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2024 Preparedness - Week 19: Calendar Week 18

Week 18 May 6



Several years ago we warned of the possibility of an H1N1 or H5N1 pandemic. We saw a pandemic caused by experiments at a lab in China that was not a flu pandemic but rather a viral one. A flu pandemic is still possible and in fact, the threat is increasing. Most are familiar with this threat referred to as the bird flu. The virus has infected birds in more than 80 countries (as of December 2023). The flu has already crossed species around the world and is not only affecting birds but has also been found in polar bears (Alaska), sea lions and dolphins (Peru and Chile), and cats (Poland). Outbreaks among foxes, pumas, skunks, and both black and brown bears in North America have been reported. In Spain and Finland, farmed minks have been infected.


Since this flu remains a threat we will spend May preparing, just in case. Many thought we were crazy and fear-mongers when we warned about a possible pandemic 4 months before the world was shut down for two years.


Today we begin with caring for the ill. When a patient become ill step one in their care is keeping them hydrated. Prepare today by stocking up on any of the following lacking in your General Store food storage department. Clear liquid diet: water, fruit juice, Jell-O™, ginger ale or ginger beer (with real ginger), lemon-lime soda, and herbal teas. Ginger beer is not alcoholic, when patients are ill alcohol should never be given.



Storing commercial rehydration products for use during a pandemic is important and we will get to that in the near future. Since a self-quarantine may last longer than your supply - here are a few homemade rehydration solutions you can make from items already in your food storage. Copy the following and add it to your preparedness binder so it is available when the need arises due to a pandemic or any illness causing dehydration. Make a list of anything in the homemade solutions that you do not have on hand and add it to your shopping list.

Orange Juice: 1 Cup orange juice + 3 Cups water + 1/2 tsp. salt

Apple Juice: 1 Cup apple juice + 3 Cups water + 1/2 tsp. salt

V-8 Vegetable Juice: 3 Cups juice + 2 Cups water (NO SALT) This solution may be mistaken for blood in the stool.

7UP: 1 Cup 7UP (not diet) + 3 Cups water + 1/2 tsp. salt

Kool-Aid: 1/2 Cup sugar + 2 quarts water + 1 tsp. salt OR 1/4 Cup sugar + 1 quart water + 1/2 tsp. salt. Red Kool-Aid may be mistaken for blood in the stool so choose a color other than red.

Gatorade is not a rehydration drink but may be made into one by: 2 Cups Gatorade + 2 Cups water + 1/2 tsp. salt. Red Gatorade may also be mistaken for blood.

Solutions which are not recommended for rehydration are solutions combining water, sugar, and salt, cola drinks, soft drinks, chicken broth, salt water, and sugar water.


Step 2: When a patient tolerates a liquid diet well, gradually add: white toast (no butter or margarine), white rice, cream of wheat, soda crackers, or potatoes without the skin. You may also add small servings of banana or applesauce. To store bananas think freezing and stage two baby food.


Step 3: After a day, or when step 2 foods are well tolerated add canned fruit and chicken noodle soup. Store canned fruit your family likes and canned chicken noodle soup or the ingredients to make soup yourself.


Step 4: After a day or two on step 3 foods add poached eggs, baked chicken without skin, canned fish, or meat. Canned chicken is very versatile and stores well for years.



Step 5: Finally add milk and other dairy products, margarine or butter, raw fruits and vegetables, and high-fiber whole grain products. Eating habits should be back to normal at this point. Remember milk and dairy products freeze well and can also be purchased in aseptic (shelf stable) containers for long-term storage without refrigeration.

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