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Why Don't People Prep? New Survey

by: DemFromCT

Wed May 02, 2007 at 08:46:57 AM EDT

(active conversation within... - promoted by DemFromCT)

This new survey was prepared by the American Public Health Association for National Public health Week. It was an all-hazards look,  not specifically for panflu, but the insights are valuable. The home page for the links to the .pdf results can be found here.

Selected survey results regarding barriers to prepping are here.

National Preparedness Public Health Survey

APHA commissioned Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc., a national public opinion polling firm, to conduct a national survey in February 2007 on levels of emergency preparedness. The survey found that many Americans' preparedness plans have lapsed in the years following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

DemFromCT :: Why Don't People Prep? New Survey
Amongst the key facts:
The term public health crisis does not resonate with people. However, the public is concerned about the events that might lead to one.
  • Just 26% of the general public thinks it is likely that they or their family will be affected by a public health crisis in the next year or two, and only 27% believe that a public health crisis in the area that they live is likely in the next year or two.
  • Yet 57% of the public thinks it is likely that a severe storm such as a hurricane, tornado, flood, or blizzard could lead to a public health crisis in the area they live in the next few years. Forty-seven percent think a serious health crisis from an outbreak of infectious disease such as the flu is likely. An additional 43% believe that an outbreak of a food-borne disease is likely.
Comment:I don't think that we can be accused of being bland about calling panflu prep a 'public health crisis', a term no one understands. ;-) But the survey does highlight basic risk communication principles, starting with keeping the message simple and clear.
Understanding The Barriers And The Strategies To Overcome Them

The survey findings reveal a deeper understanding of why Americans are so ill prepared, and suggest clear strategies for closing the gaps. The findings help us understand both the non-rational and rational processes at work for most citizens. The non-rational side includes the 38% of the public who say that among the reasons they have not planned is that they simply would rather not think about what would happen in a public health crisis, as well as the 44% who do not believe in worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future.

On the rational side, many people believe that they are more prepared than they actually are. Among the 27% of the public who believe that they are very or fairly well prepared for a public health crisis, fewer than half (48%) actually meet the three-day supply standard.

The survey findings also help uncover the implicit cost-benefit calculations involved in decisions to store away supplies for what the public may perceive as an unlikely need. To raise the benefit side of the equation, it will be necessary to define a public health crisis in a way that motivates people to action. Rather than a dictionary definition of a public health crisis, that only 27% of the public see as very or somewhat likely to strike their community, the survey suggests the importance of defining a public health crisis by its likely causes. To make Americans see the importance of planning for a public health crisis, it is important to broaden the discussion to include the potential that severe storms, hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, or outbreaks of common or exotic infectious diseases, and many other disasters have to cause a public health crisis in their community. The public is twice as likely to worry about a natural disaster (37%) as a public health crisis (18%). They may not really know what a public health crisis is, but they have experience with major storms and they readily accept that storms or other emergencies could cause disruptions in basic services such as electricity, water, transportation, and grocery and drug stores, leading to a public health crisis.

So the advice is to get real, get explicit, and get started... aimed at public health people.

Interestingly, the public (47% of them, noted above in red) at least thinks a major flu outbreak is likely. That doesn't mean they are prepped! But it does mean some of the message is getting out there. And when you consider that the survey says that "44% do not believe in worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future," that's pretty close to saturation.

I would suggest that the survey validates the approach of the American Red Cross and other non-traditional non-public health entities (Flu Wiki included) in leading on this. The public doesn't always see pandemics and storms as a 'public health issue', any more than our health leaders do. Fine... for those people, they may need to hear it from the Red Cross, their schools, friends, local EMS, hospital, Girl Scouts, parish etc. See also What Would Motivate Those Around You To Prep?

And no one messaging will work on everyone. But making the message understandable (do not use "public health crisis"! Just say "pandemic"... it's not that hard) is key.

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communication is a two-way street
Which is what prompted a conversation about just what are people's questions, really?.

I think this survey is valuable and we should read it carefully, applying everything we've learned in, erm, our practical experience in the field: many of us here have bumped our heads against hard walls, so we could say we are "wall experts". :-)

All of this will be a problem until the end of time, but we have to keep trying IMO.  Wisely.

I'm not sure "simple" is needed.  The message can be complex.  But you need to know the other person.  I once saw a model of communication in which "the message" was really only a trigger that activated previously stored content in the other person's brain.  So we need to know what we'll be triggering, or at least be able to see how the other person has understood, and then keep the conversation on.

It's harder to communicate when we didn't know what to say, really.  Now we know it's mostly NPI and home care, both of which need both stocking up and communities working together.

Once a person has understood, can they be better messengers than ourselves?

Could we youtube (that's a verb) a conversation between an oldtimer and a newbie?  Maybe a real long conversation and cut some gold nuggets?

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

a complex message is fine
but an incomprehensible one ("public health crisis") is not. ;-)

[ Parent ]
I agree it's a poor term for use in the survey...
...but they were trying to cover a lot of crises besides flu pandemics (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, diseases, fires, blizzards, etc.)

Maybe we can come up with some better language for a future study.

The conference where these results were unveiled and preparedness issues discussed--"Re-taking the First Step Toward Preparedness: Lessons Learned From Local Health Emergencies"--may be of interest to some. (April 7, 2007)

The video and transcript links can be found at

[ Parent ]
what would be our best survey?
hey!, pst!, wanna wikipage, mate?  :-)

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
If "Forty-seven percent think a serious health crisis from an outbreak of infectious disease such as the flu is likely." then their brains are set up for the trigger.

The problem is the "44% who do not believe in worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future."

[ Parent ]
A further problem is if these people
are in a position to stop the flow of information to people for whom it might effect an action to prep.

They cork the information flow simply because they don't recognize that there is a threat.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

[ Parent ]
KIF - yea. That is why I drop stuff off at the bank, the pharmacy, chuch, etc. n/t

[ Parent ]
public assumes it knows what "flu" means; they don't for this survey.
at worse they may remember when a lot of people in the office were out sick and it caused difficulties; there was still food, still medical care, no one died, transportation, banks, cash flow, 911, still all worked.

If they do understand what panflu could do as a disease,
I find some of those have not heard
that there are more than "a few" people "in Asia"; they don't know ages, outcomes, food and pet and pest mammal species, cfr, nations who tell and who don't/can't tell, nor that the US has "low-path" H5N1. They have not heard/seen the pandemicflu.gov site checklists for themselves, their schools, their businesses, they never heard about our state panflu summit two years ago, nor the new OSHA pandemic guidelines, the US State Dept warnings (get stranded and no embassy aid) how much the top-level is getting told that they aren't; factors that would move pandemic out of the "asteroid strike" realm of probability in their minds.

They also may have absorbed and parroted info soundbites they got from officials/"experts"/media: "isn't there a new vaccine; why do we need to do anything?", "I heard it couldn't go pandemic because all this time has gone by and it hasn't", "there's nothing we could do about that anyway; can't live as if pandemic could start next week", "this is all just hype so politicians make money off their pharma contracts", "it's nothing to worry about, if it happens they'll tell us what to do", "Town will request aid from the SNS", (you've heard a few others).

44% believe in worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future, more than they admit on surveys; do they have enough money to live on next week? They may get killed by a truck next week; they may or may not live to retirement age; are they acting as if they worry they will have a long life, plan as if they will? Do they have fire/home/health/life insurance? Did they do anything in their professional capacity to prepare in case of "terrorism"? That may or may not happen in future, yet there is much taxpayer money being spent everywhere on it. Do they participate in plans or drills in case of fires, shooters, tornadoes, hurricanes, do they buckle their seat belts, use family planning, make sure their car is in shape before a long road trip, buy things right before storms, "in case the power goes out or they are stuck at home"?
Perhaps admitting to "worrying about things" on surveys sounds uncool?

What actions do they already take in case of, or to prepare for, things that "may or may not happen in the future"?

Wouldn't simple reporting of past increases in cases, and ages outcomes, as well as weekly reporting of outbreaks in animals or people,
as well as requirements to form local open real Pandemic Preparedness Coordinating Committes; to revise current closed-door plans and prepare for local contingencies and get organizations/groups problem-solving together (wait until they read "the plans" and see what responsibilities were going to get dumped on them without warning- churches will provide miraculously provide food and find the sick, librarians will answer 911 calls for help, unprepped mental health professionals will aid traumatized responders and familiy members of triaged! The SNS will send all our requirements!-not!) wouldn't having genuine (not token, municipal employee, "all hazards treated equal" don't tell the public anything about panflu year except, "don't worry" and "do what you're told if it happens", let's keep revising plans every six months over the next few years) actual
"all"-stakeholder Pandemic committees, and weekly reports in the press, help all the public with the need to prep?

Here are the local problems; for pandemic there won't be a top-down aid solution; how can we have own own solutions in place, on county, municipal, neighborhood, building, household levels?

Put the presentations HHS put together about "Spanish Flu" for the states on primetime tv a few times, (and run the "disruptions may be widespread" individual checklists after) so people see what happened to their area last time a pandemic was targeting the young and healthy.

"Public Health Crisis" is bandied about quite often
I've heard it about obesity, diabeties, heart disease, AIDS, etc.  Not only is the term too vague and too often used, but many of these "crisis" conditions are often preventable.  My guess is if you start using the phrase public health crisis people aren't making the link between it and Panflu.  They are thinking diabetes, which yes is growing way too fast, but won't kill everyone who "catches" it like it will PF. 

Surveys are like contingency plans - garbage in = garbage out.  Like TPTB they were afraid to instill panic by using better verbage.

Anyway, in a nutshell it simply confirms that most don't have a clue and aren't at all preparred. 

there is a difference
between knowing and acting.

I know at least 10 people who are healthcare professionals who have gone through SARS, understand all the risks (cos I talk to them) and have done zero on preps.

My conclusion?  They don't really get it.  They think they do, but they don't.  Here's why

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

I will re-post it here from the old forum, cos of side-scroll
written 31 August 2006

Part 1

How many of us have tried to talk to people, friends who trust you, and tried to convince them of the necessity to pay attention to this pandemic issue, and failed?

I just had dinner with a couple who have been our friends for more than 20 years, the kind of friendship where we could appoint each other as guardians of our kids in our wills if we die. Wonderful intelligent people. Medics, both of them. They understand everything that I say, they have lived through SARS (as HCWs, remember), they have the money to prep, they are responsible parents, they make sure their kids got a good education, took their vitamins, teeth straightened out by expensive orthodontics, got told the facts of life, everything, the works.

But I've been telling them about this for at least 6 months, and they have done nothing.

Why is that?

This is by no means a unique experience. I can say most of my friends, mostly medical folks, are not doing anything about it. They don't need me to explain ARDS, they see it in hospitals. They know the CFR for those in their kids' age range. But they do nothing.

They would make sure everybody wear seatbelts, they buy insurance for everything you can think of. But they don't buy preps as insurance against a pandemic.

I have thought long and hard about this, and I have a theory.

Imagine you are a man from Mars, and you've never seen or tasted a lemon before. What is it that I can say or how is it that I can describe the experience of sucking on a lemon for you to really get it? Some of you may have just experienced some actual sensations in your mouth when you read about `sucking on a lemon'. Even if you didn't, you can imagine what the sensation would be like. In fact, you can make youself feel it. It is possible to turn on that special sensation, to `light it up', so to speak.

But if you've never ever experienced anything like it, whatever I say, it is going to be very hard to get that sensation.

This `lighting up', is the key. It is a biological, a neurological phenomenon. It is not anything abstract or ethereal.

If something is close enough to someone's experience, even if they have never experienced it, like losing a loved one in a car crash, they are still able to imagine what it might be like for that to happen. But if it is something so extraordinary, something that is so far removed from their experience, then no matter how much they understand it rationally, it can get very hard for them to get `lit up' about it. This ability to imagine, to try on, the unimaginable, does not come easily to everyone. Some of us have it, most people don't.

This ability to get `lit up', is also a biological, neurological event. The advent of functional MRI scans have in recent years revealed that our thoughts, aspirations, phobias, motivations, are not just abstract psychological phenomena. They are also measurable biological events!

What's more, our biology is not static. It is affected by our history and our life experiences. For example, patients of depression may show specific changes on the scans. People who have normal scans, then experience traumatic life events that cause them to go into (secondary) depression, may then develop the same abnormal patterns that they didn't have before, and these patterns may disappear over time as the person gets better. But if they experience repeated trauma, the depression can persist beyond the trauma and become permanent . When this happens, scans may correspondingly show persistent abnormality. (best reference: `Shadow syndromes' by John Ratey) Our life experiences are literally imprinted in our neurology.

People get worried about losing someone in a car crash because they have experienced enough of life to know what it might be like to lose someone, and they've got the neurological `experience' imprinted, even if it is second hand, sufficiently so that if they think about it, they will get `lit up' sufficiently which kicks them into taking action, eg buying a safer car.

But if they've never ever had that imprinting, of the scenarios that we are talking about, it gets very hard for the lighting up to happen sufficiently for them to take action.

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

This is a very good point, SusanC.
DH and I were talking about this in a different context-Dh is a therapist and he treats kids with all sorts of emotional traumas.  Its difficult to understand and treat that sort of tramua, if you yourself haven't been through a similar experience.

And on that same note, I probably wouldn't be nearly as concerned about pan-flu if I myself had not cared for my MIL with ALS at home, plus elderly great-grandparents, one of home was on oxygen, the other needed a wheelchair.  I KNOW what its like to suction somebodies lungs out and to put them on the ventilator and panic (a little) when a thunderstorm threatened a power outage, and I KNOW what its like to sit beside someone and watch them die and theres nothing you can do.  As awful as that was, in a way,I'm glad I had that experience, because I now have some small clue as to the horrors we are facing when the pandemic breaks out.

  I've also been through a couple of pretty major natural disasters fortunately, we were prepped for those and it wasn't so bad.  But it makes me so frustrated that people don't prep, because,ok, I know only a handful of people who have cared for dying relatives at home,(and I met most of those folks through Hospice) but practically EVERYBODY I know has been through some sort of natural disaster even if its just as minor as oh, say a three day power outage.

[ Parent ]
Been there, done that
I KNOW what its like to sit beside someone and watch them die and theres nothing you can do.

The problem for me is, I can imagine a lot worse things.  Even for me, there are things that I don't want to think about.  So I can quite understand where people are coming from.

For those who didn't know, I lost my eldest daughter to leukemia at the age of 16.  When I was first bereaved, some friends would offer to come and talk to me, trying bravely to support me in whatever it was that I needed to get off my chest.  Well, I found very quickly that, bless their sweet and gentle souls, most people cannot deal with even a small fraction of what I really wanted to talk about. 

It's like they push open a door with their foot, and stick maybe the tips of their toes in there, and already the experience is too overpowering and they have to back out.  Some are honest enough to admit it; the guys just want to get a drink....

After a couple of episodes of me having to play the counselor instead, I kinda put a stop to that process.  Didn't work...

So now I know that you can only motivate people from THEIR reality, not yours, and certainly not what the actual reality might be.

The problem, of course, is come a pandemic a lot of people will have to deal with a lot worse things.  The difficulties of mitigating things like massive parental grief is one reason why I think we need to do, as lugon said, everything that comes BEFORE that.

Like prepping, and NPI's....

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

[ Parent ]
I am so very sorry about your loss-I can not imagine losing a child.  My son developed a tumor a couple of years ago and it was  awful, but we were so incredibly lucky that it turned out to be not cancer but a rare bone disease that he will survive.

You are so right about people and their own reality and it might or might not have anything to do what really is.  You can talk until your blue in the face but if thats not a part of there experience, they are not going to hear you.

[ Parent ]
Sorr to hear of your loss. I do not know what to say and can only listen. n/t

[ Parent ]
What a great
legacy for your daughter, and such a tribute to her, that so many lives will be saved now by what you are motivated to do because of the sorrow that touched you both.

[ Parent ]
I have thought about this
from time to time.  Would I be doing this if things were different?  It's very hard to find an answer, simply because at a physical level ie what country I live in, what kind of job might I be doing, or not, things might have turned out very differently.

But if I was to look at it from the POV of outlook on life, I would say that what changed for me was the knowledge that all this is going to end, and sooner than you think.  Now I don;t know how to say this without making it sound morbid, but the fact is, there is no certainty in life except the certainty of death.  Ironically, that is the one certainty that the vast majority of humanity strive to ignore.

But the liberation for me is to know that and draw from it the urge to make things that I do count.  It doesn't have to be about saving lives, necessarily, nor material accomplishments.

Take learning, for example.  I can be learning something for a tangible or practical purpose.  Right now it's about writing in a form that's not my favorite so it's a bit of a pain.  But the other kinds of learning, where you get the joy of suddenly understanding something that was closed to you before.  Well, to be too caught up in 'life' sometimes causes one to lose these joys that are precious to no one else but yourself.  Knowing the finiteness of one's existence, at least for me, puts things in perspective so I can savor these moments.

Like 'Richard' said in the movie 'The Hours', "But I have to live with the hours.." or something like that.

Making the hours count, for yourself, that to me is precious...

But that, of course, is completely off topic here ;-)

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

[ Parent ]
just changed my sig
to reflect my mood.


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

[ Parent ]
@:^ l Another steely-eyed FluWikian Girds for Battle. LQTM n/t

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
who, me? ;-)
btw, what does LQTM mean?  No, it's not in the abbreviations.

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

[ Parent ]
it means
Laughing Quietly to Myself

[ Parent ]
LQTM then n/t

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

[ Parent ]
Part 2
So what does it take for people to get off their butts? Some people might think if we make it horrible enough, they will take action.

My hypothesis is that we might need to make it just horrible enough (ie within the range of their life experiences so that their neurology can get lit up) for them to take action, but not so horrible that there is nothing in their life experiences to give that prior imprinting necessary for the lighting up to occur.

So if I were to say, it's going to be dead bodies everywhere, they won't know how to fill in the blanks, to create the kind of representation in their heads that lead to rational action. So they just blank out and do nothing.

But if I were to say, there's going to be a pandemic. A lot of people might die. But scientists are telling us that if we all co-operate and keep away from people as much as possible, then there is a chance of reducing the deathrate and the impact. To do that, the government might decide to tell everyone to stay home for a while, at least until they get things under control, and shops might close. So you need to have enough food and essentials at home so you can stay in if necessary. It's just the same as preparing for a hurricane, except maybe for a little bit longer.

Now you might say, why not then tell them to prep for 3 months? Why 2 weeks? Surely that's not enough.

Yes, 2 weeks is not enough. But, again going back to the neurology, 2 weeks is just about the limit of what most people's shopping experiences go. How many of us have found it really hard to figure out what 3 months' of food mean?

Plus 2 weeks is do-able. If you give a large group of people a task that is too difficult, you will lose a large percentage right off the bat. Any book on goal setting will tell you that a goal that is too difficult to achieve is a goal that is too big. You need to break it down into smaller ones. That's what most people need.

But, and here's another key, the act of going out to shop for 2 weeks' worth of food etc, will be a new neurological experience. It will start another process of imprinting. The mind starts getting used to the idea. Then getting people to do more preps becomes easier.

And getting them to ask the right questions also becomes easier. This is another important point, when someone is asking the question, they are lit up. They are on the right page. That is when your message is most likely to be effective.

The best time to sell someone an idea is when they are asking, NOT when you are pushing.

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

btw, in case anyone want to know
the friends that I talked about in that post?  They eventually started doing a little prepping.  Why?  What caused them to take action?  They didn't want the stress of trying to buy food when everyone else is panic buying.  I think they might have 2-3 weeks supplies and meds.

They haven't gotten beyond that, unfortunately.  But it was better than not doing anything.

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

[ Parent ]
Here in the suburbs
where people have big refrigerators and freezers (often more than one of each of them) it is very difficult to get past the return argument that they already have enough food for 2 weeks hanging around the house.  And, they do.  People know they've got some old steaks in the back of the freezer, some old instant oatmeal in the back of the cupboard, a few Lean Cuisines, maybe a case of soda, a fridge like my friend's husband's that is full of beer, a few odd boxes of pasta, a big box of Fruit Roll Ups and several other giant boxes of snacks for the kids from Costco. They are right.  Even with those scrapings, for 2 weeks they could probably manage to survive.

Two questions seem to rouse them out of that complacency.

First, I ask how "comfortable" they would like to be during any such period when the flu is raging outside.  I ask them if it would make things easier if their kids were "comfortable," and had sufficient quantities of the things they were used to having.

Second, I tell them that the peak weeks for flu infection will likely extend out around 4 weeks, and mention that that's the period in which they'll likely not want to go out shopping.  I also mention that the peak flu period is that which is most likely to see store closures and supply shortages. 

After they work through the ideas of "comfort," "peak weeks for infection," and "scarcity" on their own, usually a lightbulb goes off. 

[ Parent ]
but my point still apply
about why people don't prep.  They don't prep because they don't get it.  Different people may need different triggers for action, but the basic topography is the same, IMO.

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

[ Parent ]
Just Horrible Enough - The JHE Standard for Preparedness Communictions.
I think this is really important and has implications for many different aspects of how we describe both the threat and the things people can do to make themselves more safe.


ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
I like that
JHE  I missed that the first time round. 

Another acronym for our collection.

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

[ Parent ]
Pixi - comfort

  Hi. Comfort. I know what SusanC is saying but keep on comfort.

  Two years ago we got a tropical storm and the power was out for a week. Not thant big a deal.

  One friend was into Dutch oven cooking. She ended up feeding her neighborhood quite well. Food was better than the microwave stuff they ate befor the storm.

  That changed my approach. Not a PSA, not a book, not a poster, not any real life experiance but a story. To live comfertably.


[ Parent ]
Your question about comfort is the hook of a discussion I was having just two days ago.

I am friends with a family from India. They still have lots of family in India. The mom is a doc. They should know better.

When I told him about my home-canned foods, he asked me what was the point. I told him that I want to eat my favorites during pandemic and that my distaste for being uncomfortable was the whole point of my preps. That's not really true. But it seemed to be reaching him.

Vanity and comfort could go a ways to motivating people.

[ Parent ]
Bring in real-life examples
It has helped convince a few people I've been working on

1) table of # dead in our town and others nearby if you assume best/medium/worst case secenarios.  I just ran population stats against infection and CFR rates.  Easy.  Even a "medium" cfr means a lot of dead in my little town.  It makes it real to them in black and white numbers. 

2) Tales from 1918 survivors: there are many stories from 1918 and most people don't know anything about it.  One woman told me that when she read about children starving because the parents had died and there was no one to take care of them, that kicked her butt into high gear.  People can relate to human experiences.

Why don't they prep?  The reasons are too numerous and have been discussed.  Figure out your target and present info that would catch their attention.  It doesn't happen overnight.  Heck, there was no "ah-ha" moment for me.  It took reading, getting info, etc. and some data points to convince me to prep.  I keep working on people.  Some will clearly never do it.  Others you see a crack in the doorway and you hope at some point they'll open it some more.  Then be ready to pounce in!

[ Parent ]
so we need to create oportunities so that they will ask? or what is it then?
I don't know if people would even come to this type of gathering: http://newfluwiki2.c...

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
get them to take the first step
of prepping.  However little you can get them to do.  Once they start, they are more likely to say "What's next?" or "Why?"

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

[ Parent ]
from the top diary
44% who do not believe in worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future.

They may think that's why, but I would submit that they DO do that all the time, worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future.  They just don't think of those things that they do worry about in the same way.  ie there is an unconscious belief that whatever they do worry about is legitimate, whereas this is not.

In fact, isn't that (almost) the definition of 'worrying'?  Do we ever worry about anything that is not in the future?  And, isn't it true that all future events 'may or may not happen'?

Even when people worry about the past, it is mostly because of what that past might mean for their future, ie they are worrying about consequences of the past for their future, even if such consequences may or may not happen!

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

I wonder if people who have seen a disaster up close are more likely to prep.
When I was a kid, a flood tore through town and swept away the library and many homes and businesses along the riverbank.  Caskets floated to the surface and had to be reburied.  Schools went on double sessions because the high school was closed for repairs and high school students had to be crowded into an elementary school.  The flood was shocking to see and had a long aftermath.  So I know that life is not guaranteed to go on as it has been. 

Do other people feel immune to catastrophe?  Do they treat the idea like a disaster or horror movie, paying attention for a bit, then pushing it out of their minds?  Or denying it could happen to them? 

The "lighting up" concept makes sense;  I wonder if it's self-sustaining.  When I heard about bird flu in 2005, I was concerned for a while, then I completely forgot about it.  I have no idea why.  When Oprah brought it to my attention in 2006, BINGO.  I've been on it every since.  Is repetition necessary for other people too?  Some religious sectors mandate prayers throughout the day, every day.  That keeps their adherents focused.  Sec. Leavitt came to the states once, and the message was supposed to be passed on.  If TPTB don't seem to be taking action, it must not be important.  If it is important there needs to be a continual drumbeat of "It's coming, so this is what we're doing this week."

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

Some find it fun to prep. Basic nature of "the rug will be pulled out any time" n/t

[ Parent ]
I don't know that I would call it "fun"-
but I get an extremely satisfied feeling when I look at all my full shelves.  To me, its worth doing, if for no other reason than I feel more secure.  whether or not the perception is accurate or not, I don't know.  It could very well be that I have a house full of preps and inadvertently get the flu the first week of pandemic and my whole family and I am wiped out and the house sits there full of preps and no people.  Prepping is not a guarantee.  But it does skew the odds of our survival tremendously in our favor 

I'm actually feeling kind of edgy now because my freezer isn't full-I emptied it for cleaning a couple of weeks ago and haven't been able to restock completely, and my home canned goods are low because its spring. and of course I haven't done the summer canning yet.

[ Parent ]
Prepping feels good

  "But it does skew the odds of our survival tremendously in our favor"

  And there is peace of mind.

  Fun? Stocking shelves is not as fun as making fires and cooking food. Learning to make a flahslight out of spare things. Making a motor out of battery, two paper clips, wire and shower curtian magnet!

  Some parts are more fun than others :O)

[ Parent ]
Yes, I will agree that some of it is fun-
making and playing with the solar ovens is way cool!

[ Parent ]
Jane ... doesn't always stick
People like to bury their head in the sand.  Its fun I guess.

For instance, every year it is estimated that only 1/3 of all Floridians prep for hurricane season.  Of that 1/3 on a small percentage are prepped for more than a day or two of interruption in their lives.

I mean, how many times does mother nature have to take a baseball bat to our state before someone is going to "get it?"  They may get it for a year, maybe two ... but if you don't have a major hurricane every year people just go back to the lax way of doing things ... or not doing things as the case may be.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

[ Parent ]
Personal Experience, Stages of Adjustment and Backsliding
I think you are right, personal experience is a key (and the survey seems to back that up.)  This is important to remeber when we are trying to convince someone to pay attention and prepare.  They have likely been involved with something in their lifetime (storm, flood, power outage, etc) that can be used as a jumpting off point, something that has lit them up in the past with which we can connect and draw a parallel with the pandemic threat.

I think that's why Osterholm and others use the 'storm day' analogy.  At least up here, the concept is drilled into you from the time you are a child - the blizzard comes, you get a day off from school.  While the positive aspects of that for kids (and geographic limitations) make that analogy a mixed blessing, the internal impact on parents achieves the 'all lit up' status pretty easy.

Also, to the extent that someone has been threatened or suffered loss during an emergency, the emotional grooves of that event are burned pretty deep.  Unfortunately this sometimes motivates people to intentionally not pay attention to that kind of event - it 'lights them up' in a way they would just as soon forget.  (The Great Forgetting of 1918 may be a global example of that.)

The "lighting up" concept makes sense;  I wonder if it's self-sustaining.

For the vast majority of people - NO.

People forget, adjust and prioritze. While the first is a real problem, the last two can actually be positive.

If they forget, they need to be reminded or they will not prepare.  But if they are adjusting to the new reality that includes that risk, our messages need to take that into account.  Many people will be in different stages of ajusting to this new risk and speaking to them in the same way will not be effective.

The stages of adjusting to a new and serious risk are well-known. The first stage - before the adjustment reaction - is some mix of apathy and denial. That is, we legitimately don't know much about the new risk, but we also don't want to know; we resist adding something new to our worry agenda. When that defense is finally breached, next comes the full-fledged adjustment reaction. Instead of under-reacting, we over-react for a bit. We imagine the possible future risk is a here-and-now risk; we may start taking precautions we ought to be only preparing to take. Then we get through the adjustment reaction. We adjust. Our New Normal includes a sensible coping strategy: increased vigilance so we'll know if things get worse; improved preparedness so we'll be ready to act if we must.


There is also a natural ebb and flow of attention and willingness to act that occurs between 'teaching moments'(such as occurred last May in Indonesia).

During those low ebb intervals (like now) some people will relax their vigilence and slack off on their efforts to prepare.  As you correctly point out, we need repetition of the message (pandemic threat continues - here's what you can do) to remind them and help them to minimize backsliding (and catch a few new fish as well).

As to our public officials and the media, it may be that between the 'fear of fear' and the 'fear of fatigue' some may believe it is better to only speak up during the outbreak events that can be seen as 'teachable moments'.  But to use someone else's analogy, that would be like only running fire drills when a fire has broken out that gets people's attention.  It might indeed get better attention to your 'lesson', but is a pretty risky way to teach something so fundamental to our safety.

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
another way around this: what do people DO? and why do they do it?
Instead of asking why they do NOT prep, we might ask what is it that they DO do, and WHY.

- Stay awake when children are ill.
- Go buy some tobacco even if it's raining.
- Stop smoking.
- Buy insurance and a new set of tyres.
- Etc.

We do what we must, when we must:
- http://blogs.salon.c...
- http://blogs.salon.c...

How can we facilitate a "must" on a grand scale, that I don't know.

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

Lugon - I like the graphics and questions. Thanks. n/t

[ Parent ]
it's a compulsion!
Go buy some tobacco even if it's raining.

Very hard to create a compulsion with pandemic prep, unless people get it... lol

My best but still very feeble suggestion is to make more docu-dramas, with lots of examples of what could happen.

Most people think of dying as a single clean one-step process.  Well, it isn't. 

And there are other things...

As anon.yyz once said, try describing to them graphically having to scrounge in garbage cans for left-overs to take home to their kids.  Or at least buy food of dubious quality cos you have no choice.

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

[ Parent ]
Compulsion - like flu wiki ? :o) ha ha Might be more of a calling

  The Docudrama's sound good.

  Why don't people prep - because no one else is. If eveyone was doing it they would not want to be left out. One cruel trick is to look up. As people walk by and wonder what you are looking at they will look up. Soon it starts to grow. Got this from a 1940's show.

  Have to make the message real.

[ Parent ]
I wish we could get some celebs on board to make it fashionable. n/t/

[ Parent ]
I'm a celebrity...
Somebody knows me...somewhere! ;-)

[ Parent ]
Woo Hoo - then I famous too. Wish I knew who I was. Hmm, have to buy the Enquire they report all the stuff others do not :O) ha ha n/t

[ Parent ]
Ahh,hmmm [shrug] Yea.

  Yea. In the movie "Broad Cast News" looks trumps brains.

  Hey can we get Geena Davis or Dolly Parton.

  Mrs Parton started a reading program for kids that others replicated. Instead of throwing money or fame at a problem she created a working model others could fund and emulate
Source: http://wcco.com/loca...

  Geena is just smart and pretty.

  I still believe in grass roots approach. Its is a long term effort


[ Parent ]
Dolly speaking on anything like ARDs - the mind boggles. n/t

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
Well put guys.

  I'm embarrassed I did not see that. Funny though. Way too logical and no my blood is not copper based green like Spock :) ha ha ha LoL

  Good point. Dolly is definitely an attention getter. Yes, she has a big heart in there too.

  I picked Dolly because she created a plan that others followed.

  There are lots of stars. American Idol is a good point - so is Farm Aide. I just worry about another Dixi Chicks or "One sheet per visit" moment. We are all human regardless of social position.

  There are enough celebrities out there that some of them must have caught on to AI and want to help.

  Yes we may need several. Hank Williams Jr. ("A country boy can survive, country folk can get by"), Toby Keith, Pat Benatar, Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, Ice T, Gene Simmons, Enya, Jeff Wayne (Musical version of the War of the Wolds), KLF, Depeche Mode, Geena Davis, Bill Nye the science guy, Hugh Hefner's daughter, Ellen D., Tom Baker, Les Stroud (Survivor Man),  etc to reach multiple groups.

  In the entertainment age (where celebrities make more money and hold sway) I am not a big fan of throwing money or fame at a problem. Heart counts more.


[ Parent ]
Kobie-that is the most eceltic list of celebs I have ever seen.
Now MY mind is boggling.  Gene Simmons and Enya?  Depeche Mode and Les Stroud?  I need some more coffee to think about that combo!  :-)

[ Parent ]
Yea, Everything but Jerry Springger or Benny Hill. ! :)

  I think people would pay just to see them on stage together regardless of the message.

  Should have added John Clease. I have trouble with Snoop Dog and Emenem and hope Ice T (who I do respect) can reach them.

  Jeff Foxworthy, George Carlin, Gene Hackman and Dan Aykroyd?

  Enjoy the coffee :O)


[ Parent ]
Kobie-I'm totally with you on this-
Love John Clease!  I don't care much for Snoop dog and Emenem, but I also have respect for Ice T- I heard an interview he did on "Fresh Air" years ago, it was great.

Wouldn't it be cool if we could get Stephen King to do something like an op/ed piece in a major paper?  Just reading "the Stand" was enough to get me to prep.  What if they re-ran the miniseries on Prime time tv  with Red Cross/CDC/WHO doing CSA's during the commercial breaks?  That would get some folks attention, I'm thinking.

I could just imagine a George Carlin routine "Why is it that...."  And he could do his Mr. Conductor bit- "Kids- Thomas the Tank Engine is prepping for the flu, go tell your folks to do the same."  Maybe get some company to do TTE n95's for little kids.

[ Parent ]
Stephen King - Yea.

  Good Idea! Stephen King - now he writes a story worth the hering!

  "Cujo" re-written as a Pandemic. "Night Shift" re-done as a "how not to" book.

  Alot of King's stories actually have moral lines in them. I've only seen him once. He likes the publicity as long as no one asks "when is the book comming out" or "the sequel to the dark castle shoud go like ....blah...blah...balhh"

  I feel this will happen anyway.

  After 9-11, there where songs. Gordon Lightfoot did a good song for "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"

  I'm kinda couting on them not only to do a few PSA's but quite a few songs during and after the pandemic.

  "Sad songs say so much" - Sir Elton John.
  "I get by with a little help from my friends" - Beatles


[ Parent ]
Benny Hill won't have much to say either way n/t
And, personally, I wouldn't listen to anything Springer had to say...

Now...Jeff Foxworthy?!? He's smarter than a fifth grader...

[ Parent ]
It does boggle, but...
Look at what American Idol did last week and this week. The whole charitable fundraising thing for poverty in the U.S. and overseas. While I think the show is cotton candy for the brain, people were motivated to donate $70 million and counting.

Dolly Parton could very well motivate a lot of people to prep. Other celebs could too. But I don't think we'll get there. Too close to home. Too ugly. As long as we can keep our politically correct difficult causes overseas (i.e., at arms length), we're OK. Bring 'em home to roost? Not so much.

[ Parent ]
Are we prepping just for AI? n/t

[ Parent ]
I am and I'm not
I'm a big believer in being prepared, but until I started prepping for pandemic, that mainly extended to making sure I had enough snacks, water bottles, and pampers in my kids' diaper bags.

To be honest, Kobie, Sept. 11 did not get me prepping. Watching Katrina unfold and then learning about pandemic about a month after Katrina is what got me moving. Only now that I am prepping for pandemic do I see the applicability to other disasters.

Am I prepping just for pandemic? No. Am I prepping for other natural disasters? Somewhat, but not so much. My area is relatively insulated from natural disasters by its geography.

I am prepping for "all hazards" but not necessarily of the natural disaster ilk. I'm really prepping for the man-made disasters that are already affecting modern economies and societies.

As I've researched things such as bulk grain purchases and solar energy alternatives, my pandemic prep activities have opened my eyes to many issues related to food sourcing and supply, energy and water conservation issues, global warming, peak oil, and the unintended consequences of modern medicine.

Air pollution, a contaminated, Franken-food chain that is moving further and further away from anything we would recognize as real food, sea level rise, global warming, and peak oil are bigger threats, IMO, than other disasters that traditionally beset the area in which I'm located. YMMV.

[ Parent ]
Edna - honest assesment

  Hi. Thank you for your honesty and openess. I am glad you are looking at some real long term issues and seeing how they could unfold.

  Yes I have heard, "Life gives you the test before the lesson"  but there are things we can see comming. Where we can read the writing on the wall before it is in the news paper.

  I live near a large Navel base so the outcome of wars and civial denfense has been around me. I miss the civil defense. As a child I knew what time it was Saturday morning by the air raide siren test before I could read a clock.

  Hence all this flu wiki prepping is good even if AI does not happen. There will unforseen problems like 9-11, 3-11 (Spain's train bombing) tornados, power outages.

  Hope it goes well for you. That you have the disposable ponchoes not becuase you knew it would rain but because you where preppared.

  With all the cameras, computers, world trade and technology may you have more privacy, security, joy and freedom than our founding fathers could have imagined.

"Take hold to prepare the future well - for it is where you will spend tomorrow and the rest of you life"

[ Parent ]
Edna - honest assesment

  Hi. Thank you for your honesty and openess. I am glad you are looking at some real long term issues and seeing how they could unfold.

  Yes I have heard, "Life gives you the test before the lesson"  but there are things we can see comming. Where we can read the writing on the wall before it is in the news paper.

  I live near a large Navel base so the outcome of wars and civial denfense has been around me. I miss the civil defense. As a child I knew what time it was Saturday morning by the air raide siren test before I could read a clock.

  Hence all this flu wiki prepping is good even if AI does not happen. There will unforseen problems like 9-11, 3-11 (Spain's train bombing) tornados, power outages.

  Hope it goes well for you. That you have the disposable ponchoes not becuase you knew it would rain but because you where preppared.

  With all the cameras, computers, world trade and technology may you have more privacy, security, joy and freedom than our founding fathers could have imagined.

"Take hold to prepare the future well - for it is where you will spend tomorrow and the rest of you life"

[ Parent ]
Edna - honest assesment

  Hi. Thank you for your honesty and openess. I am glad you are looking at some real long term issues and seeing how they could unfold.

  Yes I have heard, "Life gives you the test before the lesson"  but there are things we can see comming. Where we can read the writing on the wall before it is in the news paper.

  I live near a large Navel base so the outcome of wars and civial denfense has been around me. I miss the civil defense. As a child I knew what time it was Saturday morning by the air raide siren test before I could read a clock.

  Hence all this flu wiki prepping is good even if AI does not happen. There will unforseen problems like 9-11, 3-11 (Spain's train bombing) tornados, power outages.

  Hope it goes well for you. That you have the disposable ponchoes not becuase you knew it would rain but because you where preppared.

  With all the cameras, computers, world trade and technology may you have more privacy, security, joy and freedom than our founding fathers could have imagined.

"Take hold to prepare the future well - for it is where you will spend tomorrow and the rest of you life"

[ Parent ]
Go yell this outside our local emergency management office - Please
I am pretty much the same.  Did some around Y2K, but mostly to please MLW. 

Then pandemic awareness and research/Katrina one-two punch and I was seriously on my way. 

I am prepping for multiple-risk (specifically including pandemic - which adds some things otherwise not on the list.) Given the nature of a pandemic, if you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere. (More or less.) There are things on my long-list for other specific threats that I won't get to for quite awhile, but genearlly we are fairly well set.

I think our situations illustrate the potential of the pandemic threat to be used as a 'teachable' moment.

I have tried and failed to convince the local emergency management folks to highlight pandemic threat as a way to reach people and get them to start preparing for both pandemic and multiple-risk.

Because it is relatively new to most folk, I think it is an effective way to convince people to prepare for not only that threat, but a wide variety of threats. 

The EM folk continue to look at it the other way around (which also includes the 3-day bug out bag focus), but if they have not reached the public with their generic 'get ready' message yet, I wonder how they will punch through to them now without acknowledging a new 'threat'. 

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
I just love Miss Dolly-
She has done a lot of great things for the community she grew up in, and she is one smart lady and a tough cookie to boot.

[ Parent ]
Seems like one of the most genuine of them all. n/t

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
can you email me anon_22 AT hotmail DOT co DOT uk


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

[ Parent ]
You have mail. nt

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
Drill down to the 'why' then address it at that level
As SusanC's post discusses, people internalize what they can recognize.  The linguists will tell you the same thing.  If you do not frame your message in terms that are familiar and that fit within their view of how the world works, the message just bounces off.  It is like you are speaking a foreign language.  It is not that they don't believe, it is that in a fundamental way they really do not understand.  They don't believe their ears.

One of the difficulties here is that when confronted with a new disease threat, people inevitably seek to understand it by drawing connections or analogies with a disease they know.  When that happens here, it is likely that this connection is with its name-sake: the seasonal 'flu'.  I believe this operates on a subconscious level to short-circuit the internal acceptance or importance of the need to prepare.

So we must define this need not in terms of public health crisis but in very tangible terms of pandemic (what it is, will it come, when could it come, what will it do and what can we do to prepare.)

Given what the survey particpants identified as barriers to preparing, I believe that the public understands that they have a role to play, but not what that role is.

They will be more likely to prepare if they understand how a crisis would (might) affect them personally and if they know what they can do to protect themselves.  (This would be especially true if that 'understanding' and 'knowing' reduced the expected cost and time needed to prepare.)

This is where I believe the government (and business community) have both failed miserably.  Starting from scratch takes a lot of time.  Once you have done it, you could do it again for someone else in much less time and for much less money.  Both government and business could be helping on this score, but so far that help has been slim.

Flu Wiki is a great example of private initiative attempting to fill that void - to present in a clear manner what individuals and communities need to know and what they need to do.  Summaries, shortcuts, instructions and checklists.  (You need them to put together a bike, but not a pandemic preparedness plan?)

But as successful as this venture is, it is still limited in its reach and scope.

Without spending billions, the government could make sure that both individuals and companies had easy access information and instructions to guide them through the preparation process.  (Think of it as the equivalent of the  Cooperative Extension Services http://www.ces.purdu...). 

This kind of program could apply the same educational mission to pandemic preparedness.

Maybe the national and state Chambers of Commerce or other business associations could take this up as a cause. 

Some of the additional related findings of the survey (go to original for exact wording):

I realize I am not as prepared as I should be: 87%

Average person has a role in preparing for public health crisis:  75%

Place a very or somewhat high priority on preparedness for public health emergency: 38%

Consider themselves:
Well prepared: 3%
Fairly well prepared: 24%
Somewhat well prepared: 37%
Not very well prepared: 25%
Not prepared at all: 8%

Have spent 2 hours or less on emergency planning: 65%

Barriers to becoming prepared: (major or minor reason)

Do not think a public health crisis is likely: 
58% of the public, 48% of employers, and 30% of school administrators

Believe they are already prepared:
27% of the public views themselves as very well prepared of fairly well prepared, but just half (13%) meet the three-day standard.

Do not know what to do to prepare:
44% of the public, 41% of employers, and 25% of school administrators
Do not have the time: 37% of the public, 42% of employers, and 32% of school administrators

Do not have the money to prepare:
62% of the public

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

some observations
and there's room for interpretation:

If 47% know about panflu and 44% don't want to know, that leaves only 9% to reach. The rest have the info "bounce off".

The 47% is higher than I thought it would be.

The "bounce off" is not entirely the fault of TPTB (but a clear message is better than an incomprehensible one).

What Sandman and Lanard call 'the teachable moment' is a useful concept. Catch someone when they aren't interested in learning and it's tough to make them interested.

Knowing about flu is not the same as prepping for flu. Different messaging, there.

[ Parent ]
Much more than 9% are listening and need to hear.
I think our audience is significantly larger than the 9%, because of the points I raise below, but also because even for those that are active on this board, staying on the wagon (or building a safer, more comfortable seat) is still a struggle for which FW provides a helping hand that is much appreciated.

I don't know if we can say 47% "know about the flu", if we mean 'know enough to care' or 'know enough to prepare'.

47% percent think a serious health crisis from an outbreak of infectious disease such as the flu is likely.

But do they have any real idea what that means? 

Do they know it would affect them as opposed to some others?

The survey tells us that 66% of the public believe that it is very or somewhat unlikely that their family will be affected by a major public health crisis. This is a fairly typical reaction to a new disease threat - defining it in your own mind in a way that excludes yourself from the threat.  This 'only the other' syndrome is not helped by depictions of victims as very, very different from you or I.

Do they know how it would affect them

How signficant, how fast, how long, how bad?  I am thinking not.

Do they know there are things they could fairly easily and fairly cheaply do to make their situation better?

Again, my sense is that many fall into one of two equally erroneous camps.  First is the 'They'll take care of me' Camp and on the other side is the 'We're all doomed anyway so why bother' Camp. (Sandman suggests some others here: http://www.psandman....)

Do they know now what to do now?

The survey tells us that many don't have a clue and many more have the idea that it is both too time consuming and too expensive for them to prepare at home or at work, indicating again that they may be confused as to what they can and should do.  Even for us FWians, there is always more to learn and digest.

As you say, for the general public 'teachable moments' are key, with 40% saying that in the recent past they were more prepared, but have fallen off the wagon. They can and do pay attention (and act on that information), but you have to be there with the right message when that time comes and they go looking for answers and guidance.  You also lay ground work between those moments to sustain the momentum.

In a different context (terrorism and the DHS Duct Tape and Plastic advice) Peter Sandman has some interesting perspectives on making this kind of diligence more routine:

The essence of the government's advice is to be vigilant; to take those precautions that are prudent (not too expensive or too disruptive); and to go about our business. This "routinization of terror" is almost undoubtedly the right long-term response to the new reality in which we find ourselves: neither pretending that the terrorist threat isn't there nor allowing the terrorist threat to dominate our lives.


Making emergency preparedness routine should be one of our goals.  This message of making yourself safer through prudent, commonsense preparations is familar to some, but not others and it is equally applicable in a pandemic preparedness discussion.

I am also not sure the 44% does not "want to know". 

44% say they don't believe in worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future.

Is this the same as not wanting to know?  For some, who never want to let even a whiff of bad news into their sanitized bubble, it may be.  They are beyond our reach.  (I wish them good luck with that.)

But for others, might the key be moving the pandemic threat from the category of "may or may not happen" to "not if, but how soon"?

If they knew a pandemic was virtually certain to come (as it is) and recent developments (2003-2007) indicate that it could be very soon (as it could be) and when it comes it could be very severe (like 1918 or even worse), would they worry enough to prepare?  Tough to know, but there is still so much carefully crafted weasel-language being used that most folks are still underestimating the chances of a pandemic (especially a severe one) even occuring.  Until we get past that with these folks, the rest of our message will continue to just bounce off and fall useless to the floor.

As an aside, this discussion has made me decide to stop using the "Pandemics Happen" phrase.  It seems way too close to "Sh*t Happens" and seems to convey the same helpless/futile/wasted attitude.  I also think that "not a question of if, but when" may not be a great substitute. 

I heard that phrase used recently by someone on TV describing the chances of a half-mile wide asteroid hitting the earth and I pretty much discounted it.  From what I have read, that kind of event is estimated to occur once in every 100,000 years.  When pandemics have occurred on average every 30-40 years or so, and the last one was over 30 years ago, maybe it is better to say not a question of if, but how soon and how bad.


ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
all good points
I haven't given up on any of the audience, mind you... i just don't routinely blame people either. Not the advisor and not the recipient.

I like 'not if but when' and I like "pandemics happen". Nothing fatalistic about that. Just realistic. And for the analogy of a similar constriction you gave, useful for those that say it doesn't.  ;-)

[ Parent ]
can we create a better survey? i bet we can

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
I dont' know if we need another survey to tell us what we
already know - not enough people are prepared.  This survey was too broad, ill-defined, etc.  If you really wanted to understand PF specifically and to realy drill deeper into why people aren't prepping you can't do it in a survey format.  You need face-to-face interviews (either focus group or one-on-one) to explore avenues that can't be explored once a person answers a question a certain way.  Well, you can with a survey but it becomes cumbersome and still lacks the fullness of explanaition. 

Again - we all know people aren't prepped.  What can we do to get them there?

[ Parent ]
Depends on the survey's purpose.
If you were using this kind of survey during a local meeting you set up and were using it to make various points - what would you ask then?

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
"I realize I am not as prepared as I should be:87%" - why? becuase its ok - no immediate penalty. n/t

[ Parent ]
Heres where peoples perception is whacked-
I have a friend who considers herself "well prepared"  She went out and bought a (single) windup flashlight, some extra batteries and a gallon of bleach.  She probably does have two weeks of food (frozen pizza,Lean Cuisines)in her freezer, but no non-electric cooking source, no non-electric heat source, no genny.

I don't FEEL well prepared at all.  I have three water sources(though one would have to be treated) I have four non-electric cooking sources.  I don't know how many LED lights I have, but I know I have  five wind-up lights, three hurricane lanterns, two coleman rechargeable lanterns, two NOAH wind-up radios, a rechargeable tv, and a solar recharger.  I have three months of shelf stable dry/canned food, a genny and a (full) propane tank, and live in a passive solar house

But I don't feel prepared because-big chunks of my garden is not even planted yet, Ive had pneumonia and a couple of bad colds this spring and I feel really out of shape-my immune system feels lousy right now.  I have NO tamiflu in stock and only one course of antibiotics (though considerable OTC meds) My goal is at least a full year of food stocked.

I consider myself part of the 89% who says they are not as prepared as well as they should be -yet my friend with her solo flashlight and gallon of bleach would considered herself "well-prepared."

[ Parent ]
Good point Greenmom
Most don't realize this could stretch on for months, even years.  They figure they can handle just about anything for two weeks.  It's easy to get your head around how much food you need for two weeks, have the kids home from school for two weeks, etc.  It's very hard to imagine beyond that.  And it's very hard to imagine life as we know it changing forever.  So rather than try to grapple with the unimaginable, they tune out. 

[ Parent ]
I'm going to put you over my knee if you don't start taking 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 today. (And if you already are taking it, please do tell. It's supposed to be hugely efficaceous in preventing colds and whatnot that can lead to secondary infections such as pneumonia. But if you're on it, and you're still getting sick, my faith will be shaken.)

[ Parent ]
I will start on vitamin D3 today....
I'm taking a multi vitamin but it didn't knock the colds out.  I really think that my colds were aggravated by stress-Ive had tremendous stress-this winter-different work/family issues.

But I have a big O vacation coming up next week.  I'm gonna lay on that beach (with sunscreen of course) and soak up lots of sun/quiet/vitamin d.

Bloody pandemic better not break out while I'm gone.

[ Parent ]
As for relaxing on vacation, it has always been my experience that ill health waits for vacation to really strike. It's as if the body knows you can't afford to be sick when you are busy so holds off until you have "down time." Hope that isn't the case with you.

[ Parent ]
I think the this last nasty cold -
was my end of crisis illness because this was after a big crisis at work and a stressful time with relatives-we had a rather big row about prepping for pan-flu-they think Im nuts.  Fortuantly-this is NOT my immediate in the house family, and I'm hoping I still have time to get through to them.

  No one else came down with this so I suspect stress.  I went ahead and ended our homeschool for this year.  I didn't cover everything I wanted, but no point in getting stressed any more, and we'll just start back earlier-like the first of August when its really hot and steamy and no one wants to be outside.

Thanks so much for your concern and your excellent advice about vitamin D.

[ Parent ]
You're very welcome.
Sounds like stress was definitely a factor. And maybe sometime you can return the advice favor by shooting me a note on what homeschool programs you use. You and I think a lot alike, and I think I'd benefit from your knowledge. edna at nhpandemicplanner dot com. I don't check it very often, so there may be a delay in my RSVP if you do send a note. Stay healthy!

[ Parent ]
Mass. School is prepping - from 2006

The unique challenges of pandemic flu and the potential for widespread illness require us to build response capacity in the healthcare system that is unprecedented. A flu pandemic will stress the healthcare sector well beyond its existing potential to provide care to the sick.

Therefore, all Massachusetts acute care hospitals have been directed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to evaluate potential sites in their area where they could, with the assistance of the state and local preparedness partners, provide inpatient care to flu patients.

These Influenza Specialty Care Units (ISCUs) will be licensed as satellite facilities of the hospital, and will be utilized for approximately 2-4 weeks, if needed, to provide screening of outpatients, and for the care of flu patients that do not meet the criteria for hospital admission, but who are too sick to be cared for at home. In the event of activation, staff and equipment will be provided.

Because school buildings meet many of the criteria for such a facility (eg food preparation and dining facilities, adequate restrooms, and large open rooms that can hold a number of patients in a single space), you may be contacted by your local hospital to discuss the feasibility of identifying buildings in your district, in an emergency, as an ISCU


uh, some may call it prepping
Here in MA school families know basically nothing about pandemic (and the plans on paper make it sound like a summer thunderstorm is due) nor 12-week NPI's; nope. Not a suitable topic public health nor school officials want to discuss with the public.

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

More discussion on this PFI thread http://www.singtomeo...
Reminds me I meant to bring it to the MA preppers thread here, or is there a Schools thread?

[ Parent ]
schools thread is was about early closure

not so much about alternative use of schools. The MA prep thread is a good place.

[ Parent ]
School Closing (incl Alt Use) Table Top MN
Thought you might find these interesting:
MN Table Top Excercise - School Closing

The after action report is here:
School Closing Table Top Excercise - After Action Report

The orgininal diary refernced in that post includes links to the publically available and downloadable materials, including both forms and instructions for particpants and leaders.


ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
2-4 weeks?
These Influenza Specialty Care Units (ISCUs) will be licensed as satellite facilities of the hospital, and will be utilized for approximately 2-4 weeks, if needed, to provide screening...

2-4 WEEKS?!?

THAT'S IT?!? Out of a possible 26-30 TOTAL weeks (3 waves of 8 or 9 weeks), they can only manage 2-4 weeks?!? I suppose that's better than nothing...certainly much more than my state is doing... BB says with tongue in cheek

[ Parent ]
BB, when trying to recruit
people who may not be as enthusiastic as you like, you have to start small.  ;-)

No self-respecting school administrator will commit to anything more than 2-4 weeks. 

But if the ISCU is in situ, the pandemic is rampant, students are all still staying home, who is there to oppose the continuing use of the facilities for whatever is needed?

I heard stories post-Katrina where community or church premises were used for extensive periods, despite efforts from the 'donors' to get back the use of the premises.

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

[ Parent ]
BB - 2 to 4 weeks
Broco Bill,

  That suprised me too as it shows "ohh this will be just a short one time thing." - eeK!

  I agree with SusanC, if the only thing they will support is a foothold then we get a foothold.

  Onece we are in and things get bad "Well I know you only signed up for two to four weeks but we can shut down with so much need. The kids are not commin back for another two months anyway? Look at the good you will be doing for the community - ohh is that you neighbors kid over there. Why not go and tell them you want to shut the building down. I will waite here. :) sly grin, tongue in cheek.



[ Parent ]
Just My Two Cents - Oops, Make That Three Cents Worth
Because of inflation, I'll make this my "three cents worth."  Like everyone else on the Flu Wiki, I have talked to family and friends about prepping, have handed about preparation lists, and have e-mailed articles and blogs to dozens of people.  Of course some of them just blow me off (you're the ONLY one who is taking this seriously!) or they listen respectfully and then do nothing.  Several, however, have become converts and have begun prepping in their homes (cousin, nephew, sister-in-law, etc.).  For those who take the message seriously, the major reason they don't start earlier or prep for longer time periods is - STORAGE. 

Finding areas to store food and supplies as well as storing food safely is really a major problem.  Most people agree that the food is not that expensive; you don't have to buy top of the line canned goods and dry goods, but you do need a safe, clean storage space, you do need proper water containers, you do need shelves for all that toilet paper and charcoal.  It can be a daunting task even for those of us who have homes and not apartments, who have some extra cash and don't live paycheck to paycheck, who have vans to transport large items. 

I have to say that I have spent more money on such things as food grade storage buckets for flour, rice and beans (not expensive items in themselves), plastic shelving, collapsible water jugs, and batteries than on any food I have purchased. 

I know that we have had some threads on how to hide preps and a couple of diaries about storage.  Perhaps we should incorporate some of these ideas in our handouts, informal conversations, and presentations with people.  After introducing the topic, continue to talk casually with them about your preps, just as we do with each other when we find a great bargain or hear about a new project.  Perhaps if we act as if it's a natural thing to do, a few more people might decide to join the prepping crowd.

"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson

excellent practical point n/t

[ Parent ]
It's especially difficult for apartment dwellers
I know I would never have fit what I have now in the apartments I lived in pre-kids.  And gathering large quantities of food when you live in a city, maybe even without a car, is a major hassle (you have to get it home, lug it into an elevator or up stairs, etc.)  I'm not saying it can't be done but it would take a great deal of determination. 

[ Parent ]
ReadyMom had a BRILLIANT idea
I don't think ReadyMom posts here -- but I could be wrong?

She started a thread over on pfiforum, about a neighborhood meeting she was holding on pandemic influenza awareness and preparation.


Somrthing about the format of this presentation struck me as exactly right. 

First, there was information about pandemic flu/H5N1, by a scientists affiliated with a local respected university.  (crediblity). 

At the end of the presentation, where if it went well, I would expect most people would be feeling "Well, what can I do to get ready for this" -- instead of just hadning people a list of 2 weeks canned food supplies, or some websites for more ideas, (I assume she did do this -- but also...) she had visual displays of some simple easy things people could do right now, to get more prepared.  Back-up hygiene display (bucket with toilet seat); basic sanitation (Cholorx bleach, how to make a simple water filter) -- pictures of people's pantries with 12 weeks or more of food.

Everything we "preppers" talk about here -- but visual, all lin one place.  Advertisers know the power of something visual, you don't sell things by giving people lists of what they should have, you SHOW it to them.

I can't say for sure that the people who were at that session went home and did anything to prepare... but I just feel instinctively, that it was a good approach.  Tell people about a problem -- make it honest, but serious -- do not downplay it at ALL because you want to reassure them it'll be OK.  You can't reassure them it'll be OK.  You want them upset enough to take some action.  BUt, you want them to feel what they need to do is within their grasp.  Don't let them leave the room, without a feeling of efficacy... and do that by SHOWING them what preparations would look like.

GetPandemicReady.org - non commerical website with practical ways for families to prepare.

[ Parent ]
You can see her display
I should add, if you click over to the pfiforum link I posted and go to the third page of the thread, you can see the displays.

It's not like they were any earth shattering thing, but I really believe having the visuals at a meeting like that (and, she gave away freebies!) was a very, very good idea.

Apparently somebody came to the meeting from the local Red Cross and was impressed with the format, as well he should have been.

GetPandemicReady.org - non commerical website with practical ways for families to prepare.

[ Parent ]
ACM, hi!, i can't see the link to the pictures

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
could we use prep-pics for "a better story to be in"? ;-)

and http://www.newfluwik...

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
This is indeed a brillant idea.
The displays are fabulous and everybody loves a freebie!  I think visuals really help-I caught myself  really looking at everything to see if there were any preps I had missed!  Really super job.

[ Parent ]
ReadyMom's Displays
ACM - thanks for the link.  Those displays are brilliant!  I'm going to give a little informal talk to the special education teachers and paraprofessionals in my son's classroom - nothing fancy, just a brief summary of what might happen, show them the Flu Wiki site for additional information and distribute a few prep handouts.  Now that I've seen ReadyMom's displays, I know that I can do something similar for a visual effect.  And you are so right - visual aids are very powerful.  Thanks again.

"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson

[ Parent ]
thank ReadyMom! (-:
If you contact her, she has the signs and a lot of other things available for downloading, I believe.

GetPandemicReady.org - non commerical website with practical ways for families to prepare.

[ Parent ]
Complete Culture Shift Needed and Desirable
I've been trying to understand what is so special about what ReadyMom did with her display, because I don't think it is just that she made one, that there were visuals.

What I think happened, was, she changed the mood around the idea of "prepping" for emergencies.

The bright, 5th-grade classroom style labels, the cheery bulletin-board displays, all say "This is positive, proactive, possible".

I think there's a cultural bias AGAINST being prepared for emergencies in our nation -- especially, against being the kind of worry-wart who is always concerned something bad is going to happen.  People don't want to identify with that person, who doesn't have faith that things'll work out for the best.  (In some more rural areas, perhaps, the bias isn't as great -- but especially in the cities, I think it is there.)

There's a special stigma against the kind of person who stores up a lot of food in the basement.  We think of a tight, pinched, nervous worrier, or the "crazy catfood lady" (no offense to cat lovers!) who squirrels away far more food or TP than she could possible use in more than a few weeks.  This kind of behaviour is seen as a mental illness.  (And in ordinary times, it might actually be one.)

After you get past people's denial that something like pandemic influenza could actually happen, and that being prepared to be self-sufficient for a time at home, would be a good thing, you STILL have to get past their deeply rooted feelings that doing so, is somehow weird, or unoptimistic.

I'm thinking that people like local health departments, or the Red Cross, who might be dealing right now with this issue of "How do we present this idea?" might be looking for this approach. 

We need to move away from the negative terms:  it's not "hoarding", not "panic buying".  It is stewardship, and "orderly stockpiling". It's not disorganized cramming of junk (mental illness); it is orderly shelves.  It's not the negative, "essential services will break down-- have back-ups" but the positive, "alternatives to everything (just in case)."

The end result may be the same, but framing it in a positvie light is important, in order to quickly change cultural norms.

And THAT's why I think ReadyMom's displys were brilliant, they hit just the right note.

GetPandemicReady.org - non commerical website with practical ways for families to prepare.

[ Parent ]
You hit it spot on with the" fifth grade approach"-
It really reminds me of  a Jr. High science fair project which is so cool because it has a bright upbeat presentation, and while well done, its obviously not professional in Government agency kind of way.  Her point is that anyone can do this! LOOK! See HOW!-  IT also reminds me just a bit of WWII Victory Garden/Red Cross drive stuff Ive seen.  Rally round and lets roll up our sleeves for victory!

Really an excellent presentation.

BTW- my kitty was not offended but she doesn't understand why you would NOT want to buy up more cat food than could ever possibly be eaten.  Kitty kibble first last and always, thats her motto!

[ Parent ]
From awareness to action
I've noticed a process in people that I've spoken with.

1.  Becoming aware of the problem. 

(If you have never heard of the possibility of a pandemic, you won't do anything about it.)

I've come to the point where I just talk about pandemic preparation as one of my current interests ("So, AlohaOR, what's new with you these days?")

Some people will look at me funny and back away slowly.  That's fine -- at least they have heard the words "influenza", "pandemic" and "preparation" in a sentence together.  At some point in the future when they hear these words in combination again, they will be slightly more likely to listen.

Some people ask for more information, so I give them links to the basics and am available if they are ready for more information.

A few people really connect -- they were already aware & concerned and are ready to take action.

2.  Recognizing/understanding the risk.

This is where JHE becomes important.  This is the difference between "bird flu background noise" and "this might be a real threat to me and my family".  I have found that the biggest impact comes from talking matter-of-factly about some of the more likely scenarios, and then asking them questions.  (What do you think will happen when...)

3.  Managing the fear.

Immediately upon recognizing the risk, it is important to help manage the fear.  This is where ReadyMom's approach is so helpful.  If there are readily-accessible action steps available to start to address the problem, then it is possible to redirect fear from leading to denial/shutdown out of panic into action.

I have a standard e-mail that I send to friends who ask about how to get started prepping, that lists information about low-cost local resources for the most immediate needs, and reading material for more information.

[ Parent ]
Thank you!
ACM ... yes .. ocassionaly ... very occasionally (embarassed look) I do post here. Honestly, I kinda get lost here, so it's not as much as I'd like to.  I just stumbled across this post (and it's June 1 ... so sorry!)

Thank you for the kind words regarding my Community Awareness Meeting & Display. Yes... I do feel it was a successful meeting. Dr. Greene gave his medical presentation, we also showed a Red Cross Video and our County Emergency Services gave a brief (very brief) update on county activities and our local Red Cross Emergency Manager was also there to give his rundown.

People were interested. They had questions ... especially about masks usage and what happens when our water display goes down. We had answers and we had samples.

The display table was a HUGE hit. People mused about the table while they had snacks that we provided. They stood next to the PPE display board and again asked about the 3 styles of masks I had. The good doctor answered the questions. He EMPHASIZED ... and I mean STRONGLY EMPHASIZED the need for PPE items for both home-health care and personal protection should there be a need to go out in public. They picked things up, they explored, they asked questions! It was so worth the effort of lugging 3 tables worth of stuff there and setting up for nearly 2 hours.
We also had available a 'give-away'. When I go to conferences, with my husband, there are undoubtedly 'give-away' goodie bags for the attendees. I thought of doing that. People like to get 'stuff'. I originally thought of just using a bright yellow or red gift bag. (in my display, you will notice that EVERYTHING is red & yellow: tablecloth, background  posters, lettering. Why? Because red denotes 'emergency' and yellow 'caution'.) Then my neighbor (who has been a tremendous help ... aka: Reese from P4P) said what about using the 5 gal. buckets that we are collecting? What a great idea! So, we've been collecting the FREE 5 gallon buckets from our local WalMart & Grocery store bakers. In each bucket we put handouts AND actual SAMPLE ITEMS for the folks to SEE. I felt that tangible SAMPLE ITEMs will get more attention than just handing them a fist full of fliers and printed materials.

I also called FEMA and got FREE FEMA 'Are You Ready' Preparedness books (204 pages each!!!) and FEMA trifold brocures -- they even have one on how to prep for PETS!! They went in the buckets.

I contacted a couple of businesses around here and got some free masks and latex gloves. Got a gift certificate from our local Giant store and used that for water,sugar,salt. Then:

Mask handout: attached an N95 mask (in baggie)

Gloves handout: attached a pr. of gloves (in baggie)

ORS/Dehydration handout: Handout was rolled around a bottle of water and then to that, I also rubberbanded an small bag of home-made ORS solution (FLaMedic's recipe) that had a label on the baggett that said 'ORS SOLUTION' on one side and a list of the ingredients on the other.

Also got a small clorox sample to pop in each bucket (stumbled on that, it's something that might never get in a bucket, again!! LOL!)

(Someone has since suggested a packet of garden seeds w/ handout! GREAT idea!)

The handouts WITHOUT samples included:
-Pandemic Grocery List (News item & Full comprehensive list)
-'What follows is what will happen here in the US if the trucks stop'
- How to Set Up a Sick Room
-Red Cross PANDEMIC flier: How to Care for an Avian Flu Patient at home
-Buckets: how to get them, how to use them.

The PanFlu Buckets were a HUGE HUGE hit! Everybody took at least one. We had such a low turn out some took several to share. I've had people call & stop by my house for more. I can no longer make up the buckets because I can't get more masks & gloves donated and I can't afford to do it myself.

Was it successful? You bet! I've found that there are now probably 7 households in my neighborhood preparing! There are also several other folks who are now preparing due to some of those 'extra' buckets being shared and my local PA House of Rep. who attended has  included my Emergency Home Prep site on the front page of his website!  -- Did I say that we also had in attendance a rep. from our Senator's office (who took furious notes during the presentation -- as well as a couple of buckets!) and our PA House of Rep.

Did people panic? Nope!
Did people ask questions? Yep .. and GOOD questions!
Did ALL of them go home and start to prep? I don't know, but I know quite a few did!

Oh ... now I'm following the meeting up w/ 'TipLetters' that I send out each week which focus on a different area of prepping. Slow, gradual education on PanFlu Prepping.

And ... I've been sending out periodic emails on important events, like the CDC Press Briefing on Masks, the National Guard story a couple of weeks ago, etc. etc. 

Then lastly .... I offered a 'Group Buy' on N95 masks ... right after the CDC briefing. Result? FIVE CASES of masks being delivered to my home that were orderd by families that are now preparing! We're offering a group buy on gloves next!

So, FlaMedic is right on target when he asks about setting up a volunteer grass roots coalition. It CAN be done. I know ... I did it. And I'll do it again, if asked!

I hope this all helps!  If anyone is interesed in any of the presentation materials, to put one on ... please email me at capadmin@comcast.net ... we need to share what works with each other!! -k

www.EmergencyHomePreparation.org -- A 'card-catalog' style of prepping information.   -

[ Parent ]
Really Excellent Presentation
I read the thread on it and saw the pictures of your table-top presentation. 

It is not only an inspiration but a great template for folks like us who are looking for ways to reach out to people.  The 'marketing' aspects and sourcing of materials for the gift-bucket contents were just invaluable. 

What great ideas.

Probably the most important thing: showing it can be done. 

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
Almost forgot ...
The Gilmore Water Filter system: The home-made two bucket filter system ... we had 14 extra buckets that have a 'different' -- but still airtight lid. So, we took those 14 buckets and made 7 Gilmore water filter sets (complete with printed instructions on how to make the filter inside one of the buckets) for folks to take home.

They now had the set of buckets, the instructions and just had to order the Berkey filter & spicket. They were ALL gone and folks were asking for more! -k 

www.EmergencyHomePreparation.org -- A 'card-catalog' style of prepping information.   -

[ Parent ]
I'm going to feature this
on the HHS blog as a homegrown example of what can be done.


[ Parent ]
Actually ...
Dem ... I did post this over at the blog! There's an awful lot going on over there ... you may have missed it. It's under FM's idea about the citizen coalition. -k

www.EmergencyHomePreparation.org -- A 'card-catalog' style of prepping information.   -

[ Parent ]
P.S. ....
Thank you! -k

www.EmergencyHomePreparation.org -- A 'card-catalog' style of prepping information.   -

[ Parent ]
I saw it
but i want it on the front page ;-)

[ Parent ]
Thank you {blush} ... I hope it helps others to get going in their communities! Keep your fingers & toes crossed! -k

www.EmergencyHomePreparation.org -- A 'card-catalog' style of prepping information.   -

[ Parent ]
should be up by monday pm
if you write me at demfromct@earthlink.net or PM me at PFI, I will send you draft pre-publication.

[ Parent ]
we could have a wiki page with explanations of how to grow the network outwards?
so if you point me to the main URLs then we can create it under, where?, preparedness.*?  What would be the appropriate name for the page(s)?

You do the thinking (and provide some links), and then I or anyone can create the wikipages.

Maybe even a thread?

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
it'd be a "pass the bucket" network, right? :-)

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
a collection of 'best practice'
from local county govt. to individual projects.

Larimer Country, Colorado:
has linked some good videos:
Pandemic Flu Videos

Lewiston-Nez Perce County Emergency Management, Iowa:
Part 1 - Pandemic Flu Background

Part 2 - Pandemic Flu Impact

Part 3 - Pandemic Preparedness Mindset

Part 4 - Why three months of preps?

ReadyMom's project:

[ Parent ]
Cerro Gordon County Health Department, Iowa and Mason city

Pandemic Flu Awareness program on 9/1/06


The public awareness campaign includes the following measures:

  A press conference was held Sept. 1, 2006 at the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health to kick off the campaign. Several media interviews were conducted to educate residents about the plan.

The health department formed a partnership with seven local grocery stores in Cerro Gordo County:
  o Both Hy Vee stores in Mason City
  o Fareway Grocery, Mason City
  o Fareway Grocery, Clear Lake
  o Walmart, Mason City
  o EconoFoods, Clear Lake
  o Dugan?s Supermarket, Rockwell

All grocery store managers or owners have agreed to help distribute educational flyers about pandemic flu.

[ Parent ]
Great Ideas ... one small problem, though ...
... Money! It takes money even for the printing of the material to get those handouts handed out! I have found that to be my stumbling block. I've personally sunk some $$ into this AND trying to prep. Getting funding isn't an easy feat. Some of the things I initally got donated for the PanFlu Bucket project, but now that is dry ... so what do I do? (ANd I'm sitting on more bucket requests!) I've even used up some of my own gloves & masks from preps to get the rest of the buckets filled, before I stopped.

Anyone else wanting to step up to the plate and do any of this may be put off for the very same reason. I do believe this is an area that needs to be brainstormed. -k 

www.EmergencyHomePreparation.org -- A 'card-catalog' style of prepping information.   -

[ Parent ]
well why don't we present that very point
(and I hope you comment) on the HHS blog? great idea, needs local funding. i did the same with the buttons. i bought some, but i am not buying an unlimited supply. ST did the same.


To me, this is where rotary, kiwanis, IOOF, and/or business etc step in.

See also:


[ Parent ]
Flu Wiki Template for Grant Requests?
If there is Federal, State or Local grant money still available, a template to request such grant funding for community education on a grassroots level would be useful.

It would then just need small changes to adapt it to each project proposal and maybe filling in cost estimates/quantities of items. 

But first, I don't know if such grant money is out there still/yet.

Second, I don't know whether a non-organization would have much luck applying.

For some reason or other I thought that a fair amount of the grant money that was initially made available went un-used.  But don't know if that is true. 

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
bucket wikipage started

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
Date - I put a post it note with the date on it when I pack gloves and masks n/t

[ Parent ]
Changed the TinyURLs to PMWiki links
and also moved Lewiston-Nez Perce County back to Idaho from Iowa! ;-) Yup...the whole darned county!

[ Parent ]
much nicer, thanks! (now if someone can grab'n'copy the "I forgot to add"s :-))

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
i.e. Pandemic Bucket Brigade n/t

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
Better photos ...
Dem, let me send you the original photos files. These are not that good! Where should I send them?? -k

www.EmergencyHomePreparation.org -- A 'card-catalog' style of prepping information.   -

[ Parent ]
send to

[ Parent ]
some photos here
I will post more over time.


[ Parent ]
It all looks
so wonderful put together like that. She did a marvelous job.
I have seen the pics of the gilmore water purifier setup but does anyone have written instructions for doing it or know where a link for such might be?

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Opinion Leaders Are the Key!
Every country and every city has opinion leaders - they may or may not be celebrities, but people know who they are and listen to them when they speak.

In my case, I started prepping the day after I learned that several medical researchers in my city (including one Nobel Prize Winner) believed that the situation was so serious that they had started prepping, including stockpiling Tamiflu for their familes.

If you want to get people prepping, all that is required is for Oprah Winfrey to talk about it and tell people about her preps, add a few talking heads saying the same thing Coast to Coast and pointing to where information can be found, and this particular part of the battle is won.

The reason for this is simple. Even with all the logic in the world, people still don't want to look stupid in front of their spouse, nieghbours and friends by preparing for what some people believe to be a "non existent" threat. It's shear embarassment that does it. In my case I no longer have a wife to try and convince (which would be impossible anyway she was so dumb), and my preps have been made in private.

If the talking heads raise the subject, the embarassment falls away and people give themselves permission to "think the unthinkable" and to start making preparations, no longer being fearful of being regarded as some ridiculous paranoid nutjob.

Like us.
I think this is an excellent point, but so far the willingness of any of the Op Leaders to get out front of this parade has been pretty slim. 

They would much rather lead from the rear. 

More's the pity.

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
Mike Osterholm was on Oprah last year
and all the sites including ours got hits.



And here we are today.

[ Parent ]
a general comment on "convincing people"

Talking about his own children (and not specifically about panflu, btw), he writes: "while they are attentive and respectful, their hope that I'm dead wrong far outweighs their fear that I'm right."

If "people will listen when they are ready to listen and not before", then how can we facilitate change?

Dave Pollard suggests designing and/of finding "dangerous little memes" and dropping them in casual conversation.

Whatever works, of course.

But what would those "dangerous little memes" be in our case?

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

I am a fan of:
1918 (it's happened before)
3 month school closure
60% cfr (when asked... but use what works)
DHS guide to 90 day self-quarantine
my hospital couldn't cope with everything

might want to start a new diary on this

[ Parent ]
done - "dangerous little memes" diary started

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]

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