Best Methods for Surviving
Pandemic Disasters...

What is a pandemic disaster?

A pandemic is an epidemic of infectious disease that is spreading through human populations across a large region; for instance a continent, or even worldwide. A widespread endemic disease that is stable in terms of how many people are getting sick from it is not a pandemic. Further, flu pandemics exclude seasonal flu, unless the flu of the season is a pandemic. Throughout history there have been a number of pandemics, such as smallpox and tuberculosis. More recent pandemics include the HIV pandemic and the 2009 flu “near” pandemic called H1N1 or the Swine Flu by some.

For an excellent video about pandemics, visit the address below which will take you to the World Health Organization (WHO) website.

Video: "Pandemic influenza preparedness and response"

Chances of a Pandemic Disaster Affecting You

The World Health Organization (WHO) because of its global charter and organization is generally called upon to determine the evolution and identification of diseases that trend toward pandemic proportions. They are continually informed by national health organizations about various types of disease infections that are occurring at any point in time.

The most recent threat of a pandemic occurred late last year with the H1N1 Flu virus initially called the Swine Flu virus. The disease reached near pandemic levels better never quite achieved the required level for a pandemic classification although it came very close. What prevented this disease from becoming a pandemic was widespread, timely education for the prevention and treatment of this virus and development of methods for vaccinations, distribution, and containment of infected people.

The highly advanced forms of communication enable the assimilation of information as well as its distribution in advance of the disease. The advanced aspects of immunology today offered by drug companies to gather accurate information quickly about a disease allowing the rapid formulation of vaccinations is a global miracle today. These facts coupled with sophisticated distribution and storage systems greatly minimized the potential of the H1N1 Flu virus to get to a pandemic state and to prevent a significant loss of life.

H1N1 Virus (Electron Microscope 108,000 Magnification)

H1N1 Virus Model-- "Up Close and Personal!"

It is nearly impossible to actually identify a disease infection level to be deemed a pandemic. Diseases evolve over time and depend on many factors. One key factor today that greatly encourages the transmission of a disease is the interconnectedness of our planet that is gained through global transportation systems for people, animals, plants, food products, etc. Air travel especially serves as an excellent method for the rapid transport of an infectious disease.

How Does a Pandemic Disaster Begin and Spread?

WHO along with other national health organization such as Center for Disease and Control (CDC) in the U.S., coordinate and monitor the inception of diseases as they potentially trend toward global spread from local areas of initial infection. The following video illustrates the advice and approach taken by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) here in the U.s regarding H1N1 Flu in 2009-10 of last winter----

Video 2009-10, H1N1 Virus, CDC Strategy

Once WHO can identify pandemic breakouts and pattern they can begin to gauge the spread of a disease and set a value as to the intensity and likelihood that a particular disease has reached the level to identify it as a global pandemic. But, each national government monitors its own population and informs WHO.

Here was the concern and approach taken by the U.S. Federal Government's Health and Human Services (HHS) as the H1N1 virus appeared to increase in the number of cases suggesting the possibility of an epidemic.

H1N1 Flu and Federal Health and Human Services (HHS) Response video in Spring 2009. A new flu virus detected.

They recommend basic guidelines and continuous findings for national governments to institute with the public populations and regional medical groups to contain a pandemic and hopefully manage it into distinction.

Surviving Pandemic Disasters is Dramatically Improved Today with Proper Planning and Actions

Various pandemic diseases require different treatments which are announced by the various health organizations from WHO down to your own medical doctor. One of the most common diseases to reach pandemic proportions can be flu viruses.

For example, on April 30, 2009, it was reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) was raising its pandemic alert level higher globally and the number of Swine flu (H1N1 flu outbreak) cases in the U.S. were on the rise. It was a good time for individuals and families to get prepared and learn how to stay healthy.

Stocking extra food, water and supplies at home helped reduce the need to go out and expose oneself to Swine flu as it became more widespread, thereby limiting potential for exposure to the virus. If a person did get sick and had extra supplies on hand, they helped reduce the spread of the flu by staying home, preventing public exposure. So, the first step in acquiring a disease like H1N1 is to:

Gather supplies:

• Assemble or refresh your emergency preparedness kit.

• Store a two-week supply of food, water and household necessities (such as laundry detergent, toilet paper, etc.). Select foods that are easy to prepare and store.

• Store one gallon of water per person per day in clean plastic containers. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles.

• Insure that formula for infants and any child's or older person's special nutritional needs are a part of your planning. Store an extra supply of food for your pets.

• Make sure you have an adequate supply of essential medications and medical items for all family members.

Make plans:

• Plan for what you would do if you had to stay at home for a period of time.

• Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick.

• Find out your employer's plans to keep the business open if key staff can't come to work.

• Ask your child's school or day care if there are plans to encourage sick children to stay home to reduce the spread of the disease.

• Identify how you can get information, whether through local radio, TV, internet or other sources.

• Ensure you have the phone numbers of your doctor, hospital, and emergency providers on hand.

Actions to Take to Survive Pandemic Disasters

Stay healthy as possible:

• The Red Cross and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer the following tips to ensure you stay healthy:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for 30 seconds or more, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective when soap and water aren't available.

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way. Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick. Use a surgical or face mask to protect you from both spreading the virus and acquiring it.

• Influenza (flu) is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing.

• If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Because H1N1 was spreading during the winter, some national level doctors were recommending a minimum of 5000 IUs of Vitamin D-3 upwards to 15,000 IUs if you felt like you were getting either a cold or the flu. Additionally, gargling with salt water several times a day. Fish oil capsules at 3,000 grams/day were also felt useful in maintaining a higher resistance level to the virus.

It was recommended that you consult your healthcare provider if you develop symptoms of the flu, such as:

• Fever

• Cough

• Sore throat

• Body aches

• Headache

• Chills

• Extreme tiredness

• Vomiting and/or diarrhea

Also, to learn more about preparing for a possible pandemic flu as well as other diseases in the future, visit the Red Cross Web site.

American Red Cross

For up-to-the-minute updates on the swine flu and other diseases visit the CDC Web site. People seeking information on human swine flu should visit the CDC Web site or call 1-800-CDC-INFO. Center for Disease Control

Actions to Take After Surviving a Pandemic Disaster

Remain cautious to keep from acquiring a disease even though the worst has subsided globally. It takes some time for the danger to pass even upwards of several months. For some diseases, the threat is always present and requires vigilance and good health practices continually to contain the threat.

Additional Resources for Surviving Pandemic Disasters

For an extensive article treatment on global pandemic characteristics, defense, and past historical pandemics go to the following URL using the cntl/click method:

Also, see sources listed in credits below.

To obtain the current pandemic guide or abstract created by WHO on April 2009 go to this link:

World Health Organization

Historical Notes for Suruviving Pandemic Disasters:

The following is a partial list of past historical pandemic disease categories.


World Health Organization

American Red Cross

Center for Disease Control


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