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Massachusetts Area Preppers

by: NauticalMan

Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 16:14:36 PM EST

Notice "old yella" is getting fewer and fewer posts, so as much as I love it and am there every day, time for us to join the rest of our fellow New England states and have our own warm cozy nook here on the future forum.  Welcome all!
NauticalMan :: Massachusetts Area Preppers
My town is well run with elected selectmen, town manager, limited town meeting, but my few inquiries over the last year has revealed the following, which I assume are not much different from other MA towns:

There is no information on the town website re avian flu or pandemic whatsoever.  When questioned, the health departments idea if it does come seems to consist of plans to distribute the vaccine when it becomes available, pointing out the obvious holes in that scenario did not compute with head of that department. Further questions and facts brought up were simply met by repeating of their idea. Talks with the Municipal light department revealed their plan is to use the Department of Homelands Security mutual assistance plans, no response to my reasoning as to why that will not work, answer from the manager was that is what the rest of the town departments are doing.  No response when I have sent a couple of the excellent and well thought out ideas found here on the wikie.  Must be a secret plan!  Which, if no one knows about it and the power goes out,it will remain secret and useless, IMHO.  Maybe our plan is to hope.  Hope that something will trickle down from the Feds to the State etc.  Not very encouraging to say the least. Any of my fellow citizens here live in a community that has done better?  Seem to recall that there are few that have been mentioned here in the past.

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MA to be added to the ara preppers list
Harvard Panflu Conference
The last two days I have been at a pandemic (avian) flu conference sponsored by Harvard and held at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. It was notable for having different nationalities and experts from many fields - public health, virologists, vets, docs, historians, anthropologists, economists, etc. The papers will be published in a special edition of the Journal of Infectous Diseases so are not available online but over the next few days I will try to summarize some of the more interesting points. (Tired now and busy too.) A few things: though "normal" flu vaccines do not work well, better ones (without adjuvants) are coming soon and in quantity. Controlling animal disease through novel means is promising. Non-pharmaceutical interventions are promising, as many on FW know. Rather little on prepping or adequate stockpiling of antibiotics though. Nothing on corporate preps and need to keep the grid up. Still, a broad and synergistic attempt with many different points of view, including several from and on China. More later, but maybe not here? 

Would you please post your review in a new diary when you have time n/t

You want perspective. I want perspective. Let's talk. We don't have to agree on every thing. If we do, one of us is redundant.

[ Parent ]
even if their officials aren't doing better
let's get some Massachusetts residents in here...

I'm currently in Middlesex county. (are you coastal, "Nautical" Man?)

Emailing fellow residents may get more awareness and preparedness happening than emailing officials, I am beginning to think, though, neither tend to write back.


Emailing Residents and/or Officials
do not seem to have had much effect on my part crfullmoon.
Have persuaded a couple of folks into prepping, an old friend, BIL, one neighbor that I know of.  As you can see by my opening remarks when I started this thread, oops, make that DIARY, no luck at all with town officials here on my end.  It is very frustrating.  As per my comment above, maybe they have some sort of plan, but last time I checked the town website there was no sign of it.  Not very comfortable putting myself out there any more than I have already.

On another front, still prepping on the assumption of YOYO.
Another few cases of MREs yesterday, but have slowed way down due to Christmas and the need to pay off past preps and the Holiday bills.  Reading the Diary about the power failure in the NW is very sobering.  Worry a lot about DW who is very susceptible to the cold.  Next week will get another face cord of wood to store inside my garage, hope to at least be able to heat for a month.  Hope that grid failure will not be prolonged in worst case scenario.  Already used the hot water bottles to try out and work great.  The old timers knew how to keep warm without central heating, we can learn from them.

No, much as I would like to live right on the coast, am somewhat inland, also in Middlesex County.  Of course, given that Middlesex seems to be where gerrymandering first took root, that can mean anywhere from Cambridge to almost NH if my recall is correct.  Hope to add an email address to my page soon.  Good to see you here.  Old yeller is getting very few posts as time goes by.  Think most folks are getting used to the new forum here.  Even computer challenged people like myself seem to be getting the hang of it..

Experience has taught me that there are few conspiracies, but much incompetence

[ Parent ]
I am not in Middlesex County but close. Grew up there and moved a little north but I do keep an eye on the Mass threads since I work in Mass.

[ Parent ]
Contact the Patrick/Murray transition team
This issue won't wait; let's let them know we know about pandemic influenza, and try and help get them off to a good start on leadership for preparedness...


Ask them onto the forums, show them some of your bookmarked pages, let's find out who's on their team (and how big they'd like to make it).

Happy Holidays- and good luck in the new year!

Good article on Taunton in the news thread today!


all the school stuff is here
so you can 'go local' with it.


One thing about the Taunton and the other articles is they name names. Superindendents like to call each other, especially if they can identify a counterpart. So, giving an article with a name to your local school person is a way to get them to call the named person in the article.


[ Parent ]
Call your state officials - don't let the new year be like last year
as far as local unpreparedness for a pandemic influenza year goes..

Pixie, Person who answered the phone said, in response to my comments, But- senator has a pandemic bill "they" want signed now, but- senator had an "all-hazards" public talk in Ayer last fall, Well, we didn't know about the Feb2006 state panflu summit "because we weren't invited" (and they hadn't heard at that time of the pandemicflu.gov site that had been up for four months- nor of Leavitt's Dec announcement he would come tell all 50 states - I had called after the MA date was posted; to ask who was attending)

What do you want the senator to do?? (I said, Have communities do the first task on the pandemicflu.gov checklist; the one that involves all the public/private stakeholders figuring out how they'll cope, non-pharmaceutically, and given the recent IOM findings on prompt school closure, ect. I also named names, so, I'm mud.)

Have things outside the house I need to do anyway; I do better on keyboard, believe it or not, than I do on the phone... ("Hey, Rocky; watch me pull a calm, persuasive-to-politicians dialog outta my hat!" "Again," Bullwinkle? -not-)

People who live or work in MA, please call too; you're likely to do a better job, and the more "they" hear this issue is on the public's radar, (and they won't be able to get away with, We had no idea it could be this bad, because the public will know there was plenty of science/reality-driven warning panflu could be very bad indeed if it breaks out in 2007.)

Ok- re-reading NauticalMan's, post above; maybe no one can get through to the people supposed to be guarding the public good... (but, try anyway).

If I do speak with someone else, I will also ask, What is going on with the incoming governor; what if pandemic breaks out next month? Who will tell the people now, so we have better local household and community contingency preparedness, and least loss of life?

Transition team for Governor-Elect Patrick
Week or so back I did send an email to the incoming Governor's transition team as they have been looking for citizen's input.  Suggested the first thing they could do is try to shake loose and get funded the outgoing governor's bill in the State Legislature which was to provide for additional funding for emergency room beds, more ventilators and so on..  Do not recall the exact details, other than whatever it did entail, the legislature was sitting on it due to the usual problems, whether political or procedural, or simply lack of urgency. 

While I have not received a reply, possibly some of us MA posters could do the same.  http://www.patrickmu...

Perhaps contacting our legislative leaders may help also.  That will be my next move.  Probably, like many others, they may not be suffiecently informed to cosider this a serious priority.  Good Luck.

And a Happy, but above all, HEALTHY New Year to all my fellow Fluwikians!!

Experience has taught me that there are few conspiracies, but much incompetence

Why would anyone even run for Gov who wasn't ready to have panflu year on their watch??!
from a news story linked elsewhere; ..."A spokeswoman for Governor-elect Deval Patrick said that
she expects him to consult his health secretary, Dr. JudyAnn Bigby ,
before deciding how to proceed with flu pandemic preparations." ... !

Found: http://blog.hcfama.o... ..."to be his Secretary of Health & Human Services. Dr. Bigby is an internist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston (she is Mayor Tom Menino’s personal physician), where she is also medical director of the Center for Perinatal and Family Health. She is also faculty member at Harvard Medical School where she serves as director of the Harvard Medical School Center of Excellence in Women’s Health."...

(Can leave comments on that blog, they say.)

(NauticalMan, I am afraid those who do get "enough" information to know how serious it is, also, at the same time, get a dose of "and so, we can't tell the public now, or they'll panic/riot/tank the economy early, since there's no top-down govt solution, except to let it happen, and then tell survivors what to do.")

Pandemic may break out at any time; what if that's next week?
Once it starts it is too late to prepare...
H5N1 may go pandemic at current fatality rate...

Where's Massachusetts' revolutionary, ready-at-a-minute's notice spirit now, when we need it?

found you all at last! good tips
Thanks  for link to contact Gov,Nautical Man. I will make similar comments as you did, perhaps then yours will ring the bell (in their heads) a bit louder. Am due to meet with state senator and Rep about another issue in two weeks, and will try to ask about/push/plug this also. I live in metro boston area.

My Harvard educated Brigham and Women's doc, thinks it's a waste of time to worry about prepping for a pandemic. Hope this other Brigham doc, Menino's doc and the "expert" they'll rely on, is better informed or at least more open.
my first post on new forum, hope I did it right. happy new year.

why do so many docs get deaf about the
"may go pandemic at any time with current worst-case H5N1 cfr"? Nothing to do? Don't they want to live through a pandemic; sense of duty, anything?

(I hope we have another two weeks, given the odd stuff going on, on two or three continents.)

(I'd even take the hassle of two or three more years surrounded by people with their heads in the sand, if we'd be so lucky to get through this year.)

Which state Sen and Rep -want us to call, too, and ask why community pandemic preparedness isn't happening like the state/local pandemicflu.gov checklist said to, first off?

[ Parent ]
Welcome to the New Forum jplanner!
Great to see you and many of the other MA citizens.  We will all miss the old Forum and its simplicity, but this is a lot more robust and useful.  Know I learned a tremendous amount in the last  16-17 months, too much according to a lot of friends and neighbors!

Would think that after all that time that I would be fully prepped, but never seem to finish all on my list.  When I get close to the end it seems to expand and fill with new stuff I need!

Experience has taught me that there are few conspiracies, but much incompetence

call Governor Patrick this morning
Hi. Thinking I may not be able to get on to ask a question

about when the local/household pandemic flu year preparedness will start being promoted, (and why aren't the resources and example of "online citizen think tanks" like The Flu Wiki being used/followed?)

when Gov.Patrick is on WBUR 90.9 this afternoon for a call-in show, so, I thought, why not call his office this morning? Then thought; why don't as many of us from MA that can, on short notice, call?

(Do they ever look to see what is getting typed in the Search boxes, btw?) http://www.mass.gov/...

"Governor Patrick and Lt.Governor Murray would love to hear from you" State House
Office of the Governor
Office of the Lt. Governor
Room 360
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: (617) 725-4005
  (888) 870-7770 (instate use only)
FAX:  (617) 727-9725
TTY:  (617) 727-3666

WBUR: "3:00 PM Live-Call in with Governor Deval Patrick
Host: Bob Oakes
Governor Deval Patrick answers listeners questions"
Bob Oakes:  Boakes (at) wbur.bu.edu http://www.wbur.org/...

Illuminatus took notes on the "Engaging the Public in Pandemic Flu Planning" webcast: http://www.singtomeo...
Read Pixie's third post: ..."Very interesting. Dr. Lasker has very definitively declared a limited role for public health in this coming emergency. She has, even more than I, boxed them into a narrowly proscribed alley of responsibility.

Her best statement was that public health needs to learn to:

be open to a process that is run by other folks in the community."

Yup. Run by other folks.

That means public health is not going to be in charge, and she is telling them to get comfortable with that.

Now, Dr. Lasker has most likely tried it the other way. She's probably tried to wheedle, cajole, and inspire public health to take the lead in pandemic preparations and mitigation planning, but I'll bet she had the same luck that many of the rest of us have had."...

(please read Pixie's the whole post, on the above link).

Politicians can't keep only talking about what they hear the taxpayers ask about; no one told the public H5N1 may start a pandemic influenza year at any time, with its current fatality rate, and every household needs to be preparing,

so we are a resiliant Commonwealth trying to prevent or solve our own problems and reduce death tolls. Communities can't plan drop the ball and think there will be any mutual aid, state or federal rescue available; every place is planning to drop the ball if we have worse than 1968 flu season. Not warning the public to prepare will result in too many young people dying; not acceptable. So many will be lost to collateral, cascades of, problems, that any economic "Recovery" would be highly unlikely.

Tell the truth now and we may still have time to adjust and prepare; don't wait, and risk having an outraged, grieving public, saying We would have taken action ourselves to prepare, if you had told us the scientists had been warning it could be this bad, and our children might die.

We have wasted over a year; let health depts prepare to count the sick and dead and wait for vaccines; get the First Task started on Local Levels http://www.pandemicf... "Establish a Pandemic Preparedness Coordinating Committee that represents all relevant stakeholders in the jurisdiction (including governmental, public health, healthcare, emergency response, agriculture, education, business, communication, community based, and faith-based sectors, as well as private citizens) and that is accountable for articulating strategic priorities and overseeing the development and execution of the jurisdiction's operational pandemic plan."

Don't continue to leave it to one health department guy per municiplaity, who thinks the public can't handle the truth but will have to suffer the consequences, and just asks for "emergency" volunters, who don't know a deadly plague is what they'd be thrown to (and they will not have been vaccinated first -despite unethical recruiting tactics-) and, town officials who say, Why should they know or do or tell anything; pandemic is not their job, right? Isn't that the health guy's job; and he says we have plans; everything is under control. Might not even happen right? Why prepare and risk "being wrong" by mext election?

Pixie is saying it very well, see her second post here: http://www.singtomeo... ..."Many of us have tip-toed around those in authority, particularly the public health community who we thought would be "in charge" in this kind of a situation, so that we did not step on any toes. No one was willing to create adversaries that we'd have to work with later as that just would not have been prudent. We weren't willing to tell our mayors and other leaders that the public health officials advising them (to do nothing) were incompetent and maybe dangerous. We tried to not burn our bridges, to let everybody have the time needed to come around. We figured maybe since they're embedded in a bureaucracy that it would take a bit more time for the public health sector and the leadership they advise to become fully engaged.

We waited.

It's been 15 months since a very pointed Pandemic Plan was unveiled by our federal government charging our state and local leaders with a new and difficult task, that of preparing their communities for a pandemic. Those leaders did nothing in response. A year ago, state summits were called to present the hard-hitting data to our local public health leaders (mine chose not to attend) and others with leadership responsibilities.

Then we waited.

And waited.

And now it is today. And nothing has happened in between. I can fairly look any of my state or local public health officials in the eye and now tell them that I waited patiently for them, and now the waiting is over. I see no reason at this point to hold back on very serious criticism of their lack of efforts even in the local (or wider) media. If they did not wish to see this criticism coming, they should have done something earlier. We've had months of total silence from them, that's had the effect of turning any early awareness the pandemic plan launch or the state summits might have had to the fully "OFF" position.

So now I'm faced with spending hours translating case of H5N1 after case of H5N1 (so often in little kids), too many to keep track of, while local people look at me and say "but that bird flu thing is all over now, isn't it?"

Public health in many localities has completely abrogated their duties, if you think of public health as many of us had in a wider sense than crunching data for official reports.

Even at the most basic level of awareness and communications, public health has failed our citizens. They don't have any idea what's ahead. They are not prepared. There's little reason now to coddle the public health officials or any other leaders who have made the decision to take themselves effectively out of this quotient."...

What you say is sad but true crfullmoon
Yesterday I went back to my town's website, did a search for pandemic, influenza, flu, etc.  Only response was regarding a flu clinic back in November.  After all my emailing and/or talking to town manager, head of municipal electric, health department, response was zilch.

Looks as if Winter is finally coming to our part of the world here in MA, feel as if I am as ready as can be and hope that in worst case scenario can heat my home and survive a SIP, with the caveat that we get intermittent electricity and water at least a small percentage of the time, enough to refill my water supply and give the old woodstove a respite to stretch my supply of wood.  Doc Woodson is right when he says we need to have a community to survive, but after much effort on my part, only one neighbor that I know of is doing any prepping at all.  It truly looks like YOYO when TSHTF, and my PPF increased today reading that at least one health care worker has contracted AI in Indonesia.  Do not expect to see WHO proclaim Phase IV, but IMHO it is here.  Will not take much more to set me off on the last preps, fresh food and such.

Think if I prepped for another year I would only be incrementally more prepared, have a list for the final dash.  Will still expend some energy and time trying to persuade others, but as I mentioned the other day here, think it was in response to something Kim posted, am so disgusted am just about ready to say the hell with all those who have ignored me.  Think my conversion rate is about 3 out of 100 tries or more.. 

Experience has taught me that there are few conspiracies, but much incompetence

just had an old friend (with 3 kids) flip out at me
on the phone when she caught me discussing the situation with her EMT honcho spouse (who when asked said they are starting a 5-week county drill). I told him it may go at current cfr and most plans failed by not telling the households to prep- by her response when she got home I think even they are not prepped at home. I didn't say avoidance, denial, and doubting the messenger didn't defend the Boxing Day tsunami coast, nor the 9th ward of NOLA, and, volcano warnings for a year don't mean one shouldn't get off the darn volcano.

If I do have time to move away, I may not bother having a listed phone number...


Hey Nautical Man, I just don't know what we can do.

[ Parent ]
come to Maine!
...but I can't promise that you'll feel much better here. You could check out property listings in sagadahoc county! I would love to have you two(+ families) nearby. That's for sure.

Be careful in this new storm. I can hardly wait though. b-d

[ Parent ]
if there's time
I may - sure sick of no one addressing local pandemic preparedness here, and it is going to be too little too late, at this point.

[ Parent ]
New England Patriots beat the great San Diego Chargers!
Go Pats!!!!

Sorry San Diego fans, you have an excellent team and I really expected that this time the Patriots could not overcome all that you brought to the game.  I am almost as shocked as all of you, but obviously much happier!

bird dog let me know how the meetings turn out, hope reaction there is better than here.

Experience has taught me that there are few conspiracies, but much incompetence

venturing into RL
I've been mostly lurking around Flublogia for over a year, and encouraging people I known online to learn more and perhaps do some personal prep.  But so far I haven't been able to overcome my shyness and approach local officials about pandemic planning.  I don't even know if our city has a plan.  Before I go calling up town offices in the phone book, anybody have any suggestions for where/how to start? 

I have links to the Mass. plan and state and local planning checklists.  I'd just rather not make a a fool of myself in the process of getting locally involved.  (This isn't just vanity; it'll also help with getting taken seriously if there isn't already local action about this.)

hi caia -short story; they have no workable plan
If they have not informed your citizens after the pandemic flu.gov and WHO "ten things" websites went up Oct.2005

they have no workable plan (Any of those past clusters might have been the start; they only know it wasn't after it stops. How many h-h-h can we wait for sequence results until luck runs out?)

If they did not pay attention and get information out to the public after the Feb. 2006 MA Pandemic Flu Summit with the feds (closed-door, "all-hazards equally" planning does no good)

they have no workable plan

If they think plans the public didn't discuss and agree to, such as turning their schools into Influenza Specialty Care Units, and into Emergency Distribution points, and that having plans to hand out vaccine (we care barely make and may not work) without preparing how we will stay alive for 6 to 8 months until small quantities of vaccine are rationed out (and then what? Pandemic won't be over by then)

they have no workable plan

If they asked people to volunteer as Medical Reserve Corps or community emergency volunteers but didn't say, it's for panflu; sitting bedside while young healthy people die of ARDS, or, elders and others die because they can't get their Rx meds or hospital care, and if cemetery departents said, land for mass graves? plenty; we're all set,

they have no workable plan

If officals are using the govt spreadsheets as if the low numbers are what they should be using to guide their preparations, without taking into account what H5N1 is doing, to what ages, now, and that seasonal flu attack rates are so low because of partial immunity and some vaxed populace, and we have zero immunity to H5N1,

they have no workable plan

If they have not told the public H5N1 and pandemic is not going away but getting worse, and they (and essential workers and responders families) need to stock up for months of supply chain disruptions, use the govt checklists for businesses, schools, non-profit groups as starting points, be discussing the hard issues about how to keep enough essentials going, and what happens when everyone's money runs out, and how will we accept triage, palliative care, and field expedient burials, care for homebound by illness or quarantine without getting infected, deal with stranded travellers and orphans...

they have no workable plan.

(If the first responders who have heard the local planning think "everything will collapse in a fortnight" if it's worse than seasonal flu... well, you know.)

Sorry, caia; even though most thought "it is not in their job description", so; they have "no responsibility" to tell the public, or, they think it is so bad "there's nothing we can do" (instead of geting mental health care) they think we should be kept calm and unpanicked as long as possible, to be surprised and suffer and die (without arguing with them for several months before pandemic starts, and ruffling the economy - not that pandemic wouldn't tank the economy anyway after so many preventable deaths) or, they panicked and decided to "hope it won't happen" and then ignored any scary information points, and agreed with any spin out there about maybe H5N1 can't even go pandemic, it will takes months to come here if it did; we'd have time and warning enough to prepare, it will be good enough to wait until it starts, then send information to the public and tell them how to nurse "the sick" at home, tough it out without stocks of supplies. (The govts couldn't really have meant no aid; we'll get some sort of push packs and help, right?? and vaccine will be able to be made, and won't take long; (what do they care; they put themselves on top of the vax lists; they have the "emergency plans" and authority flowcharts, and know the state or army will crackdown if quarantine needs enforcing; "it will just get taken out of their hands anyway", why not drop the ball...

(Bitter, why wouldn't we be?)

What county are you in caia?
Maybe the recent headlines about school closures can be the thin end of a wedge; no reason not to prep for worst first; we've seen what the other way around "hope it won't happen" ends up like with the tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina. Can you get a small group of citizens to go together - don't ask if the city has a plan; they will say sure we do (go away now), say you're ready to start the first state/local task on the pandemicflu.gov checklist. (Whether they want you to or not ;-))

If it is a really big city and you can't get any traction with others to become more resiliant;
the other advice we're getting is, to move away someplace smaller and safer... sigh.

[ Parent ]
I'm afraid you're right.
But in a way, I can understand their mindset.  If I find it overwhelming to try to put them on task, it's no wonder they find the tasks themselves overwhelming.  I'm not even sure the more severe outcomes are plannable on a city level.

We're a pretty small city, and even if we weren't, I don't think we'd move.

I may start by writing to my City Councilor.  She's a bit of a flake, but she works hard, and seems to want people to be involved in local issues.  If I could convince her this was an important issue to our city, she could probably move it further than me. 

I do want my community to be prepared, but I'm not cut out to be a comminity organizer.  Even if I were, the last thing I'd want is to draw attention to myself as "the one who's prepped."  Partly because I'm no such thing (working on it, but a ways to go), partly because I really don't want to have to defend my house like a fortress.

[ Parent ]
More than two weeks have now gone by since my latest attempt to convey how serious this could be
and, sad to say, there has not been any response, not even any indicator that it was received by my town manager.  I am afraid this about does it for me.  Might try to contact a couple of the town selectman individually.  Very sad and very disappointing.  That is three strikes for me at this level, twice from the town manager, although he did respond about one year ago, but nothing was done, once with the municipal electric company, he responded, but basically ignored my reasons why what little they had done was pretty much useless, and once in a conversation with the town nurse in charge of the health dept., who talked over my points with talk about how they had a plan to distribute the bird flu vaccine as soon as it was available.  Or is that four strikes!?

Maybe there will finally be some recognition when it filters down from the Federal level to the State and so on, in other words, when it is too late to do anything. 

Will continue to hope that perhaps this will plant a seed at the very least.  Not optimistic.

Experience has taught me that there are few conspiracies, but much incompetence

Your in good company
your bordering state NH is exactly the same

[ Parent ]
Birdie Kate, it is all very, very discouraging n/t

Experience has taught me that there are few conspiracies, but much incompetence

[ Parent ]
I have
given up with my local leaders. I didn't like the answers which we basically we can't tell you. Also, we can't plan for an avian flu pandemic, just all hazards. The EM quoted the law to me which says it is non public, then when I questioned him about the specific law he said he is not a lawyer and can't interpret for me.  I asked the selectmen who referred me to the EM. I have ticked them off but asking. I have ticked them off by creating a web page and telling other towns folks to ask. They didn't like that. There hasn't been a "plan" meeting in a few months. I questioned why all stakeholders were not involved in the "plan" ie., churches, local businesses, citizens, experts. I received no response. They did sign an MOU with the state saying those people would be involved. I wrote to the AG about the right to know law. She couldn't help me, but did tell me to continue to try and be involved. I have tried to rally others in town, a lot agree but do not want to get their name out there. I am known as the bird flu lady and hubby does not like that. He pretty much has told me to give it up and I have agreed. Why bother?

I felt after the press conference the other day that maybe just maybe they will get it. I will never know. How can they protect the public if the public does not know what the plan is or how serious the issue is?

The town has many more pressing issues in their eyes, which I don't dispute they are pressing, but what if this happened in the next few weeks? Preparing does not happen over night and a few weeks will not be enough time to get the populace ready.

There are a couple of people that I know who are actively working on the issue but I don't feel that that will make much of a difference.

At this point I am just sitting back and watching what I can see. I plan on making a run to BJ's this week and topping off. I have contacted the super of schools and she is very receiptive to my emails but will follow the EM. The schools plan is to shut down once we have a confirmed case in school. She is very aware that I believe this is a death sentence. I do not want to "bother" her again. I hope she at least heard about the new recommendations.

I work for a small government agency under a very large division. Although I believe they are working on it, nothing has trickled down to me and I am in a position to know what "our" plan is. I am afraid I will be "required" to work. I have 25 years in and plan on using my sick time. Hopefully I will not be dismissed but that is a chance I will take. I actually am bored to death there and always wanted to break away, more so now at 45 than ever.

Sorry for the rant but that is the situation here in my lovely small town LOL

[ Parent ]
The Coal is here!!!
We took delivery on 22 tons of bagged coal (50lb bags) yesterday over in Sagamore, MA. If anyone needs coal we have it for sale. I don't believe I am allowed to post the price here- but it's 10.00 less per ton picked up than a local supplier (that we used to use) has it for.

We can discuss delivery too.

If anyone wants more info please contact my husband by e-mail. lancelambo@msn.com  Please put 'WikieCoal' in the subject line.

Good timing as we had run out of coal last thursday- burrr- but last night the house was nice and toasty again-

Coal in Sagamore
Husband just called back- he's still working on pricing- to make sure we have the best one- give us a day to work on that.


[ Parent ]
Nice coal, and we can get more
Husband is very happy with this coal. he says it burns better than what we've had the past few years. He's got 2 tons sold already. He'll sell by the bag or by the ton or 1/2 ton. 260 picked up. Thats about the going rate. We decided to match what we figured out was the average after making several calls. Right now it's all nicely shrink wrapped in black plastic wrap. We brought a ton down into the basement and are very pleased at the lack of mess from bagged coal as opposed to loose coal. It's much less work than digging it out of the bin.
AND, as the coal bin was in a north corner of the basement and we found it was quite cool- it is now being done over as my root cellar/cold clost. I'm so Psyched!!! One thing Fluwikie has done is inspire me to put into practice, some skills I doubt I would have acted on. I've learned to can and how to wrap and put apples and tomatoes away for long term but still 'fresh', what to do with carrots and potatoes. All I've needed was a place to store my goodies and now I'll have one. It will also take in all the home canned meats and the cheese and butter we got from MRE Depot also.  I really feel lik our plans are comming into place and it's gettin easier to think we might make it out on the after-side.
If you are interested in any coal e-mail Lancelambo@msn.com and put wikiecoal in the subject line

[ Parent ]
How's February going so far? n/t

MA sure can't handle any surge
Did you see the problems with not enough body bags, staff, nor locations now?

Massachusetts Local Govt. Prep
I'm new to this forum but saw a Massachusetts thread and thought I would join in.  I'm out in Western MA and while there is much more that I would like to see my town doing, there is some good work going on here.  There is a committee in town comprised of various key players who would have a role in the event of a pandemic.  They have little in resources to work with but have taken a very practical approach in the vein of "we're on our own, what it is we can do".  They have recognized that the State has done and will do virtually nothing.  The State designated the local high school as an overflow facility for the sick that can't be handled at the hospital but they have failed to procure any equipment or supplies to run it nor do they have any health care workers that can in fact be there.  Local officials recognized that health care workers are being double and triple counted.  The people that work at the hospital or in local medical offices are the same people that FEMA will tap and/or that the Military will tap.  They can only be in one place at a time but the State thinks they'll also come to the local high school and treat patients there too. Our local officials know that there isn't anyone coming and so they have set out to find people with health care backgrounds/training who can serve as neighborhood coordinators helping to serve as sources of information and communication with those who may be caring for the ill at home during a pandemic. The people being asked to volunteer however are not employed as HCW's nor under contract with FEMA or on the hook with the military.  These are retirees, former health care workers who changed lines of employment and former health care workers who are at home raising children or otherwise not working.  In other words, HCW's who can be available to help locally.  Local officials have identified the radio station at a local boarding school as being a mechanism to communicate with residents during a pandemic.  They quietly made note of how much food is in restaurants, schools, and corporate cafeterias.  As I said there is much more that can and should be done but they are taking a very practical approach by focusing on that which they can in fact do and are not assuming any help will be coming from the State. 

noticed this piece, April 22
..."Some people casually mock the idea that "bird flu" is something Americans should be talking about. After all, the magic of science will stop the virus before it gets to us, right? Maybe not - or at least not if we don't devote enough resources to adequately prepare."...

Pandemic still not mentioned; all these school/Governor meetings
why isn't the press asking why pandemic influenza preparedness isn't part of the public conversation?

First the Gov. met with universities and schools and discussed the Virg. Tech tragedy, but not our more-likely next worse problem, and now education funding/property taxes, but not school/community lack of preparedness for panflu? His ed. "advisor" Dana Mohler-Faria, he comes from a college that sends pandemic letter saying, "the chances of an outbreak appear quite small"...? pdf http://www.bridgew.e...

Oh, and Marty Meehan is out of Congress, without ever warning MA taxpayers to have PPCC's and prepare. (Besides at least 3 of my local govt; they don't want town to discuss pandemic, but they did want to get out of office and "spend more time with their families".)

Gov.Patrick (and the other candidates) surely must have known about H5N1 before they ran for office (none of the campaigns wanted to mention pandemic as an issue - I did ask a few to) -what does he think it will be like to be Governor during a panflu year, when all this time is being wasted that could have called citizens to better self-reliance and resiliance, and fully informed them about pandemic? (And that many will die, and the need for localized mass fatality plans that work.)

MA and the other New England states could have been trying to rely on their own productions, and cut imports, and try to discourage outsourcing jobs,
could have publicized the US State Dept warning to travellers...
and the State Dept 12 week prep needed message...
and the NPI 12 week schools send students to sequester at home message...
and the US Dept of Ed. pandemic prep video for parents could be shown,
and our state panflu summit from 2 years ago could be broadcast...
they must have made a copy, somewhere.

Schools MDPH "Community Containment Strategies"
"Pandemic Influenza: Impact and Challenges, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, February, 2007 (given March 2007?) here's the html link http://tinyurl.com/2...
and it comes in ppt http://www.wpi.edu/P...

Stiil garbage in, in 2007; wait until WHO declares Phase 6, wait until MDPH tells the Gov. to close schools
(I grumped over particulars here, http://www.singtomeo... )

But "Strategies" is basically the same; Garbage In Garbage Out, meanwhile, the public has no clue any of this planing is out there, with their families' lives at stake. No one is telling them about current H5N1 and why and how to prep.

Good Job crfullmoon
I saved this and will check it out tomorrow at work. Maybe I can tailor it to my liking for my community idiots.


[ Parent ]
"WHO'LL LIVE, WHO'LL DIE IN PANDEMIC? Harvard task force's report remains highly guarded secret"
(kudos to a headline-picker, for once)(No news is bad news, public!))
http://ledger.southo... By SUE REINERT, The Patriot Ledger "The state last year commissioned a special task force at Harvard to take a preliminary look at who will get lifesaving drugs and treatment in a catastrophic pandemic - and who won?t.

But don?t ask what that task force came up with - or even who was on it. The state Department of Public Health says that?s secret.

That?s one indication of the explosive nature of the grim task health officials face in developing guidelines for who would get antiviral medicines or have access to ventilators if an epidemic killing tens of thousands of people sweeps the country and the world."...

..."Possible" (sic) rationing"...

..."Former health commissioner Dr. Howard Koh, now at the Harvard public health school and head of the task force, did describe pandemic "scenarios" that the panel presented to some doctors and nonprofessionals. But Koh referred questions on specifics to the state, which would not answer"...

(Sounds like the doctors quoted in the article are either in denial about systems failure or clueless about cfr, or something. Did MA or hospitals actually buy any antivirals to date, or PPE, or tell the staff how to keep their families alive during pandemic year? Don't think so. Hospitals are certainly saying nothing to the public about pandemic. Neither is MA, anywhere the public would notice.)

..."Mark Rothstein, director of the Bioethics Institute at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, said officials should make their deliberations public.

?"(The public) needs to be part of the process of developing the plan, not just responding to it," Rothstein said.
Many doctors know as little as the public about work on a Massachusetts policy."

"It?s an ethical and a liability issue for physicians and that?s why we need state guidelines," said Benanti, the South Shore Hospital emergency room chief."...

(Who's going to be suing anyone after pandemic? Other than holding govt officials accountable -Who are trying to keep their names secret - because they know they are failing to warn the public about a deadly panflu year in time to prepare.)

What about the ETHICAL issue of FAILING to WARN the public, and failing to form "all"-stakeholder Pandemic Preparedness Coordianting Committees - the First State/Local Task? We were all supposed to be making and implemeting policy together.

See if we can get the press and the politicians tied in with the HHS Blog, and the H5N1 in wild waterfowl... and the public into the loop! Schools had their checklist back in Feb.2006 and no one wants to tell the parents.
Communities need full and fair disclosure; this is so much more than "ventilator rationing": who has lived, once they're on a ventilator for H5N1? What shape are they in? (and, can we count them on one hand?)

why it's secret
This is why it's secret, I think. 

The state last year asked a Harvard School of Public Health task force to take a preliminary look at the sensitive subject. Now the Department of Public Health plans to name its own committee to prepare a proposal, Dr. Lisa Stone, acting director of emergency planning, said.

The task force?s work ??helped us to define and craft a series of guiding principles to flesh out in a broad-based way,?? said Stone, who sat on the panel.

If they let the public know who was on the task force, we could ask questions.  Even worse, the folks on the task force might answer them.  And if their recommendations didn't match what the DPH committee writes...  Hopefully Harvard folks went for the greater good.  DPH will probably put the old boys at the front of the line.

I know that there will be horrible choices to be made and thank God I won't be doing that.  The docs need guidance.  But secret?  Come on.

July, Harvard, BOH
Still trying for MRC volnteers first - real panflu year info/prep not right now- and "all-hazards" planning still fails to cover pandemic at all
..."Should a pandemic break out, every town must be self-sufficient in the decentralized Health and Homeland Alert Network (HHAN) network. The goal is to craft local solutions while integrating the planning and implementation into the nationwide response plan.

An all-board meeting will be called by the health board to begin coordination of fire, police, schools, Council on Aging, and Department of Public Works."...

..."Harvard's first representatives include health board administrative assistant Shanna Large and Nashoba Associated Boards of Health sanitarian Ira Grossman, who provides services to neighboring towns as well.

With a population of approximately 6,000 residents, Gikas said, Harvard's goal in the case of an emergency would be to have a minimum of two professionals vaccinating or medicating 80 percent of the population within two days, while operating on 12-hour shifts.
Volunteers would respond to the news of an infectious disease outbreak ranging from hepatitis A to meningitis to a flu pandemic or bioterrorist event."...

..."The criteria for Harvard's EDS include being able to meet community needs in a worst-case scenario, requiring getting the site up and running within 24 hours of notification; and treating 4,800 people within the first 48 hours and the remaining 1,200 over the next 72 hours. The Bromfield School has been selected to meet these needs.

Considerable pre-disaster planning must occur, Gikas said, including transportation. Northborough, Upton and Princeton, for example, have all chosen to use school buses "going up and down the streets" to help people needing aid. In addition, a team was created to identify the elderly and the homebound for special attention.

Gikas plans to update the health board every two months.

In the meantime, he said, the town should have received "starter materials" for the site, including radios and medical supplies.

Some towns' health boards have purchased the Geo-TMS system, a $3,000 record-keeping program. The Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Sheriff's Department of Worcester County, has purchased a reverse identification system, the use of which will be free to Worcester County towns for one year. fire, police, EMS and BOH will be able to contact the county sheriff's office, which will then be able to activate the $50,000 system to notify local dispatchers."

Will any of those purchases work during power failures?
Are the staff and families stocked up for first wave?
Are their neighbors?

"Both BOH chair Tom Philippou and member Sean Doocey are EMTs, and took a keen interest in the discussion.
Member Lorin Johnson observed that vaccinating 80 percent of the town in two days would require "a lot of vaccine."

"If it's smallpox," Gikas answered, "there is enough in strategic storage to vaccinate everyone in the country." And, he said, it takes only 12 hours to get here but must be refrigerated the whole way."

Skipping over the whole - There's no panflu vax for at least the first wave, so, what will people do to survive? What percent of the town will be alive after the first wave?

"At this point, sanitarian Ira Grossman said that, in his experience,
"You'll get the vaccine, but it won't come with ... - the syringes. You have to pre-think that," he advised"...
Wish they'd rethink not calling for grassroots preparations and real "all-"-stakeholder PPCCs.

Sales-Tax-Free weekend - too bad; no Panflu prep message. n/t

happening in Springfield MA
cross posted from News thread

Red Cross sets up pandemic flu training


SPRINGFIELD - The Pioneer Valley Red Cross Chapter will host a pandemic influenza informational session on Aug. 18 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

It will be conducted at the Fire Department's Norris J.  Quinn Fire Training Center at 100 Grochmal Ave., Indian Orchard.

The session is offered for a nominal fee of $10, and refreshments will be provided. Advance registration is required by calling (413) 737-4306 (ext. 915).

"We are very pleased to bring pandemic flu education to our communities," said Brenda Brouillette, disaster services director, this week. "Preparedness is key to handling any sort of disaster .... There is so much individuals can do now, to make sure they are ready to care for themselves, their families, and their communities in the case of an emergency."

During a flu pandemic, government officials may be required to limit community movement to help prevent the virus from spreading.

"We have some great information to share that will really help individuals better understand the important role they can play in preparedness," said Evelyn Robertson, nurses aide training coordinator.

Representatives from the chapter's Disaster Services and Health and Safety Departments will outline ways that people can plan to take steps to get through and recover from a flu pandemic.

"This session is central to the Red Cross mission of helping people prepare for emergencies," said Joel Perkins, the chapter's health and safety training manager. "A public health emergency like pandemic flu can cause tremendous stress on people. Learning more about what steps you can take to be better prepared will help to increase confidence and alleviate some of the very understandable emotional stress that is bound to happen if a pandemic were to occur."

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

and my thoughts on that
Anybody in MA who can possibly go, please do so and report back!

My recent experience at the OSDFS conference tells me we must take every opportunity to be at grassroots meetings to

a) add our input, and possibly even more importantly

b) to gather information of what is happening on the ground, whether they are doing a good job, whether there are inaccuracies and mistakes in their message. 

There will be, I promise you, it's a matter of how serious or minor they are.  If they are serious, we need to bring this to wider public awareness and advocate for change!

That's the only way we can help make pandemic preparedness more successful and more appropriate.

Thank you!

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
did you email me? Thanks, if so. Just needed to be sure that it was 'you' and not someone else. Please reply to *this* on fw so that I'll know that it's actually you. Thanks again. ;-)

NM, I'm convinced, thanks. n/t

[ Parent ]
sorry bird-dog, yes I did.. forgot to include fluwikie line n/t

Experience has taught me that there are few conspiracies, but much incompetence

[ Parent ]
"Dear" Massachusetts Resident,
Online - when will they give it to the public?
36 pages (of reckless endangerment?)
(Despite our efforts to keep it quiet?)
..."You have probably heard talk about the flu (or influenza) in recent years, including information about who should get the flu vaccine and concerns about a flu pandemic. While flu can cause some worry, there are important things that you can do to protect yourself against the flu and to be ready to care for someone who has the flu. This booklet was created to help you prepare. It has a special focus on how to care for people at home when they are sick with the flu."...

..."There have been three pandemics in the last hundred years. No one knows when another pandemic may occur."...


..."It will take time to make a vaccine that protects
against the new virus. People will get the vaccine in
stages set by public health authorities when it becomes
During a pandemic, MDPH and your local health department
will give information about vaccines on TV and the radio, in local newspapers, and on websites. For the most current information, visit www.mass.gov/dph/flu.
Whether or not flu vaccine is available, you can use the
many other important ways to avoid the flu that are described in this booklet."...

..."Most people who get the flu have a sudden onset of fever, dry cough, body aches, sore throat, headache, and extreme tiredness or weakness. The fever and body aches usually last 2-3 days and rarely more than 5 days. Cough, tiredness, and weakness may last longer. Some people who get the flu may feel tired or weak for 2 or more weeks after the fever goes away."...

The care you provide for someone who is sick with
pandemic flu is the same as when someone is sick
with seasonal flu

..." A flu pandemic can be stressful. For most people, feelings of stress go away soon after a stressful time ends. Sometimes people still feel stressed long after it is over. These are all normal responses."...

During a severe pandemic, hospitals may become overcrowded
and need all their space to care for patients who are the most sick. Special clinics may be set up in community locations, such as school buildings, to care for people with the flu and other illnesses. People will be encouraged to care for themselves, their family members, and neighbors at home whenever possible. Avoiding crowded places, such as emergency and waiting rooms, is one way people can protect  themselves from the flu during a pandemic"...

Better to include the 2006 NACCHO's Local Health Department Guide to Pandemic Influenza Planning Assumptions, and get it to the public, now:
..."1. An influenza pandemic will result in the rapid spread of infection with outbreaks throughout the world. Communities across the state and the country may be impacted simultaneously.
2. Localities will not be able to rely on timely or effective mutual aid resources, State or Federal assistance to support local response efforts.
3. An influenza pandemic may occur in waves and last for 12 to 24 months.
4. Residents will be required to stay in their homes for a significant period during an influenza pandemic; thus, residents will need public information, education and tools so they are prepared to take responsibility for basic needs (food, water, prescription meds, over-the-counter medications, etc.).
5. Antiviral medications will be in extremely short supply." (For one thing, because they chose not to purchase it.)"Administration of local supplies of antiviral medications will be prioritized by ______________ in accordance with ________________. (Examples of specific language can be found in the footnote.)11
6. A vaccine for the pandemic influenza strain will likely not be available for 6 to 8 months following the emergence of a novel virus." (See 4.)
"7. The number of ill people requiring outpatient medical care and hospitalization will overwhelm the local health care system. In other words, the normal amount and level of hospital care will not be available"
(The staff wasn't even consulted, let alone provided PPE; they won't even want to show up, with their families at risk.)
(skipping ahead; sorry this post is so long)...
"h. The number of fatalities will overwhelm the resources of the Medical Examiner's Office, morgues and funeral homes."...
..."8. There will likely be significant disruption of public and privately owned critical infrastructure including transportation, commerce, utilities, public safety and communications"...

So, this canned "flu"(panflu)"guide" is online; do they "plan" to mail it out after panflu is raging? Or, what? "oops; we were about to tell you later, but"...
I think that Dear MA Resident "booklet"  managed to avoid mention of H5N1 altogether.
How is the public going to know to set their decoder rings to "pandemic flu" = "something possibly as dangerous as airborne Ebola"?
'Pandemic Flu Planning a High Priority in MA' my foot!

not bf but, Worcester Co., contaminated milk
2 Die From Listeriosis in Massachusetts

Published: December 28, 2007

Filed at 9:41 a.m. ET

BOSTON (AP) -- State health officials warned consumers not to drink milk produced by a Massachusetts dairy, saying it was the likely source of a bacterial illness that killed two men and sickened two others.

Whittier Farms suspended operations and distribution, said Dr. Alfred DeMaria, the state director of communicable disease control. Most of its customers live in Worcester County.


Investigators have not identified the exact source of the contamination in the production process, DeMaria said. But milk samples gathered last week at one of the dairy's two retail stores tested positive for listeria.

more... http://www.nytimes.com/aponlin...

MA Preppers
Wow, I thought that I had already posted on this thread, Surprise, surprise. Monson MA is represented :wave:

Pray for all people and rulers
1Timothy 2:1-4

(Extending the culture of life.)


MA preppers close to RI
There's no RI group here.  :(  I put this into the Community Open diary yesterday.

RI: 2-day seminar on relocating to the country
To be held at a Seventh Day Adventist Church in Johnston RI.  It sounds like good practical information, for anyone, although there is a religious aspect, with the viewpoint of expecting the End Times.  Foreseeing the dangers of urban living and preparing a country home sounds like discussions on Old Yellow.

   Mountain Media Ministries

   DECEMBER 15 & 16

   Coming to:
   Johnston SDA Church
   Johnston, RI


   Dec 15 (Starts 6:00 pm)
   Ready or Not
   Are we to prepare physically?
   Preparing to help others in the crisis ahead

   Principles of independent living
   How does one go about becoming less
   dependent on others for necessities of life?

   Dec 16 (Starts 6:00 pm)
   Alternative Energy Systems
   Affordable Country Housing

   Johnston Seventh-day Adventist Church
   2693 Hartford Ave
   Johnston RI 02919

   For more info:

   practical resource DVDs & Books
   available after sundown & on Sunday

   The speakers:
   Craig & Nick Meissner
   The Meissners use their experience with building,
   developing, and living off the power grid
   to help God's people with the practical aspects
   of relocating to the country wisely.


The url works; I don't know why it doesn't look like a link.  http://www.mountainmediaminist...
It needed the http : //, I guess.

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

Hello out there from MA!
can anyone tell me about the Current state of our state. I remember from way back in '06 that our pandemic plan is based on a mild pandemic, and that it has nothing in it whatsoever about individual preparedness. I read more recently that our state did not buy the Tamiflu it was supposed to buy but did buy some last summer.

How far behind are we in preparedness? I remember hearing that there is a bill in the legislature trying to get more money to implement the plan. What is that for?

I can't find alot about what our current, true status ...around how far behind we are, how much Tamiflu we have (I know that tapped into pandemic supplies already) how bad/good things are here...anywhere. But I am not that great at finding info on the internet

The reason I want to know is that I am starting a dialogue with a community organizer and leader, and also want to do some stuff myself contacting legislators etc. But my info is two or three years old and my memory for it anymore. I don't want to spout off facts I can't back up.

any info, links, sources would be appreciated. I have read the pandemic plan more recently and have access to that. Would also love to hear what you all are doing, if you have done stuff locally to prepare your communities.

Talking to myself...
ha...like two mirrors facing eachother...

[ Parent ]
Bay State Preppers
No posts!  Is there anyone out there still lurking from MA!

Experience has taught me that there are few conspiracies, but much incompetence

Anyone out there!
See that the last person to post was back in 2010 and that person was... ME!   Would like to think that someone is out there from our great State!

Experience has taught me that there are few conspiracies, but much incompetence

I'm not from there...
...but I HAVE driven thru! :0

How are you NauticalMan? Glad to see you checking in...

[ Parent ]
Checking for Lurkers!
Could not let 2012 go by without a shoutout to my fellow MA friends!   Anyone still out there following things, regardless of frequency?

Experience has taught me that there are few conspiracies, but much incompetence


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