How to Survive a Pandemic

The H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009 took an estimated 284,500 lives worldwide, though the number could be much higher in hindsight, as research shows that as many as 579,000 people could have been killed by the disease. Only those fatalities confirmed by testing in the laboratory were included in the final death toll. Many people without access to health facilities went uncounted. The biggest question: When the next pandemic hits, are you prepared?

A recent article in Meridian Magazine discuses what to do in the case of a pandemic, a topic they will be discussing over the next few weeks.

Who Is at Most Risk?

In a pandemic, certain demographics find themselves at a greater risk of contraction. In the U.S. these include:

  • Those who do not have the money to stockpile the necessary food and supplies to survive a pandemic
  • Those who do not read, speak, or understand English very well
  • The physically, developmentally, and mentally challenged, as well as people who have difficulty hearing or seeing
  • Individuals suffering from substance abuse and addiction
  • The homeless, elderly, and children, or anybody for that matter without access to a social network of family and friends.

Create an Isolation Room

Once a pandemic hits, determine which room will act as a sort of isolation ward to keep those who are sick separate from healthy individuals. Preferably this should be a room with access to separate bathroom facilities. If possible, choose a room that has enough room for an additional bed in case additional people get sick at the same time.

Stockpile Food and Medicine

Enough food and medicine should be stockpiled to last at least three months, especially food that is eaten on a regular basis. Medicines include those over-the-counter drugs geared toward fever, nausea, diarrhea, sore throat, and muscle ache. These should include medications for both adults and children. Talk to a doctor about obtaining a supply of any prescription medication needed.

Family Planning

Parents should talk to their children and other family members about the dangers of a pandemic and what to do if one strikes. This can help to greatly reduce the fear that a pandemic can generate, as well as provide an opportunity to discuss the responsibilities of each member of the household during a pandemic.

Medical Information

An accurate and complete medical record for each family member should also be prepared and kept on hand in the event of a pandemic. This allows any medical professionals to quickly and easily look at a patient’s medical history if needed, especially if they are part of a mobile response unit activated in the wake of a pandemic.

Primary Care Giver

Decide who will be the primary caregiver and care for the sick while quarantined. A secondary caregiver should be chosen to take the place of the primary in case they become sick. Preferably both are familiar with patient care and have strong immunities.


For more information about how to prepare and respond to a pandemic, visit: