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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Archive for the ‘Prepare’ Category

Peacemaking – An Act of Volition, A Change to Truly Be Embraced

Posted by preparedcitizens on January 13, 2009

I have known too few true peacemakers in my life. Why is this such a rare find when we all value peace so highly? It is true that in order to be peacemakers we must first turn away from all evil. Is this what makes true peace such a rare prize?

We enjoy our evil ways, we have since the garden.

We are unable to reject what we cannot see for something we cannot obtain apart from a cleansed heart that is given to us by the power of the Holy Spirit when we first believe the truth about the man Jesus Christ who is the Son of God. I know of no other way to be a peacemaker.

Those who have found this truth are unable to truly tell another who has not. This marvelous gift of love given to us by God, in order to be understood, the seeker must find it on his own. Words cannot describe the fullness here.

And this is a frustration for those who love, who deeply love others with the type of love that caused Jesus Christ to die on the cross as our Redeemer. As imperfect humans, perhaps we are incapable of such love. In loving for this capacity, praying for it, I do believe that we are given a taste. A taste of what is ahead for us.

Those who seek true lasting peace must come to that place of trust alone. The seeker must step off the cliff alone — and that is truly what it is like before that step, we fear that we are stepping off a cliff into the great unknown. Like Nicodemus, we ask how will we be changed once we are born again. We fear the upheaval such a change will bring to our lives — this is pride, soft pride.

We do not want this change.

We do not want to give up control.

But just like we are born alone, we die alone, we must come to that place of faith alone. And it truly is that evil veil over our eyes that lures us away from the decision and no decision is a choice away from peace and this choice to flee keeps us listening to the siren song that pulls us back from walking off that cliff into faith.

This fear must be rejected because it is what keeps us from finding true peace in our soul – the peace that can be shared with others. The spark of something so desirable but also so intangible. When we step out and off, we do not fall from the cliff, we walk across the bridge that is the cross of Jesus Christ, we walk to the other side — we walk into new life, we become born anew.

The barrier to peace is the human ego, and our pride can be such an evil thing. That beautiful angel Lucifer, the most handsome and desirous of all that was created in heaven illustrates for us how seductive evil truly can be. That desire to be right, to be seen as a step above one’s peers, to be praised, to be admired as a thing of beauty, a thinker, an intelligent academic, someone to be sought after, to be desired. We want the wrong kind of love, the love from our fellow man is valued above the love from God.

We want somehow to be more than God, we want to be like a god at least in our own lives or our own sphere of influence. It was this that caused Lucifer’s fall from grace. And it is the subtle siren song sung to us even today.

So many ships have crashed upon the rocks following the lure of that deadly song. How hard an illusion this must be to maintain—to constantly think so highly of oneself. What pressure, the antithesis to peace. The slightest mistake brings on a rush of fear that the illusion will be shattered.

This self delusion that is steeped heavily in our own fears of losing control, this is why I hate that false praise, I shun it because it wears my soul down. It steals all peace and robs me of my joy. Such an oddity I become when I deflect praise. I have heard my own words over the years and I know my friends have not understood my ways. This is my attempt to once and for all explain what has been on my heart.

How can we have peace with one another if we think more highly of ourselves than we do of each other? This is a barrier to true peacemaking. It is a desire for power over others that is the peace breaker. We see this reflected in the headlines of today and over the years. We see this in some of our politicians whose grandiosity would be laughable if it weren’t so sad, and so dangerous. There is that desire to control again, to be lauded. And this control, hopefully once it is recognized for what it is the allure will be gone, for it can be rejected.

After years of my own searching for truth I found only one true path…and it is narrow. It is this love story that I have spent years trying to tell my friends about.

What do we become if we do not recognize that a loving God has given us His Son as a sacrifice for the sin that we must reject? We become nothing. We remain empty shells at our very core. The hole in our heart remains. The one that is God shaped, God designed and can only be filled by God if we truly desire peace.

Yes, at the end of it all we become nothing if this void remains.

As for peace in this life, as I said above, my search has led me to realize years ago that it is impossible to have peace apart from a relationship with the true peace giver. This is the perfection of God. He knows us so well. He gives us a deep desire for peace and only one true way to obtain it, how brilliant.

When we finally see that perfect man, the Messiah who has come, we see how perfectly small we are. Our ego is not shattered, it is made whole. We are dead to our old self and born anew. All that we are, all that we have, all that we must become is found in Christ Jesus. He is the only true righteous One. He is the only bringer of lasting peace. And this truth applies to every person anywhere on this earth. Jesus died for us singly and corporately whether we embrace this truth or not. He did the work. We have only to recognize and believe this truth. God loves us all equally – that is peace.

In my belief I am not a barrier to peace. I say to reject all that is evil and that list is quite long. I am so busy spending my time attempting to remove the mote from my own eye that removing the splinter from yours is not high on my list unless that splinter is so grievous that it preys upon the innocent. And yes, there are innocents among us. There are some glaringly evil things that we do as human beings that must be rejected through a social conscience. And some may very well be on my list, although I believe that I have long ago rejected the worst of them and repented. But I do not forget their lure and I grieve for those still caught up in what is pulling at them. I am not above the human condition to sin, I recognize it in myself, and in others as the joy stealer that will always be with us to some extent at least this side of heaven.

When we fail to discuss evil, when we turn a blind eye to it civilizations fall. When a society cannot define that which is evil we have consciously decided to allow it free reign. Do not believe the lie that we must not judge that which is evil. There is evil and people are capable of doing evil.

It is Jesus Christ the Messiah who is the bringer of peace to all who believe. So I speak of His peace, and for that I am hated because there is a created one who despises and works against this true peace. That one is the liar, the soothsayer, the one who mocks this truth — he is the god of this world and an enemy of the One True God.

So is this truth, and the telling of this truth, peacemaking? I think that it is and it is with love and courage that I speak what is in my heart for all to see and all to accept or reject.

This truth is a sword that divides and it rends the heart of those who are not willing to give up their pride in order to see it. It seems so much like hatred but it is a gift of life and love. It is a truth that we recognize having crossed that barrier from death to life and a truth that we cannot communicate fully to others. It must be experienced in order to be grasped by the seeker of true peace — by recognizing fully the Messiah who has come, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

But do not take my word for this. These are the words of peace…..

"That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." ~John 17:21-23

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." ~Matthew 5:9

"Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness." ~James 3:18

"He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." ~1 Peter 3:11-12

"Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." ~Romans 4:19

"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." ~Romans 12:17-18

"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." ~Hebrews 12:14-15

Once this truth is discovered, there is no turning back, there is no desire to turn back. How wondrous a thing it is to know that when you have truly forgiven all and have been forgiven all – past, present and future.

What joy!

What peace!

"Nothing is so cruel as the tenderness that consigns another to his sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe rebuke that calls a brother back from the path of sin." ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

With Much Love,
Catherine "Jackie" Mitchell

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Biosurveillance: Why A Head’s Up Approach Is Crucial To Saving Lives

Posted by preparedcitizens on January 11, 2009

Google has realized that what people are searching for on the internet may be an early indication of what people are experiencing in any given area. Knowing this information may give us the first clue that a pandemic has begun. Certainly information from Google is not the only criteria, many other indicators are in place already. A sudden surge in purchases of over the counter medication in an area, a surge in emergency room visits, etc, these are all variables, things that experts are monitoring in order that we may all know when the best time is to hunker down. But how will that information reach the rest of the population if no one is really paying attention? And will this information be divulged to a largely unprepared population? Certainly, if we are not ready to receive the information it may not. Panic is something that no one wants to trigger. All the more reason for those of us in the general public to be prepared to receive this information.

For better of for worse we live in the information age. It is time that we put that information to use. It is time to make all the tools that are at our disposal work for us especially in regards to an infectious diseases outbreak or bioterrorism event. Information alone will not cause panic. What causes panic is information combined with unpreparedness. If we are ready to hear the news, while we may have some fear, we won’t become paralyzed in our fear.

Ah but it all seems so silly to prepare our homes for influenza to strike. I know this is what I think sometimes and I admit to thinking on occasion “why bother”. But it is this very inclination which will be our undoing. I have been getting a lot better at this preparedness thing. It took me admitting to myself that we are living in a dangerous world and I so much wanted our world to be the same as it has always been. And it no longer is. The balance of power IS shifting, there are groups of people who do want to wipe us off the map, and there are crazies out there who will commit suicide in order to kill as many people as they can. If these are not reasons enough for someone to prepare, then we add on top of this the threat of yet another influenza pandemic.

In order for me to not panic I had to ask tons of questions of the experts. I had to read report after report in order that I could understand so I would not panic. And I no longer feel as though I am on pins and needles waiting for something bad to happen. But I have grown up and grown into this new lifestyle….reluctantly. Now that I am here I try to encourage others to get “here” too. On hindsight, it wasn’t all that difficult. I just have never been that good at change.

A friend of mine is an expert in biosurveillance. You can read his blog here.

What the big question is….

Do you want to be given a head’s up if something major comes our way if that head’s up will increase your chances of survival?

I am working under the assumption that  “YES” anyone would want a head’s up and I am working my fingers to the bone in order to assure that head’s up for my readers. There are a few of us out here actively engaged in solving this problem.

So please prepare so that when the heads up comes you can hunker down and not go out there to start to prepare.

You can vote in my poll at polldaddy http://poll.fm/r4y3/

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Ebola In Central Africa: What It Has To Do With Us

Posted by preparedcitizens on January 10, 2009

It has everything to do with us here in the US. It has everything to do with me sitting here at my computer in Monson MA. It has everything to do with you, the reader of this blog.

When we can close our eyes to the suffering of millions we have lost something. When we can hear the reports of heartache, death from disease, hardship, and not translate that into faces and individuals and their plight and wonder what God would have us do with the awareness, we have shut off a vital part of our humanity – empathy.

Most of us will never experience the suffering of Hemorrhagic Ebola, malaria, dengue, Chikungunya, Leishmaniasis, and so many of the more “tropical” diseases but billions of people on this earth do, and suffer….oh how they suffer.

We sit and wring our hands over a pandemic which will affect us (and everyone across this globe as well) but we turn a blind eye to that which is unlikely to come to our shores or find its way into our homes. AIDS sufferers the world over know this. They are the modern lepers. And what did Jesus Christ do? He walked among them, healing them, comforting them.

Is it the overwhelming need the world over that causes us to do nothing? Is it that fact that we will never eliminate these scourges? Or that we will never be able to personally save a life? Is that the point of what Jesus did? What Jesus Christ did was show us through His example that we must never withdraw from the battle. He demonstrated to us that we must not withdraw from the world, we must not define people by what they are, what they have, who they represent, and what defines them. We are reaching hearts not personalities, not who people think they are, want to be, or even what they do – that is God’s to sort through, and He will.

Ebola is ravaging central Africa. Without human intervention we do not have to worry about these tropical diseases. But we must not shut off our caring about those who do.

H5N1 is becoming endemic all over the world and it is slowly adapting to the human respiratory tract —- which means it will be OUR next great struggle. No one will be spared, death will visit each and every one of us in one way or another. If not our own, some family member near or distant will be struck down.

Is it time to tell you the truth about how very serious pandemic influenza is? Certainly something must shake the cobwebs off. Certainly something must help you to realize that we (those who plan and prepare and sound the alert for others) are not talking about the “flu”. We are talking about something on a par with hemorrhagic Ebola, on a par with Hurricane Katrina striking every city and town in this country, in the world, AT THE SAME TIME. We are talking about an illness that turns faces blue black from lack of oxygen and there are not enough ventilators to go around, not enough hospital personnel to assist, not enough of anything to see us through this other than our own presence of mind, our own preparedness, our own moral courage to not devolve into panic stricken idiots who prey upon others — and there will be those too. And the maddening thing about this — we don’t know when that final adaptation will take place. All these co-infections, people with bird to human H5N1 and a regular seasonal influenza are more fuel for that fire.

So, if you can turn off Ebola in central Africa, and AIDS pandemic that has been ongoing for decades, ask yourself this question…..am I also not seeing a pandemic of influenza coming? Because if you are not actively preparing, if you are laughing it off, if you are thinking that it’s the next y2k, then you are sadly mistaken.

And West Nile is nothing to sneeze at either. Our world is changing and man’s intervention has had an impact. Overuse of antibiotics has fueled disease resistance, not utilizing the vaccines that we do have has allowed childhood illnesses that we once under control to reemerge even stronger. Now these *new* vaccines, well, there are ethical issues that MUST be considered. Who is paying attention?

And as for coping with all of this…..We do have tools, we do have options, no one is without hope.

If it were not for my relationship with Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I would not be coping with this myself. He is my strength, my sound mind, my focus and my reason for living. HE is my HOPE and it is to Him that I cling.

I pray that this post reaches in and touches each and every reader in a mighty way. Our Savior lives.

 

Posted in H5N1, Prepare | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Biblical Preparedness The Foolish and Wise Virgins

Posted by preparedcitizens on December 13, 2008

The Parable of The Foolish and Wise Virgins

Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

Five of them were foolish and five were wise.

The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.

Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

At midnight, there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.

The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’

But the wise ones replied, ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’

While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.

Then the door was locked.

Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’

But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’

Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

~Matthew 25:1-13

Stay Awake!

Is There Oil In Your Lamp!

 

 

 

 

 

“Whoever receives you, receives me.”

~Matthew 10:40

Posted in Christianity, Prepare, Preparedness | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

My Sunday Reading

Posted by preparedcitizens on December 7, 2008

I started out a John Pipers website “Desiring God” today. It is always an edifying experience to read, watch, and listen to that interactive website.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~then I stumbled on

The Nations in Prophecy

By: John F. Walvoord

I stumbled upon this really is a good online book today. It is an excellent introduction to last days events according to the premillenialist viewpoint of John Walvoord.

I am a hopeful premillenialist but a cautious one. I don’t want to lose flexibility by trusting completely in man’s interpretation of God’s mind.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~with led me to Mikes site

Mike had a good post today at Avian Flu Diary. “The Gift of Preparedness

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~from there I stumbled to here

Families Fighting Flu

…a thoughtful and informative website.

I particularly appreciated their prevention tips.

Get vaccinated.
According to the CDC, vaccination against the flu each year is the single best way to help prevent influenza. Since the virus and the vaccine changes every year, it is important to get a vaccination annually.

Wash your hands.
Frequent hand washing keeps lots of germs out of our bodies, including the influenza virus. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer.

Stay home if you don’t feel well.
Should you become infected, keep the germs from spreading by staying home – and don’t forget to take care of yourself!

Do the elbow cough.
Cough into elbows, not hands where it’s more likely to spread bacteria and viruses through touch.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~which led me here

Voice for Vaccines

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~and here

NNii – National Network for Immunization Information

The National Network for Immunization Information (NNii) is an affiliation of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the University of Texas Medical Branch, the Society for Adolescent medicine and the American Medical Association.

NNii is a service provided by Immunizations for Public Health (I4PH), a Texas-based nonprofit corporation dedicated to making immunization information available to those who need it.

The Board of I4PH is composed of global health leaders, recognized for their knowledge relating to vaccines and global immunization issues.  It has been organized to advance education and science relating to vaccines and immunizations.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~then I was led here from NNii’s list of diseases.

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Home Drug Stockpiles for Flu Pandemic

Posted by preparedcitizens on November 4, 2008

It is amazing to me that as an adult responsible for all areas of my life I cannot be allowed to be trusted with medications that may save my life and the lives of my loved ones in case of a pandemic.

It boggles my mind why, when many in government are telling us that we will “be on our own” we once again are being held back from the information or tools we will need in our arsenal to fight pandemic influenza “on our own”.

This contradiction infuriates me.

Instead we will have to rely on volunteers who may not show up to distribute these drugs during our time of need. We will have to venture out to receive these drugs at the exact time that we should not be congregating. And we will be taxing a system and people who will be needed for other things.

We are allowed to vote, to own guns, to be parents, to drive cars, to decide all manner of things that could potentially have an impact on hundreds of lives and yet…

U.S. questions home drug stockpiles for flu pandemic

Updated Thu. Oct. 30 2008 8:16 AM ET

The Associated Press

BETHESDA, Md. — Should people be allowed or even urged to buy and store in their homes flu drugs for use in an influenza pandemic? The U.S. government, which has been grappling with how to distribute antiviral drugs in the anticipated chaos of a pandemic, believes the idea bears exploring.

But discussions Wednesday of a panel of experts convened to advise the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the idea showed just how many sticky issues are enmeshed in the proposal to allow pharmaceutical companies to sell "flu medkits."

Concerns were raised about whether people could be trusted to store and use the drugs appropriately and whether misuse might fuel the development of resistance to the few influenza drugs on the market. Some experts worried whether parents would be able to gauge the amount of drug their children would need and mix a solution – by breaking open capsules – based on the child’s weight.

Still others echoed the concerns raised by representatives of physician and pharmacist groups who argued against taking the responsibility for deciding when a person needs a prescription drug out of the hands of medical professionals.

please read the rest of the article here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How many parents have had to learn to inject their children with insulin? How many people have to learn inject themselves and manage their diabetes —and they do it quite well.

Basically this FDA advisory committee believes that "the hapless public is simply too ignorant to be trusted with this responsibility"

Not only should we have ready access antivirals, we will need antibiotics as well with instructions on how and when, and when not to, use these drugs. Given the opportunity people will follow the guidelines.

What we should have on hand in Home Pandemic Influenza Kits: (a partial list)

Good Home Treatment of Influenza <——free download! – book by Grattan Woodson MD

Antivirals (Tamiflu or Relenza) – currently not available to consumers for stockpiling

Antibiotics (Zithromycin or Ciprofloxin) currently not available to consumers for stockpiling

Acetaminophen

Ibuprofen

Oral Rehydration Solution (salt, sugar, no salt, water) recipes can be found here and here.

[The basic recipes is 1 quart of water, 1 tsp salt, 3 Tbsp sugar – flavored drink mix can be added to make it more palatable but watch the sugar content if this substitution is made]

Baking soda

OTC anti-diarrheal medication

OTC anti-nausea medication

Benadryl

Robitussin DM or Mucinex

Hand Sanitizers (and plenty of soap)

N-95 Masks

Thermometers (especially the disposable kind)

 

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So What Are You Doing

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 30, 2008

What if we use this flu season as a drill, as our own personal exercises in preparedness. Let’s learn about non-pharmaceutical techniques like hand washing and covering our coughs and sneezes in the proper way in order to not spread illnesses. What if our employers truly send those who are ill home and trust employees to not “milk the situation” for a few extra days off.

As a hedge against catastrophe via pandemics, bio-attack, nukes, illness, hurricanes, meteors, and things that go bump in the night….what are you doing to make life just a little bit easier when the other shoe drops?

I can tell you what I am doing, what my family is doing.

We listen, we study, we read, we keep current, we pay attention, we are vigilant and constantly preparing in whatever way that we can. We look for information and we dissect it so that we understand about flu and viruses.

Each shopping trip we stock up a little bit more. There will be days ahead when we may not be able to afford what we can afford now. So we forgo the little extras for more basic items. No movies, bowling or skiing outings or paperback books – just sugar, coffee, tea, and canned goods. Boring, yes, for the short term life. But I know that what I stock up on now will not go to waste (as long as I rotate what I buy).

I remember what my parents said about the depression. No sugar, no butter, they had very little. And when they did have these “luxuries” they were so appreciative.

Imagine appreciating sugar and butter so much that you told stories about it 20 and 30 years later. That tells me something. We have no idea today what it is like to not have all these things that we take for granted today.

We are temporarily living in a bubble. One that is allowing us to prepare. And many are squandering this opportunity. They refuse to open their eyes and see all of the evidence stacking up.

But so many more ARE paying attention. So many ARE preparing. I overheard a conversation today among two older women at the grocery store. They we talking about PREPARING.

Sorry, but I couldn’t help myself, I had to pay attention. They were talking about a pandemic – “a very bad flu”! They were talking about the economy. They WERE TALKING TOGETHER and they were older, about in their mid seventies. They were talking about the importance of their gardens and how they are going to keep on gardening until they can’t. They were concerned, very concerned, and I could hear it in their voices. And they have lived through so many world crises already….they know.

Two older women, in my little town, talking about preparing. This is significant. VERY SIGNIFICANT.

…and it did my heart good.

 

 

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Pandemic Influenza Course FOR FREE to the Public

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 29, 2008

[I have not taken this course and I am not connected in any way to this organization. I am merely pointing to a wonderful resource being made freely available to all. What a generous offer!

Kudos to the folks at Bird Flu Manual!]

 

Bird Flu Preparedness eCourse

Certification Program Opens to Public

2008-10-29 14:44:31 – Bird Flu Manual Online, the world’s foremost online reference and resource mine designed specifically to help businesses prepare for a pandemic outbreak of Bird Flu, has recently made freely available to the public their Pandemic Preparedness eCourse Certification Program.

Bird Flu Manual Online (www.birdflu-manual.com ), the world’s foremost online reference and resource mine designed specifically to help businesses prepare for a pandemic outbreak of Bird Flu, has recently made freely available to the public their Pandemic Preparedness eCourse Certification Program.

The ‘eCourse’, an email based tutorial program, was originally introduced as a paid for service to further assist business managers with preparing their businesses for an influenza pandemic.

In order to make the eCourse more accessible to all, Bird Flu Manual has recently suspended the enrollment fees and opened it to anyone with responsibility for the operational continuity or pandemic preparedness of their respective businesses. This includes, but is not limited to business owners, general managers, human resources managers, departmental managers and existing crisis managers.

The eCourse takes the form of a series of emails (16 in all) sent every few days, in a logical progressive order, each covering a different preparedness topic. They provide recipients with a step-by-step "staircase approach" to getting their business to a state of readiness for the coming influenza pandemic.

Each email explains its topic in great detail using instructions, images, tools and templates, and gives an assignment for the recipient to do at the end of each one.
The idea is that by the end of the eCourse, provided recipients have completed the tasks and assignments given to them in each email, they will have at least the basics covered in their pandemic readiness plans.

The eCourse has proven itself to be extremely popular, with thousands of business managers having enrolled themselves and completed their preparedness plans already.

At the end of the eCourse, after the last ‘lesson’, recipients are eligible for a ‘Certificate of Completion’ which can be shown to customers, clients, staff and shareholders to prove a company’s commitment to its operational continuity.

Furthermore, in order to assist with the assignments, Bird Flu Manual gives recipients, without charge, many of the tools and templates ‘normal’ visitors buy from them either directly, or from the Bird Flu Manual Online website, plus free access to its online contents.

The complimentary ‘tools’ include their Risk Assessment Templates, Pandemic Status Table Template, Flu vs Cold Differences Factsheet and Hand Hygiene Awareness Poster Templates, plus much much more.

In addition to the first two emails covering the ‘eCourse Introduction’ and ‘eCourse Outline’, here’s a summary of the actual eCourse lesson topics covered …

Lesson 1 – The Risk Assessment
In the first lesson, they explain in the simplest terms possible, what risk assessments are about, how to do one, and they show recipients how to put together a simple risk assessment template of their own. This will help recipients to identify their business’s strengths and weaknesses in the four principal areas on which all businesses are reliant namely, people, processes, suppliers and the utilities they use.

Lesson 2 – Pandemic Response Phases
In the next lesson, sent a few days after the first, recipients see how and why they should align their own company’s pandemic response phases to their country’s and the World Health Organization’s pandemic response alert phases. They learn about the Pandemic Response Status Table and how to put one together for their business.
Lesson 3 – The Influenza Manager
Next they take a look at who this individual (or individuals) is, what it is this individual will need to do before and during the pandemic, and what type of character would be best suited to the job.

Lesson 4 – Office Access Control
This lesson covers the increasing office access control arrangements managers will need to impose with the increasing threat alert levels. Keeping infected visitors, delivery personnel and even staff from unwittingly bringing the virus into the office and contaminating the workplace will play an important role in a manager’s goal of making work the safest place for staff to be outside of the home.

Lesson 5 – Social Distancing
In Lesson 5 they cover what Social Distancing is (the definition according to the World Health Organization) and what kind of Social Distancing Policies recipients can implement to help minimize the chance of staff exposing themselves to the virus un-necessarily.

Lesson 6 – Sickness Response Procedures
Having an efficient and quick response to dealing with sickness in the workplace will mean the difference between resuming operations promptly, and having to lock up an office for days. This lesson looks at formulating the actual sickness at work response procedures a business will be using, which can be officially documented and lodged.

Lesson 7 – Staff Awareness
People need constant reminders. In this lesson they cover the methods managers can use to increase pandemic preparedness awareness amongst staff, getting them to start taking it more seriously and have them play a more an active role in the company preparedness activities.

Lesson 8 – Supply Shortages
Next they go through why there will be shortages of certain products and which types of supplies critical to recipients’ business operations are at greater risk of being effected by disruption than others.

Lesson 9 – Pandemic Stockpiling
Special office provisions and equipment that are required during the pandemic such as face masks, hand antiseptics etc. will be in even more short supply than regular office products. Without them it will be difficult, if not impossible to get staff to come to work. In this lesson they look at how to estimate how many, and of what types of equipment managers will need to buy ahead of time, to last them through the initial pandemic ‘wave’.

Lesson 10 – Minimizing False Alarms
When the pandemic hits, managers will have panicked staff who think they have caught it when they suffer just about any ailment, such as the common cold or a headache. These sorts of false alarms could raise absenteeism rates considerably. In this lesson they introduce recipients to two great tools they can use to help alleviate that kind of anxiety and reduce the chances of false alarms from employees.

Lesson 11 – Staff Training
Once recipients have put together their pandemic preparedness and response plans they will need to communicate them properly to employees. Staff will appreciate the efforts managers are going to on their behalf and their education and understanding will reduce their panic considerably when the time comes. In Lesson 11 they also touch on getting ‘buy in’ from the other managers in the company.

Lesson 12 – Lists and Forms
As in any emergency managers should have at the ready, all the lists and forms they’ll need. The last thing managers will want to be doing when the time comes is creating multiple copies of multiple forms. In this lesson they run through what kind of lists and forms are needed to complete the pandemic preparedness arrangements, and show recipients how to create them.

Lesson 13 – Report of Recommendations
Finally, once recipients have completed their pandemic preparedness assessment they will need main board approval, budget and other resources in order to take the company through to a point of readiness. Even if approval is not needed, managers will need to consolidate their plans into one simple to follow working document.

Final email – The eCourse Certificate
Once recipients have completed the eCourse they get a ‘Pandemic Preparedness Certificate of Completion’ with their name on it. This certificate can be shown to clients, customers, shareholders and staff to give confidence to them that when the pandemic comes, the company will have the best chance of all to be able to continue its business operations.

To enroll yourself in the Bird Flu Manual Online Pandemic Preparedness eCourse Program, simply go to their website Bird Flu Manual Online ( www.birdflu-manual.com ) and give your first name and email address at one of the subscriber sign up forms. They will take it from there.

Move ahead quickly with your sign up though, as there’s no telling when they will be going back to charging for it again.

Alternatively, you should consider their complete pandemic preparedness package, the ‘Bird Flu D-I-Y eManual for Business Preparedness and Survival’ ( www.birdflu-manual.com/bird-flu-emanual/bird-flu-emanual-prw.htm ) for all of your pandemic preparedness needs.

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Masks, hand washing, prevent spread of flu-like symptoms by up to 50 percent

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 28, 2008

Contact: Laura Bailey
baileylm@umich.edu
734-647-1848
University of Michigan

 

27-Oct-2008

 

View Podcast: http://www.ns.umich.edu/podcast/audio.php?id=470

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Wearing masks and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers may prevent the spread of flu symptoms by as much as 50 percent, a landmark new study suggests.

In a first-of-its-kind look at the efficacy of non-pharmaceutical interventions in controlling the spread of the flu virus in a community setting, researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health studied more than 1,000 student subjects from seven U-M residence halls during last year’s flu season.

"The first-year results (2006-2007) indicate that mask use and alcohol-based hand sanitizer help reduce influenza- like illness rates, ranging from 10 to 50 percent over the study period," said Allison Aiello, co-principal investigator and assistant professor of epidemiology at the U-M SPH. Dr. Arnold Monto, professor of epidemiology, is also a principal investigator of the study.

Aiello stressed the first year of the two-year project, called M-Flu, was a very mild flu season and only a few cases were positive for flu, so results should be interpreted cautiously. Ongoing studies will test for other viruses that may be responsible for the influenza-like illness symptoms observed, she said.

"Nevertheless, these initial results are encouraging since masks and hand hygiene may be effective for preventing a range of respiratory illnesses," Aiello said.

The findings, "Mask Use Reduces Seasonal Influenza-like Illness In The Community Setting," was presented Sunday at The Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy and the Infectious Diseases Society of America annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

At the start of flu season in the last two years, participants were randomly assigned to six weeks of wearing a standard medical procedure mask alone, mask use and hand sanitizer use, or a control group with no intervention. Researchers followed students for incidence of influenza like illness symptoms, defined as cough with at least one other characteristic symptom such as fever, chills or body aches, Monto said.

From the third week on, both the mask only and mask/hand sanitizer interventions showed a significant or nearly significant reduction in the rate of influenza-like illness symptoms in comparison to the control group. The observed reduction in rate of flu-like symptoms remained even after adjusting for gender, race/ethnicity, hand washing practices, sleep quality, and flu vaccination.

Non-pharmaceutical interventions such as hand washing and masks—especially in a pandemic flu outbreak—are critical to study because pharmaceutical interventions such as vaccinations and antivirals may not be available in sufficient quantity for preventing and controlling pandemic influenza outbreaks.

In February 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in collaboration with other federal agencies, education, businesses, healthcare and private sectors developed an interim planning guide on the use of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) to mitigate an influenza pandemic.

The measures include voluntary home quarantine, isolation and treatment of cases, social distancing, personal protection such as face masks and hand hygiene, and school dismissal.

"Although a few of these measures can be evaluated during seasonal influenza outbreaks, many are difficult or impossible to evaluate in advance of a pandemic," Monto said. "However, use of face masks and hand hygiene interventions can be evaluated now, during seasonal influenza outbreaks, which can provide concrete evidence for decision makers."

Further studies are needed to confirm whether mask use may be an effective means of reducing influenza in shared living settings. Since it was not possible to blind subjects, knowledge of the intervention may have influenced influenza-like symptom reporting and therefore the results of this study should be interpreted with caution, Aiello said.

"During year two of the study (2007-2008) a major outbreak of influenza took place," Aiello said. "Forthcoming studies will examine whether results observed during this more severe outbreak mirror those observed during the milder year one influenza season. Influenza virus identification will also be examined as an additional outcome."

_______________________________

The University of Michigan School of Public Health has been working to promote health and prevent disease since 1941, and is consistently ranked among the top five public health schools in the nation. Faculty and students in the school’s five academic departments and dozens of collaborative centers and initiatives are forging new solutions to the complex health challenges of today, including chronic disease, health care quality and finance, emerging genetic technologies, climate change, socioeconomic inequalities and their impact on health, infectious disease, and the globalization of health.

_______________________________

The M-Flu study is a collaboration between SPH, U-M Housing, and University of Michigan Heath Services. The study was funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Co-authors include: Genevra Murray, PhD; Rebecca Coulborn, BS; Anne-Michelle Noone, all of the U-M SPH Department of Epidemiology.

For information about M-Flu, including video, news clips, FAQs, visit: http://www.sph.umich.edu/mflu/

For information about the U-M SPH: http://www.sph.umich.edu/

For information about Aiello: http://www.ns.umich.edu/htdocs/public/experts/ExpDisplay.php?ExpID=1071

For information about Monto: http://www.ns.umich.edu/htdocs/public/experts/ExpDisplay.php?ExpID=545

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NIH Statement: Early Pandemic Flu Wave May Protect Against Worse One Later

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 20, 2008

[We won’t know if this pandemic will be at all like the 1918 pandemic. We won’t know if there will be “waves”. Travel and transportation has changed. Blending us together with more efficiency…maybe making waves a distinction of the past. If there are waves of illness, we won’t know the severity until they begin. We cannot know without statistics.]

Early Pandemic Flu Wave May Protect Against Worse One Later

Evidence Shows Spring Outbreak in 1918 May Have Immunized Against Deadlier Second Wave

New evidence about the worldwide influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 indicates that getting the flu early protected many people against a second deadlier wave, an article co-authored by an NIH epidemiologist concludes.

American soldiers, British sailors and a group of British civilians who were afflicted by the first mild wave of influenza in early 1918 apparently were more immune than others to the severe clinical effects of a more virulent strain later in the year, according to the paper published in the Nov. 15 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseasesby medical historian John Barry, staff scientist Cécile Viboud, Ph.D., of the NIH’s Fogarty International Center and epidemiologist Lone Simonson, Ph.D., of The George Washington University.

“If a mild first wave is documented, the benefits of cross-protection during future waves should be considered before implementing public health interventions designed to limit exposure,” the authors suggested.

Mark Miller, M.D., director of the Fogarty Center’s Division of International Epidemiology and Population Studies, said the finding could have implications for future pandemics. “If a 1918-like pandemic were to repeat itself, the early circulation of less pathogenic pandemic viruses could provide some level of population immunity that would limit the full onslaught from the second wave.

“Together with historical data recently uncovered from Denmark and New York City, this study gives us a different look at the process of adaptation of novel pandemic influenza viruses to humans and the evolution of virulence,” Viboud said.

The researchers pored over medical data from U.S. Army bases, the British fleet and several British civilian communities, applying modern mathematical models to study the pandemic. They determined that in the spring of 1918, influenza occurred at different levels of severity throughout the United States, and was not always recognized as a pandemic. By the fall, however, the rate of illness among soldiers was 3.4 times higher among those who had not previously had the flu, and the rate of death per case was about five times as high.

The disparity was not as great for the British sailors and civilians whose records were studied.

For people who were infected in the first wave, the risk of illness in the second wave was reduced by between 35 percent to 94 percent, about the same protection as for modern vaccines — 70 percent to 90 percent. The risk of death was reduced between 56 percent to 89 percent.

The authors found that while there were variations in overall influenza cases among the 37 U.S. Army bases in the spring of 1918, soldiers who had been sick in the spring experienced lower rates of illness and death during the more lethal pandemic outbreak in the fall. At one base, a regiment that had transferred in from Hawaii where soldiers were exposed to the spring wave had a 6.6 percent incidence in the fall compared to 48.5 percent in a regiment transferring in from Alaska, where soldiers had not been exposed.

The study suggests two possible reasons for the difference in incidence and lethality between the first two waves: a relatively weak virus mutating into a stronger one or a respiratory bug in the fall making flu patients sicker.

The 1918-1919 pandemic killed between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide and was unusually deadly in young adults, including soldiers.

Fogarty, the international component of the NIH, addresses global health challenges through innovative and collaborative research and training programs and supports and advances the NIH mission through international partnerships. For more information, visit: www.fic.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation’s Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prepare,

and then help those who will have a difficult time doing so to prepare as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One idea is to utilize the transportation systems that we have now to our advantage.

Meals on Wheels can help the elderly to begin to stockpile.

Vans and buses that bring the elderly to stores can remind them to prioritize their shopping.

Health and physical education classes can teach children basic hygiene techniques and how to help out at home.

ReadyMoms Alliance and Get Pandemic Ready passouts can be printed by PTA and PTSAs and distributed through the schools in order to assist parents.

We already have these systems in place and citizens serving who can get this information into the hands of the people who will need it in the times ahead.

Our churches with open pantry ministries may need to increase their storeroom capacity and their ability to deliver to those in need safely during an outbreak of infectious disease. Families will need to be checked on if the entire or a majority of the family becomes ill.

There are so many ways to be a blessing in others lives.

And don’t forget that seasonal flu shot!

Flu season has already begun.

 

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Prepare While Prices Are Low

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 20, 2008

I paid $4.29 for a gallon of milk the other day!

Next year I expect that the price of milk will make milk unaffordable to us.

Can you imagine that?

My husband has worked for the same company for 34 years. When we add in factors such as rising cost of living costs, little to no raise, and a few other factors, his and our standard of living is the worst it has been in 34 years. And right now he is doing the job of three key people within his store, he is disabled and he is not complaining. He recognizes the blessing of being able to work.

Neither of us are complaining, not at all. We are so very blessed.

I am attempting to illustrate a point that is probably already obvious to most people. We are in the midst of the biggest economic downturn of our generation, and perhaps longer.

Time will tell.

We must not fail to recognize the warning we have been given.

I am old enough to know what my parents and grandparents went through during the Great Depression and World War II. Were there people who warned them of what was coming, what would soon overtake them?

Some back then had the dust bowl to add to their miseries. Today we will have a global pandemic added into this mix.

The wise prepare…

….and even then we will not be able to physically prepare enough I suspect.

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength. Corrie Ten Boom

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. Corrie Ten Boom

 

Scenes from the Great Depression from the Library of Congress archives

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History has a way of repeating itself in spirals. Labor pains are like that too.

fdrl_27-0682a 

They didn’t have much, but my parents told me how people helped each other.

8a16199r

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Heroes During the Great Depression and Beyond

Tragedy and difficult times are the breeding ground of heroes. There were so many heroes then. So many stumbling blocks to be cleared from the path.

There were issues of that time, and we have issues to deal with today. Time marches on but sometimes the song remains the same.

Jesse Holman Jones

Success is measured by the service you render and the character of citizen you make rather than by the amount of money you amass.

Jesse H. Jones

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They were children during the Great Depression but Jesse Owens and Joe Louis taught us that we can endure, we can succeed, we can be that spark that is a beacon of hope to others.

They taught us the lessons that athletes are so able to do.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Joe Louis

I made the most of my ability and I did my best with my title. — Joe Louis

Joe Louis, an American success story. He proved to us that those born just before the depression could endure and rise to great heights despite the roadblocks to their success.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jesse Owens

The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself – the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us – that’s where it’s at.  — Jesse Owens

The only bond worth anything between human beings is their humanness. — Jesse Owens

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Marion Anderson

Taught us how to stand up to oppression while singing her song.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Did not allow his disabilities to hide his gifts and talents during adverse times. He led this nation with dignity.

One of my favorite quotes, being a conservative myself is…

A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. –Franklin D. Roosevelt

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. –Franklin D. Roosevelt

I do not look upon these United States as a finished product. We are still in the making. –Franklin D. Roosevelt

Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country. –Franklin D. Roosevelt

FDR’s D-Day Prayer

A call to national prayer.

My Fellow Americans:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest — until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment — let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace — a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.

Lillian Thrasher

Live is such a way as to pass something tangible to a new generation.      — Lillian Thrasher

Lillian Trasher was born in Georgia in America on September 27, 1887.

Even at an early age she was prepared to dedicate her life to God. Later on she worked at an orphanage. Little did Lillian know that this is where she would get her training for her missionary work.

Lillian attended a bible school, pastored a church, did evangelical work then returned to the orphanage. She became engaged to be married but ten days before her wedding she heard a talk given by a missionary from India. She was deeply moved. She cancelled the wedding knowing that God had called her to Africa and that she must obey.

Read the rest of this story here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Corrie Ten Boom, the young Dutch woman who with her entire family risked their own lives to save the oppressed and hunted.

When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer. –Corrie Ten Boom

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The American People were heroes too. They are stories of great deeds done in faith and courage. The American people were heroes.

Those

who helped others and did not buckle under adversity.

They stood firm then.

They did not lose focus.

They knew what we have forgotten,

what we have misplaced,

what we have so willingly cast aside.

                           Will we stand firm now?

What will be our legacy?

 

Faith is acting in the face of contrary evidence. The senses declare, “It cannot be,” but Faith shouts above the turmoil, “It is!” — E. W. Kenyon

Prepare Spiritually, Mentally, Physically

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So what do it do if I am just realizing that I need to prepare

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 13, 2008

First off, congratulations! You have just taken the very first step toward preparedness.

And it wasn’t a small one.

I remember all too well those first feelings of awareness. It was scary. I felt as though a virus lurked on every surface and I remember feeling very uncomfortable around people who were coughing or sneezing and it wasn’t even seasonal flu season. All in all, not a bad thing, but we don’t need to jump the gun quite yet. Actually the fear is a good thing and I hear it’s a pretty normal reaction.

I remember purchasing a whole lot of hand sanitizers, vitamins, over the counter medicines like acetaminophen. I practically drove my family batty reminding them to use their hand sanitizers before they ate, before they touched their faces —-and there was no actual threat of a pandemic yet.

It is good to start to change behaviors soon, especially with small children. I am 48 years old and I learned a lot from watching videos about proper handwashing techniques :blush:. But take it from me, pacing yourself is a wise thing to do.

Education is our number one tool.

Antiviral medicines and vaccines will not be available to us so becoming familiar with some of the resources that we have available literally at our fingertips is the best thing that we can do. Sharing this information with family members is also important, especially those who are not yet aware of what is coming.

Do not be surprised if friends and family are resistant to the information at first. It is a lot to take in initially. If they are connected to the internet, point them in the direction of the new resources that you yourself have discovered.

Word of mouth is the best way to share that there is a need to be aware but the internet seems to be the best educational tool that we have for now.

The federal government has also done a good job of creating opportunities for us to become better prepared for pandemics and other disasters.

The key thing to remember is – you are not alone in your new awareness. Many people are already preparing their homes and their families for what is ahead. Start slowly and build up your basic supplies. Anything that you would normally need every day is what you will need during a pandemic, just larger quantities.

It is also a good idea to make sure that dental care is up to date. An abscessed tooth due to decaying teeth may be harder to have addressed during a pandemic, other preventative measures should also be addressed now.

Social networking sites like Facebook or Myspace are great ways to keep in touch with friends and family in order to reduce the feelings of isolation when we are sheltering in our homes. And it is also a great way to discuss our preparedness activities friend to friend.

Hope to see you on Facebook!

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Two Informative Pandemic Preparedness Videos

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 11, 2008

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Fatigue

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 10, 2008

Economic Collapse Fatigue, Flu Fatigue, Disaster Fatigue

Sometimes the urge to turn it ALL off is overwhelming. For me, and for a time, I throw up my hands and say “whatever”. I put the Issues on the “back burner”, heat turned down to barely on. With such a wide array of troubles the urge to just walk away from it all is tempting. But then there are times to just forge ahead even through the fatigue. Sometimes one does not have the luxury of “putting away” what is troubling.

Sometimes we just have to button up our yellow, hooded rain slicker and walk boldly forward without looking to the left or to the right. My father used to call it “keeping my nose to the grindstone”. And that is just what it feels like. Read the rest of this entry »

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Preparedness for the disabled and other abled

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 8, 2008

Please do not forget the disabled and other abled in your preparedness plans.

Countless times I have watched absolutely wonderful podcasts and informative video presentations of the subject of pandemic influenza preparedness. Many times there is no closed-captioning.

Preparedness becomes even more difficult for those who can least afford more barriers than they already have.

It will be increasingly difficult to fight off the tunnel vision that occurs during any crisis situation. That tunnel vision allows us to see our own needs and not always the needs of others. A typical response to ensuring our own survival but as sentient human beings looking outwardly will be crucial to the survival of our society as a whole.

Thank you for all that you are doing for others!

Onward and upward!

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Hope

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 6, 2008

Come unto me, ye who are weary and overburdened, and I will give you rest. ~Matthew 11:28

Those under that fog bank are not aware of the beautiful day that is ahead.

If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

When we hold fast to our hope, we can stand with courage.

Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow. ~Dorothy Thompson

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The Parable of the Closed Door

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 5, 2008

Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so. Read the rest of this entry »

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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? Read the rest of this entry »

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What if Today was the Day that the World Turned Upside Down

Posted by preparedcitizens on September 28, 2008

Seriously! What if today the pandemic started. Once it starts it will most likely be like a large brushfire being stirred up in the wind of our patterns of travel. We run this way and that, to and fro these days, unlike in 1918.

Right now there is a the hint of a cluster of H5N1 in humans in Indonesia, although the information out of Indonesia is sometimes very unreliable. In the Philippines, whose information is much more reliable, there is a surge in pnuemonia cases, without testing we do not know if this is being caused by H5N1. But cases are being investigated by their Department of Health.

In Egypt there was a report of one confirmed case but when I went to check the link to the story, I could not find the story. Read the rest of this entry »

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Preparedness and The Parable of the Rich Fool

Posted by preparedcitizens on September 28, 2008

If you thought that it is too tough to prepare now, just wait until the current economic crisis is felt more directly in our wallets.

Don’t wait to prepare. Disaster strikes with little warning. That we have had this much warning is a blessing not to be overlooked or discarded. The world is a tough place right now but it could and will be a lot tougher in the days ahead.

ANOTHER EURO BANK ON BRINK

…early merger talks with CITIBANK

JPMORGAN to take over WASHINGTON MUTUAL deposits…

FDIC seizure

…largest US bank failure

SOLD: $2 for LEHMAN BROTHERS European unit

WACHOVIA shares plunge as investors question fate

I am not advocating for the love of money.

For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:10

“Affluenza” has already led us into dangerous waters. Read the rest of this entry »

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Reminder – What should I do to prepare for a flu pandemic?

Posted by preparedcitizens on September 25, 2008

PlanFirst Webinar today!

from Individuals & Families Planning @ Pandemicflu.gov

An outline of today’s PlanFirst Webinar

The following is an outline of the visual presentation made by Dr. Richard Benjamin, Chief Medical Officer, American Red Cross, at the September 25 live Webcast. The Webcast provides information to help citizens learn more about pandemic flu and the steps they can take now to plan for a pandemic.

What should I do to prepare for a flu pandemic?

First, ask yourself these questions:

  • What if my children’s schools were closed?
  • What if a family member were to become ill?
  • What if I could not go to work?
  • What if I had to stay home for an extended period of time?

Gather essential supplies

  • Water
  • Easy-to-prepare food
  • Medications and medical supplies
  • Medical history and contact information
  • Health and cleaning supplies

Easy-to-prepare foods

  • Canned meats, fruits, vegetables and soups
  • Protein/fruit bars, dried fruit and crackers
  • Cereal/granola, peanut butter and nuts
  • Juice (jarred or boxed)
  • Milk (boxed or powdered)
  • Baby food and formula

Get in the habit of….

  • Washing hands often with soap and water
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Cleaning and disinfecting commonly shared items
  • Staying home when you’re sick
  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Drinking lots of fluids
  • Exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet
  • Getting a seasonal flu shot every year.

Caregiving Tips

  • Designate one person as caregiver
  • Keep personal items separate
  • Use very hot water for washing dishes and clothes
  • Wear disposable gloves

For more information from the Red Cross about how to prepare for a flu pandemic go to:

www.redcross.org/pandemicflu

Contact your local chapter to request a Pandemic Flu Family Preparedness Guide. To find the chapter closest to you go to http://www.redcross.org and type in your zipcode.

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What Would My Great Grandma Say To Me

Posted by preparedcitizens on September 23, 2008

I was adopted into a huge family of good people who really tried hard to be good parents.

It is so easy for us to look back in all of our wisdom and say that we would have done things so differently. On this side of the parenting experience I can say that it is true that I did learn some things about what not to do, but I also learned that my parents and grandparents weren’t so different after all. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posts from around flublogia and an explanation

Posted by preparedcitizens on September 22, 2008

SophiaZoe at A Pandemic Chronicle has always written posts worth reading. She always provides food for thought. The service sector during a pandemic is one of those posts. She also posted a link to an online book at Project Gutenberg written by Daniel DeFoe “A Journal of the Plague Year, written by a citizen who continued all the while in London”. The link is at the bottom of her post. Great post SZ!

FLA_MEDIC is also keeping us up to date with the news at Avian Flu Diary.

_________________________the explanation___________________________

As I was becoming more familiar with this threat and with the information that is on the net I kept wondering if this pandemic had started yet. Read the rest of this entry »

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Its not about how we die, its all about how we live

Posted by preparedcitizens on September 18, 2008

No man has authority to restrain the wind with the wind, or authority over the day of death; and there is no discharge in the time of war, and evil will not deliver those who practice it.” Ecclesiastes 8:8

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  John 10:10

Christians purchase life insurance. We prepare for rainy days. Read the rest of this entry »

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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: Read the rest of this entry »

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

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How – in Monson MA

Posted by preparedcitizens on September 12, 2008

Fear stems, in part, from our unpreparedness. It is a fact that this is a major hurdle that we must get through – we will not be able to hide from this.

A pandemic is coming, it is coming soon (months not years) and It could and most likely will be devastating.

The truth is that unpreparedness will kill many more people beyond what the illness itself will do. Read the rest of this entry »

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No one on that beach died

Posted by preparedcitizens on September 8, 2008

It is like the old nightmare of running from a threat in slow motion or not being able to scream.

Remember 10 year old Tilly Smith from England who remembered her Geography lessons and told her vacationing family in Phuket that dramatically receding waters are a prelude to tsunami. Her warning saved lives. She told her parents and her parents warned everyone on the beach. NO ONE ON THAT BEACH DIED.

And now we watch a viral tsunami

As I read the Indonesia thread on Fluwiki I realize that our precious gift of time to prepare may be running out. We do not know but certainly we have inched closer and closer to the time when the flu virus will spread human to human across the globe.

I was watching an online pandemic flu conference the other day. Julie Gerberding from the CDC, Tommy Thompson, Michael Osterholm and so many others spoke about their concerns.

If you are waiting for a major official announcement you are waiting for something which may not come.

Listen to the little girl on the beach and her family. They saved lives!!!

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The courage to stand

Posted by preparedcitizens on September 7, 2008

I have been both sinner and saint, much like everyone else who walks the earth today. After living for almost 49 years now I have had many experiences to look back on which help me to discern the right way to go. Lining these experiences up with the Word of God I can see why some were outright disasters and why some have given me some of the greatest joy even though they were the hardest to endure. I am not so special, we all have these events in our lives.

I was a senior in high school for one memorable learning experience. I loved being goalie of our soccer team. I was coming off some rough patches in my life and trying to settle my life down into a pattern the resembled some normalcy. I did not want to make waves OR stand out in a crowd. It must be that there are some folks that will always march to the tune of a different drummer no matter what they think that they want :) Read the rest of this entry »

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