How to Avoid Catching Ebola

Many people are understandably afraid that Ebola might become a true global pandemic, and I must confess that I share this concern. It is important to understand that the risk of infection is currently extremely small here in the states.

With that said, pandemics often spread exponentially. For example, the number of infected in Africa is currently doubling every twenty days. Now is the time to get better prepared, not when people are in full panic mode. For that reason, I’ve put together a quick summary of the most important steps and supplies to minimize the likelihood of contracting the disease. Most of this is common sense (as is most disaster preparedness), but I thought it might be helpful to have a step-by-step summary spelled out for people to consider.

Five Steps to Avoid Infection:

  1. Limit exposure.
    • Stay out of public spaces, especially those that are indoors.
    • Avoid public transportation (e.g., airplanes, trains, subways, taxis).
    • Avoid contact with those who are sick, even if Ebola is not suspected.
    • Avoid shaking hands.
    • Don’t travel to areas of known outbreaks.
    • Avoid sharing items that might lead to the transfer of bodily fluids (e.g., cigarettes, bedding, medical supplies, nail salon supplies, needles, musical instruments, etc.).
    • Don’t handle bodily fluids or remains. If you must do so, wear proper protective equipment.
  2. Wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer frequently.
    • Wash hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds.
    • Don’t forget to wash hands after handling money.
    • If using a hand sanitizer, be sure to apply it liberally.
  3. Disinfect hard surfaces with disposable anti-viral wipes.
    • Obvious surfaces would include doorknobs, toys, grocery store carts, etc.
  4. Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
    • Cover your own coughs and sneezes with something besides your hands.
  5. Use protective equipment when faced with a high risk of exposure.
    • Wear disposable gloves.
    • Wear a disposable respirator (N95). Dispose of if you are exposed to bodily fluids.
    • Wear Tyvek disposable suits (including hoods and boot covers) if exposed to bodily fluids, such as when moving dead bodies or transporting someone to the hospital. Dispose of after use.
    • Wear goggles. Decontaminate after use.
    • When in doubt, toss it out. Place contaminated items into specially marked bags so that no one accidentally opens. Seal and burn.
    • Place infectious waste into specially marked bags. Seal and burn.

Supplies Needed:

  • Sanitizer
    • Hand-sanitizing pumps for the home with 60% or greater alcohol content
    • Disinfecting wipes for when out in public
  • Anti-viral cleaner/disinfectant
    • Mix 1 part bleach to 9 parts water, or use a commercial anti-viral disinfectant
  • N95 disposable respirators
    • Both adult and child sizes, if appropriate to family
  • Tyvek disposable suits
    • With boot covers and hoods
  • Goggles
    • Preferably dual-pane, anti-fog goggles, but can also use anti-fog solution if needed
  • Disposable gloves
    • Many prefer non-latex, powder free disposable gloves; rubber gloves are more durable but must be disinfected or disposed of after use.
  • Heavy-duty plastic bags
    • Mark them as “Do not open – Hazardous materials”
 

As of this writing, there have been very few Americans infected with Ebola. Also, the government is currently considering steps to try to prevent additional cases of Ebola from coming to the US – many would say they are moving too slowly. Understand, however, that even if travel restrictions and rigorous screening are adopted, there will undoubtedly be additional cases. Whether those spread into a larger pandemic here in the US is anyone’s guess. Either way, the steps outlined above would serve a family well in protecting them from a widespread outbreak of Ebola or other dangerous pathogen.

Many of you have already read my Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family. In it, I outline preparations for a wide array of threats, including hurricanes, tornadoes, house fires, pandemics, earthquakes, solar storms, and more. The book was written to be an objective reference that people could trust. If you haven’t read the book, I encourage you to ask your local library to order a copy (helping the entire community), or simply order a personal copy from Amazon or http://disasterpreparer.com. Pre-filled out library request forms are available at http://disasterpreparer.com.

Finally, for those of you who enjoy an adventurous post-apocalyptic story, I have also written a series, titled The Survivalist, that follows a US Marshal after a global pandemic. In it, I have included plenty of useful tips and tricks that make the story not only fun, but also informative. It is also available at Amazon or http://disasterpreparer.com.

Arthur Bradley, Ph.D.

Consider sharing this email with friends and family.

Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness The Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness has been repeatedly praised for providing effective guidance to individuals and families interested in getting better prepared. It emphasizes practical preparations and avoids the scare tactics of many other books.

The 440-page handbook is a complete guide to creating a practical disaster preparedness plan. The 3rd Edition has been expanded to cover every important topic, including food storage, water purification, home improvements, electricity generation, backup heating, personal protection, financial preparations, communication systems, disaster preparedness networks, evacuations, life-saving first aid, and much more. An entire chapter is also provided for people with special needs, including the elderly, those with young children, people with disabilities, and pet owners.

Inside the handbook are hundreds of photographs, tables, and useful tips. The new larger 8" x 10" format also includes easy-to-copy worksheets to help organize your family's preparedness plans. Working through the steps identified in this book will prepare your family for nearly any disaster, whether it be natural disasters making the news daily (e.g., earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and tsunamis), or high-impact global events, such as electromagnetic pulse attacks, radiological emergencies, solar storms, or our country's impending financial collapse.

Discover why this handbook is being praised by emergency management experts, preppers, church groups, survivalists, bloggers, soccer moms, and people from every walk of life. Now is the time to take responsibility for your family's safety by putting into place important emergency preparations.

The Superpox-99 virus has wiped out nearly the entire human race. Governments have collapsed. Cities have become graveyards filled with unspeakable horror. People have resorted to scavenging from the dead, or taking from the living. The entire industrialized world has become a wasteland of abandoned cars, decaying bodies, and feral animals.

To stay alive, U.S. Deputy Marshal Mason Raines must forage for food, water, and gasoline while outgunning those who seek to take advantage of the apocalyptic anarchy. Together with his giant Irish wolfhound, Bowie, he aligns with survivors of the town of Boone in a life and death struggle against a gang of violent criminals. With each deadly encounter, Mason is forced to accept his place as one of the nation's few remaining lawmen. In a world now populated by escaped convicts, paranoid mutants, and government hit squads, his only hope to save the townspeople is to enforce his own brand of frontier justice.

Halfway across the country, a killer is released from prison. With hopes set on a fresh start, he rescues a young girl desperate to get home. As they travel across the wasteland that once was the United States, they must call upon every bit of strength and courage to survive not only the horrors of the new world but also a violent government agenda.

Please forward this educational email to friends and family so that they might better understand the worst Ebola outbreak in human history.

If you have any additional questions about the disease or disaster preparedness, please write me at arthur@disasterpreparer.com.

Best wishes,

Arthur Bradley

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