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Why We Need To Prep For More Than Two Weeks

by: DemFromCT

Sun Feb 18, 2007 at 10:56:38 AM EST

This is a diary you all need to help me write. We've been discussing this on line elsewhere (Nightowl at PFI has a post up), and examples are given of food distribution service advice, teacher's union, and (as we know) pandemicflu.gov all saying that people should prep for two weeks, or 1-2 weeks.

While a big jump from the three day all-hazard approach, many on line feel differently. Help write the rationale for more.

DemFromCT :: Why We Need To Prep For More Than Two Weeks
There is an interesting dynamic developing in the (greater) on line flu community: we are getting large enough for considerable disagreement about policy, tactics and strategy. That's a very good thing... the world is not monolithic, as clark often reminds me. ;-)

What is clear, however, is that current policy from the US Government on down is to prep for two weeks. My thinking on this is in flux. Clearly, many if not most on line advocate for 12 weeks as a hedge against being stuck at home in a pandemic wave that may last in the community for 6 to 8 weeks, or perhaps more. OTOH, food distribution doesn't stop the moment flu reaches your contiguous state, which is when the school shut-down trigger will likely be pulled.

We also know that it is required for the authorities to broadcast a message if we expect others to listen. Right now, the message from HHS is

  • To plan for a pandemic:
    • Store a two week supply of water and food. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store, or if stores are out of supplies, it will be important for you to have extra supplies on hand. This can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters.
    • Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
    • Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
    • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.
    • Volunteer with local groups to prepare and assist with emergency response.
    • Get involved in your community as it works to prepare for an influenza pandemic.

  • The message from the unions and the professional societies will resemble this (see link):
    • Start now so you have a week or two supply of water and food. Get a few items every time you go to the grocery store and buy food that is:
      • nonperishable
      • easy to prepare
      • requires little or no water so you can preserve water for drinking

    So, do we go further? Here is your chance to make the case, not to defend your approach (not necessary! and no one is stopping anyone from doing more) but rather to help convince and persuade others, including the Feds. What's the rationale? Can we make a case for more prep than this, even as we recognize this is a great first step?

    Without a coherent rationale, it is unlikely policy will change. Yet, policy is not fixed. Write your thoughts here, and we will send the policymakers the link.

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    I have 3 reasons:
    The first reason is... I have children, so why take the chance of there being some unforseen event, time factor, or other unknown that would make it difficult to acquire supplies... (food and water, mostly).

    The second reason is... We do not know what a pandemic virus characteristics would be.  A high CAR and high CFR would certainly be that "unable to plan for" situation that many in the flu community discuss frequently.  and... admitedly (by WHO & the CDC) it is possible.  That said... no one knows for sure...

    The third reason is.... Depending on when a pandemic emerges to be widespread... Many of the products (food) will be in various stages of growth...... (Possible Descriptions) Spring = not many people to plant the seeds.... Summer = Not many people to harvest.... Fall = Fruits and vegs rot on the trees / vines for lack of available people.  OR  predicting what other countries do concerning their borders... We may have a decreased food supply as imports.  Not to willing to take that risk.

    Just a few reasons........

    Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. ~ Margaret Mead

    so, as an emerging situation...
    ..with too many unknowns, a prudent approach is that more is better.

    Check. VERY GOOD. ;-)

    And as to how much is enough? That's the piece I have the most trouble with.

    [ Parent ]
    the above comment is an invitation ;-)
    help us.

    [ Parent ]
    In other word you do not believe in leaving your family's fate in the hands of:

    1)  the Government

    2)  the Lord

    3)  Aliens

    40  the Neighbors

    5)  ________________ fill in the blank

    Am I close?  RICH

      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 ]
    Richard-FL; :)
    To answer your numbered choices:

    1). It depends which government you are talking about.  I promised DemFromCT I would be nice....  So let me say that I am working VERY hard with my local governement and health department. (We) are very much aware of the limitations we face and have been meeting for over a year now.  We were looking at NPI's before last summer... So, (I think) we are ahead of the game in that respect.  However, Rural counties are very limited in resources.... We face many issues that other counties do not.

    2). GOD helps those who help themselves.  I have a brain, and the wherewithal to use it.  I trust I am working toward a goal that humanity survives / recovers / becomes enlightened about a pandemic.

    3) Aliens... Is this something else I need to be thinking about?

    4) Neighbors -  Well, since my neighbors are my family, I think I am OK in that respect.  Except, my family is counting on me to keep them informed and alert to any real changes. 

    5).  I thought long and hard.... and I cannot think of any other entity that would worry about taking care of me and mine.

    So, Yes...  You pretty much nailed that one.  :)

    Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. ~ Margaret Mead

    [ Parent ]
    Got to smile once in a while  :)


      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 ]
    PS:  - I wanted you to make your one choice and then explain why. 



      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 ]
    OK Richard, I can do that...
    I would actually pick number one.  as I described it above... My local government would be the MOST LIKELY to assist me & my family.

    My reasons are these...
    1.  We are working on a plan.
    2.  It (The Plan) encompases all medical facilities. i.e. the hospital, health clinics, walk-in clinics, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, outpatient clinics, doctors offices, etc.
    3.  The plan is specific enough to assign duties / tasks / responsiblities... yet flexible enough to allow variance in those duties / tasks / responsiblities. (as well as assigning to persons / dept at levels 3 deep.)
    4.  Everyone has access to the plan....
    5.  Not only is the county looking at the medical aspect, but (we) are looking at those critical infrastures you hear talked about.
    6.  "What if" is dicussed at the county meetings.
    7.  The goals of the County are the goals I set for myself.
    8.  The County is not relying on others (State) to "save" us... But we are using the resources we have in our County to prepare.  However, the State IS part of the planning... Just not the end point.
    9.  Special Needs populations will need additional help, and having mechanisms in place for such populations, may also assist needs within my family... (although, I hope not).

    10.  AND, by preparing myself and my family by stocking up on the neccessities like food, water, etc.... I am helping my county to be successful.

    So, That is my answer to you... BECAUSE, I am not too sure we can make it through something so potentially bad, without assisting each other.

    Now, Which one would you pick?

    Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. ~ Margaret Mead

    [ Parent ]
    Which number do I pick?
    I pick fill in the blank.

    I've tried to work with my local Government for the last 18 months about BF; they only want to stick their heads into the local sand.  Our medical people, say "see the state they have the plan"... (We do not even have a county medical examiner!).  I been before the county commissers, school boards who ever will listen, during various meetings with no or little results.  I'm tired of hitting my head against these brick walls.

      I gone to my two local papers who love tp pick on the local Government but once a give them all the facts about BF, they no longer will run any story, comments or advice from me or anything about BF.

      Aliens Will got to smile each day or go mad  LOL :)

    Fill in the blank is "my family" only they have listen to what I say; they reviewed the data and came to the same conclusions. 

    The locals I tried to warn and turned their backs to those warnings will be hurting very much and all I will say them them is "I TOLD YOU SO!". I will have no pity for any of them including the children.

    Sorry this is so long  RICH.

      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 ]
    length of waves and impacts on supply
    I remember commenting on this subject in a FluClinic thread
    titled "The idea of self-quarantine for more than a few days is simply out of the question".  http://www.curevents...

    The issue of how many weeks a community or city is affected should be preparing to be self-sufficient needs to be based on empirical data.

    "The computer simulations are part of the Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) research network funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), a component of the National Institutes of Health. The overall goal is to develop computational models of disease spread that will aid the development of effective control strategies." from MIDAS press release

    The MIDAS Global Epidemic Model animation is available in plots that show the estimated spread of H5N1.
    Their model (which requires a Java applet to be installed, be patient) predicts the pandemic to affect densly populated cities the most. Every one of the curves (waves of infection) is at least 60 days. Some cities are expected to have less severity but the wave is longer (probably due to prevention measures, Targeted Layered Containment).

    US Seasonal Flu Activity is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
    Looking at the Summaries for the Weekly Surveilance Reports you can see that weeks 1-15 (105 days) are peak activity for the year. My point is not when it occurs but the length of time.

    Infections in a single household will certainly be shorter depending on the number of people in the home (1-2 weeks? data anyone?). Should preparations for sheltering in place be based on household infection (2 weeks) or community waves 8-15 weeks)? Leaders would be wise to issue advice based on facts. We live in communities and dependant on many people to get through the needs of life. 2 weeks is short sighted. 60 days sounds like a more realistic minimum period of time to recommend stockpiling to minimize liability and community instability. We pay a lot of taxes to collect this data, now would be a good time to use it wisely.

    I raise the question becuase the US Dept of Health has not made plans aware to the public which are based on reasonable facts. Recommending a stockpile of two weeks gives people false assurance that that will be sufficient.

    If 30% of people could be very sick we might assume a 30% loss of production (not counting unemployed, no offense intended). But if those sick people require caregivers, the loss of production will be greater. That could equate to stores having more than 30% less available supply. One could argue the demand on some goods will be reduced. The impact upon the supply of goods and services will undoubtably be impacted for at least 60 days. Then if the flu has passed one city but still impacting another city that may be a distribution point. The first city will be impacted for longer than 60 days until the wave has passed the other points along the supply chain. Targeted Layered Containment will extend the time an area is impacted but reduce the severity of the impact. Hopefully, thoughtful  proactive behaviour through containment and stockpiling could reduce the severity of illness and shortages.

    at the very least, publishing the rationale HHS used for 2 weeks would be very helpful. Right now, it looks like a guess.

    [ Parent ]
    illness can be guestimated at 10-14 days at most
    in terms of infectivity because of children, though it may be longer for recovery.

    From the American Academy of Pediatrics Red Book:

    Viral shedding in nasal secretions usually peaks during the first 3 days of illness and ceases within 7 days but can be prolonged in young children and immunodeficient patients. Viral shedding correlates directly with height of fever.

    Also note for seasonal flu:
    In temperate climates, seasonal epidemics usually occur during winter months. Community outbreaks can last 4 to 8 weeks or longer.

    [ Parent ]
    shedding variable
    I forgot to consider shedding. I remember seeing that children can shed flu virus up to 21 days. I have learned to stop believing things I read on the internet unless they include references. Sorry I don't remember the citation for this statistic, saw it 2 years ago.

    It would be helpful to know if H5N1 patients are being tested to see how long the are shedding the virus.

    I don't know how my logic might improve the policy making of the government when I can't convince my wife of the need to prep. Hopefully she will be patient enough to read the outcome of this thread.

    [ Parent ]
    send her here, fredness

    it's a non-flu source.

    [ Parent ]
    Since 1970 the Federal Government has declared emergency conditions for counties/states a total of 564 times.

    You would think that with that many times to get the procedures down pat there would not be any problems after 35+ years. 

    All any one has to see and remember is the news reports after KATERINA and the disaster that was caused by the Govenment - at all levels. 2 years later and its still not finished!

    If the Government warns you to "stock up because they will not be there to help you..." I think you can take it to the bank that it is a true statement.

    So forewarned is to be forearmed....!


      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 ]
    I would say that based on the current length
    of onset of illness to death = 9 days... that 2 weeks would be the short side of the estimate.

    Just part of the epidimeology of H5N1 from WHO...

    The median number of days from reported date of onset
    of symptoms until death was 9 (range, 2-31 days; n = 150).

    The median duration from onset of symptoms until death

    in period 1 was 11 days (range, 3-31 days; n = 33); in
    period 2, it was 9 days (range, 2-23 days; n = 38); and in period 3, it was 9 days (range, 2-30 days; n = 79).

    There was no statistically significant difference in median duration between onset of illness and death for males and females (9 days for both).

    Cases doubled between the period 1 and period 2, and they
    increased by around a quarter during period 3. No new countries have reported human cases of infection since April 2006.

    In all 3 periods, the number of cases peaked during the cooler months of the northern hemisphere.

    The epidemiological profile of cases remains roughly similar to the results previously described. This updated analysis found that mortality among those aged 20-39 years was higher in females than in males. One hypothesis to explain this could be that there are differences in health care-seeking behaviour. However, according to these data, there are no significant differences between the sexes in the intervals between onset of symptoms and hospitalization. Other hypotheses may be considered: there may be differences in disease pathogenesis or possibly in exposure intensity between males and females. This finding may also be due to chance.

    The possible influence of population structure on incidence
    was explored using the example of the 2 most affected
    countries (Indonesia and Viet Nam). The relatively small
    number of cases precludes the drawing of definite conclusions, although the analysis seemed to suggest that the higher number of cases among young people is not solely due to the age structure of the population. In both Indonesia and Viet Nam, there appears to be a higher incidence among younger people.

    However, detection bias cannot be ruled out since children and young adults might be more likely to be diagnosed than older people.


    Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. ~ Margaret Mead

    [ Parent ]
    Past experiences...
    are my gauge.  Every emergency situation I have ever experienced has showed me that it takes more than 2 weeks for things to get back to normal.  My experiences involving the community as an adult include a freak ice storm in the deep south that shut down everything (including utilities), tropical storms, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes.  As a child, my father was in the AF working in the early NASA program.  We were stationed close to where the Watts Riots occurred, plus were overseas during the crucial moments of the Cuban Missile Crisis... very close to Turkey.  Every one of these situations required time to adjust, and the time was greater than 2 weeks. 

    When I say time to adjust, I want to make clear what I mean.  It was difficult at best, and often next to impossible, to get "out" to obtain most any services... including food.  Even when the stores were open, there were limited supplies and long lines. 

    It is just prudent to think ahead. 

    I grew up in a time, with parents and grandparents, whose lifestyle was to have on hand the necessary essentials to be self sufficient for a time period.  Today, I venture to say, most community members do not live with that mindset.

    IMHO, in helping others in preparing, we must think in terms of budgeting resources... which includes financial and product.

    RE: past experiences
    Yes, exactly. That's been my past experience as well. You do share with relatives and friends to help them. You do that in an emergency situation. So, if you stock for two weeks, which is just a drop in the bucket really, and you help out others, your reduced to about a 1 1/2 weeks worth of supplies. I've ALWAYS had a problem with this two week suggestion. And in a pandemic situation, who's to say you won't share at some point, just once, with at least relatives who do have small children, and have elderly parents, in-laws.

    United we stand: Divided we fall

    [ Parent ]
    A 2 week supply protects *them* from *you*...
    ...which is all very nice and altrustic, but doesn't help you. If you want to protect *yourselves* from *them*, i.e. prevent your family getting the virus, you need enough that you aren't going to need to expose yourself during a wave.

    That's the key to the argument I think: it is to ask "which danger are you trying to guard against?". If the answer is "I want to minimise my chance of catching the flu" then 2 weeks supplies will not make much of a dent in that, you need at least enough to ride out a wave. If the answer is "I want to be sure I have something to eat if supply chains break down" then 2 weeks will not make much of a dent in that, I think - seems to me if they break down more than fleetingly, it'll probably take more than 2 weeks to fix. If the answer is "I want to make sure noone outside my own family catches flu from me" then fair enough, 2 weeks  is enough that you don't have to go shopping while a member of your family has flu, probably. But you have to ask yourself, what is your aim?

    good construct
    simple masks protect them from you (put on the patient), N95 protects you from them (put on yourself).

    [ Parent ]
    and if they have violent diarrhea??
    Most H5N1 patients have violent diarrhea. I think this fact alone should inspire people to prep for months or even years. You DO NOT want this virus in your house under any circumstances.

    Just think, violent diarrhea, no washing machine, limited water supply, CFR >70%. Masks won't help.

    [ Parent ]
    masks alone won't do it
    but it's much easier to prevent contact (and wash your hands) than it is to prevent aerosol inhalation.

    [ Parent ]
    Somewhat Similar Rationale
    My rationale behind deciding that 2 weeks is quite inadequate is much the same - on a simplistic note:

    I do not believe I would survive an episode of the flu caused by H5N1, due to pre-existing medical problems as well as the high kill rate of the virus itself.

    Therefore, my only hope is not to get sick.

    I have a compromised immune system, so if I am exposed I will likely become ill.

    Therefore, my only hope is not to be exposed.

    If the virus may be circulating in my community for a period of many weeks to a few months, the only way I can keep from being exposed is to be in a position where I do not have to leave my home, and therefore will not be exposed to the virus.  The only way in which I can accomplish not being exposed is to have sufficient quantities of necessary goods already on hand in my own home.

    In order to accomplish the goal I set for myself, which is that of not having to leave my home for a very extended period, I began by prepping for 12 weeks.  I've now prepped for several months more than 12 weeks.

    Furthermore, my decision was reinforced by the fact that the US State Department has issued guidelines to US citizens living/working in some foreign countries that they are to prep for a possible shelter in place situation of 12 weeks, saying that the gov't will not be able to care for it's non-resident citizens abroad as well as it can care for those on US soil.

    I do not believe for one second that this gov't is any better prepared to care for me here in Virginia than it is to care for a US citizen in a foreign country.  I see no reason that we are being told to prepare ourselves for any lesser period of time than what our own gov't has recommended to its citizens who are not living in US territory.  The fact that if I lived elsewhere I would be told to prep for 12 weeks is quite significant to me. 

    And, as someone else pointed out - a two week prep protects them against you.  I think 2 weeks doesn't do much for you other than to create a sense of false security, an illusion of preparedness.  I'm not much for illusions in my old age - show me the reality and then let me deal with it.

    I keep hearing that it isn't fair to tell people to do more than they are capable of doing.  Is it more fair not to tell them things they might need to know that might save their lives?  I would that the gov't and others would tell the truth and the whole truth, and that would include the truth that a 2 week prep really won't contribute all that significantly to your chances of survival. 

    People are always going to say that they cannot afford what they need, but some of those same people seem to have quite enough money to afford what they want - cable TV, a night out on the town, a half dozen rental movies to watch.  Some people are never going to get it.  If confronted with the awful truth about what this virus might do, some people might turn off the cable and start buying rice - but not as long as people whine and moan about how we can't tell poor people to do something they can't do . . .

    People can spend their money any way they like - but until everyone is told just how very dangerous this situation could potentially become, they aren't really making an informed decision, and I think everyone has the right to be informed - and that translates into I believe the government has the responsibility to inform people of the situation - tell them the best it might be, and the worst it might be.
    You can't force anyone to prep, but by the same token, time shouldn't be spent in convincing anyone that prepping for more than 2 weeks isn't a good idea.

    I don't know if this helps - my problem is partly that 2 weeks sounds so woefully inadequate that I find it difficult to present rational arguments against what seems a ridiculous scenario. 

    [ Parent ]
    as a control and a check
    here is my write-up for a 'general audience' used to my flu diaries, but not preppers.
    it's just up, so look later for reaction. when you see the 'alarmist comments', perhaps it'll bring perspective to the task at hand.

    And, I again say, this and other flu boards will be read, so please do what you can even if it seems self-evident. I promise you, it is not.

    [ Parent ]
    Mmm, more listening than alarmism...
    ...you wrote well! But quite a few of those people seem to assume that a seaasonal flu vaccination will protect them from H5N1. Not surprising - it was my initial worries about bird flu that drove me to get a flu shot for the first time, and it was only when I started reading up that I realised it probably wouldn't help. This is maybe something that needs to be said louder and clearer by TPTB - though the new mouse research muddies the water just enough to make the situation confusing, without making it much more hopeful!

    *And*, note, they didn't hear the bit about 2 weeks not being enough - the ones who are reading what you said are mostly talking about a few days or a week or so of food, i.e., they're hearing, but they are adjusting *down* from your suggestion of 2 weeks. Wonder how many people are reading this diary?

    [ Parent ]
    it's on the front page
    of a blog that gets 200,000 visitors a day, including most of congress and their staff.  ;-)

    It doesn't matter how you say it, peole hear differently than you talk.

    I'd be thrilled if everyone had 2 weeks, even if it is not enough.

    [ Parent ]
    468,000 visitors a day. That's basically the online circulation of the LA Times.


    [ Parent ]
    Congratulations :-)
    but I actually meant *this* diary, the one about 2 weeks not being enough - because I had the impression from the comments there that few people were hearing that idea at all, I wondered how many people clicked through to this FW diary. Can  you (or Pogge or someone) look up how the readership of this diary compares to others on FW, just for fun?

    [ Parent ]

    the spike is when I posted the Daily Kos article. In 3 hours we will get the amount of usual traffic we get in a day, and it's pretty much from that.

    [ Parent ]
    ...but the most traffic is to the PSA from CDC
    validating our poll that that's what people want to hear.

    [ Parent ]
    although now the day is over, it doesn't look like a spike! n/t

    [ Parent ]
    WOW!! Impressive n/t

    United we stand: Divided we fall

    [ Parent ]
    that's more what I was expecting!
    Maybe it hadn't been updated when I looked. Weird, but oh well. Sorry for the chatter!

    [ Parent ]
    Sometimes a spike is just a spike. n/t

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

    [ Parent ]
    sometimes a cigar is just a cigar n/t

    [ Parent ]
    Ohh EWWW >gag< LOL N/T

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

    [ Parent ]
    468,000 visitors
    Congress sees this?

    How come we never hear a word from them or their staff members?

    A lot of people are worried,  a lot more then a year ago.  Why because the bird flu has not gone away as other have done before. If HF arrives in the USA this spring or summer; A lot shall change. Now everyone is telling you to get a 2 week supply of food. 


      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 ]
    Re: How come we never hear a word from them
    Methinks at this time, they don't want to let their constituents know that they follow "a lowly blog" to get the best information available. "Official" information comes form "official" agencies, and nowhere else (tongue in cheek).
    In time, I think that will change as Congress realizes that the bloggers ARE their consituents! And that goes for all the parties in gov't.

    [ Parent ]
    BB and "official" agencies
      Did you know BB; that any member of Cngress can place any written document into the offical record of congress.  Its done all the time.

      Some of this lowly blog may have been placed into the offical record already!  BB you may be famous and don't know it!

      How about that - RICH

      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 ]
    What I mean by "lowly blog"
    Is that blogs are not necessarily "official" news sources. Yet.

    [ Parent ]
    lowly blog"
    BB -

    Nice to know we do get noticed in high and low places!

    How low can you go?  Smile once in a while.  :)


      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 ]
    I'm always smiling! 


    [ Parent ]
    Unfortunately and Fortunately....
    Fortunately - Your posters (for the most part) seem to want to / have already stocked for a short period of time.

    Unfortunatley - There were many there who totally blew it off.

    Fortunately - Many of the ones who are planning to stock up, mention the reasons, rationales, and what they think they want to put aside.

    Unfotunately - They may not really be motivated enough to really make that effort.

    Unfortunately - Some of the ones who are "stocked up"  sound like they are not thinking past a hurricane relief period....  as well as their choice of food supplies totally sucks!  (What happened to chocolate? :))

    Fortunately - Many politicians read this blog...

    Unfortunately, Bush is still with us another 2 years.

    Hopefully... An awareness will creep into most of these people's minds, and they will give some serious thought to what and how to plan.
    Just my thoughts....

    Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. ~ Margaret Mead

    [ Parent ]
    ...any given effort is just that... no one article will do much.

    as for the politics, do try to remove them from this site.  ;-)

    [ Parent ]
    Ahhhh Dem....
    I will try harder... Promise!

    I didn't even post all I was going to from the Council on Foreign Relations..... Much too political!  or I should say... too pointed.

    Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. ~ Margaret Mead

    [ Parent ]
    one of the important things said was the worry about africa and the AIDS/HIV mix... would they shed longer (see above Red Book re immunocompromised) and allow mixing of seasonal and bird flu in humans via coinfection?

    [ Parent ]
    You do,,.... In fact rereading some of it
    makes me wonder why I (much less anyone else) didn't begin any kind of prep then....  I had already been following the virus for 9 or 10 months by then,, (Nov 2005).

    It wasn't until Feb 2006, (FL Summit) that I was left with a feeling of foreboding...  I guess a lot of it was related to Julie Gerberding's candid discussion of seroprevalence studies done.. (and the finding of few to none mild cases).

    That being said.... All of the fears that were discussed there at that conference have been playing out over this past year.... The spread to other countries... the inability of some countries to control it, the economical and political factors of many countries, and their expected response....  I have a high respect for people who can anticipate events and reactions.

    Some other discussion on Africa revolved around their health care system and being one of those areas where it is so likly to cause more burden on the nations there, and getting global nations to be aware of this.

    Funny though... While the economic part was discussed at length, It didn't have the same "flavor" as discussion today.

      I just wish more people were aware of all the ramifications....

    Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. ~ Margaret Mead

    [ Parent ]
    what about the Council on Foreign Relations?

    If it's too political, email me privately?  I'd like to know.  Thanks!

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

    [ Parent ]
    331 Comments - good run. Surprising level of interest. n/t

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

    [ Parent ]
    there's a corrolarly diary, too
    spawned from the first.


    More than 450 comments total.

    [ Parent ]
    I agree
    There is so much good sense on this thread that anything I could add has already been said, probably better.

    Just one very small addition:

    Most people will not prep if they hear "have 2 weeks food/supplies on hand".  Two reasons:

    1.  They (most likely erroneously) think they already have 2 weeks' worth on hand. 

    2.  The danger sounds so minimal that they won't bother.

    Unless and until the general public is told the same things that motivated the likes of us to prepare seriously for a likely panflu, they will carry on as they are.

    [ Parent ]
    I wish it were this simple.
    Unless and until the general public is told the same things that motivated the likes of us to prepare seriously for a likely panflu, they will carry on as they are.

    I have talked to people who fully understand all the logical reasons and can explain to me (I asked them) and yet they put it off. One point I have heard is that they see the news but think it is organized propaganda to distract from the real problems of the world such as climate change. The public is very mistrustful of the government and big business. Another one is Y2K which I can explain to them. However, the emotional part of the brain seems to win over the logical part. The pre-disposition (or personal experience) of the individual is not easy to change. There were others who didn't really need a lot of explanation. I think we have probably reached those who are easily convinced. The rest of the population is much harder to convince. That's why I think we should not use scare tactics, or use the same arguments that won over the current preppers. I also think that preppers should behave and talk very rationally to set an example that ordinary not crazy folks prep. It takes time and effort to win trust. It is very easy to lose it. If they don't trust you, it doesn't matter how strong your argument is. There need to be many small points communicated via many different media to get their attention. One big headline catcher alone is not going to do it.

    Back to your point. The very method that won over the early adopters will in all likelihood fail with the rest of the population.

    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 ]
    one supporting observation
    is that the poll we took here had a pleurality saying the most important thing to get others around them to prep was an official announcement from state officials.

    Yet those taking the poll are registered users here, even without such a step (which really has not happened).  ;-)

    [ Parent ]
    Families and guests
    Another element is the number of people you are having to prep for. It is entirely possible that a family member or two can show up at your house to shelter as an epidemic begins but before it reaches your(and their)area.So more is better!!.Preps for 4 people will not be adequate if a grown child and their family of two or three show up.With the extremely low prep level of most Americans the unplanned for is going to happen!

    We need to prep for more than two weeks because:
    1. Imagine your kids/family are hungry/sick and you can't feed/medicate them in an emergency. What supplies would you wish you had?

    2. Imagine that your power is out and you are trying to survive for an extended period of time, like happened in New Orleans. What supplies would you need to stay alive in your region in winter or summer?

    3. It takes a growing season to produce food. The food we eat now, was planted months to a year ago. A sudden increase in demand due to an emergency, does not make crops grown last season appear faster. Our ancestors stored food for any bad event, such as drought, flood, plague, insect devastation.

    4. It takes time to manufacture goods. Just because FEMA needed many home trailers suddenly, did not mean companies could manufacture them and transport them to New Orleans suddenly. Just because medications and doctors were needed during Katrina or the Tsunami, didn't make them appear immediately. Companies  are designed for maximum efficiency to produce for "normal" consumer demand. No company is prepared instantly for sudden excessive demand for their products. This includes medication makers and hospitals. This includes companies that supply the raw resources to medication makers and hospitals.

    5. Emergencies can isolate people from their food/water/medicine/power for more than two weeks at any time. Aid may be difficult to receive, particularly when large populations are affected. Emergencies can be: snowstorms, ice storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, war, terrorist acts, rioting, drought, flooding, global extreme weather due to global warming and a epidemic of one of numerous global diseases.

    6. A pandemic lasts from a few months to two years. While food and medical supplies may resume at some time, no one really knows how long or how well this will occur. It is best to have "insurance" against any kind of supply chain disruption by keeping extra supplies in your home that can be used in any type of emergency.

    7. If a longer than expected emergency occurs, you can expect family, friends, neighbors and pitiful people to come by looking for food and supplies when they run out. What will you do? You can consider storing extra supplies to be an act of charity.

    Adding to the List
    I would add that one should also consider transportation issues to add to the above suggestions.  The transportation industry will also suffer high absenteeism rates, and of course fuel will be rationed.

    I have long thought that supplies and deliveries would probably be prioritized - medicines, medical supplies, baby products, and basic food (rice, beans)would be given priority.  So in addition to food and water, people should have sufficient supplies of whatever makes their life more comfortable - soap, razor blades, coffee, pet food, batteries, chocolate (my fave). 

    Perhaps people could be moved if we told them to imagine going without their morning coffee after their two week supply ran out or not having enough sanitary supplies as we move into months two and three of a phase. 

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

    re: razor blades
    Razor blades also become more than a nice thing to have in cases where a man needs to wear a N95+ mask or ventilator.  In order for the masks to stay tight to the face, a man must be clean-shaven.

    Of course, this may not be relevant for people who have to be persuaded to keep extra food on hand, but it's worth a mention.

    As for sanitary supplies, there are alternatives like cloth pads and menstrual cups, but those are unlikely to become wildly popular, so mentioning that might well be an effective prod.  As, of course, are things people are dependent on (prescription medications) or addicted to (coffee, chocolate, etc).

    [ Parent ]
    Chocolate Addiction
    I am in a twelve-step program for my chocolate addiction but I've decided that my coffee addiction gives me character.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Some Cocoa May Improve Brain Blood Flow
    ....women given drinks of cocoa high in flavanols, there was a significant increase in blood flow to the brain compared with subjects who did not drink the cocoa,...
    lowers blood pressure...... there are no reports of dementia ....decreases death rate....



    Be Prepared

    [ Parent ]
    Whoo hoooo, Dennis!
    Thanks for the info! I need help for all these problems. I think I'll switch to morning hot chocolate instead of coffee.

    History Lover do a 2 step program on your chocolate.
    1. Think about quitting...
    2. Come back to your senses LOl

    In memory of pogge: Peace, order and good government, eh?
    [If we want it, we'll have to work at it.]

    [ Parent ]
    I second that!
    No wonder I wasn't thinking properly. 

    Not enough chocolate!  Have to go stock up!  LOL

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

    [ Parent ]
    chocolate's health benefits
    from Dr. Woodson's comment here:

    Not only is chocolate the premier comfort food, an important thing to stockpile for the dark days ahead, it also has well understood medicinal benefits.  See the excerpt below from The Bird Flu Manual.

    "Plants containing xanthenes (tea, coffee, and chocolate) have long been used for treatment of asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and chest congestion.  They are also very helpful for headache, sore throat, and cough. Xanthenes dilate constricted bronchial tubes, increase the flow of fluid and mucus through the lungs, and stimulate the heart.  Blood pressure is raised and more blood is pumped through the body, including the kidneys, promoting urination.  The vascular effect of xanthenes relieve headache, and they also have a mildly uplifting effect on brain chemistry that increases energy and alertness.  Caffeine is the principal xanthene found in hot or cold coffee and tea.  Chocolate products are also loaded with xanthenes.  In chocolate, the higher the percentage of real cocoa or cocoa liquor, the higher the content of xanthenes, with dark chocolate having the most.  Consuming these foods when ill with flu provides the patient with the pharmacologic effect of their medicinal herbal properties."

    Grattan Woodson, MD, FACP

    [ Parent ]
    Another Chocolate Article
    I found another article that proves that chocolate is good for you (not that I was looking or anything).

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

    [ Parent ]
    caffeine and chocolate addictions
    Hey, I make no judgements on those addictions.  I love chocolate.  As for caffeine, I've ended up drinking tea, after years of soda.  I'm sure I would have become a coffee addict along the way as well, if I could abide the taste.

    I just meant that since almost everyone has such relatively benign addictions, they are a pressure point for nudging people to prep.  "What if you couldn't buy coffee?"

    (Cigarette addiction would be another point, of course, except that I wouldn't want to encourage smoking, particularly during a pandemic.)

    [ Parent ]
    I don't want to encourage smoking either but,
    I have dear friends and relatives that smoke and I know giving it up is a real bear.  I can easily see ( based on observing peoples past behavior)someone slipping out of SIP conditions to try to to get cigs.  I just don't think that given the really high stress conditions of Sipping during pandemic, folks will be able to kick the nicotine.

    We have some pretty heavy coffee drinkers in our family-myself, DH,DS and FIL.  While I don't see us breaking quarantine for JUST for coffee,I could see us paying a pretty dear price for it on a black market, if there was any to be found and if we could get it without exposing ourselves to flu.  Knowing this, coffee is one of the first items I stocked up on.  (Chocolate is another high priority item, but it mysteriously keeps disappearing)

    Maybe thats an approach we could use-go to smoking (or otherwise addicted) non-preppers and say "Hey, could you get through 12 weeks without your smokes?"  Maybe it will get them thinking about prepping.

    My thought here is that the idea of prepping for everything in your life for three months is so overwhelming, I think people just shut down-they can't deal with it.  If you target one or two things really important to them they might start prepping.  For many of us on wiki,Our kids are the main reason we prep.  But for those without kids, maybe the way to their prepping is through their addiction.

    Just a thought.

    [ Parent ]
    These are LEGAL addictions I'm refering to, btw. N/t

    [ Parent ]
    Thank god cholocate is leagal! n/t

    United we stand: Divided we fall

    [ Parent ]
    True. I'd just feel guilty...
    ... if I got someone to stock up on cigarettes, knowing they weaken the lungs, in the face of a respiratory pandemic. 

    Besides which, two people close to me have quit smoking when they were hospitalized with pneumonia.  That's under normal health care conditions.  What would be the chances of getting diagnosed with regular pneumonia, or even being seen, during a pandemic?  And if you didn't have the panflu when you went to the hospital, you might well catch it there.

    On the other hand, if someone broke SIP to get their cigs, and got exposed, I'd feel guilty for that, too.  I suppose I'd skirt the issue by focusing on other addictions (since most people have more), and let them draw their own conclusions about their cigarettes, whether that's stocking up or quitting beforehand.

    [ Parent ]
    So have 'em stock up on Nicorette. ;) n/t

    [ Parent ]
    Pressure Points
    I agree Caia.  Actually that's one of the things that I'm trying to do - exploit people's weaknesses when I'm talking to them about preps!  Seriously, we have to do everything we can to help our friends and loved ones make this an important part of their lives. 

    Now back to step two of that program . . .

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

    [ Parent ]
    Bioteacher: Why we need to prep for more than two weeks
    I live in an are of Louisiana that was relatively unaffected by Katrina and Rita.  We had power outages and about 50mph winds.  With the destruction of NOLA however, there was a serious problem with getting supplies.  Our local stores were out of basics for weeks after Katrina then Rita hit the western part of the state.  Even though my area was not directly impacted by devastation we had a very hard time getting gasoline, propane, groceries, etc. because NOLA was a regional hub for food distribution.  Many suppliers for this region were located in NOLA and when they were damaged or destroyed the entire region suffered.  I think it would be much the same in a pandemic situation.  If a large city that serves as a hub is severely affected by an outbreak the entire region could face significant shortages.  Imagine that a city gets quarentined (sp) and shipments cannot go out or into the city.  Many normal shipments of food and materials cannot be delivered to the surrounding region.  In this situation shortages will occur even if your area is unaffected by the actual outbreak.  After the storms I used almost my entire "hurricane" supply of gasoline and food within about a week.  I did not even come close to going hungry mainly because the groceries and other supplies were rerouted from other regions.  had the shortages continued or if supplies were not brought in from other areas I could have had a very rough time of it.  Seeing the disruption that these storms had on my region really got me to prepping in a serious way!!!  I could not imagine not having enough food and water to feed my family so I am now stockpiling 2-3 months of food and water and other supplies.  I also have a place to go in the country that I can live somewhat of the land if necessary.  I hope and pray that it never comes to this but after seeing first hand what disruptions can cause I will be forever vigilant.

    thank you for this post n/t

    [ Parent ]
    What changed my length of prep
    Until the Los Alamos simulation, http://www.newfluwik... (see, mapping the threat section) I was prepping for 3 months. 

    Seeing that I would be running out of preps at the peak of the pandemic extended my target to 6 months. 

    Realizing that there may be more than one wave, and that resupply between waves may not be possible due to infrastructure collapse, has extended it to a year minimum. I'm ready for six months and working on a year.  I honestly think that less than six months and you might as well not SIP.

    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.

    I honestly think that less than six months and you might as well not SIP.

    is that the message?

    [ Parent ]
    It's my message. 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 ]
    but, Oremus,
    everyone should stock up much as they can, and, SIP as long as they can; if they don't bother at all because they couldn't do six months or more,
    think of the tsunami of dead bodies.
    Lower the peak; officials and neighborhoods aren't ready for any mortality surge at all yet.

    Also, you will lose way too many of your population in the first weeks; they will go and infect others in their search for necessities before they get sick. They will no longer use resources? Not good; tptb may find they've lost too much knowledge, experience, and, replacement generations, and done busted our civilization.

    [ Parent ]
    From the Original Flu Wiki Site
    ? From the US Congressional Budget Office assessment on the possible macroeconomic effects of an influenza pademic (severe scenario, italics added):
    The pandemic would probably spread across geographic areas and vulnerable populations in waves. In any given geographic region, each wave could last for three to five months, and a second wave could appear anywhere from one to three months after the first disappears.

    ? From a guide prepared by scientists at the National Security Health Policy Center and National Defense University:
    Q. How long would an H5N1 pandemic last?

    An H5N1 pandemic would probably come in waves. In each wave about 1/4 of the population could be infected. People who become ill in the first wave could also become sick in later waves. Each wave could last about 8-12 weeks, and the period between waves could vary between 8-20 weeks. Most likely, an H5N1 pandemic would have at least three waves and could last for over 12 months.

    ? November 22, 2005, Australian Health Minister Tony Abbott :
    "You are going to also see a very major shortage developing in your basic commodities - everything from food, to soap and light bulbs right through to medicines, spare parts and petrol.

    ? From the WHO's Strategic Planning Guide:
    The risk of a pandemic is great.
    The risk will persist.
    Evolution of the threat cannot be predicted.
    The early warning system is weak.
    Preventive intervention is possible, but untested.
    Reduction of morbidity and mortality during a pandemic will be impeded by inadequate medical supplies.

    ? DHS Assistant Director, Dr. Michael Osterholm:
    "We can predict now 12 to 18 months of stress of watching loved ones die, of wondering if you are going to have food on the table the next day," he says. "Those are all things that are going to mean that we are going to have to plan - unlike any other crisis that we have had in literally the last 80-some years in this country."
    ? Source: VOA news

    ? USDA Assistant Secretary for Food Safety, Richard Raymond:
    "? individual citizens must also take steps to prepare for a pandemic with water, with food that doesn't necessarily need refrigeration for any naturally occurring disaster such as a blizzard, a hurricane, a tornado or even avian influenza that may upset the infrastructure, and warns, "Perhaps the grocery stores won't be open. Perhaps someone won't be able to run the water treatment plant. So, Americans should have enough in their homes to sustain themselves for at least a week."
    ? Source: VOA news

    I am not like other birds of prey....

    thanks, CG
    see the reactions of the non-flu people here:


    [ Parent ]
    do I have to? :-)

    I am not like other birds of prey....

    [ Parent ]
    yeah, you have to
    it's much better than last time ;-)

    [ Parent ]
    Re: reactions of the non-flu people
    Pretty much in denial and oblivious to the facts!

    [ Parent ]
    did you read it?
    much better than last time... don't give up on them!!

    [ Parent ]
    Re: did you read it?
    LOL!! Of course I read it! ;-) And all the responses...most agreeing that we need to prep for one reason or another. Most excellent article!! Certainly did notice that this time (so far) no one flamed you or got all up in arms about your message. Too bad so many believe the seasonal vax is "good enough", although getting it would help docs to seperated the seasonal vs. H5N1

    And, I haven't given up....but as fredness noted, it's hard convince others when I can't even convince DW and BIL of the possibility. Even living in heavy storm country, neither wants to admit to the possibility of not having food, water or power.


    [ Parent ]
    Thanks BB, I couldn't take the rejection.....
    Still trying to persuade all my friends and family.  Send them all kinds of information, just sent them the post above.  No one will thank me.  No one will acknowledge they received  the info.  And when we talk in person...there is no mention.  They must all think I'm nuts. 

    I am not like other birds of prey....

    [ Parent ]
    You, and Robert webster, and some of the smartest people on earth. ;-)

    [ Parent ]
    it's lonely at the top....n/t :-)

    I am not like other birds of prey....

    [ Parent ]
    Wow...the average person out there are clueless on many things that are common knowledge for us here.
    It would be funny reading if it wasn't so depressing.

    [ Parent ]
    Kelly Phan, that's why the idea that
    "3 months is a no brainer - just tell them to..." or "Tell the truth about pandemics" is easy to say but so tough to actually DO.

    Do we want to be right or do we want to succeed in getting the message out?

    [ Parent ]
    How About . . .
    Succeeding in getting out the right message?

    (Yes, I do know that 'right' is very subjective.)

    [ Parent ]
    how about that?
    First, clarity in what the right message is, and why it is the right message (that last bit got folks upset when the question was posed, but it's the right and important question to ask - lots of good responses to it here and elsewhere).

    It seems very clear that to reach a greater universe than flu blogs and forums, you have to start by having the feds reach consensus (whatever government you live under, wherever you are).

    Can anyone link to where more than 2 weeks is suggested by other governments?

    And can more arguments as to why this is the right message vbe added.

    I like start at 2 weeks (see cottontop's idea), it's always been my message. But I see many good arguments for more than that.

    [ Parent ]
    How about...Start at 2 weeks, reach for 3 months. ??? n/t

    [ Parent ]
    How about this from the CDC
    3 extensive pandemic waves of influenza within 1 year, occurring in rapid succession, with only the briefest of quiescent intervals between them, was unprecedented.

    Even with modern antiviral and antibacterial drugs, vaccines, and prevention knowledge, the return of a pandemic virus equivalent in pathogenicity to the virus of 1918 would likely kill >100 million people worldwide. A pandemic virus with the (alleged) pathogenic potential of some recent H5N1 outbreaks could cause substantially more deaths.

    However, some characteristics of the 1918 pandemic appear unique: most notably, death rates were 5-20 times higher than expected.


    I am not like other birds of prey....

    The supply for two weeks would cover
    when you are possibly sick - as stated in the message

    Store a two week supply of water and food. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store, or if stores are out of supplies, it will be important for you to have extra supplies on hand

    So, as already mentioned, this does not cover the period that you want to avoid exposure to others where you could become infected.  I have started recommending 4 weeks as a minimum to the "sceptics" to cover that period.

    Then there is supply shortages - that will be the real "cruncher" IMHO - which is the second part of that message above "if stores are out of supplies".

    This is not like a localised natural disaster where other sections of the community or country can "come to the rescue" - send in extra supplies etc. The Just-in-Time supply chain will be disrupted and will not recover over-night.

    If, the wave is 6-8 weeks and allowing another month for the supply chain to fully recover, this says have essential basic supplies for 10-12 weeks.

    Now, you need to consider how many waves and the period of time between waves and whether the supply chain will recover between waves ...

    In summary, prep for a minimum of 4 weeks, and try for 10-12 weeks.

    The most important message to get out there is DO IT NOW - do not get caught in the rush of last-minute-supply-chasers.  The JIT supply chain means most communities would only have sufficient supplies in store to last the entire community about 24 hours!

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

    For a political aspect...
    Here is the transcript of the 2005 Council on Foreign relations... Regretably... not much has changed.  Truly a global view is discussed... from China and Africa... to the Americas....

    Council on Foreign Relations
    November  2005
    Transcript of Session 5:
    What would the World look like after a pandemic?


    excerpts: Global view?

    ? Oh, goodness. You know it is axiomatic in American politics, and probably not just American, that when a situation comes to have a great deal of public attention, and rises on the agenda to the point of being one of grave concern at the highest levels, there is eventually a backlash-a naysayer backlash-that says that those of us who talk about such scenarios are, to use a very bad, tasteless pun, chicken littles.

    ? GARRETT: If I may, one thing I want to be sure we're understanding here is, a pandemic is not a hurricane. It doesn't come once and then you deal with the aftermath.
    What we would probably be looking at, because of the very, very mobile nature of our world today that might be a little different from 1918, but the 1918 helps informs us about, is that a pandemic is a long-lasting event. You're looking at something between 18 and 24 months of waves of virus and waves that will sweep over parts of the world in different way so that, indeed, the wave would be like a mosaic of variable epidemics at any given snapshot moment, and the virus itself would not be a stationary object. It would be transforming itself in waves.


    GARRETT:  And obviously you are a very bright economist; you wouldn't have gotten where you're at today if you weren't. And you're obviously a leading-edge economist, as far as the world goes, given the position of your company and where you're at. But I heard you say just now that you thought that the probability of a pandemic was probably very low when, in fact, some of us this morning talked about the probability of a pandemic's 100 percent. It's 100 percent. Very few things can we say in public health as 100 percent. The question we don't know is when will it occur, where will it actually start, and how bad will it be?

    . . .

    So in that sense, and in that context also, I heard you talked about we're a major exporting country. Yet for those of us that looked at the critical products we need to get through a pandemic like medical supplies, pharmaceutical products, even our food supply, is all-a very large part of that is imported, so that it's not just which products, it's which key products are really there.
    I guess the question I have for you is, do most of the other economists of the world of your caliber think the same way about this?

    Much, Much More?..

    This link for the whole conference:


    Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. ~ Margaret Mead

    parse "assume" again...
    ..."David Fedson:

    There's been a lot of discussion about economic impacts, and because I'm not biased by a lot of economic facts, they don't worry me so much. (Laughter.)
    I actually think that as long as buildings still stand
    and power systems are still operating
    and the physical infrastructure of the world economy is intact
    and we haven't
    killed off all of the people who know how to keep it working
    that we will get along."...

    [ Parent ]
    IF we haven't killed off all of the people who know how to keep it working--
    that's a good reason to urge people to get prepared to stay safe at home, so they can help put things back together again.

    Also, parents whose children are safe at home do better work than parents who are grieving, if you want to look at it coldly.

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

    [ Parent ]
    ok got it, FG
    forget about my earlier post.  lol

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

    [ Parent ]
    I thought you would find it!
    Please tell me you listened to this in 2005?
    Don't read it
    Best way to view.... Is to put it on a media player and let it run throught the different sessions....  Many of the presentation have graphs that are good.... many have been used since then, and will be familar.

    Fold clothes or something.....

    Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. ~ Margaret Mead

    [ Parent ]
    I did, all of it, thank you n/t

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

    [ Parent ]
    Why We Need To Prep For More Than Two Weeks
    Why do I take the time, the money, the stress, and the abuse to prep for more then two weeks?

    To answer that question all you the reader have to do is:


    That's why! For our families. 

    Nothing more and nothing less

    Why more then 2 weeks  one word "KATERINA" 


      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..."

    Looking at it from a broader, societal perspective
    Personally I am aiming from at least 3 months (and if time and money 6 months), for all the reasons listed above.  HOWEVER, the VAST MAJORITY of the country is competely UNPREPARED.  The reasons why are as varried as snowflakes, but lack of money/time is often given.  So I pose the question: Is it better to have 90% of the population stocked with 2+ weeks (either through hard-hitting PSAs, incentive programs, giveaways, whatever it takes) vs 25% prepped for 6 months?  Where are our efforts best served?  Two weeks is an acheivable goal for even the poorest.  It isn't an overwhelming financially, nor in terms of volume or space to store.  Once you see you can accomplish two, the you shoot for 3weeks, etc.  Trying to get people to stockpile 6 months right off the bat is too much and they shut off.  Heck, I'm convinced of the threat and I don't have that much yet. 

    Feel free to flame me now...I have my fire extinguisher ready.

    i'm the lightning rod for that question
    been there, done that, went back for more ;-)

    [ Parent ]
    tell the public anyway; is it not unethical not to?
    don't set up a question that limits your options; they could have got hard-hitting PSAs out ages ago if they wanted to. Bureaucracy works fast when it wants to, unfortunately mostly in reaction to crises/attacks, but why not proactively?

    If public says, it's too hard; they don't want to try, repeat they can not be helped and their communities will not be helped.

    The govt said that, 16 months ago, and they could have started back then, or, had their emotional adjustment reactions back then, and been working towards improving their preparedness since. They'd better start doing a little bit now. Something needs to give a sense of urgency; why not "knowing they were not warned about the websites and summits (to keep them calm) and have been at risk since"?
    Remind them vaccines are not expected to be available for them, and that currently panflu looks to be killing the young and the healthy, and we are all suseptible.
    I think they are unprepared because they are unwarned of the severe, pervasive, impacts tptb know about (and are prepping themselves for).

    It is no kindness to lowball what the public needs to do; govt should have used their "selling" powers to sell the idea of household and community preparedness, once scientists said they "had a bad feeling" about this.

    It will be more "overwhelming" to try and survive a pandemic without changing our "non-negotiable" "way of life".

    Communities and states, even the low-income households  would have ordered their priorities better, if they had understood this would happen (broadcasting the WHO's "Ten things you need to know about pandemic influenza" from Oct 2005 would have been informative) and any of the past human clusters might have been the start of pandemic. Communites were (and are) raising all sorts of money for fluff, that their citizens may not live to enjoy, when they could have been improving local and household preparedness.
    More would be surviving power outtages, storms, and, carrying emergency bags in their cars, and, keeping fire extinguishers in their homes, too; "being prepared" isn't just for scouts/guides anymore.

    [ Parent ]
    I have heard this elsewhere ;-)
    what's not being told, exactly? I am unclear on that.

    The answer to your question is tell everything, including uncertainty. I fully understand that uncertainty itself gets some people upset, but the alternative is unacceptable. Don't appear certain now and uncertain later... you just look like DEFRA and Bernard Matthews.

    That is not where anyone should be.

    [ Parent ]
    So you're calling me DEFRA and Bernard Matthews ?
    I see.

    Do you pretend you are unclear what few warnings the public on the street is hearing, mixed signals and all, after all this time?
    Doing little because scientists can not see the future and give an exact time is not what families would choose to do knowing the impact is so bad and there isn't time to prepare once it starts.
    I am certain the fed. state, and local govts will not be able to help everyone at once. I am certain people will suffer and die during a panflu. If I turn up wrong on those two points, that would be great.

    How many messages get to the public for an election campaign? The govt has been doing the opposite so far for this.

    SEC. MIKE JOHANNS ..."First I'd like to discuss just for a moment the role of the media as we talk about the likelihood of a detection of highly pathogenic H5N1 virus in the United States.
    Reporters covering the story of course have enormous power,
    the power to choose between words that would cause panic or words that inspire very calm preparations" ...

    [so "calm" that most individuals and municipalities have done nothing so far; good thing he gave the reporters a talking to, and framed their possible choices down to only two extremes, one obviously unacceptable]

    "If you leave here today remembering nothing else that I tell you, I hope you'll remember two points. One, a detection of the high path H5N1 virus does not signal the start of a pandemic.
    The virus is not easily transmitted person to person.
    People who have become ill in other countries have had direct contact with infected birds.

    Two, properly prepared poultry is safe to eat.
    A detection of H5N1 should not cause a loss of confidence in the safety of poultry.
    It is highly unlikely that an infected bird would enter the food supply, but even if it did proper cooking kills the AI virus just as it does other viruses and bacteria, so there's no reason to be concerned about eating chicken or turkey"...

    Bernard Matthews sounds like Mike Johanns.
    They both have their priorites, which aren't mine.

    [ Parent ]
    are you daft????
    that's the royal "you" out there, not you, crfullmoon!!!

    Did you not see where I agreed with your basic point? Transparency. Reread my post.


    [ Parent ]
    let's try again...
    crfullmoon: what's being withhheld and not being told?

    world out there, especially PH agencies: be transparent, else you (the agencies) will look like DEFRA and Bernard Matthews.

    [ Parent ]
    and in response
    USDA, with a different agenda, has much to catch up on. The message needs to be similar between the CDC and USDA.

    [ Parent ]
    I'm with Dem
    I've heard this so many times, and never once actually responded to it.  I think it is counterproductive to keep insisting on tptb or whoever else is lying or covering up when a) it's a work in progress, and b) the receptivity of the public is dubious at best at the moment.

    I prefer not to ascribe intentionality unless either there is evidence or where it is productive to do so.  We are at a very early phase of pushing public awareness, it is better IMHO to maintain civility and dialogue for as long as is needed.  Given especially that most people on this forum also agree that the public needs to hear it from tptb.

    ie If they need to hear it from tptb, we need to persuade tptb.  The biggest impediment to persuasion is lack of trust.  And don't believe that it is a one-way street, that it is their job to retain your trust.  The opposite direction is just as important.  Assuming you want to persuade and make change, and not just rant and be righteous.  I don't mean you personally, but all of us would do well to reflect on that IMHO.

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

    [ Parent ]
    County Health Dept.
    Me too. I am working with the local Health Dept over on this side of the bridge Melanie on the LEP/Special Populations Workforce.. Right now we are in the process of identifying the populations, identifying the community leaders within the communities and deciding on what kind of message we want to impart to the groups--  there is a lot of work going on all over the place...

    but a message that explains the bare minimum that each family/individual needs to have ready and what is recommended for cat. 5 or higher are separate things. 

    [ Parent ]
    never ascribe to malice
    "Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence." -
      --  Napoleon Bonaparte

    Everybody in public health is scrambling to get up to speed with this.  I'm working with the county public health people to communicate with the low income seniors and ESL people.

    It is in the nature of the beast that we are all going to be catching up. 

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

    [ Parent ]
    But there's the other half of the problem
    Okay, maybe a few halves :)

    1. People aren't getting the message: as someone who pays close attention to this I rarely hear/see anything on PF via MSM telling me to prep.  This is a complex communication and it will take multiple exposures from different sources to sink into people's heads - it's not a "Tastes Great/Less Filling" beer commercial. How many people are getting the message and how effective is the message?  Answer: not enough and not enough.

    2. Even if the message is getting out there, then along comes some news announcement that so-and-so pharmaceutical company has developed a new vaccine that "might be used to fight a global pandemic"  Of course, they leave out the part that it probably won't work and even if it did it will take 6months to develop and start production and by then all of society will have collapsed in chaos.  But by then, you've lost your target audience.  Their response "They'll have a vaccine for that"

    3. The uncertainty: In the effort to avoid panic eveyone keeps saying: so far it has not been a disease that infects humans BUT IT MIGHT SOMEDAY - again, you've lost your audience.  It's not immediate enough.  The threat needs to be knocking on the front door and you've just stepped out of the shower and don't have a bathrobe.  Sure, it might not happen (let's hope.  I'll gladly donate all my preps to the local food bank).  It might happen 5 years from now, not 5 months.  Without a finite timeline it's too abstract and you loose your audience.  Unfortunately there's not much we can do to fight that portion of the battle. 

    [ Parent ]
    the case for official 12 weeks preps recommendation
    is very simple: supply chain failure.

    Those of us who have not had much success convincing others to prep need to consider this, whatever the CFR, there will be people who want to go into denial, and believe it's not going to happen to them.  Fine.

    Here is something that is going to happen to everyone.  100% AR, guaranteed.  The supply chain is going to fail, and we will all be affected by it.

    Some might think we do not need 12 weeks as buttress against supply chain failure.  I urge caution on that, because you as the consumer is at the very end of a very long and complex chain that is always going to be only as strong as the weakest link.  A failure in any link will result in failure to deliver the product to you.  In a pandemic where countries will be repeatedly hit over many months, intermittent failures lasting 6-12 months is not unlikely.  So a 2 week recommendation is not enough, as a society, to prevent the kind of panic buying that will happen whenever a particular product suddenly becomes available.  A more comfortable margin is needed.

    I see a 12-week prep recommendation as an essential component of systemic resilience.  That irrespective of AR, CFR, NPI, the challenge on infrastructure is huge.  There will only be a certain percentage of people who will follow these recommendations.  Fine.  But 10% prepared is better than 0%.  40% is better than 10% and so on.  It has to start somewhere.

    The second reason as far as I'm concerned that I think tptb should recommend 12 weeks preps starting now is because it is a logical accompaniment to the NPI guidance.  If people who get sick and their whole family have to stay home, you are talking about at a minimum 2 weeks of total SIP for a whole family for each infected person.  So that's a good minimum recommendation for every family. 

    Add that to an overall situation of recurrent shortages of essentials, what that will mean is that trying to get any provisions will become a lot more time consuming (as well as hazardous in increasing exposure) than normal.  Now if you close all schools for 12 weeks and want families to keep kids at home, you are already increasing the level of worker absenteeism.  That is, those who do go to work are shouldering a larger share of what they normally do.  How much additional time or energy do people have to go and stand in line or scavenge for supplies, and wouldn't that potentially increase absenteeism even more? 

    If you are out of infant formula and you have to go 12 miles further and stand in line to get it, you will do it, job or no job!  And I'm not even factoring in the perceived transmission risk in standing in line, which is likely to cause people to take extraordinary precautions in PPE or whatever, all adding to the total societal cost.

    Irrespective of whether families go for total SIP, the ability of society to continue a minimum level of function will be much enhanced the better prepared families are.

    I would suggest the official recommendation should now be at 12 weeks prep, stating reasons specific to a pandemic, with 2 weeks being given as an absolute bare minimum for those most unable to afford stockpiling.  This 2 week minimum can then serve as the minimum guideline for local provisioning for low income and other vulnerable populations.  This will necessitate some funding, but it will also kick-start the process of getting citizens to donate towards such a goal.

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

    another approach is 12 weeks for now
    meaning that as the supply chain issues and vaccine production issues are addressed, then the official recommendation can back off a bit.

    I like the 12 (and everyone can do at least 2) approach. It has practical appeal.

    I also think the NPI interim p[lan leaves open the door for discussing lots of things from masks to food and water.

    We should take advantage of the opportunity.

    [ Parent ]
    And, it's not as if they are not doing it
    From the CDC Interim guidance on NPI

    "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."

    Granted it is on page 53, but it's got to start somewhere.  The resistance to this notion is huge, IMHO, from all those sectors that believe any NPI or SIP will have economic consequences that are unacceptable.  Don't underestimate the potential resistance.

    Remember that government, whether they like it or not, have to take into consideration the views of all sectors of society.  They can't just make policy based on what we think is logical here.  They need to be able to persuade large sections of vested interests not to oppose such recommendations. 

    In a sense, when we use 'TPTB' it's actually not very useful, cos we need to separate the officials who are in charge of putting out policy from politicians from business interests from other lobbies.  It is not a monolithic entity.  It's what democracy is about, having to sell the case to sufficient no of people to have it be acceptable.

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

    [ Parent ]
    12 weeks
    ready for flaming here.....

    If you do not begin immediately to prep for a minimum of 12 weeks, and you know the facts we know, have the money and the space to store it, You've got to be a moron not to do it.

    3 waves 8-12 weeks each. Do the math. Imagine the consequences of not doing it.

    Tell the truth

    I think there is a disconnect
    in this discussion.  And Goju, I'm just using your post as an example, nothing personal.

    We need to persuade individuals, which is what your post is doing.  I agree with you totally.

    We need also to persuade government to make this official policy.  That needs a lot more than personal conviction.  It needs as many arguments that will cover the objections that will arise from various quarters as possible, such as big business (who don;t want any talk that will spook financial markets, for example).

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

    [ Parent ]
    read the responses here... most are reasonable, some are... well, there's not unanimity.


    [ Parent ]
    If those pre-conditions are met, it would be illogical not to do so. The question then is have we met those conditions for the whole nation, let alone the whole world. Since it is unlikely that those conditions will be satisfied completely soon, what would be the best way of maximizing the outcome i.e. percentage of population who will actively stockpile, conducting in such a way that unintended consequences are anticipated, understood, mitigated, or risks accepted? Should we wait till we have the perfect answers? I say no. I say we should look at this as a moving target. I say it is a race of humankind against the virus. I say we work cooperatively even if competitively with tptb to make progress.


    I say we celebrate the cat 4 NPI Interim Guidance as a major accomplishment, which really lets the 12 weeks prep argument out of the bag. Sure it's not enough, and we are not there yet. But just repeating the 12 weeks prep message is not enough. Turning it into a religious notion is not going to convert more people. There will be resistance from some quarters. However, if we work hard enough, we may yet find arguments that become so obvious even to these resisting parties. If we say truth is on our side, we shouldn't be afraid of finding a rational argument. Only the dogmatic will try to cut off debate, and will not win converts.

    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 ]
    Panflu Prep is like saving for retirement.
    Those people who save for retirement start years before the money is needed. Pandemic preparation in a way is similar. You don't quite know when you are going to need the stockpile, and it takes extra effort and sacrifices in the current for something that seem so remote it just doesn't become a priority for many people.

    One way the government can encourage preparation is to give some incentives on certain items, especially those items that if pandemic never happens it's a straight loss. For example:

    1. water jugs

    2. generator, solar panel, deep cycle batteries, inverters

    3. emergency cooking equipment

    4. emergency lighting equipment

    5. emergency heating e.g. Mr. Heater

    The incentive could be a tax-free withdrawal from retirement accounts, supported by purchase receipts, by a certain deadline.

    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.

    More tax incentives
    For non-perishable food. One approach is to give tax rebates on items that are donated to the food banks. This policy will remove the fear that whatever stockpile if not needed will be a loss. I will also encourage a habit of rotating stocks. Items that have only 3 months or more before expiry could be donated and replenished. The food banks could use the oldest stock to feed the current needs and the regular donations will be used to keep the stock current for pandemic prep.

    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 ]
    It will also encourage a habit of rotating stocks. (not I) n/t

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

    [ Parent ]
    Forgot one item. Quarantine tent.
    A quarantine tent and supplies should be part of the 'emergency preparation equipment' that can be paid for by funds from retirement account withdrawal.

    Most of the population will feel it is not possible to give up all income.  If the school is closed, at least one parent is needed at home since there won't be day care either. If the other parent chooses to (and we can't force them not to) due to financial circumstances, at least we know that the worker if infected would not infect the entire family. Since we only need 30% compliance for NPI to have an effect, this aspect (quarantine tent) of preparation is essential for reaching the 30% compliance. There is a real risk that if quarantine tent is not available, BOTH parents may choose not to work but still need to get food and therefore risk exposure or BOTH parents just give up and continue to work (and risk multiplying the infection rate by a factor of 4 for a 4 person family). Neither of this scenario is good. I don't know what the labor force looks like, but I suspect the single parents have no choice but to stay home, whether they have prepared or not.  If the single parent does not prepare, and yet is forced to go out to shop for food, then it defeats the school closure.  For 2 parent families, some of them will telecommute, so both can SIP while working, with one parent needing occasional interaction with the workplace (quarantine tent needed).  For those who must work, the quarantine tent will at least save the rest of the family. This is especially true for essential workers e.g. HCW, police, electricity, water, sewage etc. Many businesses will not be able to pay for employees stocking up the entire family, and will only stock up at the workplace for the worker. If the worker's family is not protected, he or she may not want to go to work.  Since our society is so interdependent, it is hard to come up with a list of what is deemed essential. Most essential services rely on external vendors to continue to operate. The sustainability of essential services is dependent on non-essential businesses as well. For a reasonable outcome, we should recommend a 12 week preparation and SIP for one parent and children, with tax incentives.  Hopefully, we only need to use part of the 12 week stockpile, but the quarantine supplies are very critical to ensure families are confident they can get through a pandemic of cat 4+ severity.

    Notice that prepping for 12 weeks is a must to avoid non-work related interaction e.g. buying food, but quarantine tent will ensure those who need to work can do so without multiplying the exposure risks.

    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 ]
    PPE stockpile to prevent panic.
    For one parent to be able to go to work, we would need face masks, disinfectant, alcohol-gel cleaners etc.  This should go on the one-time equipment list.

    If people do not have masks, the natural reaction is panic, especially when there is no food and you have to get in a long line to buy whatever rationed.

    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 ]
    Another change in taxes that would help
    would be to not charge taxes on inventory or supplies.  Business could stock up on parts that could fail, without penalty in taxes.  Crucial equipment could even get a tax incentive for the company to buy back-up necessities. 

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

    [ Parent ]
    If only I had a magic wand,
    but I don't.

    I have emailed 2 moderators of an external forum about a misleading post referencing the parent to this post. It was may be second or third time my handle was referenced in said forum. After waiting for several days without response, I thought it would be appropriate to post here to make sure the context is not misunderstood.

    The post in another forum was:


    PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:53 pm

    anon-yyz just said yesterday that they favor tax benefits with short windows...carrots on a race track. So, I think we an expect to see those roll out soon.


    Since I was the one who suggested the idea of tax incentives on this forum, the post above was misleading. I feel compelled to clarify. If you haven't seen the post, there is no need to pursue it.  If you have, this is my clarification.

    I wish I have those magical powers that what I wrote as a brain-storming exercise on a flu board becomes policy shortly.

    I am a Canadian from Ontario, and have no work, business, professional or political affiliation with neither any part of the U.S. nor Canadian governments.

    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 ]
    Excerpt from My Web Site

    COMMENT: For what it's worth, here is what I have written on the "How Many Weeks" page on my pandemic prep Web site. I'm hoping all the HTML and hyperlinks transfer OK.

    How Many Weeks?

    So you think it's prudent to begin preparing for pandemic, but how do you figure out how much stuff you need?

    There's a school of thinking among pandemic planning communicators that goes something like this:

    "The general public will panic if we give it to them straight, so so let's break 'em in easy and tell them to stockpile, oh, maybe a week or two worth of essentials."

    But that's...

    A Titanic Blunder

    When the Titanic left port with more than 2,000 passengers and crew, it was equipped with just 20 lifeboats-enough to hold about half the passengers.

    And we all know how that went.

    More than 1,500 people died when the unsinkable Titanic sank.

    But it didn't have to be so.

    The Titanic was designed to carry 32 lifeboats--enough to hold everyone.

    So if the Titanic could hold enough lifeboats for everyone, why didn't it have enough lifeboats for everyone?

    Literally, because the Titanic's owners thought it wouldn't look pretty.

    So Why Is Two Weeks a Titanic Blunder?

    Two weeks is a Titanic blunder because there's no way a pandemic is going to last just two weeks--and every single local, state, and federal official involved in pandemic planning knows it.

    Telling people to stock up for two weeks is like sending the Titanic out to sea with only enough lifeboats for half the passengers.

    Pandemics come in waves--usually two, sometimes three--typically over the course of a 12 to 18 month period. And each wave lasts about six to eight weeks.

    But don't take our word for it.

    Hop on over to read items 1.1.10 and 1.1.11 from the report on the federal government's pandemic flu planning assumptions.

    You Do the Math

    • Two or three waves
    • Each wave lasts six to eight weeks
    • 12 to 18 months for all waves to pass

    If you follow the "Titanic" advice and stock one to two weeks' worth of essentials, you're going to be pretty hungry long about week three.

    That's if you don't die of thirst first.

    Water is even more important than food.

    Your body can only go without water for a matter of days. Unfortunately, power is probably going to be out for some part of each pandemic wave.

    • Public water processing plants won't operate
    • And private well pumps won't function

    Plus, even if there is electricity, cities only stock about two weeks' worth of water treatment chemicals, and they won't likely be able to resupply during a wave due to interruptions in the just-in-time delivery system.

    So, How Many Weeks Should You Plan For?

    Since waves are expected to last six to eight weeks, and since we can plan on at least two waves--while it may not be pretty--we are recommending that people plan to stockpile twelve weeks' worth of food, water, and medicines.

    You don't have to get everything all at once.

    Start with two weeks, then four weeks, then eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve.

    Stocking up for twelve weeks will pay off in many ways.

    • You'll reduce your need to go out in public during pandemic.
    • You'll reduce your chances of bringing infection back into your home.
    • You'll be able to care for yourself and your family even when food, water, and medicines are scarce.
    • If you start now, you'll avoid any price gouging on essential items that will occur closer to an actual outbreak.
    • You'll be able to avoid any public chaos that may occur during pandemic.
    • And with fewer people out spreading disease, the duration of the pandemic hopefully will be shorter.

    If twelve weeks seems overwhelming, take baby steps.

    Even though we think preparing for just two weeks is inadequate, two weeks is better than nothing.

    And you have to start somewhere.

    Either way, let's get busy.

    Let's make sure we have enough lifeboats for everyone.

    nicely put, Edna
    ... I don't see a link to your site?  I'd liked to check it out.

    [ Parent ]
    I'm doing some housework and then will post the link. n/t

    [ Parent ]
    excellent work
    truly. Now, let's share the feedback:

    "but Edna Mode, the water system doesn't shut down on day one. I don't get why 12 weeks of water? why not 6 or even 4? I have well water? why do i need to..." 

    These are the questions that came up on the water issue on the daily kos post. I'll bet that's a common reaction. Thoughts?

    [ Parent ]
    My answer was YMMV
    and you need to consider storage issues (i.e., have the capacity to store now and fill up later before your source goes off line. everyone's circumstances are different.

    In that story, I dropped a lot of links to the prep threads here. Thanks to Will, Kathy and Irene for organizing them.

    [ Parent ]
    YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary?

    I'm still thinking through my response to your question. But off the cuff (and playing devil's advocate), here's about what I'd say...

    I don't actually think that it is practical for the majority of the public to store 12 weeks' worth of water.

    What I do think is practical--and essential--is for each family to have a water plan that consists of a combination of stored water, water collection method(s), and water treatment method(s) to supply both potable and gray water needs for 12 weeks.


    Because even though power and water may not be out for the entirety of each pandemic wave, it is almost assuredly going to be out for long spans of time during each wave.

    Plus, for municipal water customers, just because you can get water from your tap doesn't mean you should. It's entirely possible that the water treatment plant is out of chemicals to treat the water, which means you need a method for treating your water before it is considered potable.

    Regardless of your water source, given that we don't know if there will be two or three (or more) waves, it is prudent to stockpile the means to store and treat or collect and treat enough water for 12 weeks as doing so, assuming prudent rationing of the water resources, will:

    • Get you through one wave no doubts
    • Likely carry you through a second wave in decent shape
    • And possibly even get you through a third wave, albeit tight

    And no, this advice isn't just for city dwellers and others on municipal services.

    Anyone who relies on a private well for water knows better than most that when the power goes down, so does the water supply.

    No matter how abundant your private water supply to your well is, without a well pump, you might as well be in the middle of the desert.

    The options available to those with private wells are broader than for those relying on municipal utilities.

    You can get a generator set up to power your well pump for part of each day and fill water containers for use throughout the day. Of course, generators require highly flammable fuel that's hard to store, and they generate a lot of noise that may attract the attention of others--possibly infected others.

    Assuming the static water level in your well is high enough, you can open your well casing and use a well bucket to draw water. Sure, doing so is labor intensive, may introduce contaminants into your well that may later require professional disinfection services, which could be difficult to find mid- or post-pandemic. Plus, you run the risk of messing up your well pump, rendering it unusable during those periods when there is electricity...

    What's that? Money no object, you say? Then by all means plunk down a couple grand and install a solar powered well pump, PV array, battery bank, and water holding tank to supply you during evening hours or cloudy days.

    Figuring out the means to collect and store 12 weeks' worth of water starting to look a little more appealing now? ;)

    Bottom line is (assuming I understand the acronym), YMMV. Everyone's circumstances are different. And even within the same water plan, seasonal temperature changes may dictate Water Plan A and Water Plan B.

    The point isn't to have 12 weeks' water tucked in the basement. The point is to have the means to tuck it (and treat it) when you need it.

    [ Parent ]
    Dem, if you email tptb a link to this diary,
    would your email be in the 'official record'?  The reason I ask is that if it is in the record, then the decision makers cannot say 'no one thought of that'.

    While I am not familiar with how the bureaucracy works or tax laws, I think we should try to come up with ideas to remove barriers, real or perceived, for people to start prepare now.

    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.

    they read this site
    as far as I know.

    And yes, I also sent this link specifically.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Price Rises
    The poor cannot afford to not prep.

    The poor have always prepped and had to prep- everywhere and always. If our peasant forebears had not prepped for famines, none of us would  be here. IF you know hard times are coming, or could come, you prep. Sacks of oat berries (horse food) would be OK. Is there anybody in the West who couldn't find $1000 to save the lives of there kids? not a person.

    The poor can not afford to not prep. How much is the big sack of rice, that costs $5 today on sale, going to cost after a pandemic hits? If you have any money. If you can find anybody willing to sell it to you.

    1000 years ago you didn't have to tell people tp prep- it is what everybody always did. The times we live in are the anomaly We are like cocky teenagers- bulletproof.

    People, rich and poor, need to prep. I think 12 weeks is the minimum. Read about famines. History books are full of them. Prepping is an opportunity to save money now by buying in bulk and on sale- to have something that may be unavailable in the future. What is there to think about?

    From the CBS grocery article: money quote
    And then there's this money quote from the CBS article on grocery stores in a pandemic:

    Unlike other critical infrastructure sectors like water, energy and health care, the food industry isn't getting much help from state and federal governments when it comes to disaster planning. That puts the burden on individual supermarket chains and wholesalers to deal with a potentially large number of sick workers that could affect store operations and disrupt the food supply.

    Do you want to put your fate in the hands of your local grocery store (chain), and whether or not it's planned ahead?  Do you want your your ability to get food to depend (among many other things) on whether their employees, some teenagers earning minimum wage, show up to work during a pandemic?

    Even assuming all the problems with worker (fuel, parts, fertilizers, etc.) shortages all along the the supply chain improbably worked themselves out, would you really want to go to the store when a vicious contagious disease was out there making a third of everyone in your town sick, and killing an as-yet-unknown percentage the young and the strong?

    Or would you want to keep away from such a good place to pick up the bug?

    Two weeks? You're kidding, right?
    Let's not even talk about SIP.  People who do not believe in SIPing and feel they are invincible will not prep because they think they will be able to buy what they need at any time they need.  These people have never been in a disaster situation and will have a hard time understanding the reasoning behind preparing for a disaster.  If it wasn't for the fact that I used to live in a hurricane-prone area, and now live in extremely earthquake-prone area, I don't think I would understand either. 

    My extended family lives in and around the New Orleans area, and when Katrina and Rita hit, they were all affected in one way or another.  I won't go into the details, everyone knew what happened.  Supply chains were disrupted, water was in short supply, and food was hard to come by.  TPTB were nowhere to be found.  Law and order went out the window, and folks were left to fend for themselves.  The chaos lasted much longer than two weeks.  Much longer. 

    And this all happened in a localized area with the rest of the country, healthy, functioning normally, and able to send assistance.  If everyone is in the same boat, ie. stricken with the same virus, then no help will come, and what's going to happen to that pathetic 2 week supply? 

    I think that what we all suggest in gentle tones to the unsuspecting world out there (12 weeks) is what is the MINIMUM that we are all willing to agree on.  In secret, I have a feeling that most of us fluwikians have a stash of at least 6 months (or more) because we are fully aware of the significance of the waves and fully aware of our own mortalities.

    unless you are delving into it, no one PSA will convince you...
    I just got on the stick today after reading Dems' DKOS posting...have known about BF risks for a while, but somehow never did more than grabbing a few extra cans of stuff at the market and picking up a few extra things when at REI...till today...it was really easy to hit the 2 week mark with one trip to costco...and I agree K-P....somehow it sort of seems dumb to not shoot for 6 months...at least with the really cheap basics of rice, oil, cooking fuel, and some big containers to store water if the s&!t hits the fan...there is always the earthquake and food pantry as alternatives if there is a vaccine for BF before it spreads....

    ....but, I doubt many people are going to do even the two weeks without a really huge wave of PSA's coupled with some serious scare mongering on the part of the MSM...earthquakes are a known risk in LA, and very, very few people have the basic supplies needed to ride out the 10-14 days they will face without services or support when the big one hits....if its not hitting you in the face it is easy to ignore...

    ok...off to bed.

    [ Parent ]
    WHO should announce phase 4 and the President goes on TV.
    If the WHO Pandemic Task Force meets and recommends phase 4, the President needs to be ready to go on TV and announce the 2 tax incentives - one for mitigating infrastructure breakdown, the other for encouraging stocking up of food. I believe that if coordinated properly, the public will respond in a positive way. This would also bring some consistency across the nation.  The local officials will jump on the band wagon and organize training on social distancing skills, home care skills etc without being called a nutcase. Students need to receive training as well. Again, without the President going on TV, the outcome will be spotty across the nation.

    I suspect part of the reason the WHO hasn't announced phase 4 is because of the concerns of some member states being not ready to cope with the public reaction (or even worse, another yawn). With an announcement of individual stockpiling incentives, there will be more confidence that when the pandemic arrives, the nation will be as ready as it can be. This being so, it will remove one more obstacle for the WHO to announce phase 4.

    I say to the government: get all these things ready and push the WHO to announce phase 4. There is no more time to lose.

    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.

    anon.yyz, in your opinion,
    do you think the situation is Phase 4? 

    I do not disagree with what you've said, I just help but see wide spread panic after the President has made his T.V.
    appearence. However, I do think that such an announcement would finally push those who have been on the bench about this to start stocking. But in general I see a mass panic. I do believe the most effective way is to "time release" information to the public, via t.v., and news print. It's obvious most of the information people need in on the internet, but not enough people are getting this vital news. This "time release" needs to start now. Actually, yesterday.

    United we stand: Divided we fall

    [ Parent ]
    I think that might be a good idea-
    if the president were to go on TV NOW and make those announcements.

    What about Oprah, at the end of every show doing a little "How your prepping coming?" bit. Other programs doing "prep tip of the day"  HGTV doing "'Victory against flu' gardens" tips.  Posters at every grocery store -"Did you remember to buy some prep items?"  Maybe set up a rotation of Wikians to constantly post on YouTube and MYSpace and keep blogging and blogging and blogging.

    Maybe people could go round neighborhoods and put those little plastic bags on doorknobs with masks, gloves, and I don't know, maybe even blank death certificates- with a note saying "you're going to need this"

    I agree with Dem that I would be thrilled if everyone prepped for two weeks-thats way doable, even on a shoestring economy budget plan.  But twelve weeks is really what people need to shoot for- and IT CAN BE DONE!  Ive done it on a extreamly tight budget-took about a year, though which is why we need to get these messages out NOW.

    Funny thing is, though, once you get in the groove of prepping, its not that hard and it takes on a snowball effect.  At first its overwhelming-which is why I think people should start two weeks, then a month, then another-keep building.  Now EVERYTIME I set foot in a store I buy a prep item.  It might be a can of soup, or a box of matches-something.  We made a game of it- "I have two dollars left-what can we get for that?"Its amazing how fast you can build up your stock-ONCE YOU GET GOING.

    [ Parent ]
    Perhaps the wording should
    be changed to "start with 2 weeks." The way it's worded now, makes it sound as if 2 weeks will be/is enough.

    Greenmom, well put about the stocking habit.

    United we stand: Divided we fall

    [ Parent ]
    start with 2 weeks...

    [ Parent ]
    I'm sorry, and
    this may get political, but I have to say it.

    Have you seen his approval ratings?  Getting him on TV is probably one sure way of turning people away from pandemic preps.  ;-)

    Choosing the right messenger, the right icon, is very important and is going to be tough.  The CDC has the best public image out of the different agencies, I think, so maybe they can head that.  Or Mike Leavitt.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Mike Leavitt
    I'd go with Mike Leavitt - he's become somewhat of a familiar face, and his approach is very non-threatening.  He has a good delivery style, and a down-to-earth manner.

    Leavitt has been involved in this for a good while, and has spoken in public about it many times.  If he were to stress that things had changed, and people needed to pay more attention and be more proactive, I think he might get more attention than many other people would garner. 

    I'd not even consider any one in the administration with any closer ties to the leadership.

    [ Parent ]
    Mike Leavitt's fine.
    The important thing is to get the incentives out, with a deadline. Otherwise, you can yell at the top of the lungs, and still people will put it off. Then more money needs to be spent on public education. The announcement should have a lot of meat. (Remember where's the beef?) Don't just tell me to prep. Time limited tax incentives work, IMO.

    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 ]
    The drawback to Mike Leavitt...
    ... as a spokesperson is that the general public has never heard of him.  Plus, based on his position, he's required to say he's worried about this, people probably think.  I'm not sure they listen to him any more than they listen to warnings about trans fats being bad for you.  (Some will, sure, but many will shrug it off.)

    Leavitt's been going around to states telling them to prepare, that the feds won't be coming to the rescue, for at least a year now, right?  And outside of flublogia, how much play does that get?  Some media reports, sure, but not steady enough and not in big enough venues, for it to make much of an impact.  Even if he says all the right things, is it going to make CNN, or the nightly news summary?

    I'd say we need some national figures, elected officials or former elected officials, or celebrities, to get the message heard.  Like Clinton and Bush Sr. doing those commercials after the tsunami.  If current elected officials, one from each major party could make the message more credible; it could show it wasn't just "far-right scaremongering" or "liberal nervous-nellie-ing."

    If Leavitt is who we've got, somehow he needs to become more visible and well-known.

    [ Parent ]
    That will only happen

    If the feds put some money into building the Leavitt brand.

    He needs photo ops and sound bites. He needs to be the man with the plan. The quotable quotes. he needs to be in print and television PSAs.

    And the feds can make this happen by making it clear to the MSM (that they have tucked into their shirt pocket nearer thy heart) that this is a priority.

    Tony Snow practically dictates the news lineup on Fox, and CNN isn't far behind. It wouldn't be that hard.

    [ Parent ]
    Right. They could do it.
    I'm not sure how we can, or even how he can.  Not without someone with more clout than him putting him in the spotlight.  It wouldn't have to be someone in the administration; various lawmakers at a national and state level could do it.

    We can ask them to do that, but until one of them gets a bee in his/her bonnet about this bug, they won't.

    Which seems to leave us with a decent spokesperson with not nearly a big enough soapbox.

    [ Parent ]
    Michael Leavitt's Style

    I agree with SusanC and Clawdia that Michael Leavitt is a good spokesperson. He's articulate but not boorish. He cuts to the point. And he comes across as very earnest.

    I actually have spent the entire morning setting up YouTube files of the highlights from Leavitt's interview with Charlie Rose that aired on Feb. 14.

    I have them ready to roll and am waiting for a response from the show's producers to make sure it's OK to use the excerpts for non-commercial purposes.

    They range in length from six seconds to a minute and three seconds. Basically soundbites that no one can claim to be too busy to watch. I placed a link to the Flu Wiki home page in the description of each video.

    Keep your fingers crossed that I get the OK. Once I do get permission, I will post them here for everyone to use.

    But on the matter of whether we even need permission, while it would be nice, Michael Leavitt is a public servant, and PBS is funded with federal dollars. So wouldn't that put this in the same domain as the Dept. of Ed video I put up on YouTube (which, by the way, has had nearly 1,000 views)?

    [ Parent ]
    you still need permission.  ;-(

    BTW, there's also a FW video page and a FWF video link as well as a FW PSA link.

    [ Parent ]
    Dang Susan....
    I promised DemFromCT I would be nice... and here you go setting things up so perfectly.

    I like Greenmoms suggestion... If we were to get all the big name studio's on board... They could / would develop all kinds of creative ways to get the message out... Using tag lines... short clips... themes... Several would probably come up with a cool saying that teens would walk around saying.... OK, THAT might be a bit much.

    Anyway, forget about the national government... Lets get Hollywood on board.

    Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. ~ Margaret Mead

    [ Parent ]
    move along, folks
    nothing to see here...;-)

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

    [ Parent ]
    :) moving on... n/t

    Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. ~ Margaret Mead

    [ Parent ]
    once you get in the groove of prepping, its not that hard and it takes on a snowball effect

    Yup, I agree. When I started prepping my initial goal was 4 weeks worth of supplies. However, it became addictive particularly when I realized how time consuming the process was. I guess in the back of my mind I had assumed that if a pandemic became imminent, I could rush out and buy several additional weeks worth of supplies in one day in a couple of trips to the supermarket. That fantasy was laid to rest by my second shopping trip whem I realized how quickly my car filled up to capacity when I was only buying a few days worth of supplies. Toilet paper alone takes up a lot of space!

    3 months worth of groceries = 13 full grocery carts MINIMUM as there will unlikely to be any eating out at restaurants or picking up of take-out food during a pandemic.

    Then there are other supplies to be considered, related to possible utility disruptions.

    [ Parent ]
    car's capacity was an issue for me too.
    I have a Miata.  This meant that I had to plan my trips out really carefully.  For a month, all I bought was stuff I could cart home in my tiny car, and because I had nothing, much of the early start-up stuff I bought was not on sale, but critical items to have on hand just in case I didn't have any more time to acquire the things I needed at a more leisurely pace.  The big stuff took several trips spread out over a period of a few months, because I only have one day per week to grocery shop since my job consumes most of my time. 

    I remember the day I went to get large 7 gallon water containers.  I could only buy three because I couldn't get any more to fit in my car.  It was hilarious.  I had to put down the top of my Miata to get the containers to fit into the passenger side, and then I had to drive real slow so gusts of wind wouldn't blow the containers away since they were hollow and very light.  :D 

    Online-grocery deliveries also worked well to get the bulkier items to my house, and I timed it at sales points when the items were cheaper so I could get a large order put in to cut down on delivery costs.

    Now, since most of my hard-line supplies are safely tucked away, as far as prep food goes, it's a matter of a few items here, a few items there, and only when there's a massive sale going on.

    I think also, that I seriously started prepping when, in my non-scientific mind, I saw the evidence started to point towards a Category 4 situation, and even though the really smart people at CDC were still telling everyone that it was only Cat 3, I couldn't accept it.  There were too many clusters starting to form, and H2H was starting to happen more and more frequently, especially on the news boards through the babblefish grapevine.  I think that once the CDC upgrades their category listing, more people will take it seriously.  But that's just my humble little opinion. 


    [ Parent ]
    Why wouldn't there be "varying conditions" within the US?
    "United States Residents: The Department of Health and Human Services suggests that US residents prepare two weeks of emergency supplies (food, water, medicines, etc.) in order to shelter-in-place during an influenza pandemic.

    American Citizens Abroad:  Due to varying conditions overseas, Americans abroad should evaluate their situation and prepare emergency supplies accordingly (non-perishable food, potable water, medicines, etc.) for the possibility of sheltering-in-place for at least two and up to twelve weeks.  Water purification techniques such as boiling, filtering and/or adding chlorine to locally available rainwater, swimming pools, lakes, rivers and wells may replace the need to store large quantities of water."


    Varying conditions could mean large cities and no grocery deliveries.  And in winter, no backyard garden.  In suburbs, no grocery deliveries and no gasoline for sale.

    People need help in using their imaginations about this.  What will you eat if restaurants are closed?  If groceries are empty?  It will be like the worst blizzard you ever saw, and the kids are home from school for months.  After you eat the dog (and he's hungry too), what will you do? 

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

    or the dog eats you
    let's not presuppose the outcome. I hear toy poodles have a mean streak. ;-)

    That 2 to 12 would make everyone happier here, no?

    [ Parent ]
    LOL, Dem, I restrained myself from saying that; glad you said it.
    After all, some families have big dogs and little children-scary.

    The 2 weeks shouldn't be advised without "and up to 12 weeks" or "2 weeks, wink, wink, why would you expect life to be normal after 2 weeks?"

    (Or, "Two weeks, if you have a fairy godmother"-to be silly)

    I had a cold and stayed home for 2 weeks.  For just a cold...not avoiding a deadly disease and not laid flat with panflu. 

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

    [ Parent ]
    I hate to admit.....
    I worked a case as a paramedic, involving a toy poodle, and a two week dead owner, who was,........
    Missing certain digits among other parts. it happens in real life. something to think about.

    [ Parent ]
    no, I wasn't kidding...
    ...but that's not for here...

    [ Parent ]
    You know your spouse is on board with prepping when...
    ...you tell him that your friends, who are fellow preppers, have adopted a rescue dog and DH, in full black humor declares, "Mm. Rescue dogs make good eatin'."

    [ Parent ]
    Watch what you say about toy poodles...
    or I'll bring the one that named me "Big Critter" the next time we meet!

    [ Parent ]
    I am reminded of the great computer game, Return to Zork.

    "That's no poodle, that's a hellhound.'

    i will mind my manners.

    [ Parent ]
    WHO Phase/Severity Index/USA Implementation Stage
    Would it make any sense to try and set individual and family preparedness minimums to the Severity Index/WHO Phase/US Implementation Stages as discussed in the Interim Pre-pandemic Guidance on Community Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Mitigation?  Perhaps a staged implementation keyed to both severity and imminence offers a structure we could use to promote staged personal preparedness.

    Start with 2 weeks for Phase 3 and mild pandemic.  You increase your preparedness minimum as it looks more severe and gets closer.

    (And yes, many of us believe we are already past Phase 3 and many of us believe we are already facing the significant enough chance of a servere pandemic to prepare accordingly, but we are not the audience for this message.

    This kind of structure would have two advantages.  First it would increase the minimum preparedness period based on either official announcements or on personal judgment.  Second it would give some sort of structure to take people from 2 weeks (the assumed starting period for a 'goal') to 12 weeks and beyond. 

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

    I don't think so
    I think most people need a certain threshold of risk perception before they will take action.  ie it's not a incremental process, at least not at the beginning.  Adding severity scales when they are still newbies trying to get a handle on what to do may be too confusing.  You may have a lot of people deciding the risk is not urgent enough to take action.

    I think to initiate action, people need strong clear consistent but simple models.  They need to be told the ABC's of what is a pandemic, how many will get infected, what is supply chain failure, and so on.  It will be a while before they can begin to try and understand the differences in implication of the different degrees of severity.

    At least for me, in the 21st century world, we are highly unlikely to have a pandemic that is so mild that people who have not done anything right now can afford to take their time and be half-hearted about it.

    It takes a lot of effort even just to get to 4 weeks preps, including making sure you haven't missed anything.  They are better off if they are fully convinced they need to put all of their energy into it for a while, and not slack off till they have a certain level of preparedness.

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

    [ Parent ]
    2 wks (moderate-maybe sometime) 12 wks (bad-soon)
    I agree with what you say, but when we here can't even agree on the strong, clear consistent model we should use (severity, imminence, impact etc) and government is not willing to use what most of us would consider a bare minimum prep for a moderate pandemic, how can we do that?  We will continue to be in conflict with official recommendations and the consistent message will be lost.

    The layered and tiered planning and implementation formula they decided to use for local governments and community decision makers was (I think) intended to avoid the necessity of having each of them learn the "ABC's of what is a pandemic, how many will get infected, what is supply chain failure, and so on: as you described it.  If that kind of shortcut is necessary for that target audience, will it not be even more necessary for the audience we are trying to reach - the general public?

    The idea of preparing in stages (based on how soon the event might occur and how severe it might be) could allow members of the general public to come to their own conclusions on the current status of those elements while at the same time allowing an official recommendation of a twelve week prep period for a more severe pandemic.  And yet this structure would not require the public officials to adopt the pandemic prediction of 'bad and soon' as the official underlying premise.  If people concluded that on their own they would at least then have an official recommendation for 12 weeks of prep to rely on when trying to convince their spouse or friends. 

    I just don't think that government officials are willing to adopt that 'bad and soon' premise and without it I don't think they feel they can justify the recommendation of more than 2 weeks of prep as a minimum  (at least not within the 'walls of the city' - for example domestic US.)

    And while the general public would be better off if they whole-heartedly started building a 12 week supply of necessities, so far there has been no mad rush towards that goal.  Even if the government announced tomorrow that the gold standard for minimum recommended period for which to prep was 12 weeks - there would still be only a trickle.

    But having the recommendation in place of 12 weeks, to be planned now (make your shopping list) and implemented at Phase 4 announcement relating to H5N1 would maybe, just maybe be a way to get more people to prep wisely once their threshold for doing anything has been met - I don't think we lose anything and may gain quite a bit. 

    In some ways it is like having the government officially set the stage to move from 2 wks to 12 wks but leaving the opportunity for eduation and advocacy to convince people to get out ahead of the emergence of the the actual risk to prepare for 'bad and soon' now. 

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

    [ Parent ]
    the thing to do is announce that it would be
    recommended at phase four, then when you go to phase four, it's not a surprise.

    telling folks in advance what your intentions are is a great idea.

    [ Parent ]
    Precisely. I just wonder
    if TPTB need a bridge to get there from here (2wks) to there (12wks.).

    Basically my suggested route is a conscious, self-administered set-up to allow that transition to occur (and allow some early adapters to get there on their own a bit quicker.)

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

    [ Parent ]
    why would you pre-empt
    a recommendation?  Or pre-announce?

    Or at least I think that is what you are saying, that the government announces now that they will be recommending 12 weeks preps at Phase 4?

    You can also look at that in the opposite way, and ask, why delay the actual recommendation?

    It takes time to build up stockpiles.  The lower your income, the longer it's going to take.  So if the recommendation is for 12 weeks preps so people can survive better in a pandemic, then IMHO it would be more ethical to tell them sooner rather than later.

    In addition, now is the time to go into longer discussions about what all this means, with preparations for NPI and so on.  For me, the message needs to be simple and consistent: a pandemic, even a mild one, is an extremely serious disaster that we must all prepare for.  Here are the reasons why.  Here are the things we are recommending.  And we are recommending that you do as much as you possibly can to the extent your resources allow starting as soon as possible, and build up over time.

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

    [ Parent ]
    bacuse it's better to know
    what's coming so that when it comes, you are not surprised; in fact, you are prepared.

    Doesn't always work, but it's a help.

    [ Parent ]
    It is better to announce 12 weeks prep now.
    A small percentage of the population will take the advice and start doing something about it right away. Others will get the idea in the back of their minds but still will not act. These people will want to see their friends fully prepped before they will act. The demand will go up slightly which causes suppliers to increase the inventory in an orderly way. When the WHO announces phase 4, the government can go on TV and this time make an urgent appeal for the fence sitters to act. So yes, you are both right, some people need mental awareness and hear it a second time before action. But there is no reason to tell people not to start accumulating for 12 weeks now.

    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 ]
    that is an important point
    that an announcement serves as a signal to suppliers to modify their inventory. 

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

    [ Parent ]
    I think it would be a mistake
    2 wks (moderate-maybe sometime) 12 wks (bad-soon)

    to equate the prep recommendation with risk assessment of pandemic likelihood.  Actually, it would be a very bad mistake.

    Think of all the different times on this forum when even a routine announcement gets mis-interpreted as tptb knowing some secret indicating that pandemic is imminent.  Equating recommendations with assessments of imminence will cause all announcements of whatever nature to be interpreted as further risk announcements, however hard you deny it.  That's a sure set-up for panic, rumors, knew-jerk reactions, and widespread loss of trust.

    And complacency when the 'predicted' event does not happen.

    Calm rational understanding of the persistent, near-term, medium-term, and long-term risks is essential to good pandemic preparedness, which is not just about getting how much food or water.  It is also about helping people to make educated choices in the difficult circumstances that might arise in a pandemic.  Lessons are best learnt when people are worried but centered and stable, not panicking and second-guessing everything you tell them.

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

    [ Parent ]
    You are right
    but... some of my best prepping was when I had mini meltdowns because of the news. :)
    Things I was putting off for later that I went ahead and bought and I am glad now that I did buy them.

    The difference is that I follow this news everyday where the general public doesn't. Still there has to be a fine line where people can be goosed a bit to prep but not feel they have done their prepping in vain when things don't happen immediately.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Well, if there is enough time to take it
    from 2 weeks to 12 weeks when the WHO announces phase 4.

    I actually thought about this, and realized it is a chicken-or-egg situation. The WHO would put off announcing phase 4 until the member states are ready to deal with the public - which means the public should have been mentally if not physically prepared for the 12 weeks. The CDC is likely running at full speed to get there. That's why I recommended the big announcement should be (soon) WHO announcing phase 4 and CDC simultaneously recommends upgrading to a 12 week prep level for all, with tax incentives to kick start action. I believe the WHO has been preparing the public since the start of the year, with the Margaret Chan speech on January 22nd to the Executive Board. It takes time for CDC to reach such a step. I can't expect them to do this overnight, but I think if WHO/CDC do not get this going in a month or so, it will miss the spring/tax refund spending capacity of the masses. There is also the question of getting the WHO Pandemic Task Force to meet.

    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 ]
    Phase 4 will be major hurdle
    I think you are right that the pressure building behind the Phase 3 dike has grown so high that they are very concerned that announcement of Phase 4 will unleash some major downstream upset.

    I have read a number of Preparedness Plans that set announcement of Phase 4 as a trigger for some fairly significant committment of resources and for movement of pre-purchased assets into ready positions. 

    Without further frank discussion of the real threat, an unprepared public might find these actions disconcerting and as a result they might direct many anxious questions at the public officials.  While I don't think that would be un-natural or even damaging, public officials are trying to have it both ways (get prepared, but never get scared.)

    The differnece between rational and productive fear and irrational, destructive panic always seems to elude many of our public officials.  But people might come to their own conclusions (as many here have done) about whether Phase 4 has been reached.  For those that don't, at least the announcement would spur them on.

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

    [ Parent ]
    also remember there may be no Phase 4
    it can go directly from 3 to 5 or 6.

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

    [ Parent ]
    There may not be a phase 4 especially if
    very few are prepared, and TPTB gets more and more worried about panic buying that may be caused by a phase 4 announcement. So it is a vicious circle. To break this, TPTB needs to announce a 12 week preparation level now, which will make it easier to announce phase 4, which in turns triggers steps various levels of governments can legally take without further delay.

    Lining up the ducks in a row.

    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 ]
    Lining up the ducks in a row. 

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

    [ Parent ]
    not understanding
    "phase 4, which in turns triggers steps various levels of governments can legally take without further delay."

    are you implying that it is somehow illegal for governments to take action without WHO going to phase 4?
    I realize going to 4 may start some automatic actions, but I don't see that individual governments are prevented from taking "legal actions" by lack of moves by WHO. 

    Be Prepared

    [ Parent ]
    Sorry, bad choice of words. Must have been tired.

    phase 4, which in turns triggers steps various levels of governments can legally take without further delay.


    phase 4, which in turns triggers steps various levels of governments can take within the official pandemic plans without further delay

    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 ]
    Why more is better
    Hi all, just registered at the new forum.  Used to post once in a while at old yeller.

    One of the assumptions behind my prepping is that -- at some point -- there will be panic in the US (where I live).  It could be triggered when high path H5N1 in birds is finally discovered here.  Or it could be caused by the realization that panflu, whether H5N1 or something else, is spreading H2H.  Or perhaps not until hospitals fill up and ts is hitting tf. 

    In any case, sooner or later a lot of people will come to realize the need to stock up on food and water.  All at the same time.  It's the hurricane / blizzard / earthquake scenario: empty grocery shelves, along with masks and gloves and whatever else people think they'll need.  (Speaking of all-hazards, the store shelves could be cleared for some other event.  Doesn't matter why.) Only hurricanes, blizzards and earthquakes are regional. This would not be.

    Dem says "food distribution doesn't stop the moment flu reaches your contiguous state" but if a lot of people stock up all at once THAT will disrupt the supply, given how little food is in the stores at any one time. 

    How much surge capacity for food distribution is there, nationwide?  If people panic and clear the shelves there will be immediate shortages of some things, and possibly shortages of LOTS of things for a while. 

    Same general idea after a wave or quarrantine/sip period. How long will it take to restock everything? (assuming it's not teotwawki, which is a different conversation.  I'm being optimistic in this post). ;)  Again, there are likely to be shortages of some items.  Don't know which items will be affected.  There may be rice but no beans, or vice versa. Items in short supply could be regional, depending on what is produced nearby, or national. 

    This doesn't answer the question of how long to prep for, but it adds an element to the timeline (i.e., the food supply could become erratic both before and after a six-to-eight week pandemic wave). 

    The panic buying beforehand is speculation, maybe it won't happen until things are literally falling apart.  But I'm pretty sure production and distribution systems won't all bounce back between waves.

    Also don't forget to take spoilage and waste into account, the possibility of feeding more people than originally planned, miscalculated quantities, or if people eat more than usual because of stress or hard work.


    yep, panic buying
    or just everyone buying more than they normally would, would empty shelves overnight, in the absence of any other problems!

    We have to factor that into the calculations.  That's why you need more than 2 weeks cushion, for societal stability.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Thanks, Susan. All three things are factors:
    one - panic buying
    two - uneven production and distribution after a wave (so restocking may be ... interesting
    three - how good are we at estimating the true quantities needed?

    [ Parent ]
    12 grocery carts full of food for 12 weeks of supplies
    Hi blackbird

    I agree with your good points. If one family needs a shopping cart full of groceries for one weeks supplies- a family will need 12 grocery carts full of food for 12 weeks of supplies.

    Just imagine 100 million shoppers all trying to get 12 carts full of food, each- all at the same time?? chaos

    After about 6 hours, cans of lychee nuts in syrup and tins of shoe polish will the only supplies left on the shelves.

    Anybody planing on stocking up at the last minute better be big, aggressive and fast- and have 12 helpers to push those carts- and a truck to put it all in. and guards to watch it. good luck

    [ Parent ]
    empty shelves is right.
    DH lived in Poland and left shortly before martial law (around 24 years ago).  When fears of martial law spread, the stores were emptied within days.  There was nothing but empty shelves and some boxes of green tea spread out, and something else - sauerkraut?  People bought everything they could possibly buy.

    I've seen a small example of that in HI when I lived on the Big Island years ago.  I'd go into a store and some vital items that I counted on just weren't there.  Often there were holes in the shelves (missing items).  If i'd ask the employees - the answer was "it didn't come in on the boat.  Maybe in a couple of weeks."

    Now multiply that a thousand fold.  For people with special diets or needs, use your imagination.

    [ Parent ]
    Please explain. What level of response are you predicting from the public?
    I keep hearing this assumption of panic buying emptying our shelves if certain recommendations or predictions are announced. (My comments may be directed at that broader discussion, but I think they are still relevant.)

    I want to challenge that assumption.  I also want to challenge the use of the term 'panic buying' as not accurately describing what is being discussed.

    First, until the pandemic starts bearing down on us like tomorrow's winter storm or hurricane, why does anyone think the very same public that is now ignoring repeated warnings to stock up for 2 weeks will respond to any recommendation for stocking up for 12 weeks by immediately getting religion in great numbers to go buy all of their newly recommended 12 week supply or that they will be prompted to do so if something called Phase 4 is announced by WHO (who?)?

    I don't think the announcement of Phase 4 will greatly impact those who have not already seen the light, especially if the US Pandemic Stage is left at Stage 1 (Unconfirmed Human Outbreaks Overseas).  According to the recently issued Interim Guidance we would not even go into the very first (Alert) Response Step of our national community mitigation response until WHO Phase 5/US Government Stage 2 (Confirmed Outbreak Overseas). (Page 12 of Exec Summary).  None of this sounds like a blizzard or hurricane warning.

    And while the minimal or moderate increase in procurement that can be reasonably expected from such a preliminary announcment may cause some isolated and very temporary shortages of some products, one of the beauties of our just in time economy is its ability to respond quickly to reallocate supply to meet demand (at least while it is operating within its nominal operating conditions - an unlikely state once the pandemic actually begins.) 

    I think the ordering and delivery system would quickly accomodate and address any scattered and incremental increases in purchasing that might occur in advance of an actual announcement of pandemic flu transmission in a US or other North America community. 

    And are we mischaracterizing it to call it Panic Buying?

    When the pandemic touches our shores, for those ill-fated folks who have not yet prepped, there will be urgent and probably poorly implemented attempts to stock up all at once.  That is not panic (not irrational nor an over-reaction) but a justified fear coupled with a procrastinator's punishment.  Neither is it Panic in the sense of being an overwhelming fear.  If it was overwhelming they would not be out trying to buy reasonable types and amounts of preps. They'd be down at the local bar - and even that may have its logical and rational proponents. 

    If we assume that the public will panic we may encourage it where it might not otherwise occur.  Also, the assumption of inevitable or trip-trigger public panic appears to be so ingrained in the minds of our leaders that we need to challenge that assumption where ever we can.

    To change ideas we have to first change the way we talk about them.  And understanding the difference between 'panic' and 'fear' goes to the very heart of some of our most important issues, including whether the government can level with us, whether the public can be brought into the discussions on the values and principles that will set policy and whether we can and should expect our communities to rise to the occasion if we are faced with the reality of a severe global pandemic.

    To paraphrase Yogi Berra  "Survial is 90% mental-the other half is physical."

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

    [ Parent ]
    to clarify
    I didn't mean that people would go into panic buying if and when the government recommends 12 weeks preps.  I do mean, however, that in general, in any context, when people suddenly buy more than they normally do, whether they are actually emotionally 'panicking' or not, you face the potential of shortages that could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I do not think that threshold will be reached by government recommendations of 12 weeks preps, because such recommendations in the absence of specific events are open-ended recommendations in the same vein as 'get more exercise' or 'quit smoking', that most people think they can do tomorrow.

    However, don't underestimate the impact of a Phase 4 announcement from WHO.  There is a very small but significant segment of informed people, like us here, who understand the impact of Phase 4 and how quickly that can become Phase 5 or 6.  I believe that any announcement of Phase 4 will set of a chain of high profile events, including possibly border closures (whether proactive or reactive) and flight stoppages.  And, despite what we say about the media, the concepts of supply chain failure and SIP are really not that difficult to understand.  The media do know, they are just not writing about them.  They will when events start moving in that direction, it's called getting on the bandwagon.

    So I do see a risk of severe destabilization if or when the WHO announces a phase change, which could be temporary if the virus does not start spreading very quickly. 

    The main point that I am making, however, is that the increase in demand can be severe and sharp enough to tip the balance from 'stockpiling' to 'over-buying' to 'panic buying', and exacerbate shortages.

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

    [ Parent ]
    in fact,
    I see an additional benefit in govt recommending 12 weeks sooner rather than later.  It gives the market time to adjust.

    Consumers and suppliers will make judgments, some good, some bad, some totally off the wall, but over time they all learn together, as to what might be useful things in a pandemic.

    Given enough time, commercial innovations may help a lot of people prepare better and more easily than the 'innovators' on this forum!

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

    [ Parent ]
    for example
    let's say if we have 'panic' buying of bleach now.  What will happen is we will get shortages, but manufacturers and suppliers will take notice, and increase production and delivery accordingly.  This is a healthy way of building capacity for items that are not in high demand now but will be in a pandemic, such as disinfectants, masks, water containers, etc.

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

    [ Parent ]
    I believe that any announcement of Phase 4 will set of a chain of high profile events, including possibly border closures (whether proactive or reactive) and flight stoppages.

    Other than border closures for countries that share borders with whatever country is the hot zone and possibly increased trade restrictions, do you forsee additional border closures etc.  I had thought that would not happen on a broader scale until Phase 5. 

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

    [ Parent ]
    just look at the epidemiology, and the politics
    of a pandemic.  For practical purpose, when do you actually know it is Phase 4?

    According to the WHO definition http://www.who.int/c...

    Phase 4 is evidence of increased h2h
    Phase 5 is evidence of significant h2h
    Phase 6 is evidence of sustained and efficient h2h

    Now look at the outbreak tracking in Indonesia and Egypt on this forum and ask yourself these questions:

    What is the difference between 'increased' h2h, 'significant' h2h, and 'sustained and efficient' h2h?  Has the WHO defined these terms?

    How easy is it to determine the difference, even if they have some definition?  When an influenza virus achieves the ability to go efficient h2h, it may do it slowly, or it can very well do it suddenly, overnight.  We just don't know.  But we do know that previous pandemics, the waves that we can actually identify, they all started and spread very quickly, typically about 10 fold increase in cases every week or so.  What is the current lag time between symptom onset and confirmed diagnosis?  I haven't checked recently but a couple months ago, that statistic stood at about 20 days.  Which means about 100 fold increase by the time you have confirmed the first case.  How many cases do we need to confirm for the WHO to suspect 'increased' h2h?  'significant' h2h?  'sustained and efficient' h2h?  At which point how many 1000 fold increase are we talking about?  That's anybody's guess!

    How closely will countries co-operate to let the WHO get realtime informtion and/or publicize that to the world?  Remember that according to the International Health Regulations, WHO can only announce information relating to disease outbreaks, even if those have implications for other countries, with the consent of the country where the outbreaks are occurring. 

    In addition, a lot of countries have pandemic plans that include border closures as options, even the US has not officially taken it off the table.  And, many countries have such options linked to WHO phase changes, making the announcement of phase change a highly sensitive matter.  Outbreak countries will have a lot of reasons to delay and cover-up.  ie WHO announcement will be behind the curve.

    OTOH, officials in other countries who fully understand the epidemiology and the limitations of WHO confirmation know full well that the WHO will be far behind the curve, so they are likely to react very quickly if there actually IS an announcement ie they are likely to interpret any announcement as an indication that events are a lot worse than what is being announced.

    The WHO (in addition to officials of all countries) is fully aware of these political implications, as evidenced by the following.  According to the Jan 27 2006 version of the WHO pandemic influenza draft protocol for rapid response and containment document (which is no longer available online directly from the avian influenza links, may still be available if you can get to some ftp or archive link, but I have a pdf version), page 12

    6.  Pandemic phase assessment

    A WHO decision to change the phase of pandemic alert will be made separately from the decision to initiate a rapid response or rapid containment effort. Since a change in phase  is expected to trigger a number of potentially cascading actions by countries, possibly including travel restrictions and border closures, such a decision will be highly visible and is expected to have significant political, social and economic implications. The decision to declare a phase change will be made by the WHO Director-General after briefings and consultation with WHO technical staff, the WHO Pandemic Task Force, and other advisers as deemed necessary by the Director-General. 

    This paragraph no longer appears in later versions of this document.

    Finally, I can't remember the public source quoted on this forum now, but the WHO has already said (not very loudly) that it is possible that we may not even go through Phase 4, but directly go to Phase 5/6.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Its the WHO Math: 1,2,3,.........6.
    OTOH, officials in other countries who fully understand the epidemiology and the limitations of WHO confirmation know full well that the WHO will be far behind the curve, so they are likely to react very quickly if there actually IS an announcement ie they are likely to interpret any announcement as an indication that events are a lot worse than what is being announced.

    Ok.  I understand what you are saying now and I fully agree. 

    It is a trap I keep falling into, forgetting the new definitions of reality presented by TPTB and occasionally thinking about things like announcements of Pandemic Phase increases as if they existed in a scientific/medical vacuum. 

    The lag will mean that by the time they announce Phase 4, we may be quite further along in the process.

    I came to the conclusion that who had adopted a new Holy Hand Grenade Count back when the Karo Cluster was unfolding in the spring of 2006.

    The May 31 WHO Situation Update contained this language:

    Current level of pandemic alert

    Based on an assessment of present evidence, WHO has concluded that the current level of pandemic alert is appropriate and does not need to change. The level of pandemic alert remains at phase 3. This phase pertains to a situation in which occasional human infections with a novel influenza virus are occurring, but there is no evidence that the virus is spreading in an efficient and sustained manner from one person to another.

    (Emphasis added.)

    Of course effecient and sustained human transmission is not the threshold for Level 4, but the threshold for Level 6.

    I remember that two high ranking officials from WHO indicated that they would not raise the level past 3 until the virus had attained efficient transmission and sustainability. That implies there will be no Level 4 or Level 5.

    They were also going to revise the definition of the Phases after the Karo Cluster (figured it would take a few weeks) and I don't remember if they ever did (or whether they decided to share them with the public.)

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

    [ Parent ]
    for those of you who didn't know this before
    apologies if this comes as a shock.

    also, slight correction to above post: 10 fold increase in cases a week, 20 day delay means 1000 fold increase in cases by the time the first case is confirmed, not 100.  In reality, it is likely to be somewhere in between 100-1000, IMO.

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

    [ Parent ]
    also, what is a 'border' anyway?
    in the modern age of aviation?

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

    [ Parent ]
    an announcement that if we go to phase 4, 12 weeks
    is recommended is an announcement now.

    [ Parent ]
    In your opinion Dem,
    how close to phase 4 do you think we are?

    United we stand: Divided we fall

    [ Parent ]
    put it in context
    nothing much has changed, and by the old definition, I think we've arguably been in phase 4 for a year or so, ever since the Turkey outbreak.

    That does not represent an increased risk assessment over the last few months or weeks.

    [ Parent ]
    but I do not really know
    because we do not really understand this virus as well as we might.

    [ Parent ]
    Yes, true. We don't.
    IMO, we should already be at phase 4. I just think WHO is very reluctant to announce it. If they were to announce it now, perhaps it would get people off their duff and prep.
    Caution on the side of err?

    What would be the right thing to do? Wait until it goes H2H? Too late?
    Announce now while it's still a raging storm? Too early?

    United we stand: Divided we fall

    [ Parent ]
    they can't announce it
    unless and until they have the evidence.  As provided by laboratory confirmation, which depends on the vigilance in testing of the member country and their willingness to share that information.  The WHO has no jurisdiction to go in and test and investigate anything without the invitation of the host country.

    If you look at how long it took the Karo cluster to be confirmed and announced, you will understand their limitations too.  I know a lot of people won't agree, but in terms of how the institution works (or doesn't work) it is not the 'fault' of WHO staff that such limitations exist.  The problem lies in the nature of national sovereignty and the severe limitations that international diplomacy places on global public health policy implementation.

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

    [ Parent ]
    are you saying
    that there are plans in place to recommend 12 weeks of supplies to people when Phase 4 is announced?  (And could the system handle that pressure all at once?)

    [ Parent ]
    No, I don't know of any such plans
    or any plans at all.  I only know what I want to suggest.  ;-)

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

    [ Parent ]
    I'm in favor of 12 weeks prep recommendation now, and not wait for any WHO announcements.  It will cause some people to start prepping.  Whatever the percentage, these people will need to understand what the risk is about (before they take action).  In the process, they go through all the adjustment reactions, and so on.

    Consider those of us who have been following this for a while, imagine you hearing about Phase 4 now, compared to when you first had this big revelation about the dangers of a pandemic and you were completely unprepared for it, physically and mentally, don't you think you can react in a far calmer manner than if you were only suddenly realizing the enormity of the implications?

    The higher the percentage of people who have started the process of prepping, the less the likelihood of panic and therefore panic buying when things suddenly change.

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

    [ Parent ]
    what you have just written here is what I hope TPTB will read at FW, and hopefully they will pause for a moment to ponder your common sense logic and be influenced by it. 

    [ Parent ]
    also, as 'proof' of case
    think of all the different times when people posted how they went into a buying spree whenever the Indonesian news got iffey. 

    That's an entirely predictable natural response.  So I do think that panic buying is likely at the very beginning of a pandemic and/or when WHO announces Phase 4.  Which can be mitigated by having more people prepping now.

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

    [ Parent ]
    A late-night comedian made a joke about a (supposed) toilet paper shortage
    a few years ago, and a shortage developed the next day.  iirc.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Johnny Carson
    it it is a true story.

    It actually all started as a joke. Johnny Carson was doing his typical NBC Tonight Show monologue on December 19, 1973.


    [ Parent ]
    Better to have an unlikely shortage, real or perceived, before phase 4 announcement than after. n/t

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

    [ Parent ]
    Better to be a Flying Wallenda while we still have a net. n/t

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

    [ Parent ]
    Close Encounters

    Even if the grid stays up and the stores have food, anyone who breaks their SIP to venture out to a store will risk close encounters of the viral kind.  The best way to eliminate that risk is to SIP for the duration.  Since we will probably experience shortages of a wide variety of goods and services long after the pandemic has passed, it makes good sense to invest heavily in food, toiletries, OTC medications, and household supplies.  A six month supply of everything you could possibly need should be considered minimal.  After you have acquired a six month supply, you need to begin working on the next six months.

    You are running out of time.


    in theory
    delivery of goods and/or staying 6 feet away allows business to still be conducted. Not everyone will stay in SIP mode.

    [ Parent ]
    not necessarily
    although yes, you can avoid all risk by total SIP. 

    OTOH, it's important to note the extent to which partial compliance in multiple NPI's can reduce the AR, so that if you really need to go out

    a) there will be fewer people around, and
    b) the chance that those you meet are infected is much lower.

    Using the figures here http://www.newfluwik... and rounding up to 40% CAR.  If you don't normally use public transport, you might on an average day meet maybe 30 people close enough to risk infection, which means you would get 12 exposures.  But if you have 30% overall societal compliance, this brings the no of people you meet down to 21 instead of 30.  But the AR is also reduced by this 30% compliance, from 40% to 4% (3.9% in the table).  Which means you've now got 21  x 4% = 0.8 exposures.

    0.8 exposures instead of 12 at 30% compliance.  I don't know about you, but I call that d*rned good!

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

    [ Parent ]
    "0.8 exposures instead of 12 at 30% compliance"

    Now add a layer of a simple mask, and some distance (as in asynchronous transfer of goods), and it would make a difference.

    It makes it even more important to try it!

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

    [ Parent ]
    CDC has already given guidance for 12 weeks
    In the press conference announcing the Interim Guidance, this was said, and was widely quoted in several news reports:


    The report spells out actions communities, families and employers need to take to prepare for all these eventualities. Cetron admitted being ready to act on these recommendations will require a lot of preparatory work.

    "I think you have to be prepared for a category 5," he said flatly. "That's hard. It's not easy stuff to do. There's nothing in here that's really easy."

    "I think the only thing that's going to be harder than preparing for a category 5 pandemic is going to be facing the consequences of an unmitigated category 5 pandemic. That will be intolerable."

    There was no outcry from the public that for a category 4 or 5, it would be ridiculous to close schools for 12 weeks. There were no complaints from the press about the comment to prepare for a category 5, from which any reasonable person would be able to agree to a need for the kids and by extension the families to shelter-in-place for 12 weeks.

    It seems to me the CDC is probably looking for the right media to promote 12 weeks at category 4 without being disrupted by the naysayers.

    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.

    good old Marty
    yep, he's great!  Not pulling any punches.  Now if only they let him out more often to talk to the public....

    " the consequences of an unmitigated category 5 pandemic....will be intolerable."

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

    [ Parent ]
    I'll translate for him
    " the consequences of an unmitigated category 5 pandemic....will be intolerable."

    If you don't prepare for 12 weeks, when TSHTF, you are scr*wed.

    Now, is that better.

    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 ]
    An Osterholmism
    you are scr*wed.

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

    [ Parent ]
    yes, but I think he meant more than that
    personal preps, I mean.  I think he sees the big picture very clearly.  Read his bio http://www.mcmm.ca/P... and watch his excellent webcast on emerging infectious diseases in a globalized world The World and Its Moving Parts: An Overview

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

    [ Parent ]
    CDC guidance
    Might as well be in Sanskrit for all the good it will do for average Joes and Janes.

    Need the info out (Loudly, clearly, unmistakeably, by someone Americans trust[that could be a problem]) before all we have left is 2 weeks to prep.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Rationale for going beyond two weeks
    There are many great points throughout this diary but I think there are a few that need to be called out from a rationale standpoint.

    1]  Some people cannot or will not prep for the two week recommedation.  The more people who move beyond this point with extended preparations will ease the burden on supply chain and communities to deal with those in need during outbreak.

    2]  Twelve Week recommendation will drive early demand now on more gradual curve to allow market to respond.  Many people will decide to wait for crisis to strike(or get close) under belief that they can accumulate two weeks of supplies in one carload and on one paycheck if need be.  Twelve weeks will require more proactive behavior.

    3]  Twelve Week recommendation will drive changes in retailing vis a vis pack sizes which can be more cost efficient. Case sales at retail level from canned goods to HBA products will be cheaper and quicker to move through  market channels.

    4]  Creating ongoing demand for long-shelf like products may spur additional product development in nutritional no/low prep foods.

    5]  Twelve week recommedation broadens supply list significantly especially when it comes to medicines, first aid products, food preparation needs, light, etc.  Things that general populous may think they can go without for two weeks or have low chance of needing but may certainly need during a three month time period.  Examples: light bulbs, band-aids, feminine products, salt...the list goes on and on.

    excellent, excellent!!
    thank you.

    [ Parent ]
    Dem, were you living in my head? lol n/t

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

    [ Parent ]
    excellent points
    With a 12 week recommendation, we may end up with an eventual preparedness of say 2-4 weeks average a few months from now.  With 2 week recommendation, we are closer to zero preparedness!

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

    [ Parent ]
    Letter to our state health department
    For what it's worth, here's an email I sent to the folks who put up the Colorado Pandemic Flu Q&A on the state's website.  In response, they pulled the original Q & A page, and I believe they are going to post a 2-12 week range, though it's not on the web yet.  It may give you some ideas for your own letters, though there's nothing new to you in what I sent.

    Dear Colleagues,

    I am concerned about the answer to the following question on the state's Pandemic Influenza Q & A website, as I think it risks leaving Colorado families and households seriously underprepared in the event of a severe influenza pandemic.

      "What should an individual do to prepare?

      ? To be ready, people should prepare a home emergency kit with food, water, medicine and first aid supplies to last about a week."

    As the Community Mitigation guidance put out by CDC last week says, a severe pandemic may last up to 12 weeks in a given community.  There is likely to be disruption in the production and distribution of food supplies, and even greater disruption in the supplies of prescription drugs, 80% of which are produced or made from ingredients produced off-shore.  It is also likely that only a minority of our populaton will do advance purchasing/preparing, and others will wait until the last minute.  (According to CDC's Barbara Reynolds, Red Cross reports about 23% of the population prepares for disasters [such as hurricanes] in advance, and 77% wait until the last minute.)

    Perhaps a range of preparedness options could be offered to web site visitors, from a minimum of at least two weeks of food supplies, if possible, to as long as 12 weeks, the long end of a pandemic period in their community. It should also be emphasized that many people who could afford to prepare will not choose to do so, and that many simply cannot afford these preparations, so that having additional supplies would be very helpful.  Those taking critical prescription drugs should be targetting a period of about 3 months supply, although it is unlikely that insurance would cover these costs.

    While a week of supplies would certainly be very helpful for a blizzard or power outage, it seems terribly inadequate for a severe influenza pandemic.

    Thanks for considering these suggestions.

    Good news. Please keep us posted. Thanks in advance! n/t

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

    [ Parent ]
    thank you
    This serves as a good model for citizen activism.

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

    [ Parent ]
    from the Journal of the Plague Year by D. Defoe

    Walrus posted this on Monotreme's blog

    "And here I must observe again, that this necessity of going out of our houses to buy provisions was in a great measure the ruin of the whole city, for the people catched the distemper on these occasions one of another, and even the provisions themselves were often tainted; at least I have great reason to believe so; and therefore I cannot say with satisfaction what I know is repeated with great assurance, that the market-people and such as brought provisions to town were never infected. I am certain the butchers of Whitechappel, where the greatest part of the flesh-meat was killed, were dreadfully visited, and that at least to such a degree that few of their shops were kept open, and those that remained of them killed their meat at Mile End and that way, and brought it to market upon horses.

    However, the poor people could not lay up provisions, and there was a necessity that they must go to market to buy, and others to send servants or their children; and as this was a necessity which renewed itself daily, it brought abundance of unsound people to the markets, and a great many that went thither sound brought death home with them. "

    Clark--which book did that quote come from?
    I think I recognize the writing style, but not sure of the title...

    [ Parent ]
    Never mind...
    I shoulda read your Subject title first! :-O

    [ Parent ]
    Making prepping easier?
    Most of this thread has properly been focused on getting government warnings to families to prep in case of a pandemic flu. But I wonder if we might try another approach. If we sold foil and plastic lined bags or pails of rice with nitrogen injected for sale in neighborhood supermarkets, it might communicate to the majority more effectively than an ad/PSA program. Or cases of cans of food/soup, with far-out expiration dates predominantly displayed. If there were supplies of prepping items at a reasonable cost, more people might wonder WHY they are for sale. Get the Red Cross (?) to suggest a 12 week supply? Put that in front of the bags/pails/cases, and you are at least pushing from the other side. Use commercial placement as a weapon to raise awareness. Maybe we should be talking to Walmart, Costco, Star and Safeway instead of HSS and CDC?

    [PSA = public setrvice announcements]

    not instead of...
    in addition to.  ;-)

    we can multitask.

    [ Parent ]
    Making preping attractive to manufacturer and retailer
    In addition to major retailers, the idea of a preping multipack case needs to be put in front of manufacturers. Similar to MRE assortment packaging, perhaps other manufacturers can adopt similar strategy marketing assorted goods in single case as "12 meals for family of four".
    Campbells soups already sells "casarole soups" with cream of chx and cream of mushroom in single package...Why not six each of tomato, chx noodle, vegetable, beef in a single shrink wrapped case as a "Larder Starter".
    Endorsements from Red Cross or others as recommended for pandemic prep would also be great communication/marketing tool (meets minumum 2 year shelf life or such). 

    [ Parent ]
    see John Barry comment by fredness
    Pilot Program?
    Dem - Yes we should do both of course, government AND grocery stores. Anything that gets people's attention. Is it possible to try this out in a state or county? Is there a place (Seattle?) where the government is ahead of most and would a foundation or government be willing to help stores in product placement - maybe offer to buy up what is not sold? Would the local Red Cross cooperate? If we tried out some of these ideas, maybe we could see what works. We need to go beyond trying to persuade friends and family, but in a systematic way.

    sure, Seattle seems like fertile ground. So does NY and SF.

    [ Parent ]
    Supply and Demand - Economics 101
    Smokes bring big bucks in Calif. prisons

    LANCASTER, Calif. - California's ban on tobacco in prisons has ignited a burgeoning black market behind bars, where a pack of smokes can fetch up to $125.

    Prison officials who already have their hands full keeping drugs and weapons away from inmates now are spending time tracking down tobacco smugglers, some of whom are guards and other prison employees. Fights over tobacco have erupted: at one Northern California prison, guards had to use pepper spray to break up a brawl among 30 inmates.

    Pandemic Recovery

    This may seem a little dark, and it certainly is not for everyone, but after my wife and I got our family prepped for a 12 month SIP, we began to prep for a 12 month pandemic recovery period.  Our plan for the recovery assumes that there will be product shortages, inflation, and financial hardships that will linger for many months after the pandemic has passed.  Our plan also assumes that one or more of the bread winners in our family will not survive the pandemic.  Therefore, we are working on a plan that will allow our two college-age children to carry on without us as comfortably as possible for as long as necessary.

    Naturally, this plan goes way beyond food, seeds, hardware, toiletries, clothing, and household supplies.  It also takes into account health care, finances, education, and home maintenance.  As such, we are preparing a whole lot of documents that will contain instructions, advice, and encouragement.

    As you can imagine, the challenge is rather daunting and somewhat depressing, but with every step we find it more and more rewarding.  Presently, our goal is to become as self-sufficient as possible for a period of 24 months.  Of course, I still advocate that each family plan for a 6 month SIP.  After that, however, they should plan for the next 6 months, et cetera, until they reach a comfort level. 

    Even if the entire household survives intact, each family should address the very real possibility that they will emerge from the pandemic with a severely reduced income, or with no income at all.

    You are running out of time.


    Why more than 2 weeks?
    Excellent diary Dem.

    My rationale are:

    1. Anticipate signifcant food shortages.

    2. Anticipate decreased time to shop due to increased time spent on: work, on laundry (sick persons, hand washing vs machines) on food prep when unable to use standard preparations ie beans and rice vs take-out; cooking over wood/BBQ/coals instead of gas/electric/microwave. Decreased energy to shop due to anxiety/illness.

    3. Anticipated decreased income by sick time, care for others, workplace closed, death of bread winner(s).

    4. School closures-children eat 10 meals week+ at school.

    5. Minimize unneccessary exposure(s)caused by shopping. More than one store per trip will be needed due to shortages.

    6. Inability of stores being able to manage cash only purchases.

    7. Dangers of leaving home or going home w/food,being seen with cash.

    8. Regional/local road closures.

    9. Loss of vehicle used to shop-busses/trolley closed;cars-gas shortages, repo'd due to inability to make payment.

    10. Food banks will be closed. Most open on the 15th of the month as it is now.

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

    We may need 12 weeks of supplies, but not now.
    When Phase 5 occurs, will it be too late to stock-up in the United States?

    I doubt it. The East Coast is often battered by storms, but most only stock up when they're certain they'll be hit in a couple days, or in the year or two after a big one. The West Coast is no different--few stock up for quakes.

    If/when it's clear we're in Phase 4, I plan to increase my stockpile from 4 to 8 weeks. If/when it's clear we're in Phase 5, I plan to increase my stockpile to 12 weeks. Why "panic buy" 12 weeks of supplies now? Calmly purchase all you need when you know a pandemic's really on its way.

    12 weeks of supplies
    When Phase 5 occurs, will it be too late to stock-up in the United States?

    When people rush out before a New England storm, they're expecting to be stuck at home for a day or two, maybe a week tops. Not 3 months. Those last minute pandemic-prep buyers will be buying much more than blizzard-prep buyers.

    When we hit Phase 5, millions and millions of people will be trying to get their stockpile up to 12 weeks, and many will not have already acquired even 2 weeks of supplies.

    It might be possible to stock up then, if there is enough time between Phases 4, 5, and 6. But I don't want to do it then. I hate supermarkets crowded with angry, frustrated people. Even 3 days before Thanksgiving, the supermarket parking lot is crowded to overflowing, with cars parked illegally at the ends of rows, with grocery carts hard to find in the store itself because half of them have been abandoned in the parking lot. I'd rather buy 3 months worth of cold cereal, a 20-lb bag of rice, and a lot of dried beans now, than face pandemic-fueled crowds knowing that I still had to buy a month's worth of food or more.

    And remember we don't know how long it will be between the announcement of phase 4 and the announcement of phase 5 and phase 6. It could happen very quickly. We could go directly from 3 to 5. Or from 3 to 6. If we know anything about H5N1, we know it has baffled virologists at every turn.

    And I think most people here at FluWiki (and elsewhere on other flu blogs) think Phase 4 should have been announced last spring after the Karo cluster.

    It can't hurt that much to plan ahead and stock up now. You don't have to consider it "panic" buying. Consider it "I hate angry crowds" buying.  :-)

    [ Parent ]
    Gardner, it takes a heckalot of food to get enough for 12 weeks.
    When we hit Phase 5, millions and millions of people will be trying to get their stockpile up to 12 weeks, and many will not have already acquired even 2 weeks of supplies.

    Others here have pointed out (and I will also add my own experience on this) that it takes much more than one or two shopping trips to get 12 weeks worth of food into your house.  I think we agreed that it was at least a year for about six months worth of preps, so we would have to figure about 6 months of preps for 3 months of food. 

    Besides, the sheer amount of food needed for 12 weeks for a family of four would not fit into the average household car.  And that's assuming you can get the right kinds of foods during panic buy as opposed to just grabbing whatever you can lay hands on at the supermarket when TSHTF.

    Agreed about phase four.  I still believe it should be phase 4 and have been planning as if WHO has already announced phase 4.  I'm not dumb, even though some may thing otherwise.  I know what the details of phase 4 include, and after following flu wiki like a hawk, I know that it's where we're supposed to be, not where it's politically correct to be.

    [ Parent ]
    it takes a heckalot of food to get enough for 12 weeks.
    Boy, you're not kidding there. I thought i had 12 weeks worth but a detailed inventory showed it was only enough for 4-6 weeks.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Grace, you still have time.
    Go grab more stuff while everything's still normal and prices are still low.

    [ Parent ]
    Planning to do so......

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

    [ Parent ]