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".

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  • 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

Some Resources in Monson MA

Posted by preparedcitizens on September 14, 2008

You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.
You are just a vapor that appears for a little while
and then vanishes away.
James 4:14

Things can change so quickly and the world can turn upside down in the briefest of seconds.

Our lives here are truly like vapor, vanishing quickly.

Our little town seems quiet today. I can hear my neighbors off in the distance and the sound of traffic up on High Street. Crickets are chirping and Cicadas are buzzing. My little buddy, the groundhog, is grazing on the cut grass and flowers that have gone by. A quick check of MassLive Forums/Monson indicates that all is pretty quiet around town. A look see of the weekly police log assures me that know serious crime wave is taking place in our quiet little village, pretty much the same old vehicle violations and outdated inspection stickers.

But all this peace could vanish like a vapor too.

In one instant we will pass from peace and safety into death and despair at the start of the pandemic.

No one knows if death will visit their home, their family, and few want to consider this ahead of time. Few want to prepare, few ARE prepared.

Even those of us who think that we may be prepared, are we? Truly?

My husband had his surgery a few weeks ago. He was in the hospital for 5 days. I was not prepared for the loneliness of not having him home. I wandered around lost because I had nothing to DO and no one was coming home. This was a strange feeling after having a full house for the last 23 years. I was not prepared.

One surgery, one family member, one instance of change, and I was thrown a bit. Seen in the broader context of a pandemic and the potential changes it could bring…

We mention preparing our homes with three months of food, water, medicines, but we tend to not think about these other things. When I see my grown children, I hug them a bit tighter now. I appreciate my husband and the joy that he brings to my heart and the smile to my face a bit more now.

I look at my friends and neighbors a bit differently too.

I appreciate this tightly knit community even more.

Look at what the folks of Monson do to make their lives count! And how much more are we going to appreciate these wonderful folks in times of trouble…

Fire Department Newsletter – We have a new Chief, George Robichaud, and Assistant Chief, Jonathan Miller – Congratulations on your appointments

We even have a new superintendant of schools – Dr. Linda Denault! Welcome!

Some resources that are listed on the town website:

Preparing for the winter just got a bit tougher. Preparing for a pandemic all the more crucial.


Hat tip to Mona St. John – Administrative Assistant at Monsons Council on Aging

Valley Opportunity Council
300 High Street, Holyoke, Ma  01040
Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5 pm
Valley Opportunity Council provides services to a wide variety of economically disadvantaged people.  The Council administers the fuel assistance program for Hampden County.  For assistance in completing applications, contact Elizabeth Faichney, 267-4121, at the Monson Council on Aging.
Citizens Energy Oil (Joe4Oil)
88 Black Falcon Avenue, Center Lobby, Suite # 342, Boston, MA  02210
The Citizens Energy Oil Heat fuel assistance program offers half-price heating oil to low income families and elderly residents of Massachusetts.  Each eligible household is allowed a one time delivery of up to 175 gallons of home heating oil at half price per heating season.  Economic Guidelines.
Good Neighbor Energy Fund
Salvation Army, 170 Pearl Street, Springfield, MA  01105-1223
The Good Neighbor Energy Fund helps people in need pay for their winter heating energy bills. The Fund is for people who are facing a short-term financial crisis and do not qualify for government fuel assistance programs.
Utility Shutoff Protection
1-800-392-6066       1-617-305-3531
Massachusetts laws prevent utility companies from shutting off service to households in special situations.  These include senior households, low-income families with infants, and people with serious illnesses who cannot afford to pay their utility bills.  During the winter months, utility companies cannot shut off heat related utilities for households with financial hardships.

The price of food will rise because of the price of fuel going up…

Open Pantry – Local food share program.  Food is available on both an emergency and monthly basis.   For further information, and to complete an application, call Open Pantry Coordinator Jeannette Lambert, 267-4837, Monson COA Health & Human Services Coordinator or Monson COA Outreach Coordinator, 267-4121.
Food Stamps – Applications available through Valley Opportunity Services, 300 High Street, Holyoke, MA  01040-6573, 413-552-1548, or by contacting Monson COA Health & Human Services Coordinator, 267-4121.
Monson is blessed to have some fine spring water available. One spring is located on High Street just past the right onto Margaret Street (about half way up the hill and before the bend) if you are heading out towards Wilbraham (the spring is on the left). There is enough parking for one or two cars on the western side of the road. Bring your own bottles and fill them up for free. The water tastes great!
Open Pantry distributes food locally. On the third Sunday of each month nonperishable foods are collected in baskets located in the Narthex.
Life can change very quickly. Be ready. Now where the resources are in town.

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