Last summer, I attended a Pandemic preparedness regional meeting offered by a Medical Doctor who was called by our church, on a mission to teach us about pandemics and how to prepare for them. Her exact wording was “when” there is a pandemic, not “if” there is a pandemic. She talked about how the Lord has always used plagues, pestilence and sickness to help his children turn their hearts to Him. She also stated (the MD) that we are well over due for a pandemic. When I first heard this information, I thought that most of you sisters would totally freak out- basically, so I have been hesitant to pass on the ino.
Since Christmas, as I have been studying and praying about what classes to teach, I have had strong feelings and noticed a similar thread among reputable websites I have checked. They are all talking about and encouraging us to prepare for the pandemic- including LDS.org. (http://providentliv ing.org/content/ display/0, 11666,8041- 1-4414-1, 00.html ) In my patriarchal blessing, it specifically states that I will be “preserved during times of pestilence and plagues”. This is yet another reason that I feel strongly about becoming prepared for it, because the Lord specifically told me that they would come. I suppose that we can all put our heads in the sand, or become educated, and prepare so as to have “no fear” as our prophets promise us. I hope that you will join me in the classes that will come. It would be awful to loose family members, or even ourselves, when perhaps we could have prepared and perhaps prevented some calamity through education.
When I read the 1st Presidency’s message in the Ensign this month, (Januray 2009, Be a voice of warning) my feelings were reinforced and I am prompted to pass a long the information I have gathered. Please, if you don’t feel like it is your time to prepare, save the information, until you are ready, or pass it along to someone you love. When we become educated as a ward, family and friends, there is strength in numbers and support beyond measure. I know we all feel this way.
Here is the information from the pandemic seminar; the class schedule of classes that I will teach will come later.
Pandemic Preparedness fireside notes
I attended the recent fireside by Dr. Susan Puls who serves as the Medical Coordinator for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Emergency Response program. If you are interested you can read my summary of the key points of her address.
1. The scriptures tell/command us not to fear at least 91 times. We can live comfortably if we choose a culture of preparedness and readiness.
2. Every family should prepare a one page preparedness document that lists where everyone is likely to be, phone numbers, doctors, out-of-state contacts, meeting places etc. This should be reviewed often with the family. (I have also heard a good idea presented elsewhere suggesting an “essentials” list, in priority order, posted on commonly used exit doors identifying what to grab on the way out during an evacuation.)
3. Everyone should have a 72 hr. kit or a “grab and go” bag. It should have water, life-saving medication (i.e. insulin for a diabetic etc.) food, shelter, etc. In an emergency the only way you can maybe get necessary supplies you are lacking is if you have CASH. (In my opinion we should have cash in our wallets, in our homes, in our cars, & in our 72 hour kits.) One of the biggest problems faced by victims of disaster is BOREDOM! Be sure to include something to keep you and your children occupied in your 72 hr. kit.
4. We should have longer term supplies in our homes…such as: medical kit, prescription glasses, baby formula (even if you normally breastfeed), radio, lights, tools, shelter, blankets, tents, clothes, children and pet supplies, toys, treats, etc.
5. Have 3 months supply of food your family normally eats, 9 months of bulk food stores, 2 weeks of water and equipment for and knowledge of how to clean water, and financial reserves. Rotate and use your supplies.
6. When the PANDEMIC(S) happen it (they) will be (a) worldwide event(s). (No one from a neighboring state or country is going to come in and provide you with assistance. You must be ready to take care of yourself and your family.) “If you expect your neighbors to feed you, hopefully you like tortillas! That will be all that they can slide under your door!” In “mock” pandemic drills, persons driving I-15 Southbound through Utah were barred from exiting the freeway!
7. The Avian Flu (JUST one of many possible pandemic candidates) is in 67 countries. Out of 383 cases 241 fatalities have occurred. Human to human transmission of the disease has occurred in 15 countries. We are in “Phase 3” (human to human transmission occurs but not easily. “Phase 6” is pandemic where human to human transmission is easy and RAPID!) In pandemics at least 40% of the work force will be home sick or protecting themselves from getting sick. Schools, churches, movie theatres, etc. will all close. Pandemics are expected to last for 3-6 months and will come in 2 to 3 waves lasting about 6 weeks. 50% of deaths occur in people 19 and under, 70% in those 29 and under, and 90% in those 39 and under. (Looks like it could be a good thing to be over 40!)
8. HAND WASHING is the single most important and effective component for preventing the transmission of infection. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for AT LEAST 20 seconds whether you are sick or healthy. We should learn to keep our hands away from our eyes, nose, and mouth. Go to www.coughsafe.com to watch a video about proper coughing and sneezing etiquette. (This would be a good FHE activity. The video lasts about 5 minutes and is funny as well as informative.) We should disinfect common surfaces such as telephones, door knobs, toilet handles, computer key boards, refrigerator handles etc. often with regular household cleaning products containing bleach. Be sure to store plenty of cleaners. If you haven’t seen it before watch the pandemic video put out by BYU-I at http://streaming.byui.edu/safetyoffice/flu.wmv
9. Review all the pandemic information on the church website http://providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,8041-1-4414-1,00.html Consider getting a supply of N95 Respirator Surgical Masks (she said at least 20/person), gloves, sanitation gowns, foot coverings and eye goggles.. (The best price I could find on the internet for the masks today was at Emergency Essentials -14.95/box of 20. I think the best price on gloves is at Sam’s or Costco. I bought the other stuff at www.onlinemedicalsupply.com )
If you are interested in more information from the seminar I attended, you can log onto http://webpub.byu.net/dst05/ to get the notes prepared by those who ran it.
The above notes are taken from the Spanish Fork South Stake Self Reliance Fair held Saturday August 23, 2008.