Safety and Protection in a Pandemic
What you’re going to need after you have a plan to provide food, shelter and other basic needs for yourself and your family is to make sure that you have what you need to keep from getting the virus.
You’re going to also need a way to protect your personal safety. Whenever a pandemic occurs, there is often a collapse of certain societal norms – such as the ability to get food and water, gas and even money.
When that happens, there can be factions of people who decide that they’re going walk outside of the boundaries of the law and take what they need. Some people are opportunists who will hunt for other people that they can prey on.
Safety Items You Need
Because the Ebola virus can spread so quickly and be so devastating when it touches a life, you need to be prepared for all of the ways that the virus can come at you.
The first item that you’re going to need will be a supply of the N95 masks. You’ll need these for every member of your family. You can find these in packages with a few or with plenty at medical supply stores, but since you’re going to want to buy them in bulk, your best bet is to order them online.
Plus, you’ll save money getting them online over the higher cost of buying them at a medical store. Figure that you need at least several months’ worth of masks for every person who will need to wear one.
Supplies to last a year
You’ll want a supply that will last you 3 months at minimum but planning for longer (a year or two) is better. If a year seems excessive, all you have to do is take a look at the current outbreak.
It actually began in December with the host victim but wasn’t properly recognized as the Ebola virus until March. It’s raged on for an additional five months since then, bringing the total time the virus has run rampant among people to a total of nine months so far – but it’s still not controlled.
This is why getting enough masks for a year minimum is the best way to make sure your family’s safety is taken care of. When you wear the masks, you’ll want to make sure that the areas around the mask seal well to your face.
You don’t want any openings at all because the Ebola virus can get into your body through any mucus membrane area. So if you have to seal around the mask with tape to make sure it’s secure, then do that.
Find masks with filters
You can also find these masks with filters in them – but they’re more expensive. Whatever kind of mask you get, you want to make sure that you don’t try to fit an adult sized mask onto a child.
There’s too much room for error that way. There are separate masks made just for children that you can buy, so get them a minimum of a year’s supply as well if you can.
You might have seen articles telling you that you should wear safety glasses in order to protect your eyes from being an entry point for the Ebola virus. But you should only use safety glasses as a last resort.
These are open on the sides and fluid from a contaminated individual can splash up and catch you in the corner of the eye where you’re not protected. Instead of safety glasses, you’ll want to purchase safety goggles.
These come with a rubber seal around the sides of them so they’ll adhere to your face and offer you more protection that a simple pair of safety glasses will. But if you can’t get the goggles, then anything is better than nothing.
Don’t forget to make sure you get some kid sized ones to protect the children in your family. Outerwear is also paramount to your protection during a pandemic. There are two kinds of outerwear that you can get.
You can buy the disposable kind or the heavy duty plastic kind, re-usable kind. You might see these listed as chemical protection suits or training suits. If they have that label, it means that those are the suits that are used in dangerous situations like where there’s been a chemical spill or the rough places where a first responder might need to go to help someone.
Pros and cons of protective suits
These suits can be very expensive, often costing a couple of hundred dollars or more. There are pros and cons to both kinds of suits. The disposable suits usually have sleeves and pant legs that have strong elastic in them so that they fit pretty snugly against your skin in order to keep out any viruses.
Some of these suits also come with fitted hoods so that you can cover the sides of your face to keep your ears protected. The strength and durability of the disposable hazmat suits depend on the brand that you buy and what the fabric consists of.
Some are more resistant to tears and breakdowns than other brands are. So always choose a brand that has a good track record for being resistant to tears. When you’re done using these, you have to dispose of them properly so that any germs on the suit aren’t carried back with you once you remove the outerwear.
The heavy duty hazmat suits have to be decontaminated after use and if you’re not set up to deal with a contamination area without accidentally infecting yourself, then you’ll want to go with the disposable suits.
Some of the heavy duty hazmat suits come with extras already attached – such as the gloves you’ll need to use to protect yourself. You’ll need to have plenty of gloves onhand and these can’t be those flimsy household gloves like the thin cleaning gloves you find at the grocery store.
Those nick and tear open at the fingertips far too easily. They can’t stand up to long use, either. You don’t want to cover your body with a sturdy hazmat suit and then jeopardize yourself by choosing cheap gloves.