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.

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  • standingfirm

Thinking deep thoughts about our little town of Monson

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 4, 2008

If I could ask my fellow Monsonites a few questions about pandemic preparedness as it relates to our town I would ask the following…

When fire, police, EMS and other departments in town cannot respond because of illness within their departments who will respond in their stead?

When our 3 man water department cannot respond for the same reason who will be on a list that of people who can fill in for them? Fire hydrants must remain operational. Toilets need to be flushed. If there is no electricity our power backup will last about a week. When the system shuts down sewage will back up into homes. Who will be available to shut down the main in the street outside our homes if our 3 water department guys are ill?

When there is a major storm and power lines go down and National Grid cannot make repairs for days, weeks how will we keep warm? Heat our food?

When the trash pick up stops do we have a town dump where we can bring our trash?

When a family member becomes ill and the hospitals have closed their doors who will I be able to call?

When an epidemic is hitting our town and we cannot use our ambulances for transporting people because they then would then be contaminated and not useable for transport in other emergencies what will we use for back up? And those other emergencies like heart attacks, car accidents, and the like…when the hospitals close because they have no supplies with which to treat people…what will we do here in Monson? Will our town’s dispatchers have to hang up the phone?

When Rite Aid runs low on prescription meds how will people get their insulin, other meds? Knowing that every town, every business in the country will be experiencing this at the same time trucks will not get filled at the warehouse, or drive to the stores. Will mail continue when our postal workers are ill?

When school is cancelled who will mind the children if parents have no option but to go to work?

Our emergency shelter, will those who become ill be able to go there for care if there is no one to care for them? Are there cots and blankets available?

When the stores are closed because the trucks have not delivered more goods and people here in Monson are going without food, will there be people who will collect donated food and redistribute it to those in need? Can we wait to set this up after the pandemic has begun?

I recently read the unthinkable statistic that we should be planning for a case fatality rate of somewhere between 14 and 30 percent. If 30 to 50 percent of the population (roughly 9000) become ill this would translate to between 378 and 1350 deaths in our town alone and between 1200 and 2700 people ill with a very serious illness that requires a long convalescent period. And this is just one small town. Every small town will be hit with this practically at the same time, all over the country, all over the globe.

Thinking of our town of Monson…I cannot imagine 10, 20 or 30 deaths let alone 378.

The consequences are staggering. And we can do something to better these statistics if we plan ahead!

Why do we wait for others to take the lead when waiting is not in our best interests? The federal government cannot and will not come to our aid. The state will not come to our aid. The local government also will not come to our aid…they cannot. They do not have the resources and they will be overwhelmed trying to keep their own departments running throughout the crisis.

Citizens of Monson…it is up to us to determine whether or not we will survive as a resilient community. We cannot wait any longer to prepare this town for this disaster. The medical reserve corps is still looking for volunteers and that is the best way to organize our resources. The most valuable resource that we have is our people. To have a resilient community we must be able to keep our town services up and running throughout the disaster. That means people will need training to keep up a “continuity of operations”.

We will need to help our new superintendant plan for school closure and a communication system between parents, teachers and students so students can still do their work even at home. Children need continuity and schoolwork will provide a sense of normalcy in a very not normal world.

There are so many scenarios to plan for that it boggles the minds of most everyone who begin to think about the issues at hand.

This is why I recommend that those who can…have three months of food, water, medicines on hand (and rotate what you have paying attention to expiration dates). The more people who are prepared ahead of time the better off we all will be. I cannot prepare until my neighbors prepare.

So someone in Monson please tell me that you are preparing. I don’t want to wait any more!


2 Responses to “Thinking deep thoughts about our little town of Monson”

  1. You are right in that resources and utilities will be strained to say the least. Many will not cope at all.

    The numbers are not accurate though. The worst pandemic in history so far was in 1918. The death rate from that was about 3%. The next pandemic is far more likely to be in this order of magnitude and not the 14 to 30% you have read.

    Nigel Thomas
    For free references and resources go to Bird Flu Manual Online or, if you need more comprehensive tutorials, tools and templates, consider Bird Flu D-I-Y eManual for your pandemic preparedness.

  2. preparedcitizens said

    I cannot even begin to imagine the rippling effects of the devastation that 14% fatalities would bring upon us let alone 30%+. It isn’t that I don’t think it possible, anything is at this point including a complete surprise of 2% as it was in 1918. Imagine jumping for joy at that? The thought is almost absurd.

    When I think of the devastation on our hearts the actual statistics don’t matter much. Loss is loss, grief is grief. There will be more of us deeply grieving. The more of us who are deeply grieving the greater an effect on our civilization.

    At some point in all this planning, thinking, looking at numbers and guessing – yes educated guessing, I gloss over. Not in denial but in trust. God does not give us more than we can bear. Everything that we experience in life is meant for our edification. Even the most ugly things allowed into our lives for a reason.

    I pray that I can comfort and give hope along the way no matter what the statistics end up being.

    I don’t tell others what to believe OR how to act. This is just my way. Thanks for the support and your comments Nigel.


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