Prepared Citizens

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

  • Previous Posts

  • Michael Osterholm Quotes:

    “What we need to be doing now is the basic planning of how we get our communities through 12 to 18 months of a pandemic.”

    “Ninety-five out of 100 will live. But with the nation in crisis, will we have food and water? Are we going to have police and security? Will people come to work at all?”

    “It's the perfect setup. Then you put air travel in and it could be around the world overnight.”

    “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. 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.”

  • US Health and Human Services

    Secretary Michael Leavitt

    "If there is one message on pandemic preparedness that I could leave today that you would remember, it would be this:

    Any community that fails to prepare with the expectation that the federal government or for that matter the state government will be able to step forward and come to their rescue at the final hour will be tragically wrong,

    not because government will lack a will, not because we lack a collective wallet, but because there is no way that you can respond to every hometown in America at the same time."
  • Joseph C. Napoli, MD of Resiliency LLC

    "I think a new meaning is evolving for resiliency and resilience.

    In some contexts the words are being used to mean the strength to resist being impacted by an adverse event rather than either the “capacity to rebound” or “act of rebounding” from adversity.

    Therefore, resiliency and resilience appear to be assuming the meaning of fortitude, that is, “the strength or firmness of mind that enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage or to bear pain or adversity without despondency” as defined in the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.

    If so, we are coming full circle with science accepting a religious moral virtue – fortitude – as written in the Bible’s Book of Wisdom"

  • Faith Based Resources

    John Piper
    Jonathan Edwards
    Pink-Saving Faith
    Pink-Christian Ethics

    "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves"
    (2 Corinthians 13:5).

    Why Faith Groups Must Care

    When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper


    Be Not Afraid
    Overcoming the fear of Death
    by Johann Christoph Arnold

    While I am not a professional journalist, I do embrace the code of ethics put forth by the Society of Professional Journalists and the statement of purpose by the Association of Health Care Journalists and above all else I strive to "do no harm".

  • Recent Comments

    preparedcitizens on Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH…
    bryansail33 on Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH…
    preparedcitizens on Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH…
    bryan on Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH…
    Catherine Mitchell on What Are You Throwing Awa…
  • Definitions

    from Wikipedia

    Pandemic Influenza

    An influenza pandemic is an epidemic of the influenza virus that spreads on a worldwide scale and infects a large proportion of the human population.

    In contrast to the regular seasonal epidemics of influenza, these pandemics occur irregularly, with the 1918 Spanish flu the most serious pandemic in recent history.

    Pandemics can cause high levels of mortality, with the Spanish influenza being responsible for the deaths of over 50 million people.

    There have been about 3 influenza pandemics in each century for the last 300 years. The most recent ones were the Asian Flu in 1957 and the Hong Kong Flu in 1968.

    Seasonal Influenza

    Flu season is the portion of the year in which there is a regular outbreak in flu cases.

    It occurs during the cold half of the year in each hemisphere.

    Flu activity can sometimes be predicted and even tracked geographically. While the beginning of major flu activity in each season varies by location, in any specific location these minor epidemics usually take about 3 weeks to peak and another 3 weeks to significantly diminish.

    Individual cases of the flu however, usually only last a few days. In some countries such as Japan and China, infected persons sometimes wear a surgical mask out of respect for others.

    Avian (Bird) Flu
    Avian influenza,

    sometimes Avian flu, and commonly Bird flu refers to "influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds."

    "Bird flu" is a phrase similar to "Swine flu", "Dog flu", "Horse flu", or "Human flu" in that it refers to an illness caused by any of many different strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host.

    All known viruses that cause influenza in birds belong to the species: Influenza A virus.

    All subtypes (but not all strains of all subtypes) of Influenza A virus are adapted to birds, which is why for many purposes avian flu virus is the Influenza A virus (note that the "A" does not stand for "avian").
    Adaptation is non-exclusive.

    Being adapted towards a particular species does not preclude adaptations, or partial adaptations, towards infecting different species.

    In this way strains of influenza viruses are adapted to multiple species, though may be preferential towards a particular host.

    For example, viruses responsible for influenza pandemics are adapted to both humans and birds.

    Recent influenza research into the genes of the Spanish Flu virus shows it to have genes adapted to both birds and humans; with more of its genes from birds than less deadly later pandemic strains.

    H5N1 Strain

    Influenza A virus subtype H5N1, also known as A(H5N1) or simply H5N1, is a subtype of the Influenza A virus which can cause illness in humans and many other animal species.

    A bird-adapted strain of H5N1, called HPAI A(H5N1) for "highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of type A of subtype H5N1", is the causative agent of H5N1 flu, commonly known as "avian influenza" or "bird flu".

    It is enzootic in many bird populations, especially in Southeast Asia. One strain of HPAI A(H5N1) is spreading globally after first appearing in Asia.

    It is epizootic (an epidemic in nonhumans) and panzootic (affecting animals of many species, especially over a wide area), killing tens of millions of birds and spurring the culling of hundreds of millions of others to stem its spread.

    Most references to "bird flu" and H5N1 in the popular media refer to this strain.

    As of the July 25, 2008 FAO Avian Influenza Disease Emergency Situation Update, H5N1 pathogenicity is continuing to gradually rise in wild birds in endemic areas but the avian influenza disease situation in farmed birds is being held in check by vaccination.

    Eleven outbreaks of H5N1 were reported worldwide in June 2008 in five countries (China, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam) compared to 65 outbreaks in June 2006 and 55 in June 2007.

    The "global HPAI situation can be said to have improved markedly in the first half of 2008 [but] cases of HPAI are still underestimated and underreported in many countries because of limitations in country disease surveillance systems".

    Pandemic Severity Index

    The Pandemic Severity Index (PSI) is a proposed classification scale for reporting the severity of influenza pandemics in the United States.

    The PSI was accompanied by a set of guidelines intended to help communicate appropriate actions for communities to follow in potential pandemic situations. [1]

    Released by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on February 1, 2007, the PSI was designed to resemble the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

    From the Massachusetts Health and Human Services


    refers to separating people who are ill from other people to prevent the spread of a communicable disease.


    refers to separating and restricting the movement of people who have been exposed to a communicable disease and are not yet ill.
  • Additional Information

    Creative Commons License
    Prepared Citizens by Catherine "Jackie" Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
    Based on a work at

    The posts on this site are subject to change. Mostly due to errors in spelling or grammar. I never said I am a professional journalist. I have new appreciation for the job that they do. Also, not all comments made by others will make it onto this site. Comments that advertise a commercial product do not get posted most of the time.

    View blog top tags
  • standingfirm

Getting your family to prepare is crucial…

Posted by preparedcitizens on February 10, 2008

We are living in intense times. We are being told by many experts that we need to prepare, not for one threat but it seems a constant barrage of threats are out there. An “all-hazards” preparation is crucial. There are also specific threats that loom large which require a bit more specialized or longer term preparations. So right now we say “Get Pandemic Ready”.

An influenza pandemic could truly start at any time. One week, one month, one year.

There really is no good reason to NOT prepare. Mention a reason and it sounds more like an excuse. But what does it mean…prepare? There are many layers to this and I have some wonderful places and people to share with you.

So prepare we must and prepare we will.

My family is older now and some are doing their own preparing. My son is a security guard and a volunteer firefighter. A daughter is getting ready for med school and a son in the air force reserves, one daughter works in a bank…they are on their own to prepare. And for the most part, they are. But it took some educating from mom so that they knew why they needed to.

We are every day folks who are living in a little town who have a lot of hope that we can survive waves of pandemic influenza by having three months of food, water and medicines in our home and also having the knowledge of how to treat illnesses that we may encounter over a period of time when hospitals and clinics may be unavailable to us. The “flubie community” has certainly created a virtual library of information that can be printed out and kept in a file for a time when we are “on our own”.

I can’t say how many “little emergencies” have come up where I have been extremely pleased to have my prep supplies on hand. I have not purchased many food stores up until recently. I never felt that the pandemic was quite so close as it seems to be now with the recent news. Now I am concentrating on building up that supply. It is tough, we live pay check to paycheck like so many other folks these days. Sometimes there just isn’t enough to go around. Yet stocking up slowly does work. A can or two here or there adds up quickly…but we have to keep at it. 

Experts say a pandemic is inevitable.

For me this all started back in 1997…

We had a few hens that we kept as a homeschool project. It was in 1997 that some died all at once. I started to search for the cause and stumbled upon H5N1. I don’t think that my chickens died of avian influenza; but stumbling upon AI increased my awareness of pandemic influenza. I did a bit of research and was concerned about what I was learning. 

The entire subject was on a back burner from 1997 until 2003. In 2003 two people from Hong Kong were diagnosed as having had H5N1 after traveling to Fujian province. Avian viruses isolated in humans, no more back burner. The clock began ticking down.

One search led to another. More research, led to more concern….and then outright fear of what this virus can do. I respect the power behind volcanoes, tornadoes and hurricanes as something to avoid encountering and it’s the same with h5n1.

Along the way…

I have met some of these amazing people in my “travels” on the net. We share this planet with engaging and wonderful people. I am a non-scientist but have been brought up to speed on both ethical dilemmas and physical constraints. I sought the information and truly learned how to take good care of my family—from birth to death really.  We have shared theories and what ifs…we have shared our lives. I have met so many people who come from all walks of life who have passionately sought to help others survive whatever may challenge us ahead.

Now I seek ways to disseminate the knowledge that has been collected and share it in new and novel ways. This information is too good to just keep on the net. It simply must find its way into the broader community.

What I want to share here is how my life has truly been blessed by heroes like Readymom and all the other Ready moms and Ready dads that make up the communities in each and every forum like P4P, Flutrackers, Fluwiki and PFI. How efforts like Bird Flu Breaking News, and so many others keep us informed and how people like Siam, Pixie, Corn, Sand, Candles, Jo and so many others have brought us the news which is then explained to us by SophiaZoe and another entirely different group of people, too numerous to name who explain the nuances to us non-scientific types.

After all these years we have become close friends even though we have not always seen eye to eye, there is a camaraderie that has developed. Together we have learned how to teach our families to better prepare.

Along this journey I have read the words of, and one I have even had the honor to meet, Dr. Michael Osterholm at CIDRAP, Secretary Mike Leavitt, and Dr. Susan Chu and Dr. Greg Dworkin of fluwiki

Our community has been so fortunate to have the wisdom of the Reveres, I have been blessed in so many ways by people like Mike Coston at Avian Flu Diary, who taught us to adopt an essential worker and provided some essential tips and wisdom, and Mike continues to enlighten us. SophiaZoe at “A Journey Through The World of Pandemic Influenza” has been a friend and support, Scott McPherson, Patrick Duggan and Crawford Killian have explained and clarified so much. The admins at P4P and the moderators there too, have done an amazing job building community?  We have debated issues and shared our points of view. I have found generous, caring, and giving people. MaryM, Argyll, Hope4Us, and Tamarin and med….hang in there med.

Some of us have even shared some “bad experiences” along the way allowing us to learn a little more about resiliency.  It is true that “into each life some rain must fall.”

So now time marches on and so must we.

We learn then we teach and we expand that circle…

We have come a long way baby! My family is getting ready.

It is time to keep safe “out there”.  Those willing to learn will remember to stay safe. My family members are now my partners.

We now use hand sanitizers when we do not have access to soap and water. Especially when we are out and are about to eat or drink or will be putting our hands near our eyes, ears, nose or mouth.

At home or when we can we use soap and water, we now lather up like we have on “white gloves” and we sing “Happy Birthday” twice before we rinse and then air dry.  This really becomes habit in no time at all. And it feels good to have some control.

As has been brought up in other posts, there are strategies to employ that will keep us all a bit safer. Please explore the links that I have provided and discover the wonderful community that is available.

4 Responses to “Getting your family to prepare is crucial…”

  1. Nadia Aronson said

    I have been preparing for about a year and a half. Since we live remotely, one daughter and family and my sister and family live a 6-hour drive away. Other loved ones are even further away. I have plenty of supplies here for them that would be adequate for quite along time.

    My big concern is how they are going to get here. Driving will be unsafe and maybe not even possible. The trick will be to leave early enough before panic starts. They are all teachers and if they leave too early, none will have jobs to go back to, I fear.

    Any suggestions?

  2. preparedcitizens said

    Hi Nadia,

    I have had similar concerns with my adult children. There is a drive to be together as a family. Each families plan is there own…but for us…we have made each of our respective homes as ready as they can be. We all have the tools that we need to survive as best we can if we are apart. For me, it was easier to equip each person than to have a central location for the reason that you mention….

    I would encourage the teachers in your family to begin a dialog now between teachers and superintendents and even teachers unions about early school closure and other mitigation strategies like hand washing and social distancing. Having this dialog ahead of time allow you to decide together your own personal set of “action” points for the future.

    Visit some of the flu forums like Plan for Pandemic and FluWiki or Flutrackers, I seem to remember some discussions about this important topic.

    I hope this helps,

  3. Dan said

    You are certainly doing the SMART thing. I just sent out an e-mail a few weeks ago to all of my friends and family concerning the rapid spread of the H5N1 in January. Out of the 30 or so e-mails sent, I recieved 2 thank you’s while the others did not respond at all. I called my brother up on the phone who said he laughed when he saw it. He calls me chicken little. He is considered very smart by today’s measures…graduating at the top of his class in business while excelling in sports as well. But I see him as book smart and not to the level of intelligence that goes beyond learning and remembering what someone else has taught him in school that would enable him to think for himself beyond the books. I feel bad for his family who may suffer severely because of it, but then again, that’s probably the majority of people. The people who are recognizing this as a threat and making the sacrifices preparing for it are the true intelligent people and go far beyond what is taught in school, since this isn’t. You will compliment the ever-growing gene pool of mankind. Keep in mind that terrorists are also attempting to utilize H5N1, utilizing those who have acces to it and to labs to cause it to mutate into something far more than it is now so that once released, it will cripple the world establishment and put themselves on a much more even playing field to further their causes. The threat from the H5N1 or whatever strain is next is not only the virus itself, its the billions of unprepared people fighting for food or whatever else they want from those who have it. It is an economic bomb that will destroy lifetimes of work. Simply the isolation that is expected in a pandemic makes common illnesses such as strep life-threatening. One must imagine every scenario of what may happen and then do their best to prepare for it. Then at least you know you did your best…you were SMART. The entire world is well aware of the bird flu and almost everyone chooses to ignore it. They weren’t taught it in school. Choices to help others need to be considered and thought through well in advance so that you can decide whether you are able to do so without jeopardizing your own families. Inform others now, but please do not jeopardize your own families. That is your #1 responsibility. Be careful who you let know what you have set aside, since they may come knocking uninvited. It has been my experience throughout my 47 years that those who haven’t learned to prepare for such things never will, even after this will be long over, although they will cry at the top of their lungs that life is unfair that you have everything and they don’t, and you are such selfish evil people for not giving what you have to them. Of course, children and young adults are always the exception since they have not yet learned most of the things needed for making crucial decisions. There will be a lot of stories to tell after this all is over. Good luck!

  4. preparedcitizens said

    Hi Dan,

    I apologize for taking so long to reply.

    I have had faced similar hurdles in trying to convey this message to others. It took me awhile to understand that something “clued me in”. If it were not for my chickens dying (not of avian flu) I may not be aware right now myself.

    I felt frustrated at times by the lack of media attention, Then I realized that the media is driven by the present news happening and usually don’t present future threats to us. Thanks to the efforts many on the net and in the scientific and government arenas the word about this has been presented in ways that I can understand.

    There truly has been some Herculean efforts. Secretary Leavitt traveled to every state in the country in order to start the awareness campaign. I have been actively following Michael Osterholm and the work of Dr. Henry Niman. Without them and many others I would be in the dark now. They were the pebbles thrown in the pond and we are the ripples.

    About terrorists utilizing H5N1….my thoughts are that novel pandemic influenza strains would be too much of an equalizer. They do not pick and choose by race, nationality, gender or belief. It would seem counterproductive to deliberately manipulate and release something. Though we certainly do live in a time that requires us to remain vigilant so I try to be. We are at war and facing a pandemic.

    So onward and upward….we try to inform people so that they become prepared people.

    Dan, you sound like you are both aware and passionate to reach out to others too. I wish you every success in your pursuits. Stop back and let me know how things are going for you. Thanks for commenting.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s