Prepared Citizens

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

  • Previous Posts

  • Michael Osterholm Quotes:

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

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

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

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

  • US Health and Human Services

    Secretary Michael Leavitt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Faith Based Resources

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

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

    Why Faith Groups Must Care

    When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper


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

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

  • Recent Comments

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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 ‘Prepare’

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 »

Posted in Prepare, Public Health | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

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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Because we must!

Posted by preparedcitizens on September 11, 2008

9.11 – A day that was meant for evil but was turned into what is good.

Acts of kindness, acts of heroism, standing strong for what is right, standing against evil and tyranny, fighting against terrorism this is what we stand for as Americans. This is the legacy of 9.11. Those who died in the attacks did not lose their lives in vain.

We have enemies who hate what we stand for. Our brethren lost their lives to those who do evil so that we can see more what is good. 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 »

Posted in pandemic, Prepare, Public Health | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Do you want to have your ears tickled?

Posted by preparedcitizens on August 18, 2008

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:1-8

This passage is referring to preaching the Word of God even when doing so is unpopular, dangerous or seemingly futile. Preaching the Word of God today, to those who do not believe it or want to hear it, is all of the three things I named above. The truth is that we just don’t want to have someone reorder our life’s priorities or even attempt to do so. If we have chosen not to believe their “report” it is easy to discard what they have to say. Click the mouse, change the channel, shut it out. We tend set a course for smooth sailing. We don’t want our lives upset or our ‘worldview’ changed.  With dire warnings of dirty bombs, pandemic influenza, peak oil, rising crime, earthquakes, hurricanes, wars and rumors of war, beating at our ears and hearts the urge to bury our head in the sand or to listen to those tickling our ears is very great. It is easy to look at all these things as myths and false warnings….or even throw up our hands in futility. We think that we need less stress in our already stressful lives. We have been taught that stress is bad. Not all stress is bad and not all pressure weakens us. Read the rest of this entry »

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A pandemic is something else altogether

Posted by preparedcitizens on August 15, 2008

While I am out and about doing the pre-surgical stuff with my hubby I am trying to keep up to date with the news coming out of Indonesia and other hot spots. Check out the flu boards listed here to look at the latest news. The newshounds on these boards are excellent as is the commentary. There are some wonderful people who have really helped me to figure out in layman’s terms what is going on.

We seem to be in one of those periods of time, and it has happened before, where I would not be surprised if we started seeing clusters of pandemic influenza in other areas of the world, including here in the US.

This is what makes this so tough, we just don’t know. The flip side to that is that not knowing means it’s not here now and for that I am very thankful. For when it comes we will know and I am dreading this.

So what do we know? Read the rest of this entry »

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Fear of Disease

Posted by preparedcitizens on August 8, 2008

Fear of contracting illness during a pandemic is a really good and healthy thing!!! I am stating the obvious here, I know.

If I remember back to when I have had a major illness the tendency among friends and acquaintances was to pull away. Even with a disease that is not contagious people tend to try to protect themselves by withdrawing from the person who is ill most especially when the disease process itself is not fully understood. For the most part we shun illness and those who are ill. Those of us who are not in the healthcare field go into self-protection mode. 

Even spiritually, we have a tendency to pull away from those who are stumbling. We all protect our spirit, emotions, and physical well being when we view something or someone as a threat. Subconscious though this may be, if we look hard enough we may (or may not) see this tendency in ourselves. I do it. I have done it. And each time I have done it I have kicked myself afterward for it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Now having said all that below…

Posted by preparedcitizens on August 7, 2008

There is a situation that we are all trying to muddle through on the fluboards. The “flubie” community has been a wonderfully supportive place to learn all about pandemics and to discuss how best to prepare our family and beyond. Greater flublogia is made up of individuals who are concerned about the impact that a pandemic will have on all of us. There are no commitments other than the forum rules that are clearly posted at each community.



[All are welcome to join. If you are new to flu boards it is ok and even encouraged that after you join you sit back and “lurk” so that you get to know the community. No one has to jump right in and post, not that there is anything wrong with that either. When I first joined I felt a little disoriented. It seems the best way to keep people informed they way that I have been able to be informed. Why listen to me when you can have access to the same information ;)

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Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

Posted by preparedcitizens on August 5, 2008

My country, not my government (blue or red) is the land of the free and the home of the brave. My country – It’s all about the people, the citizens, friends, family and co-workers, casual acquaintances and illegal aliens, people who are within our borders.

People have asked me so many times why I do what I do. Why I warn all who will listen, and some who do not, to get your house in order now. I can say without misgivings that I do not do this for the “government”. Love of country does not mean love of government. Government – the entity made up of hundreds of human hearts capable of great courage, valor and integrity, the polar opposite qualities and a full spectrum of heart states in the middle.

To say that my focus is primarily on all of my countrymen would be a bit of a misrepresentation. I will tell any and all who will hear to prepare their homes for tough times ahead but my heart is aching for innocent children, the homeless, the disabled and anyone else who cannot prepare themselves for what is ahead. My heart aches for those who are already struggling. And I pray for their strength and courage to endure.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Prepare, Public Health | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Why Prepare?

Posted by preparedcitizens on August 5, 2008

If I thought that a pandemic would sound the death knell to our society and beyond I would not be putting all this effort into preparedness. I would live for the day and make it the best day possible. The truth is I don’t see this as the end of the world as we know it. We will get through a pandemic. I have prepared as best we can spiritually, emotionally and physically and we are now planning for our future.

As a student of history I realize that over the last 50+ years we have enjoyed a standard of living that is unprecedented in our countries history. I know that times change and adversity buffets us.  I also know that adversity strengthens us. None of us wants these rough patches but when they emerge we endure and actually learn and grow. Tremendous advances have been made during some of the worst times that we have endured so far. We grow when we are challenged. And we are facing challenges. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Prepare, Public Health | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Keeping It All Together

Posted by preparedcitizens on April 6, 2008

A Christian Perspective…

Trials and tribulations define us. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tell The People!

Posted by preparedcitizens on March 25, 2008

By the people for the people…..TELL THE PEOPLE so the people can do the by the people for the people thing!

I am sorry but all I want to say when I see these webinars, seminars, conferences, meetings, and events where we all speak to each other round and round and round and round is blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blah! Yeah, I know, we are learning and sharing….whoopdeedoo Read the rest of this entry »

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That which will tear our heart…..

Posted by preparedcitizens on March 9, 2008

Fla_Medic at Avian Flu Diary has written a piece that has cut to the core of the issue. It is hard to read and even harder to let penetrate. What he wrote speaks perfectly to why many of us do what we do…..scramble to reach people in order that they may save the lives of their children. It tears at our hearts that children will die, that parents will grieve, that we will all be broken down.

We simply must reach people in order that they may know to prepare. We simply must prioritize our response. We simply must close schools and keep them closed. We simply must find a way!

 Mike, thank you for your honesty.

Because They’re Young

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Posted by preparedcitizens on February 24, 2008

Koinonia, the word has always had special meaning to me.

It seems to be something that we are missing in society sometimes, or maybe it is just me who has withdrawn from “community”.

I am blessed to live in a small town in Massachusetts where there really is a strong sense of community. We have only lived in town for 17 years, so we are relative newcomers. Having moved around a lot in our lives we are not used to just jumping in and rolling up our sleeves. I have to say, for such a small town, when it was time, I was welcomed with opened arms. It felt good to apply myself, and give back a little. I set up a pool program, years ago. It was a perfect task for me, having been a competitive swimmer for years…I was in my element. My husband was involved in the leadership of a local Boy Scout troop while our kids were young. It feels good to help out. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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An important abstract to bring to your attention

Posted by preparedcitizens on February 15, 2008

hat tip to Candles for posting this at P4P

editorial comment: We will need to rethink how our children socialize during a pandemic. It isn’t just about schools….and it isn’t just about kids. Working spreads flu too.

Research article

Social contact networks for the spread of pandemic influenza in children and teenagers

Laura M Glass email and Robert J Glass email

BMC Public Health 2008, 8:61doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-61

Published: 14 February 2008

Abstract (provisional)


Influenza is a viral infection that primarily spreads via fluid droplets from an infected personas coughs and sneezes to others nearby. Social contact networks and the way people interact within them are thus important to its spread. We developed a method to characterize the social contact network for the potential transmission of influenza and then applied the method to school aged children and teenagers. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Bad Flu Season

Posted by preparedcitizens on February 13, 2008

Mike at AvianFluDiary reminded me; “If a pandemic occurs (still an `if’),” we are still in the “if” stage, although it really isn’t “if” it is when and when seems to be coming sooner than we will be ready.

We read headlines every day that, quite frankly, become downright confusing. MRSA, children and healthy young adults dying of the flu….how are we to really know when a pandemic has started? My thought is that if it is mild, it may look like a bad seasonal flu season. If we have a higher category pandemic then the start of the pandemic will be much more obvious.

So, when should we start to take precautions?

People throughout the world who know that there is a pandemic coming at some point are asking themselves the same thing.

I maintain that since preparedness is “learned behavior”, the time to have a measured response is now, during our seasonal flu season. Not that practicing some of these measures now means that a pandemic has begun, just that it is a prudent to practice some of our mitigation strategies now.

Flu Seasons… Read the rest of this entry »

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A wonderful online resource for reaching others

Posted by preparedcitizens on February 13, 2008

Kudos to the public health department in Seattle and King Counties.

Thank you for allowing us to share this tool.

Posted in Public Health | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Do you have what it takes to survive?

Posted by preparedcitizens on February 2, 2008

Do you know what it takes to survive?

Education and Preparedness!

Charlene Dumas, age 16, mother of a one month old does! As Food prices in Haiti rise the poorest cannot even afford a plate of rice. They have resorted to eating a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger – mud cookies.

These “cookies” are made of died yellow dirt from the central plateau area of the country and have been a source of calcium. Also it has been used as an antacid.

“But in places like Cite Soleil, the oceanside slum where Charlene shares a two-room house with her baby, five siblings and two unemployed parents, cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal.”

Marie Noel, 40, sells the cookies in a market to provide for her seven children. Her family also eats them.

“I’m hoping one day I’ll have enough food to eat, so I can stop eating these,” she said. “I know it’s not good for me.”

Without education about pandemic influenza and without every citizen in the US preparing will we be eating mud cookies? When a pandemic hits the United States and if the critical infrastructure fails will people have what it takes to survive? If the CI does not fail, will people have enough to withstand weeks in quarantine?

Mud cookies…imagine?

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Aware? Great! Now take “Steps to Prepare”!

Posted by preparedcitizens on December 17, 2007

Pandemic Preparedness Campaigns

 Massachusetts Flu Facts Campaign

Caring at Home

Online DVD

Description and Reviewers’ Comments —from CIDRAP Read the rest of this entry »

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Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions and Our Children

Posted by preparedcitizens on December 14, 2007

Community Mitigation Strategies

What are non-pharmaceutical interventions or NPI’s?

NPI’s are considered to reduce exposure of susceptible persons to an infectious agent. They were commonly used interventions for infection control in years past. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Children, Health, Preparedness, Public Health | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The ethics? of Pande(monium)

Posted by preparedcitizens on December 12, 2007

What a contradiction? Are there ethical issues in warning people to the point that pandemonium ensues…you bet? This has always been the sticking point for me. How and when do we inform the public, how harsh should our words be and, in fact, who will tell the community at large? My measuring rod has always been the length of time that it takes to prepare for the average citizen. What I see is a basic underestimation, in some circles, of the ability of *the public* to understand the intricacies of who, why, and how. Read the rest of this entry »

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