Prepared Citizens

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

  • Previous Posts

  • Michael Osterholm Quotes:

    “What we need to be doing now is the basic planning of how we get our communities through 12 to 18 months of a pandemic.”

    “Ninety-five out of 100 will live. But with the nation in crisis, will we have food and water? Are we going to have police and security? Will people come to work at all?”

    “It's the perfect setup. Then you put air travel in and it could be around the world overnight.”

    “We can predict now 12 to 18 months of stress of watching loved ones die, of wondering if you are going to have food on the table the next day. Those are all things that are going to mean that we are going to have to plan -- unlike any other crisis that we have had in literally the last 80-some years in this country.”

  • US Health and Human Services

    Secretary Michael Leavitt

    "If there is one message on pandemic preparedness that I could leave today that you would remember, it would be this:

    Any community that fails to prepare with the expectation that the federal government or for that matter the state government will be able to step forward and come to their rescue at the final hour will be tragically wrong,

    not because government will lack a will, not because we lack a collective wallet, but because there is no way that you can respond to every hometown in America at the same time."
  • Joseph C. Napoli, MD of Resiliency LLC

    "I think a new meaning is evolving for resiliency and resilience.

    In some contexts the words are being used to mean the strength to resist being impacted by an adverse event rather than either the “capacity to rebound” or “act of rebounding” from adversity.

    Therefore, resiliency and resilience appear to be assuming the meaning of fortitude, that is, “the strength or firmness of mind that enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage or to bear pain or adversity without despondency” as defined in the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.

    If so, we are coming full circle with science accepting a religious moral virtue – fortitude – as written in the Bible’s Book of Wisdom"

  • Faith Based Resources

    John Piper
    Jonathan Edwards
    Pink-Saving Faith
    Pink-Christian Ethics

    "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves"
    (2 Corinthians 13:5).

    Why Faith Groups Must Care

    When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper


    Be Not Afraid
    Overcoming the fear of Death
    by Johann Christoph Arnold

    While I am not a professional journalist, I do embrace the code of ethics put forth by the Society of Professional Journalists and the statement of purpose by the Association of Health Care Journalists and above all else I strive to "do no harm".

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  • Definitions

    from Wikipedia

    Pandemic Influenza

    An influenza pandemic is an epidemic of the influenza virus that spreads on a worldwide scale and infects a large proportion of the human population.

    In contrast to the regular seasonal epidemics of influenza, these pandemics occur irregularly, with the 1918 Spanish flu the most serious pandemic in recent history.

    Pandemics can cause high levels of mortality, with the Spanish influenza being responsible for the deaths of over 50 million people.

    There have been about 3 influenza pandemics in each century for the last 300 years. The most recent ones were the Asian Flu in 1957 and the Hong Kong Flu in 1968.

    Seasonal Influenza

    Flu season is the portion of the year in which there is a regular outbreak in flu cases.

    It occurs during the cold half of the year in each hemisphere.

    Flu activity can sometimes be predicted and even tracked geographically. While the beginning of major flu activity in each season varies by location, in any specific location these minor epidemics usually take about 3 weeks to peak and another 3 weeks to significantly diminish.

    Individual cases of the flu however, usually only last a few days. In some countries such as Japan and China, infected persons sometimes wear a surgical mask out of respect for others.

    Avian (Bird) Flu
    Avian influenza,

    sometimes Avian flu, and commonly Bird flu refers to "influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds."

    "Bird flu" is a phrase similar to "Swine flu", "Dog flu", "Horse flu", or "Human flu" in that it refers to an illness caused by any of many different strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host.

    All known viruses that cause influenza in birds belong to the species: Influenza A virus.

    All subtypes (but not all strains of all subtypes) of Influenza A virus are adapted to birds, which is why for many purposes avian flu virus is the Influenza A virus (note that the "A" does not stand for "avian").
    Adaptation is non-exclusive.

    Being adapted towards a particular species does not preclude adaptations, or partial adaptations, towards infecting different species.

    In this way strains of influenza viruses are adapted to multiple species, though may be preferential towards a particular host.

    For example, viruses responsible for influenza pandemics are adapted to both humans and birds.

    Recent influenza research into the genes of the Spanish Flu virus shows it to have genes adapted to both birds and humans; with more of its genes from birds than less deadly later pandemic strains.

    H5N1 Strain

    Influenza A virus subtype H5N1, also known as A(H5N1) or simply H5N1, is a subtype of the Influenza A virus which can cause illness in humans and many other animal species.

    A bird-adapted strain of H5N1, called HPAI A(H5N1) for "highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of type A of subtype H5N1", is the causative agent of H5N1 flu, commonly known as "avian influenza" or "bird flu".

    It is enzootic in many bird populations, especially in Southeast Asia. One strain of HPAI A(H5N1) is spreading globally after first appearing in Asia.

    It is epizootic (an epidemic in nonhumans) and panzootic (affecting animals of many species, especially over a wide area), killing tens of millions of birds and spurring the culling of hundreds of millions of others to stem its spread.

    Most references to "bird flu" and H5N1 in the popular media refer to this strain.

    As of the July 25, 2008 FAO Avian Influenza Disease Emergency Situation Update, H5N1 pathogenicity is continuing to gradually rise in wild birds in endemic areas but the avian influenza disease situation in farmed birds is being held in check by vaccination.

    Eleven outbreaks of H5N1 were reported worldwide in June 2008 in five countries (China, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam) compared to 65 outbreaks in June 2006 and 55 in June 2007.

    The "global HPAI situation can be said to have improved markedly in the first half of 2008 [but] cases of HPAI are still underestimated and underreported in many countries because of limitations in country disease surveillance systems".

    Pandemic Severity Index

    The Pandemic Severity Index (PSI) is a proposed classification scale for reporting the severity of influenza pandemics in the United States.

    The PSI was accompanied by a set of guidelines intended to help communicate appropriate actions for communities to follow in potential pandemic situations. [1]

    Released by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on February 1, 2007, the PSI was designed to resemble the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

    From the Massachusetts Health and Human Services


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


    refers to separating and restricting the movement of people who have been exposed to a communicable disease and are not yet ill.
  • Additional Information

    Creative Commons License
    Prepared Citizens by Catherine "Jackie" Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
    Based on a work at

    The posts on this site are subject to change. Mostly due to errors in spelling or grammar. I never said I am a professional journalist. I have new appreciation for the job that they do. Also, not all comments made by others will make it onto this site. Comments that advertise a commercial product do not get posted most of the time.

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  • standingfirm

Posts Tagged ‘all-hazards’

So…the results are in

Posted by preparedcitizens on July 9, 2008

A drill was the best thing to do after all is said and done. Acting on our fears in a positive way.

I found that stocking up is a whole lot harder to do on a strict budget. Food costs are up slightly in our are and fuel is cutting into the budget a lot more. 

Keeping ourselves healthy and following our medication protocols, exercise routines, and eating as healthy as possible with fresh foods is actually a good idea. Stocking up we will mostly be eating starches because that seems to be what we can afford. 

I also discovered that too much energy is expended trying to get back to maintenance level when we become lazy in our routines although it is easier to start up again than it is to begin for the first time. So establishing routines now is a good idea.

Part of my drill was to make sure that what we will need for at least 8 weeks is on-hand. I am not talking living a princesses life. I am talking *survival* for at least 8 weeks. Toilet paper (or even a resourceful alternative), supplies for good hygiene, entertainment (books mostly but other things to occupy active minds), Food, water, and some extra things for exchange or barter with neighbors.

If I had to characterize our state of readiness on some sort of scale I would say that we are at “barely survivable” on our own.

This time around, as far as drills go, I found myself much more able to brainstorm through unexpected events. Losing power, running out of fuel during the winter, no hot water for cooking or cleaning, fire, even some security type issues, I was much more able to think of solutions and even come up with the problems. They seem far less threatening since I have thought through these things.

Treating a life threatening illness in the case of medical system collapse is something that I still struggle with brainstorming through. I know what to do but I still have not wrapped my mind around actually doing this yet. Maybe next drill.

What I do know is that drilling, even if it is running through these checklists mentally, is tremendously helpful. At least it has been for me and mine so I thought that I would pass along this information.

Hope it helps.


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Preparing: what we are doing

Posted by preparedcitizens on April 23, 2008

[Posted on May 6th]

Hoarding…As a “prepper” this is the area that I have always had a struggle with in an ethical sense- how much is enough and where is the line drawn when stocking up?  With prices on the rise and paychecks not keeping up we struggle to make ends meet so hoarding is not a concern.

I have to admit that most of my “preparedness” has been spiritual, informational and emotional. Things that you cannot eat, but I have learned of ways to be more self sustaining on the food front. But I know that I am going to have to go a bit further than that in order to ensure that we have the amount we need because even preparing for 3 months isn’t really a solution – I don’t think that we can purchase our way through what is ahead on all fronts….we are going to have to change our behavior — a lot.

So no, even with all this time that I have had to prepare, my shelves are not packed to the ceiling. We have eaten up a lot of what we had stored up. We started late and now its even tougher.

What we are doing….

We are reducing consumption across the board. We truly live on much less. I drive less than 20 miles per week, some weeks less than 10. We turn off lights, tv’s, unplug appliances, etc. and we are seriously attempting to grow some of our own vegetables. Over the years we have acquired a lot of “stuff” I am reusing that “stuff” in novel ways. An old iron swing set has been converted into a giant hanger for upside down tomatoes and cucumbers which will be growing over the sunniest part of our lot – our deck, an upside down “victory garden”. I reused chicken wire to create a potato cylinder for a crop of potatoes etc.

We are saving newspaper, plastic bags, and 5 gallon water containers. In other words, anything we can use twice or better yet three or four times gets stored.

We shred mail and newspaper and keep other clean burnables for winter fire starting. We use wood to heat our house. It warms us three times..stacking it, hauling it in the house and burning it. Even food scraps are being composted in the mulch pile and I am learning about making compost tea. We have generated around 5 yards of nutrient rich topsoil over the years. At $15/yard plus and exorbitant delivery charge we have been rewarded for our efforts. We don’t have a large lot so I can imagine what can be done on an acre or more!

Our clothesline is up too so no more clothes dryer….that should save on our electric bill.

On the neighborhood front we are enjoying getting reacquainted with our neighbors. Most are largely unaware, still, of the pandemic threat. A quick mention here and there is about all that people endure. One favorite neighbor of ours mentioned the newspaper article in November and that it stood out in his mind that I said that I was storing some rice for neighbors. The rice supply is dwindling as we eat up some of what has been stored and I told him so. He offered his services as a hunter and fisherman!!!

My next project is to build a solar dehydrator using found and reused materials. It will be fantastic on our upper deck, which is also sunny and quite hot during the summer. Dehydrating fruits and vegetables while they are plentiful and cheap will help us through the fall and winter months. I am also toying with building a cold storage structure for apples since there is an orchard up the street and apples are cheap in season or for root crops. One project at a time :-)

I do notice that I spend a lot of time off the computer now so my posts may be a little infrequent. I have a renewed respect and admiration for how hard our ancestors worked — and not that many generations ago.


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