It seems like everyone is worried about infectious diseases lately, and at TeamAR15.us we’re no exception. The latest news about the ebola outbreak has people thinking about how they’d handle the worst-case scenario in their hometown. What exactly can you do to keep your family safe when disease is spreading outside of your door? What should you have on hand to take care of your family? Is there anything that you can do if the medical infrastructure collapses? Well, we’re answering all of those questions and more in our look at what to do in the face of a deadly epidemic.
Equipment & Supplies
The single most important supply to keep on hand, aside from clean water for washing and boiling sheets and clothes, is bleach. You can put bleach in a spray bottle with water, mix it to a 10% solution, and use it to decontaminate hard surfaces. Carpet is much harder to sterilize and keep clean, so whenever possible keep your family in rooms with hardwood floors. Wash the floors and walls regularly, and limit contact with your neighbors. Use respirators whenever possible and add a HEPA circulation filter if one is available.
Dealing With Emergencies
Proper first aid training can go a long way in an emergency like this one, and anyone who is showing signs of infection can be treated by giving them plenty of fluids, keeping their fever down, and hoping for the best. Infections like ebola are outside of the reach of nearly anyone to treat, doctors included, so all you can do in the worst case is to isolate the patient and keep them as comfortable as possible while wearing protective clothing, respirator and gloves. Clean up any body fluids with bleach water and sterilize or burn the rags.
Establishing A Quarantine
In the absolute worst case scenario, where a member of your household is presenting symptoms of the disease and there’s no chance for professional medical assistance, you should think about establishing a quarantine in your own home. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, since you’ll need to build a positive-pressure environment and isolate the airflow from the rest of your home. It is possible in the direst emergencies, though, to care for your own and reduce the risk of becoming infected.
The key to building a working positive pressure system is to isolate all of the air ducts in the room being used for quarantine. They can be covered with multiple layers of plastic and tape, except for one which is hooked directly to a blower feeding air into the room. Plastic is put up around all of the doors and every window except for one, which can be cracked in order to allow the air to flow out. A system like this will reduce or eliminate airborne contaminants flowing back into your home.