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

Why Public Health Activists Urge Preparedness

Posted by preparedcitizens on December 21, 2008

A friend of mine pointed me in the direction of a story that is important to focus on. Thank you Babcom.

Traffic Jam Dampens Holiday Spirit
by Casey J. Bortnick
Published Dec 20, 2008

Wedged in between two potential snow storms local shoppers saw Saturday as their last day to get their holiday shopping done. Thousands of people and their cars packed area malls and shopping centers. The results were long lines, and that’s just for those lucky enough to get in.

Those who went to the Eastview Mall were greeted with bumpers, brake lights, and frustrations.

"Traffic seems to be a mess. I hope some people are getting some shopping done. I’m not one of them right now," said Michael Shanley.

"Just waiting, I’ve wasted a lot of time. And I’m hungry!" Patty Stoutz exclaimed.

Eastview expected a large volume of holiday traffic Saturday. But shoppers didn’t expect to be stuck in the parking lot for as long as three hours.

"I don’t know why they don’t have more county cops out here trying to direct the traffic better," said Bill Benge.

The Ontario County Sheriff’s Department did call in re-enforcements. But with thousands trying to get in and out, deputies say there was only so much they could do.

"As you know the roads can only handle so many cars at a time, and it ended up being a huge logistical night mare for us and mall security," said Deputy Bob Green.

The traffic was so bad that the county’s 9-1-1 system was overloaded with angry shoppers calling from the Eastview mall parking lot. Green says cellular service in the area was briefly knocked out.

"It’s a story of too many cars trying to occupy a smaller area at the same time," Green said.

Cell service was restored and in the end, sheriff’s deputies say it was more of an inconvenience than a safety concern. After a long wait some left with a valuable lesson for next year.

"I’m going to go much earlier, I don’t know if it’s the snow that messed everything up or what? But it’s ridiculous," said Benge.

"You can’t move, can’t get out of the car, and you can’t find a parking spot. It’s easier to shop on the computer at this point," Shanley said.

No accidents or injuries were reported, but deputies say the overload of the 9-1-1 system could have been a serious problem. They urge those stuck in traffic to call 9-1-1 only in the case of an emergency.

This report is an example of what will happen at the outset of a public health emergency when the public is largely unprepared. And it won’t happen in one place, it will happen everywhere. And it won’t happen with such order because it won’t be holiday shopping that is being done, it will be life and death preparedness.

This is what planners across the country have discussed over the years about the higher category pandemic, other infectious disease outbreak or major terrorist attack possibilities….

When the real panic does occur, how long will it last? Hours, days? People will realize that there is nothing because of the reports that there is nothing.


After the stores are emptied people will go home and try to stretch out what they have. When their supplies run low, hunger (and thirst, and cold) will drive those who are well but possibly exposed and contagious out to search and beg from extended family, friends, and neighbors. What else can they do?

Those who are ill, may be gravely ill. There may not be any medical care available at this point either because supplies at hospitals and clinics are limited too.

First people will try to color within the lines. They will call the social service agencies and churches in their area. When they realize that those agencies have nothing for them because so many are in that same position who have tapped the well dry already, then they will search out other resources. What that happens the real “panic” will set in. Hunger, thirst, cold, these are the extremes that will cause people to act much differently than they do now.

The real panic is like what happens when someone is drowning. I have experienced that panic as a lifeguard and it is terrible. In the victims fear they WILL pull you down too. It isn’t because they want to kill you, you are their lifeline, it is because at some point extreme fear causes an irrational response. There are times, as a lifeguard, that we have to swim away and wait for the victim to stop thrashing. And we have to plan our approach carefully or both victim and rescuer will die.

As citizens we can’t need the lifeguard. The more prepared that we become as a society, the more we will not need the lifeguard. We have to learn to swim safely alone.

There are skills that a crucial to learn. Purchasing resources and learning how to watch the dates on the products we use. How to store them safely and inventory them….it takes practice and more thought than we are used to.

In the West we have grown too used to being able to think about something we want and jumping in the car to go and get it (even purchasing it on credit rather than with cash).

These practices will not serve us well in the days ahead.

And unfortunately, the “lifeguard” may not make it in time….thousands and thousands will be in need of rescue.

When we have to deal with a pandemic or other outbreak of widespread illness, or a dirty bomb attack, or any other situation that may require us (and we will WANT to) stay in and away from trouble.

The truth is no one knows “when” and “if” has fallen away from the dialogue.

A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says "get in, get in!" The religious man replies, " no I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle."

Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again.

He responds that he has faith in god and god will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause "God will grant him a miracle."

With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God.

He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down."

St. Peter chuckles and responds, "I don’t know what you’re complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter."

I am a firm believer in God’s miracles and I also firmly believe that Jesus took a boys lunch and fed the multitude. I am not discounting God’s abundant provision or His ability to do anything that He wants to do in our lives. He is sovereign and of that I have no doubt.

Sometimes the miracles that God does are so common to us as to be almost unrecognizable.

Perhaps reading this post will cause you to prepare which will be the blessing that you needed in order to be prepared for the days ahead.

What a blessing we can be when someone comes knocking on our door and we have the provision to share with them because we, and so many others, have prepared. When we who can are not a burden to the system there will be no panic, no need, no hunger, no thirst and the social agencies will not be overwhelmed because people who could, did.


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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s