Disaster/Pandemic preparedness - page 2

I was looking the the other Disaster/Pandemic thread that Florida1 started. She mentioned that after the hurricanes, that they had problems getting basic supplies and food stores were often closed... Read More

  1. by   LMonty911
    Al-thanks for posting that.I hope its helpful to others here. Would definitely appreciate feedback and suggestions.
  2. by   sanctuary
    Add a can or bottle of "OFF" to the above excellent list, just in case the event happens in the bug-time of the year. Remember that if it is the pandemic, respiratory PPE, as well as gloves and a paper gown if you can get them. I have several pkgs of jerky, as the First Nation People knew a thing or two about survival. Put in a small sewing kit, and a big container of dental floss, remembering it can be used as twine, sewing thread, shoe lace (hey, extra shoe laces) and of course, flossing teeth. It is always good to have a small garden going, as possible. This is a great thread.
  3. by   indigo girl
    That is a good point about influenza striking in the warmer months. Seasonal flu hits in cold weather, but if we look back at 1918, part of that pandemic occurred in warm weather. We can not assume that this will not happen again. Also, I don't think that it is cold in southeast Asia, an area that has potential for the start of a pandemic as H5N1 is endemic there.

    I would think about what kind of things would not be available that I use all of the time. What everyday items will not be available because they come from outside this country? There are many emergency preparedness manuals that can help you to consider what you might need. "Making the Best of Basics" by James Talmage Stevens is a very comprehensive one, but google will give you some others.

    The point is, many of us never had to be self sufficient. What if you lost your job temporarily due to illness or accident? Could your family make it for three months without having to buy food? What if your town was hit by hurricane, flood, or some other natural disaster? Would your family be warm, safe, and fed? I do not belong to the Church of Christ of Later Day Saints, but I really admire them for teaching people to store one year's worth of food for their families. What a comfort it would be if all of us had that kind of safety net.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Feb 12, '07
  4. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    Last year, after Katrina, Rita was swirling around in the Gulf- at one point heading our way. When they evacuated SE Houston a lot of the traffic came thru our area. I'm about 70 miles inland. I can tell you it was a nightmare. The stores were out of everything, no gas and people were acting crazy. One example: people were stealing gas from employees' tanks in our hospital parking lot. We had to chain the doors of the side entrances because scores of people were trying to come in to the hospital for shelter- we couldn't take everyone that was trying to come in. It was scary to see "We are not a shelter" signs posted on the entrances.

    I had prepared ahead of time and had enough food for us but some unexpected relatives showed up after being on the road for 8+hrs (they only got about 40 miles) I scrambled to figure out what to feed everyone. It was an eye opener to go to the store and see there was hardly anything on the shelves.

    It was surreal to get the contact names and phone numbers of your neighbors' relatives in case something terrible happened.

    My brother is a police officer about 100 miles inland and he sent us a chilling account of the evacuees that were trying to pass thru his small town. People defecating in the street, fights, break-ins, people carrying their dead animals in their arms- horrible!

    Rita did not make landfall here. I decided to turn my hurricane kit into a pandemic kit. I am now trying to sort thru some of the dried goods that are expiring. I am not near as prepared as some of the lists posted, but I have a good start. When I shop, I always look for things on sale to buy that have a long expiration date.

    I guess a pandemic would be more of a "stay where you are" type emergency as opposed to a "run for the hills" one. I imagine people would panic and try to leave tho.

    I used to work for an Immunization program. We frequently had conferences with the CDC. One of my favorite courses was about future pandemics. Keep in mind, it is not a matter of IF but WHEN. This was about 10 yrs ago. Scary then, scarier now.
  5. by   Laidback Al
    Quote from kriso
    . . . .I guess a pandemic would be more of a "stay where you are" type emergency as opposed to a "run for the hills" one. I imagine people would panic and try to leave tho. . . .
    Sheltering in place (SIP) is your best option during a pandemic. You can prepare now by stocking up and evaluating how you can best use the resources you have in house if a pandemic strikes. If you "run for the hills" what will you be running TO? You will need all the food, water, supplies, PPE, etc. that are mentioned in thread, no matter where you go. So unless you have a cabin the woods, a farm on the prairie, etc. there is no need to run from where you are.

    A pandemic is very different than a hurricane. There is tremendous physical damage caused by a hurricane that can directly hurt or kill you: you need to get out its way. A pandemic will not directly cause physical damage to your home or property. The human health impact will occur when people are infected. The best bet is to avoid potential infectious sources. You will have the most control over this if you shelter in place in your own home.
  6. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    Quote from Laidback Al
    Sheltering in place (SIP) is your best option during a pandemic. You can prepare now by stocking up and evaluating how you can best use the resources you have in house if a pandemic strikes. If you "run for the hills" what will you be running TO? You will need all the food, water, supplies, PPE, etc. that are mentioned in thread, no matter where you go. So unless you have a cabin the woods, a farm on the prairie, etc. there is no need to run from where you are.

    A pandemic is very different than a hurricane. There is tremendous physical damage caused by a hurricane that can directly hurt or kill you: you need to get out its way. A pandemic will not directly cause physical damage to your home or property. The human health impact will occur when people are infected. The best bet is to avoid potential infectious sources. You will have the most control over this if you shelter in place in your own home.
    No argument here. I was merely speculating how people may act irrationally during a pandemic...
  7. by   Scrubbs
    Hi everyone. I'm new to this site, but thought I would try to add a bit.
    I work with developing disaster preparedness plans for ER's as well as for communities in remote areas.
    In addition to these great ideas already mentioned, check with your local regional Town, City, State for their disaster protocol. Do they have a POD system for pandemic situations? They might also have medical logistic trailers which mobilize as area clinics. Sort of like a little field hospital.
    In a couple of hospitals we have worked through, they have allowed the ED staff to use a limited amount of supplies (dressings, and related items) from their PAR levels to stock personal kits. This enabled the nurses from that facility to not only be for their families, they could also help small groups (i.e. neighbors). You would be surprised how this may help in keeping surge numbers down during an event. Speaking of which, do your areas have back up surge facility plans?
    I also had a question for anyone that works with the Hospital Incident Command Structure (HICS). Can anyone tell me what their particular areas require as far as training in ICS? I am looking for references that I can give to one of my disaster planners who needs umm... redirection in his planning, but would like to give them some direct reference from others besides myself.
    Thanks
  8. by   indigo girl
    Irrational behavior is a big concern, Kris. I worry about my neighbors, and what they will do if their kids are hungry. What will people do? This is a hugh concern. They may do stupid, dangerous things. The behavior of people after those hurricanes is very predictive of what we will be seeing only on a national and international scale. This is unimaginable to us now.
    Thank you for reminding of us of this.

    I think that not being prepared is also a form of irrational behavior. What are we as nurses going to do about protecting ourselves? I understand the denial, but it is my biggest hope that nurses will snap out of it. Management did not protect nurses during the SARS epidemic. Everyone should understand that those nurses were not protected, and learn from their experience. Unless we start talking to management, and telling them our very realistic concerns, they are not going to protect us in any future epidemic. They are not ready, and may not be willing to spend the money that will be necessary. Surgical masks are inadequate for protection against panflu. The CDC website makes this very clear. We have to make them hear us. No protection, no work.

    I have heard that more public service announcements will be offered to educate people. I remember when the former Surgeon General Koop did that mass mailing regarding HIV (I still have my copy), and how courageous he was to do that. It was astonishing that this man put aside any judgement and belief about the victims, and did the right thing for the common good. It was not politically correct. Koop took his role seriously when the president of that time would not speak even a word about AIDS. Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone, and do something that might not make you poplular. Would you rather be popular or dead?

    People, and that includes nurses are going to panic. We can see some of this in England now as they do some sad things like abandoning their pet chickens in the roadways. Governments do not always tell the truth. Sometimes they tell partial truths to protect economic interests. Again, look at the Brits and what they have been telling people. We are going to be seeing alot of irrational behavior by individuals, businesses, and unfortunately, even govt. Watch these other countries as their stories keep changing, and they are forced to admit the truth.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Feb 12, '07
  9. by   indigo girl
    Quote from Scrubbs
    Hi everyone. I'm new to this site, but thought I would try to add a bit.
    I work with developing disaster preparedness plans for ER's as well as for communities in remote areas.
    In addition to these great ideas already mentioned, check with your local regional Town, City, State for their disaster protocol. Do they have a POD system for pandemic situations? They might also have medical logistic trailers which mobilize as area clinics. Sort of like a little field hospital.
    In a couple of hospitals we have worked through, they have allowed the ED staff to use a limited amount of supplies (dressings, and related items) from their PAR levels to stock personal kits. This enabled the nurses from that facility to not only be for their families, they could also help small groups (i.e. neighbors). You would be surprised how this may help in keeping surge numbers down during an event. Speaking of which, do your areas have back up surge facility plans?
    I also had a question for anyone that works with the Hospital Incident Command Structure (HICS). Can anyone tell me what their particular areas require as far as training in ICS? I am looking for references that I can give to one of my disaster planners who needs umm... redirection in his planning, but would like to give them some direct reference from others besides myself.
    Thanks
    Hello Scrubbs,

    I am afraid that I am not familiar with your information. I hope others are, and can help us out here.
  10. by   indigo girl
    Here it is, a Pandemic Flu PSA:
    Thanks, FlaMedic!
    http://afludiary.blogspot.com/2007/0...c-flu-psa.html
    Last edit by indigo girl on Feb 12, '07
  11. by   Ayrman
    I had the opportunity to talk to the IC nurse the other day - a rare occurance since I work nocs. She almost laughed, after first giving me the look when I asked about bird flu plans. Her reply, in all seriousness, was that the staff would resign or fail to report to a very large extent. Not unforeseeable when you consider the inordinate number of travelers and contract nurses we employ, especially during the prime flu season. There wasn't much else I could say except to quip "I guess that's why they are called travelers."

    Surge capacity? I sincerely doubt it has been thought of, nevermind addressed. The County has plans that they published and distributed widely last year earlier, but the hospital has no plan whatsoever aside from saying they'll cross that bridge when they come to it.

    Ayrman
  12. by   Scrubbs
    I didn't know if anyone has heard of if, but another good source both for disaster preparedness, and pandemic planning is at the Center for Domestic Preparedness website. http://cdp.dhs.gov/resident/pipp.html
    The training there is free for responders, and medical staff. I attended, and was very impressed. They cover the airfare, room and board, and all you have to do is attend class.
    The pandemic class is hard to get into, but well worth the effort. There are also very good classes in disaster/incident command, Types of incident awareness instructor, HazMat, Decontamination.
    When I attended, I was the only hospital staff in the entire group. It just goes to show how badly we need to brush up on our training.
  13. by   indigo girl
    Quote from Scrubbs
    I didn't know if anyone has heard of if, but another good source both for disaster preparedness, and pandemic planning is at the Center for Domestic Preparedness website. http://cdp.dhs.gov/resident/pipp.html
    The training there is free for responders, and medical staff. I attended, and was very impressed. They cover the airfare, room and board, and all you have to do is attend class.
    The pandemic class is hard to get into, but well worth the effort. There are also very good classes in disaster/incident command, Types of incident awareness instructor, HazMat, Decontamination.
    When I attended, I was the only hospital staff in the entire group. It just goes to show how badly we need to brush up on our training.
    Thank you so much for that information. I have corresponded with nurses, who would very much like to attend that type of training. There is so little training available for us that many are looking for whatever they can get. This is excellent.

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