Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2009 at 4:22 am
It is ESSENTIAL that individual citizens have access to good advice on to how to prepare for a pandemic - even if the pandemic either doesn't come or is very mild.
Hopefully, the current influenza outbreak will be both geographically limited and have a low mortality. However, we are incrementally closer to a pandemic than we were two weeks ago and no one can accurately predict what will happen to either the virulence or the spread of this new flu virus.
However, if this new strain spreads widely and has a high mortality rate then we need to realize that the resources of both government and the private sector will very quickly be exhausted and will not be easily replenished. True resilience in the event of a highly virulent and high mortality pandemic depends upon individuals and families being prepared to be self sufficient.
In prudent preparation for such a worst case scenario we need to start now educating our employees and other citizens about how they can be better prepared and what they can do if and when government and other resources are no longer available. Unfortunately, once we reach the stage of a widespread pandemic we will also have lost the lead time necessary to educate individuals. Most government and business pandemic plans focus solely on the role which those institutions can play in performing their functions and fail to address, expect very superficially (wash your hands, etc.) on what individuals should do both to be prepared and to be self sufficient when external resources are no longer available.
You and your family and friends may therefore find this Citizens' Guide to be useful:
Note that the lead WHO infectious disease person, Dr. David Heymann, wrote the Foreword.
This publication is in the public domain and can be cited and used in whole or in part including illustrations. Feel free to print it, copy it and to provide it to others.
There are a lot of government plans for dealing with a pandemic but NONE of them tell as an individual what he/she can do to take care of yourself and your family - this guide does.
Please pass this on to others.