Experts are estimating that quarantine for the Flu may be as long as 8 weeks. Imagine 8
weeks without leaving your home and consider what you might need during that length of
time weather it is in summer or in winter.
Note: Each family is different due to size, illnesses, or special needs. The following is
going to be a general list and you can add or delete as required. This is simply meant to
get you thinking and planning.
We want to start with the number one necessity for every individual and family – water.
Other than air, water is the most important substance that your body requires for survival.
The average person can only live 3 days without drinking water. If your power is taken
off line, or the municipal water source is contaminated, you will not be able to turn on
your faucet and use clean water. There may not be any water at all.
Here are six different suggestions to help prepare for this:
1) Using the rule of thumb of 1 gallon of water per person per day (for drinking,
washing, cooking), store enough bottled water for 1 month. Keep in mind
that you may need more in the middle of summer and if air conditioners are
2) If you have enough forewarning about an emergency, clean out your bathtub
with Clorox, make sure the stopper doesn’t leak and fill your tub with water.
This water can be used for cooking, flushing toilets, bathing, or drinking
water for your pets.
3) Purchase new 30 or 55 gallon “food grade” plastic barrels and fill them with
tap water and a “water preserver” that will keep water fresh for 5 years (can
find on-line at several places). Remember to purchase a hand pump, to pump
water out into smaller containers.
4) LDM-100. Adding a few drops of this per gallon of water can disinfect water
killing bacteria, parasites, and viruses that may be present in the water.
PROPERLY STORING WATER—very important!
Purchasing commercially bottled water is most reliable. I prefer distilled for longer
storage, but not for long term use. To prepare your own containers of water use only
Food Grade Containers which you can get at camping stores. Or you can use 2 liter soda
bottle or glass jugs but do NOT use Milk or OJ Jugs. Milk Protein and Fruit Sugars are
hard to completely remove and therefore provide an environment for bacterial growth.
Prepare containers by washing with dishwashing soap and water, rinse completely!
ADDITIONALLY: sanitize the container w/ a teaspoon of bleach per quart. Swish,
drain, and rinse.
Next, fill the containers to the top leaving no air. Tap water has enough chlorine for 6
months. Well or other untreated water source, add a few drops of LDM-100 or if you
prefer (though it’s bad for your health) add 16 drops (1/8 tsp) of unscented, color safe
bleach per gallon of water. The bleach can disinfect water, but may not kill all germs and
bacteria. LDM on the other hand will kill every bad thing in your water and add to your
health not take away from it.
Lastly, tightly close using original cap. Don’t contaminate inside of cap with fingers.
Write date and store in cool dark place. Duration of Storage: About 6 months if not
commercially bottled. Up to several years.
POWER and HEAT
If your power is taken off line, you may need to have a backup plan in order to cope with
no lights at night, and with no power to cook with or store refrigerated food. Having no
power means no hot water, no cooking (unless you have a gas cook top), no tv, washer,
dryer, refrigerator, freezer, etc.
People tend to panic fairly quickly when there is no power, which is one thing we are
trying to avoid.
Here are some suggestions to help with power and heat:
1) You may want to consider purchasing a generator, although this can be
expensive. You can purchase a smaller generator to operate your refrigerator,
stove and some lights for around $500. If you have a generator, be sure to
keep the exhaust from entering your home. Generators must be placed
OUTSIDE with good ventilation. Also keep in mind that natural gas
availability could be disrupted, so you may want to consider getting a
generator that operates on propane and purchase/rent a large propane tank
outside of your home.
2) If you do not purchase a generator, you may want to consider buying a
propane camping stove for cooking and warming water. This is not
expensive, but you will need to have several canisters of propane on hand
(most of these stoves have to be used OUTSIDE, but some can be used
indoors as well – do not use indoors, unless product specifically says you
3) If you have an outdoor grill, you can cook using this, although keep in mind
you have to be OUTSIDE to use this.
4) You may want to consider having a wood burning stove or fireplace insert
installed in your home. This can provide an alternate source of heat if power
is out and also a cooking surface for your home. Keep in mind to have a lot of
If your power is taken off line, you may need to have a backup plan in order to cope with
no lights at night.
1) A generator would provide you with lights.
2) Have enough flashlights for your family. One per person is suggested. Also
have back up batteries. Make sure you get good heavy-duty quality lights.
a. You may want a battery operated spot-light also.
b. For under $20 you can purchase “wind-up” flashlights that do not
require batteries or flashlights that recharge by shaking or winding.
c. L.E.D. flashlights are good options as their bulbs last a long time.
Note: Do not buy cheap rechargeable flashlights from dollar stores.
4) Kerosene, oil, or propane lamps.
This is one area that a lot of people tend to forget. If you have no electric power, your
bathrooms will probably not work for long, particularly if coupled with loss of clean
If you don’t want to be forced outside with a shovel, you may want to consider
purchasing a portable commode. Walmart or Sears carries these and they work well. It
has a double tank – one for clean water to flush and another for the waste. You can use
chemicals to help with odor. You will also need to have some special, inexpensive toilet
paper that dissolves. The top of the line commodes are about $99 and can be found for
During many types of emergencies (but not necessarily pandemics), internet, home and
cell phones may not be operational so you may want to consider the following:
1) Purchasing walkie-talkies that you can buy from many different places. Some
require FCC licenses, while others do not. I would try to find the kind that
has the longest range without purchasing a license.
2) CB Radios, Trunk Radios or Short Wave radios are also a good option for
3) Emergency Radio: Along with having two-way communication, it will
probably be vital to be able to stay informed with current weather, safety
concerns or government warnings through the local authorities. Purchasing a
radio is a good idea. You can purchase a good “wind-up” or “solar” powered
radio that carries a variety of NOAA, FM and AM stations for around $50.
Some models even have a cigarette adapter that will run other electronic
EXTENDED FOOD STORAGE:
To plan for at least 1 month of food for your family you will want to purchase food that
does not require refrigeration and must be storable for the longest time possible.
Here are some examples of the type of food you may want to have stored:
Seeds & beans for sprouting Powdered milk
Dried Fruit Dry Crackers
Peanut Butter Soups
Salt & Pepper (spices) Instant Coffee and Tea
Rice Bouillon cubes
Bottled drinks Caned meats (no refrigeration)
Spam (helped get our forefathers through the depression and WWII)
Building a Three-Month Supply (Normal Diet)
Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet.
Purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food.
Then gradually increase the supply until it is sufficient for three months.
These items should be rotated regularly to avoid spoilage.
Freeze Dried Foods
#10 Cans: Have a 25 Year Shelf Life
Freeze-drying process retains more of the food's color, flavor, and
nutrition than other methods of drying.
Meat, vegetables, fruit, milk, butter
Grains & Beans
Food at low cost with a 30+ year shelf-life
Beans are one of the most nutritionally-complete staple foods, inexpensive
and widely available. Grain is a good source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and
Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE)
MREs have approximately 1300 calories per meal.
MREs are shelf stable for a minimum of 3 years at 80oF
MREs meet the military recommended daily allowance (RDA) guidelines
established by the surgeon general.
Developed for a healthy and extremely active population.
3,600 Calorie Food Bar
5 year shelf life.
One bar is designed for a 72-hour supply/3 Days
Ready to Eat: Each package contains 9 pre-measured 400 calorie meals.
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FIRST AID KIT
Home First Aid Kits are fairly simple, however, you will need to customize them to your
families needs. Keep in mind that you may have special medicine that is required (e.g., if
allergic to aspirin, etc.).
Suggestions for First Aid Kit:
First Aid Book (a good book that Eye Drops
give a lot of information) Benadryl
Triple Antibiotics ointment Soap
Assorted Band Aids with Latex gloves
different sizes Option: Dental first aid kit
Alcohol (for cleaning, sterilizing) Scissors
Cotton balls or Q-tips Extra Blankets
Hydrogen Peroxide Hand sanitizer
Gauge Pads – assorted sizes Tweezers
Medical tape Thermometer
Bactine – will not burn Magnifying glass
Merthiolate, iodine, etc. Hand Cream (lotion)
Tums or Rolaids Aspirin or Tylenol or Ibuprofen
Personal Doctors prescriptions
If you are home without power, the kids will get board quickly. If you go by the Boy or
Girl Scouts, they have some great books that are free with great ideas. These books
include games that you can make with house-hold items.
Another way to help the time pass is with some cards, battery operated radios and
televisions, and cd players with stories for children. Magazines are also great to cut up
with scissors, or you can make puppets, have a puppet show, etc.
Depending on the emergency, I would also suggest the following items be included in
your emergency kit:
Extra batteries in various sizes
Pens, pencil and paper
Hygiene items for men & women
Toilet paper (several rolls)
Extra dish soap & dish towels
Basic tools, knife
Cash (Just in case ATM’s or Banks are unavailable)
SITES & RESOURCES
Here are some good resources you can use to purchase water filters, food,
water pumps, etc.:
Can purchase: Freeze Dried, Grains & Beans, MRE’s, Food Calorie Bars,
Water storage and many additional personal preparedness items
Katadyn Portable Water Filters
Tracey Hart (803) 802-5455
Food Storage Planning Software:
Bird Flu Personal Protection Equipment:
OBBCO Safety Supply, Inc.
Dennis Wenger (757) 420-4000
Can purchase: N95 Masks (3M), Tyvek - Hood, Boots & Coveralls ($80
case - 25/Sets per case), Latex Gloves $5 box 100/Box
Other helpful Informational Resources and links:
As you prepare your home emergency kit, please look at the following sites. Some of
these sites have step-by-step plans and information that you can add to what we have
Very helpful site from Dept. of Homeland Security. Click on “Ready America,” to view
various information on making a plan, preparing a kit, etc.
Click on “Plan Ahead” button then scroll down to information under “protect your
www.cdc.gov (Centers for Disease Control)
www.who.int (World Health Organization)
www.morningstarministries.org (Disaster Response)
Go to MFM/MFC tab and click on Disaster Response. They also carry a Personal
Preparedness DVD for $10 (#MFR07-502D) CALL (800) 542-0278
Keep in mind that during disasters or pandemics, things are not normal and good people
do not react normally. The bad people get even worse and the Law Enforcement people
are either not available or very thin on coverage (as we saw with Katrina). Normally
these emergency personnel are dealing with the same problems that you are with their
families. It may be up to you (and the Lord) for your security either for a short or a long
period of time. There are answers and ways that you can help protect your family.
First, it does help to have an alarm system in your home. A monitored system will bring
help in most cases. If there is no power, the alarm system has battery backup, and if there
is no phone service, your system may be equipped with a cell connection. If no cell
connection, at least the Siren will alert others.
You can control your doors where no one can obtain entry. Keep in mind that 85% of
burglaries are through the doors. You can also pin your windows open and still get air
but the crook will have more difficulty gaining entry. There are also several inexpensive
ways to alert you if someone tries to enter. If entry is gained there are several options
other than deadly force.
A dark home has a way of inviting the wrong people. One way to keep them outside is to
pin your windows. Using tomato sticks, not dowels, that are round but the square ones
can help. Cut the stick approximately one eighth of an inch longer than the window top
part and wedge it into the side. This is an inexpensive way to keep your windows from
being forced open. There is also a door jam that you can buy from your hardware store
for $20 and it prevents your door from being opened until you wish to exit.
Written by Donald W Parnell and Matt Peterson. Feel free to make copies.
Donald W Parnell CLI CFE
Director of Security
Sentry Watch, Inc.