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

How much can you live without – PlanFirst Monson

Posted by preparedcitizens on September 16, 2008

Getting down to the nitty gritty.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

When it comes right down to it we can all live with a lot less in our lives. We can learn to survive eating mudcakes like some Haitians do already. Our neighbors to the south know how to live a life of deprivation. So many people around the world live lives where every waking minute is devoted to ensuring their survival.

Do we have the mettle? How do we have the mettle when we ourselves are ill or our family members are ill or dead or dying. Let’s be honest here about how bad things may get. They may get very bad.

How does one prepare for a civilization altering event?

Those who have not prepared ahead of time by purchasing enough medications to see them through for the duration will suffer and possibly die. Make sure that you have your diabetic supplies – enough to last for about 6 months + (the longer the better) – and ensure that you can store them without electricity (consider root cellaring like our forefathers have done).

In Monson we are blessed to own a top of the line refrigerated storage unit. It is located at the Monson Board of Health Department – check it out when you get a chance. Extra supplies of medications could possibly be stored there….but the problem is that it needs electricity. I am sure that the towns generators (do we have them?) will run for a time if someone is dedicated to manning them. We have three employees in our very well runned water department. A pandemic could mean trouble for continuity of operations. These are just a couple of the local problems that we could run into – following this line of thinking you can imagine the problems we will face. We have to be ready.

We know how bad winter can get around here…we should expect power outages and they may be extended in length when absenteeism peaks. And then there is the overwhelming issue of keeping the national grid up. Rolling power outages and brown outs will wreak havoc on our lives.

Pulling punches and not telling people just how bad things could get is doing everyone a disservice. We must be prepared, deeply prepared. Spiritually, emotionally, physically prepared.

Have a way to heat your homes (or have a place to go) when there is no electricity. Living in an emergency shelter during an outbreak of infectious disease surrounded by others who also have not prepared will not be the best solution and we must avoid it being the only solution for us or for our families.

Those who have not stocked their own shelves with enough for for the duration will have to go without or learn other means of survival – what they will be forced to do in order to be fed and feed their families will have a direct impact on us all. We may even lose our lives because of this one issue. The drive to survive will cause some of us to rethink their moral choices, if we even get a chance to think. Sometimes the mind shuts down and we end up reacting, simply reacting.

What will I do when a starving and possibly infected person knocks on my door looking for food, water or medicine? Can I turn someone away? Will i turn someone away? Being totally honest, when it comes down to a choice between a strangers survival and my own family members survival I think it is pretty obvious how I and anyone else would choose. It is right to look after our family first. That is why I speak loudly and clearly now. This is a valid reason to speak now. I will give all that I can, I will help all that I can but I will protect and care for my family first. The more that we all prepare now, the better off we all will be. Knowing that my neighbors have stocked their pantries gives me great comfort. Knowing that I have should comfort them as well. This is how we do our own part in this. This is our contribution.

I have found it to be a useful exercise, ahead of this event, to take a day where I live without. No electricity, no plumbing, little food. One day is very tough. Weeks on end unimaginable. Living like this with illness in the family too…

Look over the GetPandemicReady information. The links are on the left side of this blog. Visit the forums and blogs of others. Go to and CIDRAP. Decide for yourselves if you need to prepare.

Your family is counting on you!

Your children are counting on you!

Watch the PlanFirst Webcasts


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