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

Holding Each Other Accountable

Posted by preparedcitizens on March 27, 2008

The Truth of “Prepared Citizens”

A Christian Perspective

We ask if we are our brother’s keeper. I know I have asked that question of myself. Hold me accountable for what I do and say, please. When we are His, we ask to be held accountable to our brothers and sisters. So I ask myself when it is the right time to speak publicly in a discussion of what we should be about if we are His? We hope that we have our consciences pricked so that we can know “the right way” to go.

I am confident of the great commission, I am confident in the rightness of what I believe – if not confident why believe it, and I am confident that my belief is spurring me on to speak to others about a time ahead of great turmoil. Death may come upon us suddenly. It is right to be prepared. It is right to have prepared homes for those who may survive. It is right to leave behind information on how to make it through the days ahead if we are the ones to perish first. It is right to talk about such things in our homes, neighborhoods, towns, states and our country.

Failure to discuss such things will mean that some will perish due to lack of this preparation. Physical, mental, as well as spiritual preparedness is crucial to staying on the right path when the world becomes chaotic – and if what I see that is ahead is an accurate vision, then we must prepare ourselves like we have never prepared ourselves before.

So, today I speak as a Christian. I speak to my brothers and sisters.

Others proclaim loudly that they do not believe, that they hate the message of the cross, and they are not shy in telling us so. People are free to say what they believe. I am a courteous listener.

Then equal time is due.

Those who believe such things will perish for eternity unless they turn away and the moment of death is too late for a right decision.

Saying this hurts, saying this will not win me friends, and saying this will lose for me the friends that I have. But saying this is right and true. Death will come on suddenly so I speak now.

I do not fear what others believe, I fear my God and to be silent on all these different levels is cowardly and wrong. So I speak. I speak when it is dangerous to do so. I speak when I am ridiculed; I speak because I choose to be obedient to the Word of God – the written infallible Word.

My conscience has been seared – it is right and truthful to tell people what they need to know in order to be forewarned. Is it right and truthful to stand in public and tell people what I myself would want to hear? It is right and truthful to tell people that a pandemic looms.

I believe it is right and truthful to exhort others to speak the truth that they know and believe. Do not be silenced. Do not fear. Speak what you believe and be responsible for the truth that you speak. This is right.

That Word tells me that plagues and pestilence happens. To me, I see intelligent design at work in our world and even in the world of viruses. Some see an evolutionary process. I have not seen irrefutable evidence of this. Yet I know that pandemics happen, they are deadly, and the threat of them demands a response from us.

Too, or society may stumble but this is not inevitable? We must help others even throughout the time of trouble.

As Christians, If we fail, if we faint, what does that say about our level of confidence in a Savior that heals, a Savior who lives and a God that protects? We are failing to demonstrate this confidence when we fail to love during a time of crisis.

Some would say that there is enough information in the public domain so that those who want to know about what is ahead can know. It is up to the individual to search for what they need.

I maintain that this information has not been adequately placed in the public domain. People who do not have computers, who have missed the information age, have not adequately heard the warning cry, at least not to the point where an awareness that they need to act on this information. We are getting there though, we are getting there. We need to talk to each other.

Most folks just have not heard that it is better to prepare for a bit more than a 2.5% CFR pandemic. That even this low CFR in combination of many factors which were not in place in 1918, a similarly lethal pandemic could have far worse effects. I have also maintained that there is a deeper struggle as well. Those who cannot afford computers, or even newspapers and magazines, have not had the opportunity to protect themselves. There truly needs to be an aggressive information campaign in order to make sure that every segment of our society truly understands the threat that we face.

This is the premise that I have worked under – that since I know this information, it is wrong for me to keep it to myself. And then I was told that I am carrying other people’s water for them and for me to judge that somehow people are incapable of finding out this information on their own as I am, I am placing myself above them. There are times when some of us have, by accident or some other cruel trick, stumbled upon information or were we entrusted with a great gift that we are to share with others and I believe the latter. Speak truth, as you know it. Don’t shy away for speaking your belief. It is freedom at its core.

The simple fact of the matter is that we need to be brave.

Everyone, everywhere in our communities, from young to old needs to hear this information made clear to them at their level of understanding. My deaf husband has the right to have this communicated to him so that he can hear. A blind person who reads Braille must receive this information. A senior one way and a child another.

What do I know about such things as pandemics and speaking to others about grave threats except how I know how I want to be treated – I want to know of anything that threatens the health of my family. I do take the wisdom to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” seriously. So who will tell us if we don’t tell each other? 

We need to tell people what they need to hear even when they do not want to hear it, even when “they want their ears tickled.” I don’t see where we are left off the hook when our attempts fail. It is right to warn others so we must hold the line. We must keep trying.

“When I [God] say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.” Ezekiel 3:18-19.

So being obedient I must say that there is more to a pandemic than preparing to live through it, we must prepare for death too. Death is final. What we choose here matters, don’t be mislead. Be an overcomer.

I am asking that all who believe pray that we understand the right things to do during a pandemic. That we do not lose sight of whose we are and what truth we have held onto. I pray that we are creative in reaching out to others and being examples of hope and faith during the time ahead. I pray that we have the strength to love one another, help one another, and hold each other accountable in love for our behavior even during a national crisis. We need to ‘hold the line’ spiritually, morally, and ethically.

I can only be true to what I know and believe, I afford others this same freedom. Being true to my beliefs, the all-hazards Christian approach has the message of the cross attached and it is the prime focus. For this I make no apologies.

“Go into all the world, making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Ever obedient to the Word of Truth I am acting in love by telling others to prepare spiritually, morally and ethically for what is ahead. I am walking in Biblical love towards others. In trying to set an example for others we must speak up, sanely and soberly and teach others, guide others, reach out to others and show them the way through this time of trouble.


Holding each other acountable goes both ways.

Listening to our President today speak about the progress that the Iraqis are making I had to look at our own progress in the US on the pandemic front. There comes a time when we must trust that our best interests are being looked after. I choose to trust that this is so. If I am wrong to trust and have not discerned the truth rightly I will bear the burden for this decision.

There may be good reasons why we are not being told to prepare any faster than what news is trickling out now. I am reminded that there are national interests – a larger picture here. I merely ask that we do not fail to trust Americans with the truth for the wrong reasons. I ask that the information flows freely because I have experienced the opposite of panic in telling others. I ask that leaders consider that it takes a long time to change our behavior. I ask that people be told firmly and in time to adjust to this information and act on it. I ask that there is an optimistic outlook toward us that we can change and we can be responsible for changing or not changing. I ask that we all have the opportunity to carry our own water – but that means everyone must be given this chance. I ask that everyone open the spigots of information so that we can prepare premptively and not react to emergency.

(edited for clarity and to provide links)


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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s