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
    Reformation
    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

    Stand

    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



    Isolation


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



    Quarantine


    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 http://www.preparedcitizens.org.




    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.


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  • standingfirm

Have Fear but Be Not Afraid

Posted by preparedcitizens on September 18, 2008

Disasters are scary events. Yet people of faith are called upon to stand strong in the face of adversity.

“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me. “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’

“Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’

“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

-Matthew 25:41-46

As Pastor Bob Marrone reminds us in the September 08 Messenger:

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ …indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:31-34

edited to add: [I am going to insert a little personal confession here. When it comes to food, we are not prepared. I have chosen this path for several reason… I can only speak for myself and not my family but my preparation has been mostly spiritual and emotional. I do not worry about how we will be provided for but we do buy twosies of most things and we shop locally to support our major supplier of groceries during a pandemic, Adam’s. The more that we shop there now, the more food will be on hand when travel may be limited. I prepare like I would if I were stocking up for the winter snow storms that we have so frequently..but try for a bit more. We ourselves not laden down with food and water. I do not prepare for the physical part of this as much because I am afraid that I would lose my passion to speak.

So I also have more work to do. I really do not believe that it is wrong or sinful to prepare for disasters that may come quickly. The point is *we* had a choice to make because we knew this was coming. People deserve to hear that they should be prepared if for no other reason than they will be able to assist their unprepared neighbors. There is a choice to make, prepare or not prepare. That is the point as I see it. Though I may be wrong. It is also not my desire to be contentious.]

We know too that Noah prepared by building the ark. People simply need to be told to prepare from trusted members in their community. Preparedness is spiritual, emotional, and physical. It is not our concern what we will eat or what we will drink….nor concern for our own lives. Striving for the kingdom of God first, relieves of us the need to worry. But having understood these things, we can boldly walk in the communities as the hands and feet of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Strive first for the kingdom of God, having sought and found, give freely to others. Be a beacon of the hope, healing, faith and love that is ours. Burst with joy not worry.

There is a God given call on our lives as believers to becomes beacons of strength and light in the darkness. Disasters are clearly dark times for the sufferers. But we have hope, faith and love.

Here are what some of our brothers and sisters have written about disaster relief, fear, death and dying, and service to others.

The UCC Church has a statement regarding bird flu on their web page. The document is a bit dated but is a clear statement nevertheless. My comments are [green and in brackets].

Statement Regarding Bird Flu

December 6, 2005

Information provided by: Disaster Response Team Coordinators
Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ

In response to inquiries about the potential pandemic of bird flu, the following information is being provided on how to protect oneself from illness.

Dire predictions about a possible bird flu pandemic have been abundant. The most important thing is to avoid panic. Human to human transmission of this flu is a possibility, but no more than that right now. If it happens, it will be a major threat and prudent plans need to be made, but it is not productive for our pastors and churches to be engaged in frenzied activity that will stir up feelings of panic.

That being said, there are a number of things that should certainly be done. If the bird flu threat becomes a reality, it will spread in the same ways that the flu spreads among us every year. It would be wise to take precautions now that would reduce the spread of any influenza virus.

[While it will spread similarly, typically people with strong immune systems, like children, are stricken much harder. Also, typically, people do not “panic” they become apathetic. As a pandemic activist working in the community actively for over 3 years now I have not seen one person panic with receiving the news that a pandemic is coming.]

Based on suggestions made by the Center for Disease Control, these precautions include:

1. Get a flu shot. There is no vaccination available at this time for bird flu, but pastors should certainly get the regular flu shot. Naturally if there are medical reasons for avoiding the shot, such as an allergy to eggs, this should not be done.

2. Get in the practice of keeping germs out of your body. Many germs enter by way of the hand when we touch the eyes, nose or mouth. Wash your hands often, especially before eating. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. [ears and genitals are also mucous membranes which may pick up the virus]

3. Hand washing is considered key to limiting the spread of flu. Alcohol based hand sanitizers offer a good alternative when a sink and soap are not available. In the event of an active flu threat, we might make these sanitizers available to people as they come to church and even as they leave. We do a lot of hand shaking and that’s a great way to share germs. Keep in mind that this gel is very flammable until dried.

4. Stay home when you are sick. Don’t share your germs unnecessarily. Similarly, avoid being with sick people if possible.

5. Churches should always be concerned about hygienic practices. This includes food handling, cleaning and sanitizing bathrooms, kitchens and children’s areas. If your church uses a common cup for communion, you should think long and hard about that.

6. Consider those in your congregation and community who may be vulnerable in the event of a flu outbreak. How might the church reach out to them?

7. It might be prudent for churches and clergy groups to discuss the effect a flu pandemic could have on them. Would Sunday services be canceled? Would preschools that use churches be suspended? Would clergy find themselves stressed to the max? (We know the answer to that one!) But again, let’s not create panic.

8. Urge people (especially Pastors) to take care of themselves. Building up your immune system is the best defense. This includes proper diet, rest and exercise. And above all, try to stay calm!

Reformed Church in America and Church of the Brethren sponsor the Disaster News Network. A valuable service which is currently looking for volunteers.

United Methodist Church

Putting our faith into action is at the very heart of our Christian calling. By volunteering to serve through programs such as United Methodist Volunteers in Mission or the Mission Volunteers program of The General Board of Global Ministries, every person in the church has the opportunity to serve and to live their calling more faithfully.

On disaster relief:

Mission as Active Expectancy – The ministry of all Christians consists of service for the mission of God in the world. The mission of God is best expressed in the prayer that Jesus taught his first disciples: Thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as in heaven. All Christians, therefore, are to live in active expectancy: faithful in service of God and their neighbor; faithful in waiting for the fulfillment of God’s universal love, justice, and peace on earth as in heaven.

Pending this time of fulfillment, the ministry of all Christians is shaped by the teachings of Jesus. The handing on of these teachings is entrusted to leaders who are gifted and called by God to appointed offices in the church: some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12). For these persons to lead the church effectively, they must embody the teachings of Jesus in servant ministries and servant leadership. Through these ministries and leadership, congregations of the church are faithfully engaged in the forming of Christian disciples and vitally involved in the mission of God in the world.

—The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2004

The Presbyterian Church has quite a few resources here under a search for pandemic. Many links are for the AIDS pandemic but most are preparations for the flu pandemic.

Here is their Family Planning Guide created by the National Health Ministries of the Presbyterian Church.

Their ministry:

The Office of National Health Ministries seeks to empower individual Presbyterians, congregations and governing bodies for the ministry of Health, Healing and Wholeness by promoting health awareness and providing resources for individual Presbyterians, congregations and governing bodies. By caring for one another, promoting health and wholeness and working for equity and access, we help create em>shalom for the Earth and its people.

As people of God, we are responsible for our own health as well as the health of others. The grace, balance and wholeness as God intends are not a flawless health record, a perfect physical or a cured disease, but a health, healing and wholeness in body, mind and spirit.

From a Christian perspective, becoming healed and whole may not mean the absence of pain or impairment.  Instead it is the understanding that it is Christ’s love that heals brokenness and reestablishes right relationships with God and others. Persons with disabilities, illnesses, mental illnesses and chronic disease are not excluded from God’s gifts of health and wholeness.  Through healthy lifestyles, healthy decision-making, and healthy communities, all can help build health, healing and wholeness for all God’s people.

Seventh Day Adventists have stated the Adventist Mission here. I will quote from the page:

Community Involvement

Actively seeking and welcoming non-Adventists into our churches is what Tell the World is all about. By demonstrating genuine concern for those around us, we prove to the outside world how valuable they are to Jesus and to us. Fewer than one-third of church members share Jesus with others or are involved in community service. Increasing that number to at least 40 percent by 2010 is a key goal of Tell the World.

Catholic Charities has an entire website devoted to service and missions

Catholic Charities nationwide serve those in need because of our faith not theirs. Our mission is rooted in the seven principles of Catholic social teaching listed below.

here are a few more quotes from their website:

Call to Family, Community, and Participation

The person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society in economics and politics, in law and policy directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. Marriage and the family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined…

We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable…

In Monson we are blessed with active churches full of people willing to volunteer their services when there is a need. First Church of Monson has many ongoing and firmly established outreach ministries.

Loaves and Fishes is a soup kitchen located in Springfield. First Church helpers prepare, deliver, and serve the evening meal on the second Monday of each month.

Open Pantry distributes food locally. On the third Sunday of each month nonperishable foods are collected in baskets located in the Narthex.

CROP Walk occurs annually; sponsored walkers raise funds to help relieve hunger.

Nomads of Hope does mission projects in other communities during the summer. There are opportunties for both teeneagers and adults to travel and serve. For more information, please contact nomadsofhope@excite.com

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Springfield is committed to provding decent and affordable homes for people in need. Volunteers help with construction, providing food, and in many other ways. Please email volunteer@habitatspringfield.org

Annual Thanksgiving Dinner is open to all in the community with no charge. Volunteers prepare and serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

All activities welcome new participants! Please see the calendar for specific times and The Messenger for additional information.

Downplaying the threat and the need to prepare is unwise. As believers and sanctified Christians we do not panic, we get busy. All for His glory!

Stand firm in the hope that you have been given!

Serve others for His sake

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