How to Survive a Pandemic:

Knowing what to do in the present and while moving into the future

Infectious disease has been one of the leading causes of death throughout human history.  Protect yourself and your family by learning how to survive a pandemic  – like the one the world is experiencing today due to COVID-19.

What is a Pandemic?

Three words that are often used to describe the spread of a disease are outbreak, epidemic, and pandemic.  

An outbreak is a noticeable (but often small) increase in the number of expected cases of a disease in an area.  Examples of an outbreak include:

  •  An unusual number of cases of diarrhea at a school or 
  • The cluster of pneumonia cases that were first reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019
  • The polio outbreak between 1916-1955
How to survive a pandemic - polio
  • Whooping cough in 2010 and 2014 

An epidemic is when an outbreak occurs over a larger geographic area.  

A pandemic is when efforts to control global spread of a disease have failed.  An example is March 11, 2020 when COVID-19 was confirmed in over 100 countries and declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

Handwashing is One of the Keys to Surviving a Pandemic

Handwashing is one of the best ways to help prevent the spread of disease. There’s a process that should be followed in order to practice “correct” hand washing. 

  1. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. 
  2. Make sure to get the front of your hand, the back of your hand, and between your fingers.  
  3. Keep hand sanitizer handy for when you cannot wash your hands, and use it often.  

Washing your hands is very important because germs are often spread by touching things like door knobs, buttons, money, shopping carts, and gas pumps. The graphic below, which is taken from the World Health Organization (WHO) website outlines proper handwashing technique in more detail. 

how to survive a pandemic - hand washing

How to Survive: Pandemic Preparedness

You can’t know for sure when a pandemic is going to happen, so it can help to always be prepared.  

Some recommendations that will help you and your family members stay safe, healthy and ahead of the curve – essentially, keys to survival

  • Always have sufficient hand soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes in the home.  These items can (and should) be accompanied by extra cleaning supplies, too.
  • If you have an extra freezer, it can be helpful to keep it stocked with meat and other food.  This is helpful because it means fewer trips to the grocery store will be needed, allowing you more time to stay away from and out of crowds.
  • Some people choose to stock up on survival foods that come prepackaged and do not need refrigeration.  This can be a wise decision when preparing for a natural disaster, but because a pandemic is unlikely to result in loss of power, is probably unnecessary for pandemic preparedness. Shelf stable foods are always a good choice to have on hand, because they are easy to store, prepare and move.
  • Stocking up on bottled water is a good plan, too. Even though basic utilities are unlikely to be impacted by a pandemic, having peace of mind that you will always have access to good, clean drinking water can be a huge relief. 

As we saw with COVID-19, pandemics can result in many businesses closing and many people losing their source of income, which can impact the economy long after the pandemic has ended.  

how to survive a pandemic - saving money

One way to avoid this type of stress is to ensure that you have enough money saved up for several months of bills, which is often easier said than done. Even knowing that you have money set aside for at least a month or two worth of basic needs is a good plan, so consider taking some money (even only a few dollars) from each paycheck  for this purpose. 

How to Survive a Pandemic by Staying Home

If officials in your area recommend that everyone stay home, following this advice can help you survive a pandemic.  

For food and other basics, consider using one of the many delivery services available.  If you decide to venture to the store, make a list of all the things you will need for several days and try to stock up so you do not need to make repeated trips.  

Each time you go out in public, you make it more likely that you will be exposed to the pandemic. While there will always be risk, there are ways to minimize it. 

Some suggestions? 

  • Stay home whenever possible.
  • Wear a protective mask
  • Limit your trips by having a plan before you head into the store
  • Take advantage of shopping online and scheduling food or grocery delivery
  • Be courteous to others 

How to Survive a pandemic: Don’t Panic

One of the keys to survival when it comes to pandemics is not to panic.  

Keep in mind that many popular news sources rely on sensationalism and will try to make headlines sound scary.  Be very careful where you get your information, and try to do some independent fact checking. 

The news is meant to inform the general population, but a great deal of news all at once can be overwhelming, especially if the sources cannot be verified. It’s good to know what is going on in the world, but many people recommend scheduling in “breaks” from the media in order to give people a chance to reset and think about other things, even if only for a short time. 

During pandemics, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and forget all of the things that you should be grateful for. Focus on the things that you can control, and make a difference in your own life rather than waiting for someone else to do it for you. 

Water is the single most important resource required for human survival.

Even when utilities are still provided, there’s no guarantee of their quality, or that they won’t be interrupted.

Take things one day at a time. Focus on keeping your refrigerator full, your family safe and happy, and your home supplied with clean, fresh water using a tool like The Water Freedom System. Never worry about access to pure water again. 

Surviving a pandemic might not be easy, but if you’re willing to do what is necessary for pandemic preparedness, you’ll be well on your way to doing just that.

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