There is no help coming.
We're going to have to deal with it
Mar 09 2007
Medical supplies and water purification kits top the
list of emergency supplies that families will need to
face an influenza pandemic, according to a Canadian Red
Unlike other disasters, the pandemic that will
eventually strike and spread around the world will
force many people to stay home to prevent the spread of
That means having medical supplies to nurse family
members at home and tend to minor injuries.
You need to have basic first aid, said Jack Burns at
an influenza pandemic forum held at Red Deer College s
Art Centre on Thursday night.
We re going to want to avoid going to medical
facilities because that s where the sick people
It s estimated that 60 per cent of Albertans could be
infected once a flu pandemic hits. One hundred to 350
people could die in the David Thompson Health Region,
which has a population of about 300,000.
About 80 people attended Thursday s forum, which
focused on planning and preparedness for the health
threat that Health Canada estimates could kill up to
Dr. Kevin Fonseca, a clinical virologist with the
Provincial Laboratory for Public Health in Calgary,
said the best way for people to avoid the infectious
illness is to stay away from other people.
It takes about six months to develop a vaccine so in
the first part of the pandemic we are pretty naked,
said Fonseca about the virus that will probably come in
It will attack communities quickly, but there are
things people can do to prepare, he said.
Education is the key, said Fonseca at the forum
sponsored by David Thompson Health Region and Red Deer
Burns said sanitizing lotion will be a necessity to
keep hands clean without water to stop the spread of
It s probably the most important thing you can do for
your family, said Burns about the lotion as he showed
the audience what kind of supplies were needed for a
pandemic emergency kit.
He said unlike other types of disasters, emergency
crews won t be coming to the rescue. Everyone will be
affected and contact with others will be limited due to
the contagious virus.
There is no
help coming. We re going to have to deal with it
Burns said days of isolation could turn into weeks or
months. It will be difficult to store enough water for
every family member so people should have water
Water straight from the Red Deer River could be
consumed if it was purified, Burns said.
Unlike a sudden weather-related disaster, people will
be warned that the flu pandemic is on its way.
But Burns advised that people shouldn t put off
gathering supplies, which could be in short supply as
the spread of the pandemic is announced.
Other tips include:
● Regularly filling up vehicles with gasoline when
tanks are half full to have plenty of gas in case
electricity is cut off and gas pumps stop working.
● Maintain full propane tanks for the barbecue for
● Keep cash on hand for when ATMs shut down.
● Store small containers of food that can be consumed
quickly so food doesn t spoil.
● Know how to drain water pipes so they don t freeze
when electricity stops.
● Keep a supply of prescription medication, batteries
and special supplies for pets and infants.
There are certain vital things you are going to want
when it comes to any disaster, Burns said.