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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Posts Tagged ‘Influenza’

Reports that Encourage and Bring Hope

Posted by preparedcitizens on November 14, 2008

Admittedly, it has been a marathon to increase awareness of pandemic influenza and encourage preparedness among the public.

For some reason when this story was dropped into my inbox this morning it brought tears to my eyes. Not tears of sadness, but tears of gratefulness and thanksgiving.

Maybe it is just my imagination, but the sheer number of stories about local preparedness efforts and announcements of rural areas that are planning and announcing their planning to the public are increasing. And I am breathing a tremendous sigh of relief.

Preparedness and awareness are our best mitigation tools.

This type of reporting, rather than create panic in the public, will help many to begin to prepare their family and home. Good information (rather than rumors and misinformation) never hurt, it always helps.

The following report is what opened the floodgates for me. I have family ties to this area and years ago I started telling people about preparedness in this area. Since we are not able to get to our island home as much as we would like I have not been as aware as I would like to be about the planning efforts of the place that holds my heart, and where I long to be.

(I would encourage more than 10 days of food, water, and medicines….but it’s a beginning)

Pandemic planning pushes preparedness

Written by Robert Levin

Friday, November 14, 2008

BAR HARBOR — Public officials are continuing with efforts to prepare for a potential outbreak of pandemic flu this winter or in coming years.

The Mount Desert Island Pan Flu working group was set this week to ask the league of towns to approve initial plans for stepped-up communication procedures among area towns in the event of an outbreak or other major event.

The league of towns, made up of representatives from Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor, Tremont, Mount Desert, Swans Island, Cranberry Isles, Acadia National Park, Trenton and Lamoine, was slated to take up the request of the at a regular meeting in Mount Desert Wednesday. Results of the meeting were not available by press time.

“Coordinated dissemination of public information in the event of a big event, such as the pandemic flu, would simply go a long way to ensuring an effective public response,” said Mount Desert Island hospital spokesman Jeff Nichols, the chairman of the Pan Flu working group subcommittee handling communications procedures.

With the support of the league of towns, Mr. Nichols hopes to coordinate training on how to manage media and spread information efficiently in the event of an emergency. He has asked each town to designate a public information officer to work with him on communications plans.

The ability to spread information quickly and efficiently in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak is extremely important, said Doug Michael of the pan flu working group. Mr. Michael, who is the director of Healthy Acadia, said the potential for such an outbreak remains very real.

“Public health officials in the state and the nation and across the world are largely in agreement that we are overdue for a pandemic event,” he said. “We cannot predict when it will happen, but it behooves us to be prepared.”

Since 2003, world health officials have been tracking the spread of the H5N1 avian flu virus. A growing number of human cases have been reported in Asia, Europe, and Africa, killing more than half of the people infected.

While almost all of the cases have been caused by exposure to infected birds, officials remain concerned that the H5N1 virus will mutate into a strain that is capable of human-to-human transmission, leading to a pandemic flu event. Because avian viruses do not commonly infect humans, there is little or no immune protection against them in the human population.

The world’s last large pandemic flu outbreak was in 1918, killing an estimated 50 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Smaller pandemics occurred in 1957 and 1968, killing one to two million people each time.

In the event of an outbreak, officials likely would close public schools and try to keep people as isolated from each other as possible, in an attempt to curtail the spread of the virus, Mr. Michael said. People can prepare for such an event by having 10 days worth of food, water, medical supplies, and other necessities stockpiled in their homes, he said.

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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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When our children listen…a sigh of relief

Posted by preparedcitizens on February 22, 2008

My wonderful daughter who at the age of 18 is at the age of feeling invincible, told me this morning that she hadn’t believe there would be bad influenza “because it wasn’t on the news”. I didn’t believe my parents at that age either. It’s par for the course.

Autonomy—we want them to form it but we want instant wisdom as part of the package. Short of that we are left parroting: wear your seatbelt….don’t let someone who has been drinking get behind the wheel of a car…study hard in school…If you don’t do ___, this will happen…..we tell them and pray that they listen to us because we love them.

I have told my daughter that at some point influenza will be a life and death issue for too many of us. For some of us, it already is. We are experiencing a “bad flu season”. And yet, this is not a pandemic—that still may come at some still unknown time. Pandemics happen. Read the rest of this entry »

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Early School Closure – a pro-active approach – Kudos!!

Posted by preparedcitizens on February 18, 2008

 Hat tip to Candles at P4P: what a newshound!! Thanks Candles

Crawford schools won’t return until tuesday
2/17/2008 –
Students in the crawford elementary and high schools will not return to school until tuesday.
Both the elementary and high schools in crawford were closed on friday to try to stop the spread of the flu virus. It was the third consecutive day that the crawford elementary school was closed. But students won’t be returning to the halls until tuesday, because of teacher in–service day on monday. Superintendent merrell nelson says he hopes the four–day break for the entire district will aid in getting students and staff healthy.

He says friday’s lost time will be made up with an extra school day before students are dismissed for summer break.

It sounds to me like these officials are aware and ready to act in a positive way. It is a good thing to see. I hope more communities take this approach at this time. I hope they send information home that discusses other things that parents can do to keep their kids safe. People tend to read what comes home with their children. A perfect opportunity to teach!

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