM BOOSTERS - the clerk at Whole Foods told me to alternate between a bottle of elderberry, then astragalus, then reishi mushrooms. Do you really want to stimulate your immune system?

. kombucha tea - Yoga tea makes it
. fresh garlic - get a string
. miso
. onions - get a sack
. shitake mushrooms (come dried in big bags at Costco)
. more about herbs for avian flu

. Omega 3 fatty acids and flax seed oil protect lungs
. Gaterade for electrolyte replacement - it comes in powdered form for easier storage
. vitamins to make up for the lack of fresh fruit and vegies
. Theraflu, Nyquil, Sudafed or the generic, for symptom relief
. aspirin, ibuprofen, tylenol
. No Salt, for potassium replacement
. peptobismal
. cough medicine

. colloidal sovereign silver
. Croalus Horridus? (rattlesnake venom, what can I say-- it was recommended by a commentator on Fluwiki)
. the homeopathic remedies Arsenicum and Gelsemium were used successfully in the 1918 flu pandemic

I went to Ocean State Joblot, a local surplus store, and roamed the aisles for bargains. Lobster bisque, olives and jarred artichokes were plentiful. I could choke these down in a pinch. Got a case of canned salmon. All this can be donated to your local shelter if you don't use it.

coffee and tea - and a non electric way of making/ grinding them
parmalot- real milk preserved for the shelf for milk drinkers
coffeemate/powdered milk
bouillion cubes

Some of us could learn to bake, if our ovens work.

baking powder
baking soda
powdered milk
olive oil
crisco (does anyone use it for anything anymore?)

dried fruit
power/granola bars

canned fish or meat (salmon, tuna, sardines, chicken, spam or ham [Plumrose makes one that needs no refrigeration til it's open])
huge bag of rice (I got jasmine at Costco)-remember, however, it needs cooking
dried or canned beans
canned chili
canned soups
canned stew
canned veggies (yuck, except for corn and beets)
chick peas
dried mushrooms, shitake are good for the immune system
sun dried tomatoes

a sack of onions
a sack of potatoes
a string of garlic
blue hubbard squash will last the winter

peanut butter
soy sauce

Think of things you can eat with little prep, because you may not have any power, or you may be ill.
ramen noodles
instant hot cereals
cold cereals
pasta and sauce
power bars
MREs army issued meals
I would say rice bowls etc, but if something has to be microwaved, you might not have the facilities

You could try stock piling frozen foods, especially if you are a meat or vegie fancier, but you may lose them all if the power fails. I decided to get some bags of frozen vegetables -- if my freezer goes, I can always make vegetable soup over the campfire

Cheese, butter ( canned is available - good for barter) and bread can be frozen, and refrozen if thawed, according to the hurricane clean up folks -- if you're into any of that

Lettuce, mesclun, parsley, herbs, beans, nasturtium and radishes (I think) can be grown inside on sunny window sills if you have seeds, and you're shut in for a spell. Sprouts can be sprouted

Boredom could be your worst enemy
demold your grout
organize your photo albums
clean your closets
reupholster your furniture
reread Dakota

. a portable toilet with enzymes (this may not be luxury if flushing is impossible) or considera nifty portable ensemble
. a generator or inverter
. battery powered TV, with DVD or video player
. good red wine instead of swill
. a laptop computer with supplemental battery pack
. satellite telephone with handcranked recharger
. a hand cranked cellphone recharger
. a nifty combo
. a carbon monoxide detector
. a bicycle with a basket or paniers
. no rinse shampoo and body wash
I'll add to this list as I think of stuff.

If you aren't overwhelmed yet, here are some lessons to be learned from Sarajevo.

Photo note: Petey and Bijou live in the big birdcage in the center of Petco. They move around too much for the dim lighting of their habitat, thus all the sweet pictures of them kissing are blurry. Those aren't their real names either. I looked up bird names on the net and picked two, arbitrarily.

Posted by Dakota at September 21, 2005 06:46 AM