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What Would Motivate Those Around You To Prep? with poll

by: DemFromCT

Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 08:21:28 AM EST

(I'd like readers the opportunity to take the poll - promoted by DemFromCT)

There are some wonderful discussions in the diaries about motivation... what would motivate others to support prepping, and support community mitigation.

There is an assumption that CFR (case fatality rate) is the motivating factor. My thought is that it is 'a' motiving factor, but not the only one.

DemFromCT :: What Would Motivate Those Around You To Prep? with poll
The more I read here, the more I think there are multiple motivators and different motivators for different people.

For some, the CFR is definitely a motivator, and I don't mean to diminish or dismiss that. But, for example, pictures of 1918, or eyewitness accounts of the era have nothing to do with any number, nor does a 'schools need to close and hospitals will be full' kind of statement. In order to hear and have a high CFR register in your mind, you have to be inclined to believe and accept it, and not dismiss it as a 'meteor might hit earth' sci-fi kind of idea.

What motivates you to prep? Is it the CFR? Is it 1918? Is it something else? And do you think the same thing will motivate those around you? How much luck have you had with it?

Is it who says it? Is it how it's said?

Leave your thoughts here, and perhaps we can pick up some tips on how to better get the message out.

You can pick multiple choices in the poll

What would motivate those around you to prep?
Official announcement from state officials
Panflu stories on the local news
Better dissemination of possible CFRs
Famous people/celebrities prepping
Sales on prep items on a regular basis
Pictures and stories of 1918
Public service announcements on TV (PSA)
Your doctor taking it seriously in the office
Other (please explain in a comment)


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this graph shows cfr in a different way
than the official slide, graphically showing that 1918 is not worst case. Is this a helpful teaching tool?

here's a life expectancy graph
from Peter Palese, Christopher F. Basler & Adolfo GarcĂ­a-Sastre Nature Medicine  8, 927 - 928 (2002)


[ Parent ]
I hate to skew your results, but _none_ of those options motivated me to prep -- it was something much more intangible.  The information I took in was from disparate sources: family history, personal experience, interest in history and epidemics, and so on. But the one thing that made me put that first box of mac-n-cheese in the basement was concern for my children should the food distribution system be impacted by widespread illness.

If we are going to reach people, I think it is probably going to be the same way -- through love and concern for their children. I have influenced others to prep and I've always used that approach. People may figure they can "get by" on whatever, but not being able to get food for your children... that's powerful.

Older folks I've talked to, ones who remember the Depression, remember times of want and scarcity. They may think "when I go, I go" -- but they'll put a few cans of soup in the basement, too.

yes... I think kids are the key
see comment by dr. dave...


[ Parent ]
does the poll allow multiple checks?
Polls tend to truncate options, thought, and actions...

and too often either don't ask the right question, or don't give enough choices. If tptb see one box has more checks, will they try only that one action? (and, sabotage their action, to keep the public morale - or stock market- calm?)

[ Parent ]
yes you can check multiple things
and this isn't meant to be a scientific poll that will be used to justify doing one thing.

[ Parent ]
A Vote for "Other"
(The following is copied from AAARRRGGGHHH!!!  Dem, Thanks for creating this thread.)

Maybe I am jaded, but I think that people tend to fear the financial hardship of their family members far more than they fear their own deaths.  I know I do, anyway.  Therefore, my motivation efforts always begin with a projection of the financial hardship that the next pandemic will bring.

If you really want to stir up emotions, a CFR or estimated body will just not do it.  Instead, you have to talk to people about how they are going to feed their families and keep them safe when the supply chains break down.  After that, you have to inform them of all the extremely unpleasant ways this influenza will manifest itself in their children.  You also have to tell them that even if their children do survive the flu, they may be stricken with medical side-effects that will plague them for the rest of their lives.

You are running out of time.


A Vote for "Other
Dr. Dave I have to agree with you.  I aerved in the military for 20+ years.

  I served to portect my family to keep them from seeing some of the conditions of bodies and parts of bodies that I saw over the years in battle, mishaps, etc. 

  I try to protect my family so they may live in peace.  It is a small price I feel I had to pay for my family.  If you check with most military, firman and police they will tell you the same thing.  They do it for their families.  They sure don't get rich off it.


  No warning - no way to fight - no way to win!  
We need help in our local communities to survive. Remember that quote:    "...No man is an island..."

[ Parent ]
Only the government can do it
This is a difficult question.  I began prepping for PI because it seemed to be a risk grounded in fact; there was science to support it. 

I never stopped prepping after my initial experience with Y2K, although it waned for a few years.  My exposure to H5N1 came from following a link to fluwiki from an online news article back in 2005.  I don't recall the source.  The wiki side was the catalyst.  I was put off by the forum side initially; it seemed like a lot of oddballs :) - now I am an oddball too, though mostly a lurker :0

I think government announcements are the only way to get people moving.  I had to hold my nose when I wrote that but I do not see another solution.  I have spoken to almost 2 dozen people about H5N1 and only 1 has prepped, and he was already aware and prepping so it wasn't due to my input. 

Most Americans are consumers first, second and third.  They believe they are good at making decisions when in reality they are making choices among selections that will satisfy an itch.  H5N1, Y2K - heck, even the vicereal images of Katrina don't compel action because they do not fit into our 'normal' world view. The images and ideas are threatening in-and-of themselves to most people! As a result, they are pushed away.  (A common example of this is; how many times has your doctor told you to lose weight - and you didn't right?)  We want our comforts and nothing else. 

To see H5N1 as a threat, we need to see beyond our comfortable lives and very, very few Americans can do that. Our national savings rate is abysmally low compared to the rest of the world so why would we start prepping for a potential PI when we won't save for the certainty of old age?  We are not thinkers any more, we are choosers.  Most of us rely on institutions to make decisions for us; the schools, the government even our employers.  They tell us we have to make a 'decision' between this choice or that choice - and so we feel independent.

This is why I believe only government can compel us to prep.  And I do not think the level of prepping will be more than 2 weeks, and only if it doesn't endanger our comforts.

whereas more might be needed
if everyone prepped for two weeks, we'd be way ahead of where we are now. Got to take what you can get and then build on it.

This can't be done without govt., but govt. can be pushed. See an idea here for that from ACM:


[ Parent ]
Maybe if govt said "It really Can happen at any time now, and You will get No rescue", as often as campaign messages get out...
-I know people will waste time in outrage that it is not fair; they should get help/money from the feds, the state,

ask questions with no answers about, What about bills, what about taxes, what about mortgages, what about everything we have policies and pay for, ect? (Let's all stay alive first, and work things out afterwards!)

When after Katrina, the feds said, Do not expect that we can help you in a panflu, and, snuck that pandemicflu.gov website up, and the WHO put their 10 things pandemic site up, but the local official gatekeeping the municipal response said, "No! mustn't tell the townsfolk to look at the new federal website, or we'll have bad outcomes!  We can't tell people to prepare because they can't/won't do it... There's nothing they can do anyway; only wait for vaccines we don't have" , that was enough for me to understand officials were only going to be part of the problem. (Still regret not recording that conversation!)

*It is going to happen (I already though so from watching the likes of Webster, Osterholm, Nabarro, et al)

*The govt is honest for once and says, "it can't help everyone everywhere at once", we are so out of luck during pandemic influenza year, unless we go do something on local, household and state levels (but won't say this enough to get heard by the public; would rock the economy and stock market early!).

*They claim they have ethical "deniability"; we warned the public. If it comes next week and we're decimated or, worse; current cfr, the govt will try and stay in power and say, they "warned us, and, that they had no idea it would be so bad, but, they warned the public and the public didn't want to listen, govt not accountable; we still owe them our consent to be governed"...

Dangerous situation people's families are in;

there is no safety net ; they need to go make personal ones (financial ones, pantry ones, wills and directives ones, learn emergency skills ones),

they need to form open committees in their communities and make pandemic influenza year contingency plans, they need to make sure any local/govt/state/fed response that appears helps, not hurts, their community's solutions, and the communities' self-made safety nets.

The govt has no interest in organizing communities; the feds could have said, National Security depends on states requiring municipalities to have the open PPCCs mentioned as their first checklist task, otherwise, all fed. funds cease.

All stakeholders are going to have to organize themselves; governors don't care to risk being wrong; they think they and their families will survive panflu; they're VIPs.

Local bureaucrats, if they know, think they and their families will be ok too. No one told them to tell the public to prep as they have for their own families at home. They will say nothing unless forced.

If local municipal employees have no "official need to know" they are just going by what they're told and are as going to be so out of luck and expended with the rest of the public.

We are all going to be out of luck, if the cfr makes it impossible to re-start anything.

you do know that
  • It is going to happen
is universally believed by Webster, Osterholm, Monto, Nabarro, etc, but that the 'it' can be H5, H7, H other and that the cfr can be 0.1 to 60 or more and that the timeframe is completely unknown.

I hope our readers are clear on that. It's not that everyone in the federal government or the named scientists secretly believe that H5 will come and be a 70% cfr but won't tell you. It's that H5 is a worst case that has to be planned for, along with the plans for the lesser impact pandemics that are equally unpredictable and equally likely.

The hurricane analogy really is brilliant, though not a solution in and of itself.

[ Parent ]
Still have to prep, and better prepare for the worst and not need it than other way around. n/t

[ Parent ]
I agree entirely
Just figuring out how to get the message to a diverse audience.

[ Parent ]
I think the hurricane analagy can help some people to conceptualize a pandemic.

Most adults have vivid memories of the catastrophic hurricane season of 2005, which was the most active hurricane season in recorded history. And certainly the most expensive and one of the most deadly.

Not everyone can grasp a 'plan for the worst and hope for the best' mentality-but just being able to 'picture' it is a huge first step in a very long public education battle.

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

[ Parent ]
What doesn't work, IMHO..
..is freaking people out with 'TEOTWAWKI' presentations or talks-even if that is one's personal view (not mine for sure).

What does work for me:

Speaking to the general public using a 5th grade vocabulary (no insult to them, but it's the average level of understanding in the US), using layperson terms, not medical and offer hope in the form of knowledge of what a pandemic is, how one could best prepare themselves/loved ones, how to protect themselves.

Teach something they can use right away ie good handwashing technique, correct way to cough and sneeze, and wiping down hard,commonly used surfaces especially during cold and flu season.


It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

This is the best we can plan for
I think this is the best that can be done with the majority of the public.  Motivating more than 5 - 10% of the population is not in the cards for some of the reasons I spoke of above.  Too many Americans have no positive net worth and live paycheck to paycheck.  Not only the 'working poor' but the majority of well-fed, well paid baby boomers and their children. Prepping is a 'bummer' to most of us.  We do not have experience, let alone respect for forgoing immediate gratification.  This change of attitude will only come about as a result of a pandemic, not due to it's looming threat.

The herculean effort to motivate those 5% may be better spent motivating employers and critical infrastructure employers to take steps necessary to maintain their services.  This would include feeding their families, but also warehousing critical parts and documenting procedures etc.

Oddly, my view may dovetail with Mr. Sandman's.  That is not my intent.  I believe that if his rationalization is along similar lines, great, but he should not have made his comment in a newspaper that is mostly read by the public.  It should have been directed at his clients and perhaps the CIDRAP crowd.

Perhaps 50-75 years ago, when many more of our social services were provided by churches and synagogues, we would have more selfless leaders to brow beat us into preparing, but those days are long gone and we are saddled by disinterested bureaucrats. 

[ Parent ]
is everything.  Read Sandman in context and you will have a much better understanding of what he says and what he does.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is engaged in a great struggle.--Philo of Alexandria

[ Parent ]
For me it was the simple facts: that we're due for a pandemic, that h5n1 (with its current horrible cfr) is a contender, that the health care system and the power grid both have weaknesses. And that when stressed, a lot of people will do stupid things (look at the crazed rush for supermarkets before any blizzard, ice storm, hurricane, etc).

The calm presentation of those facts is best, stressing all of the uncertainties of when, how bad, and whether it will be h5n1 or something else. Followed by a message that even if it doesn't happen soon or isn't as bad as 2% or 20% or whatever CFR, it can't hurt and can only help to prepare now, just in case. Stressing the uncertainties is not only the truth, but it helps keep you from looking like some crazy person, and thus protects others from looking like crazy people if they decide to follow your advice and prep.

The fear of looking bad is powerful, if completely irrational at times. I've heard (don't know if this is true) that sometimes people who begin choking at a dinner party will get up as quietly as they can and leave the room, and die (if no one follows and helps them), rather than choke in front of everyone.

And if the message goes out it ought to go out from multiple sources. Different people will pay attention to and believe different sources. Some people will hear to a government message more clearly than they would a message from scientists, while others will listen to scientists more than the government, and some people will pay more attention to other sources entirely.

I heard of a potential threat to my family, I investigated, found the threat credible, and began addressing the issue accordingly.

It didn't hurt that I come from a rural background and group up relatively on the low end of income.  My dad was military which meant that mom occasionally had to assume the head of house role because dad was stationed someplace we couldn't go ... sometimes someplace that was dangerous. 

Background and inclination probably helped trigger my initial reaction to hearing of a pandemic threat.  World events also helped.


I'm not sure what people are waiting on to get them busy prepping.  If it isn't one thing in this life, it will eventually be another.  Prepping for life's occasional catastrophic events just makes sense.

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

Most people probably think that our advanced health system will save them.
If we told mothers that there wouldn't be any hospital care, and that they'd have to nurse their families themselves with whatever supplies they had at home, because the stores were likely empty, would they get busy or just not believe us?  My city is going to shut down its health department and let the 2 hospitals and the county take care of everything, while the county has been firing nurses and doctors and closing clinics to cut expenses.  It's looking bad.

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

that's a good point
although i was taken to task for 'dwelling on ventilators' in a previous diary, I agree that it's an important message.

And when i discuss this online on a non-flu blog, it's a common enough response to say 'this isn't 1918', referring to modern medicine. But what good is that if you can't get in to the ICU for lack of room, equipment and staff?.

[ Parent ]
'Modern Medicine'
What good is it if you can't get into an ER?

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

[ Parent ]
exactly so
there is clearly a wide range of views in the greater world about the need for all this.

we tend to ask if it is drastic enough. out there, the tendency is to ask why it is necessary at all.

[ Parent ]
Talking to mothers
If well-worded messages from TPTB were directed to mothers and grandmothers indicating a potential and real threat to their children/grandchildren, I think that the men would be very quickly 'goaded' to work with them towards preparing.

By women welding a cast iron skillet, if need be....

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

[ Parent ]
Other (please explain in a comment)
I don't have high regard for government and less for celebs and media.  The things that motivate me may not be what would motivate others.  However, since you asked:  Peer reviewed science papers would have the most impact on me.

As far as motivating others: get them to realize that at 2% they could expect one family member in their extended family of 50 to die, with 25% a family of four could expect a death, and with over 50% most couples can expect to loose their spouse.  Then show them current CFR level of 60-70%. Let them make that intuitive leep.

If I was to play "motivate the masses" game- I would try for a video starting with an old graveyard and zoom to name after name of those that died in 1918- babies, couples, entire families...... perhaps an interview with the father in Nigeria that lost his wife and daughter,.... and some graphics of the possible spread like the Los Alamos computer model and the world map of the spread of BF cases around the world popping up.

Be Prepared

A friend of mind preps because she visited a cemetary,
with an entire section of 1918 flu victims-they were all buried together-not with their families because the town was apparently hit pretty hard and they had a lot of bodies to deal with all at one time.

[ Parent ]
Another "Other"
I had been keeping track of BF mostly through articles that Declan Butler was writing for the journal Nature.  I can't recall where I heard of Flu Wiki and got the URL.  My initial motivator in becoming a serious prepper was watching the government's response (or lack of response) during hurricane Katrina.  For me, that spelled out: YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN.

Then I started doing some simple research that was mentioned in one of the early Flu Wiki forum posts I read -- find out how many hospital beds and respirators are in your local hospital.  Compare that to you communities' population.  WOW.  I live in a town of 40,000.  Our only hospital has 18 respirators. Enough said.

Recently, I had a really disturbing conversation with a co-worker who is working on her Master's degree in Public Health at UCLA.  I asked her if anyone in her program was talking about avian flu or pandemic flu and she said no.  She was not even aware of www.pandemicflu.gov -- and then she asked me why I was so interested in this topic. The disconnect here exists on several levels and it left me quite dismayed.  We're talking about getting the message out to the general public but for some reason, this program, and I'm led to believe it's a very good one, isn't talking about pandemic flu to it's own students.


I know for a fact that
a lecture on Flu Wiki and a course on pandemic flu was given at UCLA last year. I guess not everyone took it. ;-(

But UCLA SPH is doing quite a bit of work on the topic and cenrtainly takes it seriously.

[ Parent ]
It takes getting others to prep to get others to prep
Know what I mean?  Most of mine wouldn't listen to the gov't (and definitely not celebs) but if they found out their friends and family members were prepping that would help motivate them - a bit of peer pressure can work wonders.

Two other things that have helped raised eyebrows with some I've talked to:  age distribution of deaths (most don't realize their kids are at highest risk), running different cfr/death rate numbers for towns and cities nearby.  When people see that say 500 people could die just in our little town, it brings it home for them. 

Looking back on my own experience I know that it took me some time to come to terms with all of this.  There was a lot to learn, grapple with, and figure out next steps.  Pushing it on people does not work.  Look for the "teaching moments" whenever you can.

I prep because:
Ive spent extended period of time with no electricity-not fun, but doable.  But I also nursed my MIL through Lou Gerhigs Disease at home, plus I was with my grandmother through her last illness.  Nursing terminal loved ones and watching them die is horrific-imagining doing that all alone with no electric, no back up hospice, no morphine, no food, no supplies-no way.

If I had needed any further convincing, watching the Katrina disaster unfold would have done it.

I don't know why people wont prep-and not just for bird flu.  I can kind of understand people thinking bird flu is a little out there, but every part of this country has been hit by some sort of natural disaster.  You add the terrorist attacks and economic downturns and freak accidents like train derailments or gas pipe explosions-and its insane not to prep. I don't know how to convince them-it make me really sad, and frustrated. 

[ Parent ]
Life I've said before ... if it isn't one thing, then it will eventually be another.  Why wait to prep? 

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 ]
I prep because:
Exactly-I was putting off any serious prepping until Katrina. It was a watershed event for me-and reinforced that you are on your own in a disaster, and not necessarily the 2-3 days some are told to prep.

After Katrina the true horror of my kids and grandchildren being adrift so to speak set in-I set up git and go bags for eveyone, made sure we had plenty of KI (we're in the downwind area of 6 nuclear power plants), and starting shopping.....

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

[ Parent ]
Another Other Comment
I find telling people they have no immunity to this thing - it is not the usual flu - think ebola (most have seen the movie).

Then I get them to track through the "you are sick and cannot go to work, so is the bus/train driver, the supermarket checkout person, the truck driver, the market gardener, the chemist, the power worker, the bank clerk etc etc."

Then, best chance is to avoid infection - isolate yourself - how do you achieve this?

In NZ, we already know we are not going to get "rescued" in an emergency situation - that has already been well ingrained in the thinking through a publicity campaign.

Eat pudding first - who know's what might happen next! - Anon

She'll be right
What is the current state of blokes' thinking there that nothing is required because everything will turn out OK or that blocking ports to godzone is all that is needed?

20 years ago I looked into the Nuclear Winter effects on New Zealand and generally the attitude towards prevention was putting the ambulance at the bottom of the hill.

[ Parent ]
Perfect Storm
What got me prepping wasn't panflu.  It was the last New England blackout in combination with Hurricane Isabel in 2003.  The combination made me very sensitive to the fragility of our supply chains.  Now I prep for all hazards.  I'm probably the only person in my town who won't be in the grocery store tomorrow to stock up on bread and toilet paper ahead of a big winter storm headed our way.  Where I leave, we don't have the infrastructure to deal with major winter storms and it takes days before you can get out of the house.  By tomorrow night, the grocery down the street will be out of milk, eggs and bread.  It's a big grocery store, part of the largest local chain.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is engaged in a great struggle.--Philo of Alexandria

Moses carrying stone tablets with the 10 rules of prepping engraved and signed by God.

Not really trying to be funny either.

remember he broke them the first time
because he lost his temper over the actions of his people.  ;-)

Patience is a virtue.

[ Parent ]

You've heard of NIMBY? (Not In My Back Yard, usually used in reference to development that is perceived to be undesirable in one's neighborhood or town).

Well, I think PIMBY will be what it will take to motivate the gross majority (pun intended) of Americans to prep.

PIMBY: Pandemic In My Back Yard

I don't think an ACTUAL pandemic needs to hit North America to get people prepping.

I do think it will take H5N1 infected birds being confirmed in North America for there to be a spike in people taking the need to prep seriously.

Even more motivating? The first human case of H5N1 infection in North America.

After that, all bets are off.

I agree with you very much on this point.  Once BF is here there will be a spike in news stories and more people will link BF with human deaths.  That will lead to an increase in prepping but we will hear many of our neighbors saying 'come on, 175 dead all over the world in 10 YEARS?!'  I do not think it will lead to a widespread general consciousness.

What most of us on the thread seem to be saying is that we can communicate the need to prep by one-on-one communication.  I think it is the most effective tool but it is not very effective at the town/state/federal level.  We simply have too many managers and not enough leaders.  We seemed resigned to this. 

[ Parent ]
What will it take?
agree- but the birds with h5n1 will get a brief time in MSM, then it will die off as oh, that was not close by.


Walter Cronkite? (once considered the most trusted man in America)

Al Gore

Spike Lee


Wendy Williams

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

[ Parent ]
re: influential people
Oprah... when she talks, people listen. 

[ Parent ]
Al Gore? LOL n/t

To calm the wife buy cases of chocolate, to calm the husband buy cases of booze, and to calm the children...... heck the booze and chocolate should work.

[ Parent ]
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
A suggestion, I tried to find how CFR was used in this context, to refresh my memory.

3 letters is 1 too few for the search box.
"Glossary" is long enough but no search results.
"New? Start here" doesn't discuss abbreviations, etc.
"Forum Shorthand" actually is a glossary in the title but no CFR there.
CFR does show up in the image here, but images aren't searchable.

B2B and H2H can probably be gotten quickly by context (aren't pencil leads) but maybe a reminder of acronyms in the initial lead paragraph would be nice?

and i'll have to add cfr to the list
case fatality rate.

[ Parent ]
cfr now added

[ Parent ]
having to live through a mess of a pandemic
What motivates me, and what I can see motivate others that I've persuaded, is not so much the CFR per se, as a graphic description of the systemic shocks that will happen even in a moderate pandemic.

My experience is people do not relate readily to warnings of doom and gloom such as them having a high chance of dying from it.  Generally they react with either one of two responses: don't be ridiculous, it's not going to happen, or well, according to you, we're all going to die anyway, why bother doing anything?

What I say to them is look, the vast majority of us will survive.  But we will survive in a world where bodies are unburied, babies starve cos their parents have died, people close to you lose their kids and have to dig the graves themselves in the backyard, we have massive systemic failures such as power shutdowns, bank runs, riots, total loss of communication with you friends and family, mass abandonment of urban centres.  The message is: You may or may not catch the virus, you may survive infection, those are unknowns and uncertainties.  But the risk of systemic shutdown even in a moderate pandemic is guaranteed.

Like anon.yyz said, tell them they will have to feed their family with whatever scraps of rotten food they can scavenge cos the supply chain is broken.  It's real and it's pretty horrible, but not too personally traumatic as to cause them to go into denial.  And its reasonably preventable.

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

And it's reasonably imaginable

Katrina and tsunami have gone a long way to opening the eyes of the general public to the fact that they may be one act of nature away from the edge.

I think a lot of the reason people tune out the pandemic prep message is because they cannot imagine the scope of the devastation it will cause.

They can, however, imagine going without food or having to scavenge. It's something that happens on a daily basis throughout the world, much of it while those who have the means to prep literally, gingerly sidestep garbage-picking homeless on their way to and from work.

[ Parent ]
Re: what would motivate others
One of the groups not represented in the poll is CEOs and corporate executives. If the corp. execs let it be know that they were prepping for a pandemic, it would go a long way in instilling the same ideas among employees. They wouldn't necessarily have to say how, but by actions, what they do carries down to us "little people".
If I were to see or hear of my boss, and his boss, and his, etc. etc, prepping for a pandemic, it would certainly make me think more along the lines of looking for information and resources to help me...

I haven't spoken to many CEO's
but my take on that is not many are prepping.  Most of the business people I've met who are in charge of pandemic planning for their companies, not only have they not prepped, they have a hard time translating this whole thing into their own reality.

It is astonishing how intelligent successful people compartmentlize their lives.  Or maybe its the compartmentalization that made them successful in business in the first place, cos you can't let all the problems in the world come up for consideration every time you make a decision, not if you want to make it in the business world.

Only stay-at-home moms are good CEO's for that... LOL

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

[ Parent ]
Survey says?
I don't mean to put you on the spot, but what percentage of those you have approached in this manner have seen the light?

[ Parent ]
here are some links
Business roundtable May 2006
Notwithstanding these considerable efforts, a recent Deloitte & Touche survey
of large corporations highlighted the challenges businesses face should a
pandemic flu outbreak occur. According to the survey, companies are unsure
about potential flu impact, do not believe they are adequately prepared for a flu
outbreak, and want help understanding the potential impact of a pandemic on
their businesses.
Corporate America is showing signs of a growing recognition of the threat of an influenza pandemic, but the concern is not yet a major topic in executive suites, according to recent surveys by a business consultant.

Speaking at a conference on business preparedness, Michael Evangelides, MBA, a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP, said business executives, especially those in human resources, are reporting a growing awareness of and preparation for the pandemic threat.

However, he said, "One thing that comes out loud and clear is that corporate pandemic preparedness is simply not a CEO or COO [chief executive or chief operating officer] or board-of-directors level topic." ...

  The human resource officers in particular reported increased recognition of the pandemic threat and were relatively optimistic about their companies' preparations, he said.

Seventy-three percent of them said their companies perceive pandemic flu as a real threat, versus 57% in a similar survey last year. Further, 68% said their firms were very concerned about pandemic flu, compared with 43% a year ago.


Summing up, Evangelides said, "I call the human resources execs optimists. I call the risk execs pessimists. And I call the financial officers outsiders; they're really not that involved." 

[ Parent ]
The problem I've seen
Is that corp execs don't want to talk to working class anymore. All contact is filtered down via VPs, Human Resources, levels and levels of middle management, and short blurbs in on-line Intranets as "A Note From Our Boss".

What Execs need to do is hold company meetings with the employees, and explain as best they can what it is that THEY understand is the problem, then form teams to find resources for the employees to use.

Where I used to work, in CT, the company had an auditorium large enough to seat about 1,000 (one thousand) people at a time. Many companies have large conference rooms or meeting areas, even outdoor meeting arenas. If high-up executives would speak face-to-face with employees, even if only from their hearts, more people would realize that this threat is real and act upon that.

[ Parent ]
that can't happen until/unless the execs get it
and the Deloitte survey suggests they are not there yet.

There is a role for unions becoming active on this topic as well. That's another way to drive the process.

[ Parent ]
I agree but it's wishful thinking
My boss' boss makes $1.5 million/year. He has never met any of us at our level.  No 'skip meetings', no walkin' around management.  Nothing.  This is fairly common nowadays.  The last place I expect an eye-to-eye or heart-to-heart about PI is from management.  If they ever 'get it' before Federal Regs are published it'll be a memo.

[ Parent ]
Wishful thinking...
ssol---you're right. I don't believe upper management wants to even discuss this among their peers, let alone the lower echelon of workers. Any messages regarding sickness and disease seems to be required to pass through the corporate lawyers, who then ask Human Resources to pass the word on to employees.

Some companies are working to fix this, but not enough of them, right now, even want to think about it...

[ Parent ]
this was no survey
This was just informal conversation.  I would say, off the top  of my head, out of about 12-15 senior exec who are involved in company pandemic prep, only 1 has told me he has prepped for I think it was close to 3 months.  He said it was because he has grandchildren, and he can't persuade his son/daughter (can't remember) to prep.

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

[ Parent ]
re: "He said it was because he has grandchildren, and he can't persuade his son/daughter (can't remember) to prep."

That's exactly why I prepped!!

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

[ Parent ]
When I try to get people to prep:
This is how it goes...

First I get the "I already have 2 weeks worth of food"

Then I explain they need more. 

Who says I need more?...
Why don't they put it out there in the media that I need more? 

Then we get into TPTB speculation.  Why aren't they telling us to prep longer?  And of course, I come off looking like an alarmist. I send info, links etc. but they don't get read.  If it is not in big bold letters in USAtoday "Prep for 3 months" daily for about a month, it's not gonna get done.

Our of all the people I've talked to about this none are seriously prepping that I know of.  The good thing is, it's on their radar a bit more than before.

I did have one friend who brought up the turkey debacle in the UK. We've been talking about this for many months.  He is very poor with a large family.  I told him WTSHTF, I would give him 1,000 cash and a list.  He is a responsible, hard-working guy.

Tell them it may never happen,
that's why TPTB can't give specific recommendations, then show them TPTB's nuanced messages and explain TPTB are desperately trying to say it without say it.

Keep it simple. You only need 3 or 4 points. More than that, you get into a debate if not an argument. Use these examples:

Margaret Chan's speech of Jan 22, 2007 to executive board - last few paragraphs.

Dr. Webster's comment about "we have all failed". This will show your friends a pandemic is inevitable but no one knows when and therefore people will be caught off guard.

Executive summary of CDC Interim Guidance. Highlight the possible 12 week closure. Don't push it. Just ask them whether they want to take a chance of whether the food is contaminated.

That should be enough, if they have kids.  If still doubtful about food contamination, show them the story about possible turkey recall in the U.K.

One important point. Dont' try to convince them, just offer information and open discussion. If you appear pushy or look scared, they won't trust you. You have to psyche yourself into the mindset of an ordinary person, not a prepper, before you talk to your friends.

Good luck.

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

[ Parent ]
You will never have everyone agree on any one thing. We are of diverse opinions, and motivations.  I think it best to do all of the above.  Many will not be motivated by any one of the above choices, but by the cumulative impact of several.

To calm the wife buy cases of chocolate, to calm the husband buy cases of booze, and to calm the children...... heck the booze and chocolate should work.

that. of course,
includes cfr discussions, but all really do need to be utilized. ;-p

Nonetheless, I am struck by the importance of state officials speaking out. That, as yet, has not happened publicly enough.

[ Parent ]
One General issue is that People are not "General Issue"
I have to agree there does not seem to be one thing that motivates before a disaster.
  Some are movtivated internaly by being prepared. Some just like being self reliant. Others are motivated by responisbility of keeping the business going. Others motivated by laws or orders. The rest can't or won't.

  Can't - people living on the street with no where to stock 12 weeks of food. Some are mentaly challenged, others just see it as a way of life.

  The only thing I've been able to use are:
"Those who are prepared fair far better than those who waite for the government to come and help them."

"Preparing for this is not a waste of time nor money for it prepares you for other disasters."

  My biggist obstical seems to be no one wants to think/talk about a pandemic. When they do it is on the scale of 9-11, Katrina or Grand Forks flood which are all very small and localized.

  Any thoughts??

[ Parent ]
because of the size and scope
it has to be a step by step process and it needs to be varied and it needs to be sustained. it can be a big picture start (like a review of 1918 and/or 'pandemics happen'), then a smaller, 'here's what it means for us...' with back-up/validation by PH and/or CDC, followed by 'here's what to do...'

Some will avail themselves and some will not.

see also Roz Lasker's excellent series:


Engaging the Public in Pandemic Flu Planning

[ Parent ]

  Very Interesting webcast by Dr. Lasker.

  Being trapped in a building for a few days - we used to call those fall out shelters. Yes they where stocked.

  Yes there needs to be planning and testing before telling the population what to do.

  Why wasn't there more on the deaf?? Things will be translated into Spanish but ASL (American Sign Language).

  There are different time frames being batted around - three weeks, 12 weeks/3mo or what Dr. Lasker said 6 months?

  Thanks for the web site.


[ Parent ]
Observations Regarding Motivation
I have lived in California for the past 40 years.  During that time, I generally ignored all advice to prep for earthquakes.  Why?  I'm not exactly sure.  Maybe because neither I nor anyone I knew had ever suffered any serious damage or loss from the several earthquakes we experienced over the years.  Maybe because in the back of my mind I figured that I could always go stay with relatives or friends if my home were damaged in an earthquake.  Maybe because when I think of earthquakes, I think of an event that comes and goes in a few moments and then life goes on (at least that has been my experience so far -- knock on wood!). 

But that all changed when I learned about the possibility of a pandemic.  I immediately grasped the magnitude of the problem.  In contrast to an earthquake, a pandemic wave will last for weeks and will reoccur several times, I can't flee to friends or relatives, the JIT economy is likely to fall completely apart, etc.  I realized that I needed to begin prepping immediately.  That was about a year and a half ago and I am continuing to prep, bit by bit.  I do not have children, but I do have a spouse, several pets and aged parents.

Even though I had urged my sister to prep, the only time she expressed any real interest in prepping was when she saw Oprah's show.  Immediately after that show, my sister, who is a single mom with three kids, called me to ask where to order masks, freeze-dried food, etc.  I provided her with information and she seemed committed, but she never followed through.  Even though I email her with updates, her interest has waned and she feels no sense of urgency.  Her attitude is one of "I'll get around to it someday."  I have purchased supplies for her (which she doesn't know about), but unfortunately I cannot invite her to SIP with me, because frankly I don't think that she or her unruly teenage kids will be able to handle it.  If Oprah, at the end of every show, said something like "And don't forget to prepare for the pandemic - this week you should buy _____ [fill in the blank with tuna, etc.]" maybe my sister would actually follow through.

I have also urged a friend, who is an attorney and the president of a consulting company in the midwest, to prepare.  He has a wife and young children.  He told me that if he thought too much about the scenario that I was describing, it would make him "mentally ill."  He also said that we all have to die of something, so why not bird flu.  He is an optimist and a risk taker, and I wonder if these qualities prevent him from prepping. 

As for several others I've spoken to, the typical reply is that they haven't heard any "announcements" about a coming pandemic.  Generally, for a disaster of this magnitude, these people seem to expect an official announcement from the United States government featured on primetime news and in headlines in every major newspaper, followed by specific instructions from local authorities, accorded equal prominence by the MSM.  I doubt that they will prep until an official announcement is made in such a way that it absolutely cannot be missed, ignored or dismissed.

thank you for that comment
I am reminded of something from our friends at Greenhammer.

Organizing or provisioning?
November 20 2006, 11:14 PM

I'm not discouraged, but I am chastened. Organizing my neighborhood to respond to an earthquake is proving to be a very tall order, and I must adapt my approach.

[ Parent ]
It's funny that you say that as my experience was similar
I lived in CA for many years and NEVER prepped.  I barely got out of the Oakland Hills fire and dear friends lost EVERYTHING.  Got hammered by Northridge (although I was in an apartment so I wasn't as emotionally attached to my "home").  Was in LA for the riots.  Had a few good tremors.  But I never had more than a few bottles of water in my apartment (although I did know where the gas shut-off valve was.)  Granted, I didn't have kids then.  But even though there was all this around me I never prepped. 

So, other than my kids as motivation, what else has gotten me motivated?  Facts.  Science.  Barry's book.  Other accounts of 1918.  The feeling that this thing could be a monster worldwide, not just a local natural disaster.  A really bad round of illnesses with all of us last winter/early spring when things were getting ugly in INDO and BF was spreading all over the world.  But it took time to get there. 

[ Parent ]
I voted "other"
It's sad to say, but I think a lot of people in the U.S. get so used to hearing about death and destruction in "third world" countries that they become immune to it.  Until people in Europe and the US/Canada are dying of bird flu, many Americans will continue to suffer from the "it can't happen here" syndrome. 

I do think more mainstream media coverage and updates of what's going on with bird flu would motivate some people.  The most frequent comment I hear from friends and family I'm trying to motivate to prep is, "If it's really that big of a deal, why don't I ever hear anything about it on the news?" 

Katrina and my teenage son
After seeing the lack of personal responsibility of the people in New Orleans and the slow response of FEMA, I had a life altering wake-up call.  Living in the South, many of the evacuees came to our town. I can tell you from personal experience, the large majority just expected our community to take care of them 24-7.  There was 0 motivation to plan or prepare for a life of taking care of themselves.  I do not think anything or anybody will motive many people to prep.  They simply believe somebody else will take care of them.  I can't remember when I first heard of the Bird Flu; but the Oprah show started me doing research.  The very real threat and the fact I have a teenage son who is in the high risk range  is all the motivation I need.  The consequences of not preparing are too painful to imagine.  I definitely think the Feds need to be informing the public aggressively; it could motive some, but for the large majority of people I don't think it will make any difference.

Ants and Grasshoppers
There is a predisposition factor that I've wondered about but not seen discussed.  A super-bright, hard-prepping colleague said to me something to the effect that he'd "been born to live through hard, trying times like these".  There are those of us who listen, study, and consequently prep because we are wired to do so by our personalities/psychological proclivities.

I find that those in my community who are prepping represent a fairly consistent stripe of intellect. 

Are there overarching personality factors that unite those on the boards?

Are we trying to make a nation dominated by grasshoppers into ants?

yes; try anyway; some were "made", not born, grasshoppers. n/t

[ Parent ]
excellent point
yes, we try. unacceptable not to try.

But there's nothing wrong with looking at different models of grasshopper outreach to see what works. ;-)

[ Parent ]
speaking of ants and grasshoppers

US health workers personally unprepared

From Get Ready for Flu, the influenza blog of the American Public Health Association: Survey: Public health workers not personally prepared for emergencies. Excerpt:

  When it comes to emergency preparedness, many public health workers may not be practicing what they preach, the American Public Health Association found out recently.

  The association conducted an informal online survey of public health workers - such as those who work in local health departments or medical facilities. The results showed that even though such workers are busy helping to prepare their communities and residents for emergencies, they aren't doing enough to take care of themselves and their families.

  About 60 percent of workers who took part in the survey said they lacked evacuation plans for their own households, and 52 percent said they didn't have a plan addressing how they'd communicate with household members if an emergency occurred.

By the way, the AHPA blog is an example of professional societies starting to get into the game.

[ Parent ]
Been there
Dem, I wonder if you almost have to have been through it to "get it."  My "family"--only one brother and his wife are in driving distance of me--put together an evacuation plan after 9/11.  We updated it after Hurricane Isabel nearly flooded their waterfront house.  We wargame pandemic preparedness almost monthly.  They own a retail small business and the consequences of being unprepared would be devastating for them financially.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is engaged in a great struggle.--Philo of Alexandria

Table top? How do you do it?

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

[ Parent ]
There are a number of ways
Typically, this puts a bunch of the stakeholders in a large room with interest groups (media, public health, hospital managers and so forth) together at a table.  Then the gamemaster runs the scenario selected for this simulation.  We've done everything from handing cards declaring "you're dead" to adding a hurricane or other disaster to the scenario.  The results are usually not pretty.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is engaged in a great struggle.--Philo of Alexandria

[ Parent ]
OK. I misunderstood your comment to mean you and your brother and his wife did this exercise.

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

[ Parent ]
this is a PSA for those who voted for one...
click to play

Trust for America's Health
has a video of their tabletop in LA. Scroll down for the video link.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is engaged in a great struggle.--Philo of Alexandria

[ Parent ]
Re: some random thoughts on getting others to prep
I started prepping back in March,after hearing about our government's concern about avian flu.  However, it was not just official people, because I don't trust many in our government to tell us the whole story, it was however, the concern of the  scientists and doctors all over the world, that got me to prep.  I tried to talk to friends, but most people in my community really don't worry about diseases overseas, especially in poorer countries because they don't go there on vacation.  I have supplies for almost 2 months and I continue to prep, but sometimes I still sit back and think we are all crazy and wasting our time and money, there is no way that the country could get overwhelmed by a virus like that.  They will find a vaccine, it won't actually happen, or it won't be that bad. Let's face it, I live in a nice home in a suburb, have a few dollars in the bank, can afford good health care, so I'll be fine.  Well that's why most people don't prep.  The difference between you, me and them, is that I'm not willing to gamble my life, that it won't happen. And, I do know, that bad things happen. The only way to convince my community would be if it came from the mayor, the schools, from people that we know.  I'm not sure that they are signed on to this potential disaster.  So I continue to quietly prep and hope for the best.

I doubt anyone I know is going to seriously prep unless they are told to by the government or their employers, and most employers aren't going to tell people to prep because they don't want to face the idea of their workers being out for a long period of time without being fired. 

I would bet that most employers are just planning on firing any of their peons who stay home during a pandemic for more than a day or so, while their upper managers will get company laptops and the option to work from home.  Sad but realistic. 

For some jobs, this is doable. For others, it is not.
'...most employers are just planning on firing any of their peons who stay home during a pandemic for more than a day or so, while their upper managers will get company laptops and the option to work from home.'

In my humblest opinion, it is cheaper to give workers unpaid time-off if they ask for it, than it is to hire/train/establish new employees, especially those who need a certain skill level to do their jobs.  It's also more expensive to pay compensation for the families of folks who have injuries/illness/death due to hazardous working conditions.  Working in a very public & customer-service oriented job when everyone is down with a deadly disease would qualify (at that point in time) as a hazardous job, IMO. 

Hopefully, many of the largest companies are now planning for such events, and will be going into pandemic-work-mode instead of business-as-usual. 

[ Parent ]
the HR aspects of panflu planning
by companies are linked here on the workplace continuity page.

[ Parent ]
Thank you DemFromCT
I knew that my company was working on 'some pandemic plan' because I had seen it announced in a very discrete manner on our company's intranet page, but I'm not privy to what they talk about or have in the works.  Many of the links you provided gave me insights on what their guidelines have in place, and this makes me feel much better.  I would hate to be in a position where I had to choose my job or my life/health, and it's good to know that these issues are being dealt with at this time. 

[ Parent ]
I have a question for everyone
do you think the announcement of 12 week school closure as a likely intervention would get people's attention?  where other things have failed to?

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

Since you asked
I normally avoid much of the public motivation/ goverment policy type areas- but IMHO
if I was to try to people's attention, I would start with faith based groups.  I think that would be an easier place to motivate people and to get the ball rolling.  There is also a lot less "red tape".  Places like church conferences, and so on. 

Be Prepared

[ Parent ]
I understand that
the US government has already been working with faith-based groups.  Exactly what and exactly how, I have no idea.  I have heard it mentioned a few times, enough times for me to notice, but I don't have specifics.

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

[ Parent ]
I don't know if it's more than this.
Faith-Based & Community Organizations Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Checklist http://pandemicflu.g...

To calm the wife buy cases of chocolate, to calm the husband buy cases of booze, and to calm the children...... heck the booze and chocolate should work.

[ Parent ]
there are also specific plans for feedback
on the NPI strategy as a defined entity.

[ Parent ]
"12 weeks of school closure" may be necessary
Now somebody take a poll to see how many people, one, heard about it, two, considered what that would mean for them, and three, what it implies about everything even if you don't have kids. 

The Chicago Tribune had a 3" article in the first section on Friday after the guidelines were issued.  There was about three times that size about the UK bird flu.  When will they get that Something Might Happen?

My city put a pull-out brochure in the quarterly bulletin.  I asked the (only) doctor in the Health Dept., and no one had asked her anything about it in the 3 weeks since it was sent out.  It's winter and I rarely see any neighbors; I wanted to casually ask what they thought of it.  Guess it will still be relevant when we all get out again.  sigh.

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

[ Parent ]
no, that's too soon
I'm asking what do you think will happen.  Current reaction is too early to tell, cos even the professionals have not figured out what this is about yet, let alone the public. 

You gotta remember that we are at the very forefront in terms of awareness.  I read the full document the day it came out.  I saw Marty Cetron the next day, we were talking and he said, oh make sure you download and read it.  I said I already did.  I don't know if he believed me, there were lots of people around so we didn't get to talk further, but I thought he looked rather surprised!  LOL

Then, of course, I read it again and 3 days after it came out posted the 'unpacking' diary.  Most PH people would not even have started reading it yet by then.

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

[ Parent ]
The majority won't take it too seriously
The 12 weeks of school closure won't be taken too seriously until it actually starts in my opinion.

Look at the complaints for hurricane and snow days ... alot of the parents just don't have the capacity to adjust their thinking at this point.  Just as there is a lack of prioritization of the family there is also a sad lack of parenting skills in this country.  Unfortunately there are many parents by virtue of title and biology rather than by virtue of skill and inclination.  I'm afraid my generation is a self-centered lot that is passing that trait down to the kidlets.

Entitlement.  They are going to wait until they HAVE to do something and then they will b**ch the entire time that SOMEBODY better be making this up to them somehow.  And when it comes down to them being forced to accept some kind of responsibility, they are going to moan and groan and throw a pity-party that SOMEONE should have told them sooner and provided the money for them to prep with.  Its not their fault their kids are dead ... don't you feel sorry for them?

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 ]
Virology Student
DW and I were touring a 4yr University this weekend with our High School Junior. Our tour guide was a Biology major with a special interest in Virology.

Towards the end of the tour I asked the student if the Virology section had any sense of urgency towards the pandemic potential of H5N1.

The short response I got was... and please don't shoot the messenger...

H5N1 is a disease of birds in Asia and would not likely survive in the climate of North America. The Virology section had no special discussions on the pandemic potential. The student would not be concerned unless the virus became established in Canada.

IMHO we are still near the bottom of a very steep hill.

It used to be that you needed more than tuition to get into college.

To calm the wife buy cases of chocolate, to calm the husband buy cases of booze, and to calm the children...... heck the booze and chocolate should work.

[ Parent ]
Good one!!

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

[ Parent ]
Students are students because they still have a lot to learn.
My question would be directed more towards the professor who taught this information to the student.

[ Parent ]
virology student
Not survive the climate of North America? WTF?

Hope that student learns otherwise the easy way, before he/she has to learn the hard way.

[ Parent ]
Influenza virus survival in North America?
Does this person have a brain?  We do have influenza viruses in the U.S.  And plenty of other viruses too.  They seem to all survive just fine.

[ Parent ]
Ontario: Making Individual and Family Plans

This is a different approach than the U.S. Instead of giving answers or directions, it is asking individuals and families to start thinking about what they want to do for themselves.

This document is one of ten "Fact Sheets"


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

Fact sheets in 24 languages
I'm impressed.

To calm the wife buy cases of chocolate, to calm the husband buy cases of booze, and to calm the children...... heck the booze and chocolate should work.

[ Parent ]
see also
http://www.ndu.edu/c... 8 languages.

pandemicflu.gov is Spanish-English only.

[ Parent ]
Play On Their Emotional Investments
I have been a pandemic awareness evangelist for a little over a year.  During this time, I have discovered that most people simply do not want to hear about it.  However, the ones who seem the most receptive are homemakers with dependent children, caregivers for adult family members, and pet owners.  Many of the folks in these categories have heavy emotional investments and seem relatively open to discussion.

You are running out of time.


Another OTHER
The thought of one of my children, or my husband catching the PF and dieing was my main motivation. 

What kind of mother would I be if I knew PF was a real possiblity, but I did not do everything in my power to protect my children? 

Our children change our lives, whether they live or not.

great quote - I plan on using it on one of my webpages if you don't mind!  TIA


[ Parent ]
Whatever It Takes
After failing on the human level (to a mother of 3), I mentioned in passing that companies like Ralston Purina will eventually have to convert their pet food operations to human food.  Bingo! That was it. 

She now has dog food for about 8 months.  As for the 5 humans under her roof... Well, that is another challenge.

You are running out of time.


I really believe that for the vast majority, nothing will make them prepare.  Of those that can be motivated, I think the majority already have been and we're at the point of diminishing returns.

i've thought about creating a diary called "let's assume most won't prep at all"

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

[ Parent ]
I hope..
that those who don't prep do not come knocking on my door.
Especially the ones who laughed at me and said I was crazy.

[ Parent ]
unfortunately they will
so we can't get round that problem, except to keep working at it.  ;-(

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

[ Parent ]
but then, people wear helmets and things :-/

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

[ Parent ]
It might be a very good idea.
Might be a good idea.  Was at a presentation yesterday on legal aspects of a worst case pandemic. 

As part of an excellent side discussion the topic of alternative care facilities, mass feeding centers and mass shelters came up. 

The danger of virus transmission would need to be balanced against the potential necessities of feeding many and providing shelter to some who are not prepared or who lose their ability to care for themselves or be cared for by their usual caretakers. While drive-throughs may be some answer, it does not do more than scratch the surface.

No matter what we do, there will be many who do not or cannot prepare.  No matter what we do there will be many who will be forced to give and receive their only treatment for a pandemic flu at home with only the supplies on hand or that are provided to them.

It would not be a bad idea to explore what the realities of that will look like, what problems will present themselves and how individuals and communities might take on those issues. 

The government plans are going to focus first on what governments should be doing.  They will likely get around to what individuals and neighborhoods should do only as a very last item on its list. 

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

[ Parent ]
new diary created, then

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

[ Parent ]
Lack of Preps

I have stated previously that most people are woefully unprepared for any sort of SIP.  I believe that the vast majority will break their SIP within a week in order to acquire some item that they feel is essential to their lives, such as milk, bread, diapers, TP, prescription medications, or tobacco.  When they do venture out, they will risk encounters with those who are sick, and many of them will eventually bring the virus home.

Even if the general population were given a full month to prepare for a pandemic, the majority can not afford to do it.  Most people will not have the financial resources to acquire 12 weeks' worth of everything they need, and most people can not afford to miss work.  Of course, 12 weeks of preps is only good for one bad wave, so for those people who happen to survive the first wave, they will really be up a creek when the second wave comes through.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic, but I foresee a collosal failure.  It is not enough to keep the kids home.  You have to keep the adults home, too, and that is just not going to happen.

You are running out of time.


[ Parent ]
interestingly, the program is designed for
a certain degree of noncompliance, but if antivirals are available, they (NPI) still work.

[ Parent ]

I like your optimism, but that is a pretty big "if" for a national supply of anti-virals.  I have enough Tamiflu and Benamid for my family; however, there are 30,000 residents in my town and I only know of four other families that are prepping, and they do not yet have any Tamiflu.

You are running out of time.


[ Parent ]
Home Quarantine

Thanks for the link, but I think something is missing here.  Specifically, what is lacking is the means to perform a successful home quarantine.  Yes, I know about the plan for a 12 week school closure, but I have not seen anything in the mitigation plan about acqiring 12 weeks of preps.  In fact, the recommendation for food and water is for "at least two weeks", so this has not really changed. 

If the 100+ page mitigation plan contains a clear recommendation that every household in the U.S.A. acquire a 12 week supply of food and water, please tell me where to find it.

You are running out of time.


[ Parent ]
it isn't clearly stated, only hinted at
to me that's the 'interim' in interim guidelines. That's the policy piece that's missing that we are working through.

We are not there yet.

[ Parent ]
Implied, But Not Stated

O.K., then it is not just me.  Yes, 12 weeks of preps does seem implied, but unless it is stated clearly, the public will not take heed.  Thanks.

You are running out of time.


[ Parent ]
Discussed on top post of this diary

12. Planning to reduce consequences

  * Stay home cos family ill
  * Stay home to care for children
  * Education
  * School meals

recommendation for 12 weeks preps page 53
"During a severe pandemic, it will be important for individuals and families to plan to have extra supplies on hand, as people may not be able to get to a store, stores may be out of supplies, and other services (e.g., community soup kitchens and food pantries) may be disrupted. Communities and families with school-age children who rely on school meal programs should anticipate and plan as best they can for a disruption of these services and school meal programs for up to 12 weeks."

This shows there is willingness to make a 12 weeks recommendation to enable compliance with the NPI. I would prefer a short pamphlet to explain how the public can make NPI successful - by preparing for 12 weeks, rearranging day care, home care etc.

This paragraph is on page 55 of PDF here (go to page 49 at the bottom of your screen):


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

[ Parent ]
Prepping CYA?
Just got a good insight into perhaps why TPTB are not coming out with a prepping time-our county just released a pandemic flu/all hazards brochure. When we asked our county DOH rep why no mention of any time frame for prepping, he thought it could be a legal maneuver-ie if it said to prep for 2 week and 8 weeks was needed, it could ? lead to lawsuits.

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

[ Parent ]
two things
We should target parents through schools, community groups, churches, social programs, etc.

And this should become something people as a way of life via pop media such as television shows, entertainment figures, news stories, etc.

People are only going to respond to this, I feel, mainly if they perceive it to be a threat to their loved ones, and/or if they perceive bird flu as having moved out of the realm of alarmist/survival hobbiest, conspiracy theory, into fact and immanent potential.

Even after prepping for almost a year now I still stop sometimes and wonder if I'm crazy. How do I know any of this would even make a difference? My faith in prepping is renewed when I begin reading about it in-depth again and when I think of my child. Even if people initially take the threat seriously, they'll soon relegate it to that file in their brain labelled 'potential threats to worry about another time' unless it's presented to them continually in different forms palatable to the mainstream public.

I loathe sounding alarmist. When people begin to believe me about the threat, I feel bad that I've actually convinced them and almost want to apologize, or somehow make it seem less likely than it actually is. I have to resist this temptation. I think keeping it simple, gentle, and persuasive works best. I mention the fact the MSM isn't telling the whole story, that the CFR is much higher than often implied, that there's no guarantee it will attenuate, that all planning's taking place with a 2% CFR in mind, that the economy will undoubtably take a nose-dive and that domestic and international distribution of necessary items we now take for granted will most likely come to a halt. I tell them people will be expected to care for their sick at home, there is no vaccine, and (nearly) everyone will be susceptible. Then I follow the conversation where they want to take it. I rarely have to convince. The most common response is..."Well, what can possibly be done about something like that?"

Then it's y'know, "Well, actually..."

Reasonable and Consistent
Posie - I think you are definitely on the right track.  The message needs to be reasonable, consistent, and factual.  You listed the reasons one should prep in a very sensible manner and added that preppers should take the conversation as far as their listeners would allow.  This is the method that has been used to promote awareness of many issues - including the dangers of smoking, breast cancer, alcohol consumption during pregnancy.  At first it seems there is resistance to the message, but after some time the information becomes matter of fact and generally acceptable.  I think if we continue to be calm but persistent, people will become more aware of the fact that prepping is a respectable form of emergency planning.  In other words, hopefully it will become more mainstream over time.  I just hope we have the time.

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

[ Parent ]
it looks like we need a video like Goju's, but different ;)

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

[ Parent ]
Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard
Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor doggie a bone,
When she got there
The cupboard was bare
So the poor little doggie had none.

And the radio in the kitchen is playing a PSA saying "Stay at home if you don't want to catch pandemic flu."

Even worse if Old Mother Hubbard is the old woman who lived in a shoe, with so many children.....  and they're all hungry.

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

[ Parent ]
How do you get Tamiflu?  A Doctor will not prescribe unless you are sick. Can you get it over the internet?  If so, can anyone give me a website?  Is Tamiflu taken orally or is it an injection?

motivation and help, all in one helpful go
I heard a conversation between two people, one of them telling the other some tricks to quit smoking.

First piece of advice: count your ciggarrettes.  How much do you really smoke every day?

So I had this idea that we could simply ask the members of our family, our neighbours, whatever, to leave their supermarket receits in one place, for a few weeks, and hand them over to us.  It would be great if they could also add the meals away from home, at least as a rough estimate ("we're four people and two of us have lunch outside home 5 days a week", or whatever).

Then we, helpful non-intrusive people that we are, can put all that information together, and help them see what they really use.  No advice yet, just information!

We can even go one step further and look at expiry dates for some things that they do buy frequently.  This too would be "information, and information only".

If we really want to give some advice (which might not be the best strategy), now's the time to suggest they might bulk-buy that kind of stuff (and that only).

Maybe we, fluwikians that we are, can go as far as to find or develop a spreadsheet to help others do that for themselves and for others?  What do "consumer associations" have for us in this regard?  Could children do it for their families, as part of their maths homework?

If confidenciality is an issue, we can ask a whole community to leave their receits in a box.  Or we could go for a subset of the whole community, and work, say, for a group of five families.  They could be a confidential sample of the whole community.  The report would go like this: "we've collected the information from 5 families in our neighbourhood (identities not disclosed) and these are our findings ...".

After the information, maybe some advice will emerge from themselves?  I can imagine children suggesting the family should bulk-buy this and that, so that we can have more money for ice-cream or toys.

Anyone tried this?  This follows the first, find facts (for fun) meme (which I just made up).

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

Getting over "Nothing I can do"

  Well this weekend my niece came down from college. She is taking biology.
  I mentioned pandemic or bird flu to her. She did not want to hear anything. Her dad is in some ways a prepper than myself. He spent time in Vietnam and can stitch people up along with normal self reliance.

  I am not sure how to reach her and hope someone else can.

  I had to fight the feeling that bird flu may be the first disaster most people did not react to because they saw it comming. 


Kobie ... nope, happens every year with hurricanes
Kobie, every year all along the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast people turn a blind eye to hurricanes.  Yet, with every hurricane there is at least the potential for Andrew- and Katrina-like catastrophe.

There are just some things that scare people ... or bore people.  Too many people are used to someone catching them when they fall ... physically, financially, emotionally ... that they are just able to ignore the danger.

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 ]
I gave an interview
last year to the St. Pete Times.  I spent a lot of time with that reporter talking about prepping and hurricane season.  She said she never preps and most of the people she know don't either.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is engaged in a great struggle.--Philo of Alexandria

[ Parent ]
Yep Melanie ... that's the mentality around here all right
I'm across the bay from St. Pete but that doesn't change anything ... that attitude is the reason why when we do have a close call coming our way ... and we are way over due for a direct hit here in Tampa Bay ... that the stores are crammed jammed full of people who thing that a loaf of bread, a gallon of water, and sandwich meat will carry them through any disaster.  Gee whiz! 

[ Parent ]
Thousands of deaths in a week

Of course that would be too late...just like a bunch of humans!!!

Would that motivate or activate peoples wanting to be rescured? n/t

[ Parent ]

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