Emergency and Survival Preparedness

This Topic Covers:
 This topic will outline life saving and survival techniques and products to use during an outbreak or attack. Products that have been FDA and NIOSH approved for consumer purchase during pandemics and outbreaks. What to know when purchasing respirators; what kind of respirators to use for certain biological agents; and  alternative methods with strong antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties that could be used for alternative medicine treatment, in the absence of no conventional treatment.




Have you and your family come up with a plan that will help you stay safe and stay connected in an emergency?  If so, that's great - take a few minutes now to update your plan.  If not, find out what you can do to keep everybody yourself, your family and even members of your community safe.

The possibility of public health emergencies arising in the United States concerns many people in the wake of recent hurricanes, tsunamis, acts of terrorism, and the threat of pandemic influenza. Though some people feel it is impossible to be prepared for unexpected events, the truth is that taking preparedness actions helps people deal with disasters of all sorts much more effectively when they do occur.

The need to prepare is real - Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property.

  • If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you, but you need to be ready as well. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere.

  • You should know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could occur in your area—hurricanes, earthquakes, extreme cold, flooding, or terrorism.

  • You should also be ready to be self-sufficient for at least three days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water, and sanitation.

Basic Preparedness - You will need to find out about hazards that threaten the community, how the population will be warned, evacuation routes to be used in times of disaster, and the emergency plans of the community and others that will impact your plan.

Guidance on specific  content that you and your family will need to develop and include in your plan on how to escape from your residence, communicate with one another during times of disaster, shut-off household utilities, insure against financial loss, acquire basic safety skills, address special needs such as disabilities, take care of animals, and seek shelter.

Checklists of items to consider including in your disaster supplies kit that will meet your family’s needs following a disaster whether you are at home or at other locations. asks individuals to do three key things: get an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan, and be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.

At this historic juncture, when the danger of biological attack is clear and omnipresent, the exemplary record of homeopathy in treating epidemic diseases gives the American Institute of Homeopathy both opportunity and obligation to acquaint not only our own patients, but also the medical community and the public at large with a valuable additional service of which they may well be unaware.

There is virtually no practical way that vaccines, antibiotics or other treatment can be delivered to a frightened populace in a timely manner during a crisis

The public must be armed with preventive or therapeutic agents in their vehicles, homes and the workplace.  Natural antibiotics and antitoxins are well documented in the medical literature, but overlooked by health authorities.  These antidotes are readily available for the public to acquire and place in an emergency biological response kit. 


Understand Quarantine and Isolation

People can be infected with dangerous diseases in a number of ways. Some germs, like those causing malaria, are passed to humans by animals. Other germs, like those that cause botulism, are carried to people by contaminated food or water. Still others, like the ones causing measles, are passed directly from person to person. These diseases are called "contagious".

Contagious diseases that pose a health risk to people have always existed. While the spread of many of these diseases has been controlled through vaccination and other public health efforts, avian influenza ("bird flu") and terrorist acts worldwide have raised concerns about the possibility of a disease risk. That makes it important for people to understand what can and would be done to protect the public from the spread of dangerous contagious diseases.

The CDC applies the term "quarantine" to more than just people. It also refers to any situation in which a building, conveyance, cargo, or animal might be thought to have been exposed to a dangerous contagious disease agent and is closed off or kept apart from others to prevent disease spread.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the U.S. government agency responsible for identifying, tracking, and controlling the spread of disease. With the help of the CDC, state and local health departments have created emergency preparedness and response plans. In addition to early detection, rapid diagnosis, and treatment with antibiotics or antivirals, these plans use two main traditional strategies—quarantine and isolation—to contain the spread of illness. These are common health care practices to control the spread of a contagious disease by limiting people's exposure to it.

The difference between quarantine and isolation can be summed up like this:

  • Isolation applies to persons who are known to be ill with a contagious disease.

  • Quarantine applies to those who have been exposed to a contagious disease but who may or may not become ill.        


Infectious disease: a disease caused by a microorganism and therefore potentially infinitely transferable to new individuals. May or may not be communicable. Example of non communicable is disease caused by toxins from food poisoning or infection caused by toxins in the environment, such as tetanus.

Communicable disease: an infectious disease that is contagious and which can be transmitted from one source to another by infectious bacteria or viral organisms.

Contagious disease: a very communicable disease capable of spreading rapidly from one person to another by contact or close proximity.

How long can quarantine and isolation last? What is done to help the people who experience isolation or quarantine?

The list of diseases for which quarantine or isolation is authorized is specified in an Executive Order of the President. This list currently includes cholera, diphtheria, infectious tuberculosis, plague, smallpox, yellow fever, viral hemorrhagic fevers (Lassa, Marburg, Ebola, Crimean-Congo, South American, and others not yet isolated or named), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and influenza caused by novel or reemergent influenza viruses that are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic.

Isolation would last for the period of communicability of the illness, which varies by disease and the availability of specific treatment. Usually it occurs at a hospital or other health care facility or in the person's home. Typically, the ill person will have his or her own room and those who care for him or her will wear protective clothing and take other precautions, depending on the level of personal protection needed for the specific illness.

In most cases, isolation is voluntary; however, federal, state and local governments have the authority to require isolation of sick people to protect the public.

Quarantine - Modern quarantine lasts only as long as necessary to protect the public by (1) providing public health care (such as immunization or drug treatment, as required) and (2) ensuring that quarantined persons do not infect others if they have been exposed to a contagious disease.

Modern quarantine is more likely to involve limited numbers of exposed persons in small areas than to involve large numbers of persons in whole neighborhoods or cities.

Quarantined individuals will be sheltered, fed, and cared for at home, in a designated emergency facility, or in a specialized hospital, depending on the disease and the available resources. They will also be among the first to receive all available medical interventions to prevent and control disease, including:

  • Vaccination.

  • Antibiotics.

  • Early and rapid diagnostic testing and symptom monitoring.

  • Early treatment if symptoms appear.

The duration and scope of quarantine measures would vary, depending on their purpose and what is known about the incubation period (how long it takes for symptoms to develop after exposure) of the disease-causing agent.



Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. It is determined by how the disease spreads, not how many deaths it causes.

When a new influenza A virus emerges, a flu pandemic can occur. Because the virus is new, the human population has little to no immunity against it. The virus spreads quickly from person-to-person worldwide.

The United States is not currently experiencing a flu pandemic. If a pandemic occurs, the federal government will work to identify the cause and create a vaccine. will provide updates on the steps the federal government is taking to address the pandemic.

Characteristics and Challenges of a Flu Pandemic

  1. Rapid Worldwide Spread
    • When a pandemic flu virus emerges, expect it to spread around the world.
    • You should prepare for a pandemic flu as if the entire world population is susceptible.
    • Countries may try to delay the pandemic flu’s arrival through border closings and travel restrictions, but they cannot stop it.
  2. Overloaded Health Care Systems
    • Most people have little or no immunity to a pandemic virus. Infection and illness rates soar. A substantial percentage of the world’s population will require some form of medical care.
    • Nations are unlikely to have the staff, facilities, equipment, and hospital beds needed to cope with the number of people who get the pandemic flu.
    • Death rates may be high. Four factors largely determine the death toll:
      • The number of people who become infected
      • The strength of the virus
      • The underlying characteristics and vulnerability of affected populations
      • The effectiveness of preventive measures 
  1. Inadequate Medical Supplies
    • The need for vaccines is likely to be larger than the supply. Those at highest risk will likely get the vaccine first.
    • Early in a pandemic, the need for antiviral medications is likely to be larger than the supply. Those at highest risk will likely get antiviral medications first.
  2. A pandemic can create a shortage of hospital beds, ventilators, and other supplies. Alternative sites, such as schools, may serve as medical facilities.
  3. Disrupted Economy and Society
    • Travel bans, event cancellations, and school and business closings could have a major impact on communities and citizens.
    • Caring for sick family members and fear of exposure could result in significant employee absenteeism.

The Flu Vaccine

How effective is the flu vaccine? - Inactivated influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) can vary from year to year and among different age and risk groups. For more information about vaccine effectiveness, visit How Well Does the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Work?

How long does a flu vaccine protect me from getting the flu? Multiple studies conducted over different seasons and across vaccine types and influenza virus subtypes have shown that the body’s immunity to influenza viruses (acquired either through natural infection or vaccination) declines over time. The decline in antibodies is influenced by several factors, including the antigen used in the vaccine, age of the person being vaccinated, and the person's general health (for example, certain chronic health conditions may have an impact on immunity). When most healthy people with regular immune systems are vaccinated, their bodies produce antibodies and they are protected throughout the flu season, even as antibody levels decline over time. People with weakened immune systems may not generate the same amount of antibodies after vaccination; further, their antibody levels may drop more quickly when compared to healthy people.

For everyone, getting vaccinated each year provides the best protection against influenza throughout flu season. It’s important to get a flu vaccine every year, even if you got vaccinated the season before and the viruses in the vaccine have not changed for the current season.

Treatment for the Flu

There are four antiviral drugs approved for treating the flu in the United States—oseltamivir (Tamiflu), zanamivir (Relenza), amantadine (generic), and rimantadine (Flumadine).

FDA provides information on availability of antivirals for the 2012-2013 seasonal flu season.

On December 21, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the approved use of Tamiflu to treat children as young as 2 weeks old who have shown symptoms of flu for no longer than two days. Tamiflu is the only product approved to treat flu infection in children younger than 1 year old.

If you get the flu, antiviral medications can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious complications from the flu. Antiviral medications work best when started within the first two days of getting sick.

If you are exposed to the flu, antiviral medication can prevent you from becoming sick.  Talk to your health care provider if you have been or may be near a person with the flu.

Do I need antibiotics? Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. They are not effective against viral infections like the flu. Some people have bacterial infections along with or caused by the flu and will need to take antibiotics. Severe or prolonged illness or illness that seems to get better but then gets worse may be a sign of bacterial infection. 

How long should antiviral drugs be taken? To treat the flu, TamifluŽ and RelenzaŽ are usually prescribed for 5 days, although people hospitalized with the flu may need the medicine for longer than 5 days.

What is Antiviral Resistance

What is antiviral resistance? Antiviral resistance means that a virus has changed in such a way that the antiviral drug is less effective in treating or preventing illness. Samples of viruses collected from around the United States and worldwide are studied to determine if they are resistant to any of the FDA-approved influenza antiviral drugs.

What will CDC do to monitor antiviral resistance in the United States during the 2013-2014 season? CDC routinely collects viruses through a domestic and global surveillance system to monitor for changes in influenza viruses. CDC will continue ongoing surveillance and testing of influenza viruses. Additionally, CDC is working with the state public health departments and the World Health Organization to collect additional information on antiviral resistance in the United States and worldwide. The information collected will assist in making informed public health policy recommendations.

What are the benefits of antiviral drugs? When used for treatment, antiviral drugs can lessen symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by 1 or 2 days. They also can prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia. For people with a high risk medical condition, treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having milder illness instead of very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.

When should antiviral drugs be taken for treatment? Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick. However, starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high risk health condition or is very sick from the flu. Follow instructions for taking these drugs.

What antiviral drugs are recommended this flu season? There are two FDA-approved influenza antiviral drugs recommended by CDC this season. The brand names for these are TamifluŽ (generic name oseltamivir) and RelenzaŽ (generic name zanamivir). TamifluŽ is available as a pill or liquid and RelenzaŽ is a powder that is inhaled. (RelenzaŽ is not for people with breathing problems like asthma or COPD, for example.)

How long should antiviral drugs be taken? To treat the flu, TamifluŽ and RelenzaŽ are usually prescribed for 5 days, although people hospitalized with the flu may need the medicine for longer than 5 days.

Flu Complication Risk Factors

Following is a list of all the health and age factors that are known to increase a person’s risk of getting serious complications from the flu:

  • Asthma

  • Neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions

  • Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)

  • Chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and cystic fibrosis)

  • Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus)

  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)

  • Kidney disorders

  • Liver disorders

  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)

  • Morbid obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)

  • People younger than 19 years of age on long-term aspirin therapy

  • Weakened immune system due to disease or medication (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or cancer, or those on chronic steroids)

Other people at high risk from the flu:

  • Adults 65 years and older

  • Children younger than 5 years old, but especially children younger than 2 years old

  • Pregnant women and women up to 2 weeks after the end of pregnancy 

  • American Indians and Alaska Natives


Flu Prevention
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

  • If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

  • Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

  • Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.


Types of Threats

A bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs (agents) used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants. These agents are typically found in nature, but it is possible that they could be changed to increase their ability to cause disease, make them resistant to current medicines, or to increase their ability to be spread into the environment.

Biological agents can be spread through the air, through water, or in food. Terrorists may use biological agents because they can be extremely difficult to detect and do not cause illness for several hours to several days. Some bioterrorism agents, like the smallpox virus, can be spread from person to person and some, like anthrax, cannot. For information on which bioterrorism agents can be spread from person to person, please see the alphabetical list of bioterrorism agents.

Bioterrorism agents can be separated into three categories, depending on how easily they can be spread and the severity of illness or death they cause.

  • Category A agents are considered the highest risk and the highest priority.

  • Category B agents are the second highest priority.

  • Category C agents are the third highest priority and include emerging pathogens that could be engineered for mass spread in the future. - SF Department of Public Health

CDC Category A Agents - Highest priority agents: Organisms that pose a risk to national security because they can be easily disseminated or transmitted from person to person; that result in high mortality rates and have the potential for major public health impact; that might cause public panic and social disruption; and that require special action for public health preparedness.

CDC Category B Agents - Second highest priority agents: Organisms that are moderately easy to disseminate; that result in moderate morbidity rates and low mortality rates; and that require enhanced diagnostic capacity and disease surveillance.

Chemical Threat:  A chemical attack is the deliberate release of a toxic gas, liquid or solid that can poison people and the environment.  Watch for signs of a chemical attack such as many people suffering from watery eyes, twitching, choking, having trouble breathing or losing coordination.  Many sick or dead birds, fish or small animals are also cause for suspicion. 

If your eyes are watering, your skin is stinging, you are having trouble breathing or you simply think you may have been exposed to a chemical, immediately strip and wash.  Look for a hose, fountain or any source of water.  Wash with soap, if possible, but do not scrub the chemical into your skin.  Seek emergency medical attention.

Biological Threat:  A biological attack is the deliberate release of germs or other biological substances that can make you sick.  Many agents must be inhaled, either through a cut in the skin or be eaten to make you sick.  Some biological agents, such as anthrax, do not cause contagious diseases. Others, like the smallpox virus, can result in diseases you can catch from people.

Unlike an explosion, a biological attack may or may not be immediately obvious.  While it is possible that you will see signs of a biological attack, as was sometimes the case with the anthrax mailings, it is perhaps more likely that local health care workers will report a pattern of unusual illness or there will be a wave of sick people seeking emergency medical attention.  You will probably learn of the danger through an emergency radio or TV broadcast or some other signal used in your community.

The three basic groups of biological agents that would likely be used as weapons are bacteria, viruses and toxins. Most biological agents are difficult to grow and maintain. Many break down quickly when exposed to sunlight and other environmental factors, while others, such as anthrax spores, are very long lived. Biological agents can be dispersed by spraying them into the air, by infecting animals that carry the disease to humans and by contaminating food and water. Delivery methods include:

Aerosols - biological agents are dispersed into the air, forming a fine mist that may drift for miles. Inhaling the agent may cause disease in people or animals.

Animals - some diseases are spread by insects and animals, such as fleas, mice, flies, mosquitoes and livestock.

Food and water contamination - some pathogenic organisms and toxins may persist in food and water supplies. Most microbes can be killed, and toxins deactivated, by cooking food and boiling water. Most microbes are killed by boiling water for one minute, but some require longer. Follow official instructions.

Person-to-person - spread of a few infectious agents is also possible. Humans have been the source of infection for smallpox, plague, and the Lassa viruses.

A Radiation Threat or "Dirty Bomb" is the use of common explosives to spread radioactive materials. It is not a nuclear blast. The force of the explosion and radioactive contamination will be more localized. In order to limit the amount of radiation you are exposed to, think about shielding, distance and time.

Shielding: If you have a thick shield between yourself and the radioactive materials more of the radiation will be absorbed by the thick shield, and you will be exposed to less.

Distance: The farther away you are from the radiation the lower your exposure.

Time: Minimizing time spent exposed will also reduce your risk. Local authorities may not be able to immediately provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio, or check the Internet often for official news and information as it becomes available.


Radiation Emergencies

How should I prepare for a radiation emergency? Your community should have a plan in place in case of a radiation emergency. Check with community leaders to learn more about the plan. Also, check with your child's school, the nursing home of a family member, and your employer to see what their plans are for dealing with a radiation emergency. At home, put together an emergency kit that would be appropriate for any emergency. A battery-powered or hand crank emergency radio, preferably a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio is important to have for any emergency situation.

What are the different types of radiation emergencies? Radiation emergencies may be intentional (e.g., caused by terrorists) or unintentional. Below are some examples of different types of radiation emergencies:

Will a mask protect me from radiation exposure and contamination? If you are outside during a radiation emergency and cannot get inside immediately, covering your mouth and nose with a mask, cloth, or towel can help reduce the amount of radioactive material you breathe. If you can, you should also cover your mouth with a mask, cloth, or towel when you are decontaminating other people (such as children) or pets. 

What if I am in my car during a radiation emergency? Get inside a building right away. Cars do not provide good protection from radioactive material. If you can get to a brick or concrete multi-story building or basement within a few minutes, go there. But being inside any building is safer than being outside.

What does it mean to shelter-in-place during a radiation emergency? “Sheltering-in-place” means to get inside a building and stay there.  In a radiation emergency, such as a nuclear power plant accident, a nuclear detonation, or the explosion of a dirty bomb you may be asked to get inside a building and take shelter for a period of time instead of leaving.  The walls of a building can block much of the harmful radiation.  Because radioactive materials become weaker over time, staying inside for at least 24 hours can protect you and your family until it is safe to leave the area.

If I was outside when a radiation emergency happened, what should I do to remove radioactive material from myself? Radioactive material can fall from the air like dust or sand and land on objects below, like people, buildings, cars, and roads. Radioactive contamination can spread in the same way that dust or mud can be tracked into the home or spread to another person or object. It is important to get radioactive material off your body as soon as possible to lower your risk of harm. Even just removing your outer layer of clothing can remove up to 90% of radioactive material. This is called decontamination.

You can still use tap water for decontamination. Any radioactive material that gets into surface water or ground water sources will be diluted to very low levels by the water and will be safe to use for washing skin, hair, and clothing.

What should I do if there are problems communicating with others during a radiation emergency? Try to use text messages (SMS) to communicate with others. Making phone calls could be hard.

In the event of an Improvised Nuclear Device (IND) Incident, an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP is possible. An EMP is a side effect of a nuclear detonation that produces a surge of energy. This surge can damage electronic devices. If your electronic devices with batteries are not working, you can try taking the batteries out of the device, putting them back in, and restarting the device as normal. Other devices may only require resetting switches and circuit breakers to work again. Do not go outside to reset breakers...

How will I know if food or water is safe? Following a radiation emergency, scientists will be testing drinking water supplies to make sure it is safe. Until those results are available, bottled water is the only water source that is certain to be free of contamination. You can use tap or well water for cleaning yourself and your food. The safest food to eat is food in sealed containers (cans, bottles, boxes, etc.). Unspoiled food in your refrigerator or freezer is also safe to eat. For more information on food and water safety, please see the following topics in the Stay Inside section.

Does boiling water get rid of radioactive material? Boiling tap water does not get rid of radioactive materials. Until test results are available, bottled water is the only water that is free of contamination.

What is external contamination with radioactive materials? External contamination occurs when radioactive material comes into contact with a person’s skin, hair, or clothing. During a radiological or nuclear emergency, radioactive material can fall from the air like dust or sand and land on object below, like people, buildings, cars and roads. To protect yourself from external contamination, Get Inside, Stay Inside, and Stay Tuned.

What is internal contamination with radioactive materials? During a radiological or nuclear emergency, radioactive materials may be released into the air and then breathed into the lungs, or may get into the body through open wounds. Radioactive materials may also contaminate the local food supply and get into the body through eating or drinking. This is called internal contamination.

What are the immediate health effects of exposure to radiation? The health effects of radiation depend on:

  • The amount of radiation absorbed by the body (the dose)

  • The type of radioactive material

  • How the radioactive material got in or on the body

  • The length of time a person was exposed

Exposure to large amounts of radiation over a short period of time can cause Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS). If you have symptoms of ARS (skin burns, nausea, or vomiting) seek medical attention as soon as it is safe to leave your building or shelter. If you were exposed to a small amount of radiation, you will not see any health effects right away.

What are the long term health effects of radiation exposure? The long-term recovery process after a radiation emergency can lead to increased emotion and psychological distress. In addition, people who receive high doses of radiation could have a greater risk of developing cancer later in life, depending on the level of radiation exposure. For people who receive low doses of radiation, the risk of cancer from radiation exposure is so small that is cannot be separated from exposure to chemicals, genetics, smoking or diet. Health officials will monitor people affected by radiation emergencies for any long-term health effects.

What is the difference between radiation exposure and contamination? If you have been exposed to radiation, you are not necessarily contaminated with radioactive material. Radioactive materials give off a form of energy that travels in waves or particles. When you are exposed to certain types of radiation, the energy may penetrate the body. For you to be contaminated, the radioactive material must be in or on your body. For example, if you have an x-ray, you are exposed to radiation, but you are not contaminated with radioactive material.

What are the symptoms of radiation sickness? Symptoms of Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS), or radiation sickness, may include nausea, vomiting, headache and diarrhea. These symptoms start within minutes to days after the exposure, can last for minutes up to several days, and may come and go. If you have these symptoms after a radiation emergency, seek medical attention as soon as emergency officials say it is safe to do so.

Are there medicines available for radiation exposure or contamination with radioactive materials? Some medical treatments are available for limiting or removing internal contamination depending on the type of radioactive material involved. Medical professionals will determine if treatments are needed.

Should I take potassium iodide (KI) during a radiation emergency? People should only take KI (potassium iodide) on the advice of public health or emergency management officials. There are health risks associated with taking KI.

How will I know if I have been exposed to or contaminated by radioactive materials? Emergency officials will be working to determine who may have been exposed to radiation. The best way to limit your exposure is to get inside, stay inside, and stay tuned. If you were outdoors in an area when a radiation emergency happens, you could be contaminated with radioactive material. Decontaminating yourself will lower your exposure to harmful radioactive material

Depending on where you were during the radiation emergency, emergency officials may advise you to get screened at a Community Reception Center (CRC). At a CRC, emergency workers will use radiation detectors to look for any radioactive contamination.

The following are things you can do to prepare, and protect yourself, your family and your property from the effects of threats.


Prepare My Family for a Disaster

What You Need to Know: Because your family may not be together when a disaster strikes it is important to create a plan in advance. It is also essential to have a disaster supplies kit that includes basic items from your home that you may need in case of emergency. Your plan should include:

  • How you will get to a safe place

  • How you will contact each another

  • How you will get back together

  • What you will do in different situations

Start Here: Start preparing for an emergency or disaster before anything happens. You should find reliable information sources, warning systems and alert systems in advance. Family communication is very important.  Meet with family members and consider both people and pets. 

We recommend using our family emergency plan resource, which collects all vital information in one place in wallet-size cards you can carry with you.  It is also critical to check to determine school and workplace plans so you know how to best communicate and communicate with family members who may be in school or at work when an emergency hits.

You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.  A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items you may need in the event of an emergency. Assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency so you can survive on your own after an emergency.  

DHS/FEMA provides a guide to prepare your kit, which can be tailored to meet the needs of individual family health and related concerns.  One key: Food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours.

Although local officials and relief workers will be around after a disaster, they cannot reach everyone immediately. Your help may arrive in hours or it might take days.

Electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.

  • Build an Emergency Supply Kit, which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries.

  • Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.

  • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.

  • It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.

  • You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.

  • Knowing your community's warning systems and disaster plans.

  • Notify caregivers and babysitters about your plan.

  • Make plans for your pets.

  • Check with your doctor to ensure all required or suggested immunizations are up to date. Children and older adults are particularly vulnerable to biological agents.

  • Consider installing a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter in your furnace return duct. These filters remove particles in the 0.3 to 10 micron range and will filter out most biological agents that may enter your house. If you do not have a central heating or cooling system, a stand-alone portable HEPA filter can be used.


Steps for Preparedness

Gather Emergency Supplies - If disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time. By taking time now to prepare emergency water suppliesfood supplies and disaster supplies kit, you can provide for your entire family.

Even though it is unlikely that an emergency would cut off your food supplies for two weeks, consider maintaining a supply that will last that long. You may not need to go out and buy foods to prepare an emergency food supply. You can use the canned goods, dry mixes, and other staples on your cupboard shelves.

Having an ample supply of clean water is a top priority in an emergency. A normally active person needs to drink at least 2 quarts (a half gallon) of water each day. You will also need water for food preparation and hygiene. Store at least an additional half-gallon per person, per day for this.

Store at least a 3-day supply and consider storing a two-week supply of water for each member of your family. If you are unable to store this much, store as much as you can. You can reduce the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.

And don't forget to take your pets and service animals into account!

Complete this checklist

  • Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).

  • Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services number for emergency help.

  • Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.

  • Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster.

  • Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at the main switches.

  • Check if you have adequate insurance coverage.

  • Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher, and show them where it’s kept.

  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.

  • Conduct a home hazard hunt.

  • Stock emergency supplies and assemble a disaster supplies kit.

  • Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR class and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). (Contact your local American Red Cross chapter for more information.)

Practice your plan

  • Test your smoke detectors monthly, and change the batteries at least once a year.

  • Quiz your kids every six months so they remember what to do.

  • Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills.

  • Replace stored water every three months and stored food every six months.

  • Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Winter Storms & Extreme Cold

  • Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.

  • Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.

  • Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.

  • Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.

  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.

  • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.

  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.

  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.

  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).

  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.

  • Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.

Learn How to Shelter in Place

"Shelter-in-place" means to take immediate shelter where you are—at home, work, school, or in between. It may also mean "seal the room;" in other words, take steps to prevent outside air from coming in. This is because local authorities may instruct you to "shelter-in-place" if chemical or radiological contaminants are released into the environment. It is important to listen to TV or radio to understand whether the authorities wish you to merely remain indoors or to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family.

How do I prepare At Home?

  • Choose a room in advance for your shelter. The best room is one with as few windows and doors as possible. A large room, preferably with a water supply, is desirable—something like a master bedroom that is connected to a bathroom.

  • Contact your workplaces, your children's schools, nursing homes where you may have family and your local town or city officials to find out what their plans are for "shelter-in-place."

  • Find out when warning systems will be tested. When tested in your area, determine whether you can hear or see sirens and/or warning lights from your home.

  • Develop your own family emergency plan so that every family member knows what to do. Practice it regularly.

  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit that includes emergency water and food supplies.

Additional Supplies for Sheltering-in-Place

In the unlikely event that chemical or radiological hazards cause officials to advise people in a specific area to "shelter-in-place" in a sealed room, households should have in the room they have selected for this purpose:

  • A roll of duct tape and scissors

  • Plastic sheeting pre-cut to fit shelter-in-place room openings

Ten square feet of floor space per person will provide sufficient air to prevent carbon dioxide buildup for up to five hours. Local officials are unlikely to recommend the public shelter in a sealed room for more than two-three hours because the effectiveness of such sheltering diminishes with time as the contaminated outside air gradually seeps into the shelter.

NOTE: Always keep a shut-off valve wrench near the gas and water shut-off valves in your home.

How will I know when I need to "shelter-in-place"?

Fire or police department warning procedures could include:

  • "All-Call" telephoning - an automated system for sending recorded messages, sometimes called "reverse 9-1-1".

  • Emergency Alert System (EAS) broadcasts on the radio or television.

  • Outdoor warning sirens or horns.

  • News media sources - radio, television and cable.

  • NOAA Weather Radio alerts.

  • Residential route alerting - messages announced to neighborhoods from vehicles equipped with public address systems.

Facilities that handle potentially dangerous materials, like nuclear power plants, are required to install sirens and other warning systems (flash warning lights) to cover a 10-mile area around the plant.

Learn How to Shelter in Place At Home

The appropriate steps depend on the emergency situation. If you hear a warning signal, listen to local radio or television stations for further information. You will be told what to do, including where to find the nearest shelter if you are away from your "shelter-in-place" location.

If you are told to "shelter-in-place," act quickly. Follow the instructions of local authorities. In general:

  1. Bring children and pets indoors immediately. If your children are at school, do not try to bring them home unless told to. The school will shelter them.

  2. Close and lock all outside doors and windows. Locking may provide a tighter seal.

  3. If you are told there is danger of explosion, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains.

  4. Turn off the heating, ventilation, or air conditioning system. Turn off all fans, including bathroom fans operated by the light switch.

  5. Close the fireplace or woodstove damper. Become familiar with proper operation of flues and dampers ahead of time.

  6. Get your disaster supplies kit, and make sure the radio is working.

The room should have 10 square feet of floor space per person in order to provide sufficient air to prevent carbon dioxide buildup for 5 hours. In this room, you should store scissors, plastic sheeting pre-cut to fit over any windows or vents and rolls of duct tape to secure the plastic. Access to a water supply is desirable, as is a working hard-wired telephone. Don't rely on cell phones because cellular telephone circuits may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency. Also, a power failure will render most cordless phones inoperable.

  1. Take everyone, including pets, into an interior room with no or few windows and shut the door.

  2. If you have pets, prepare a place for them to relieve themselves where you are taking shelter. Pets should not go outside during a chemical or radiation emergency because it is harmful to them and they may track contaminants into your shelter. The Humane Society of the United States suggests that you have plenty of plastic bags and newspapers, as well as containers and cleaning supplies, to help deal with pet waste.

If you are instructed to seal the room, use duct tape and plastic sheeting, such as heavy-duty plastic garbage bags, to seal all cracks around the door into the room. Tape plastic over any windows. Tape over any vents and seal electrical outlets and other openings. As much as possible, reduce the flow of air into the room.

Make sure all family members know what to do in an emergency whether they are at home, school, work, or outdoors. This includes knowing the number of an out-of-town friend or relative who has agreed to serve as an emergency contact. It can be easier to reach someone out of town during an emergency than to reach someone locally, including family members. The contact can collect the information on where and how everybody is and help reassure and reunite families.

  1. Call your emergency contact and keep the phone handy in case you need to report a life-threatening condition. Otherwise stay off the phone, so that the lines will be available for use by emergency responders.

  2. Keep listening to your radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. Do not evacuate unless instructed to do so.

  3. When you are told that the emergency is over, open windows and doors, turn on ventilation systems, and go outside until the building's air has been exchanged with the now clean outdoor air. Follow any special instructions given by emergency authorities to avoid chemical or radiological contaminants outdoors.

At work

  • Help ensure that the emergency plan and checklist involves all employees. Volunteers or recruits should be assigned specific duties during an emergency. Alternates should be assigned to each duty.

  • The shelter kit should be checked on a regular basis. Duct tape and first aid supplies can sometimes disappear when all employees know where the shelter kit is stored. Batteries for the radio and flashlight should be replaced regularly.

Learn How to Shelter in Place in a Vehicle

Admittedly, taking shelter in a vehicle may be an uncomfortable experience, particularly in very hot or very cold weather. Still, such discomfort is safer than possibly exposing yourself to chemical or radiological contaminants in the outside air. Having a portable disaster supplies kit in your vehicle could make the experience less unpleasant.

The appropriate steps depend on the emergency situation. If you hear a warning signal, listen to local radio or television stations for further information. You will be told what to do, including where to find the nearest shelter if you are away from your "shelter-in-place" location.

  1. If you are very close to home, your workplace or a public building, go there immediately and go inside. Follow the "shelter-in-place" recommendations for that location.

  2. If you are unable to get indoors quickly and safely, then pull over to the side of the road. Stop your vehicle in the safest place possible. If it is sunny outside, it is preferable to stop under a bridge or in a shady spot to avoid being overheated.

  3. Turn off the engine.

  4. Close windows and vents.

  5. If possible, seal the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning vents with duct tape or anything else you may have available.

  6. Listen to the radio periodically for updated advice and instructions. (Modern car radios consume very little battery power and should not affect your ability to start your car later.)

  7. Stay where you are until you are told it is safe to get back on the road. Be aware that some roads may be closed or traffic detoured. Follow the directions of law enforcement officials.

Supplies for your vehicle could include:

  • Bottled water and non-perishable foods such as granola bars.

  • Seasonal supplies: Winter - blanket, hat, mittens, shovel, sand, tire chains, windshield scraper, florescent distress flag; Summer - sunscreen lotion (SPF 15 or greater), shade item (umbrella, wide brimmed hat, etc.).

  • Flashlight, extra batteries, and maps.

  • First aid kit and manual with pocket knife.

  • White distress flag.

  • Tire repair kit, booster/jumper cables, pump, and flares.

  • Extra batteries

  • Matches

  • Necessary medications

  • Crank Radio

  • Road salt and sand

What You Should Have in Your Supply Kit asks individuals to do three key things: get an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan, and be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.

All Americans should have some basic supplies on hand in order to survive for at least three days if an emergency occurs.

However, it is important that individuals review this list and consider where they live and the unique needs of their family in order to create an emergency supply kit that will meet these needs. Individuals should also consider having at least two emergency supply kits, one full kit at home and smaller portable kits in their workplace, vehicle or other places they spend time.

Following is a listing of some basic items that every emergency supply kit should include.


Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

  • Flashlight and extra batteries

  • First aid kit

  • Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book or a print out of the information on

  • Compass

  • Signal flare

  • Disinfectant

  • Whistle to signal for help

  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

  • Local maps

  • A pair of goggles and disposable breathing masks for each member of the family.

Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Prescription medications and glasses

  • Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins

  • Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant

  • Pet food and extra water for your pet

  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container

  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change

  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.

  • Fire Extinguisher

  • Matches in a waterproof container

  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels

  • Paper and pencil

  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Clothing and Bedding:

  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.

  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.

  • If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes. One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:

  • Rain gear

  • Tent

Click Here To Print PDF Emergency Checklist or Recommended Supplies List (Text)


Maintaining Your Kit

Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe to use when needed. Here are some tips to keep your supplies ready and in good condition:

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.

  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect from pests and to extend its shelf life.

  • Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented or corroded.

  • Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies.

  • Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in the front.

  • Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it on all containers.

  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

  • Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trashcan, camping backpack or duffel bag.


Keep Life in Your Food Storage

All living things must eat to stay healthy, so you may think that the foods you store must be of the highest nutritional content. While nutrition is very important, it is not the single most important thing to be concerned about when storing food. Your food storage program must be designed to sustain life. Here are a few suggestions for keeping life in your food storage program:

  • Store food in food grade containers that can be tightly sealed to keep bugs and moisture out;

  • Keep food, even when tightly sealed, away from gasoline, kerosene, chemicals or household cleaning products;

  • Store appropriate items as cold (45-55°) as possible for maximum shelf life;

  • Rotate food every five years; and

  • Have oxygen absorbers such as bay leaves and dry ice on hand. They can be effective in keeping bugs away.


Food & Water Safety During Disasters

What You Need to Know About Food and Water Safety During Hurricanes, Power Outages, and Floods:


Food Supplies - If a natural or human-caused disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, and electricity for a while. By taking steps now to store emergency food and water supplies, along with a disaster supplies kit, you can reduce the effect of any such disaster on your family.

Detailed information on the steps outlined below can be found in the American Red Cross publication, "Food and Water in an Emergency." During and after a disaster, it will be vital that you and your household (including your pets) eat enough to maintain your strength.

  • Store foods that you eat regularly. Foods that require no refrigeration, preparation, or cooking are best. Include vitamin, mineral, and protein supplements to ensure adequate nutrition.

  • Store enough food for two weeks. It is better to have extra you can share than to run out.

  • Individuals with special diets and allergies will need particular attention, as will babies, toddlers, ill and elderly people. Nursing mothers may need liquid formula, in case they are unable to nurse. Canned dietetic foods, juices, and soups may be helpful for ill or elderly people.

  • Make sure you have a manual can opener and disposable utensils.

  • During and after a disaster, eat at least one well-balanced meal each day, more if you are working hard. If activity is reduced, healthy people can survive on half their usual food intake for an extended period and without any food for many days. Food, unlike water, may be rationed safely, except for children and pregnant women.

  • For emergency cooking, you can use a fireplace or a charcoal grill or camp stove outdoors. Use only approved devices—like candle warmers, chafing dishes, and fondue pots—for warming food. If you heat food in its can, be sure to open it and remove the label before heating. Never leave open flames unattended.

How and Where to Store Food

ˇ         Keep food in a dry, cool spot—out of the sun, if possible.

ˇ         Wrap perishable foods, such as cookies
and crackers, in plastic bags and keep them in sealed containers.

ˇ         Empty opened packages of sugar, dried fruits and nuts into screw-top jars or airtight cans to keep them fresh and unspoiled.


ˇ         Canned goods that have become swollen, dented or corroded.

ˇ         Fatty, high-protein or salty foods when your water supply is low.


ˇ         Keep your hands clean — it's one of the best ways to keep from getting sick. If soap and running water are not available, use alcohol-based hand gels or wipes to clean hands.

ˇ         Inspect all food for signs of spoilage before use. Throw out perishable foods, such as meat and poultry, that have been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

ˇ         Eat salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content if your water supplies are low.

ˇ         If there's a power outage, eat food in the refrigerator first, the freezer next, and finally from your stored supplies. In a well-filled, well-insulated freezer, foods will usually still have ice crystals in their centers (meaning foods are safe to eat) for at least two days.

Replace your stored food on a regular basis - Within six months, use

ˇ         Boxed potatoes.

ˇ         Dried fruit.

ˇ         Dry, crisp crackers.

ˇ         Powdered milk.

Within one year, use

ˇ         Canned, condensed meat and vegetable soups.

ˇ         Canned fruits, fruit juices and vegetables.

ˇ         Hard candy and canned nuts.

ˇ         Jelly.

ˇ         Peanut butter.

ˇ         Ready-to-eat cereals and uncooked instant cereals.

ˇ         Vitamins.

In proper containers and conditions, the following can be stored indefinitely

ˇ         Baking powder

ˇ         Bouillon products

ˇ         Dried corn

ˇ         Dry pasta

ˇ         Instant coffee, tea and cocoa

ˇ         Soft drinks

ˇ         Vegetable oils

ˇ         Salt

ˇ         Soybeans

ˇ         Wheat (for bread making)

ˇ         White rice

Water Supplies: If a natural or human-caused disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water and electricity for a while. By taking steps now to store emergency food and water supplies, along with a disaster supplies kit, you can reduce the affect of any such disaster on your family.

Detailed information on the steps outlined below can be found in the American Red Cross publication, "Food and Water in an Emergency." In an emergency, having a supply of clean water for drinking, food preparation, and hygiene is a top priority.

ˇ         Store at least 1 gallon per person and pet per day.

ˇ         Store at least a 3-day supply of water for each member of your family.

In an emergency, drink at least 2 quarts of water a day, 3 to 4 quarts a day if you are in a hot climate, pregnant, sick, or a child. If supplies run low, don't ration water: Drink the amount you need today and look for more tomorrow. Don't risk dehydration. Emergency assistance should be available within a few days at most.

How and Where to Store Water

Learn where the water intake valve to your home is. If you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines, or if local officials recommend doing so, you would need to shut off water to your house at the incoming water valve to stop contaminated water from entering your home.

ˇ         In a cool, dark place in your home, each vehicle, and your workplace.

ˇ         Preferably in store-bought, factory-sealed water containers.

ˇ         Alternately, in food-grade-quality containers made for storing water and available from sporting goods and surplus stores and other retailers. These containers must be thoroughly washed, sanitized, and rinsed. The water you store in them, if it's from your tap, may need to be treated before being stored. Ask your public health service or water provider for information on whether and how to treat the water. Follow those instructions before storing any.

Safe Use of Water Containers

1.     Wash containers with dishwashing soap and rinse with water.

2.     Sanitize by swishing a solution of 1 teaspoon of liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water on all interior surfaces of the container.

3.     Rinse thoroughly with clean water before use.

Avoid using

ˇ         Store-bought water past the expiration or "use by" date on the container.

ˇ         Containers that can't be sealed tightly.

ˇ         Containers that can break, such as glass bottles.

ˇ         Containers that have ever held any toxic substance.

ˇ         Plastic milk bottles and cartons. They are difficult to clean and break down over time.


ˇ         Change stored water every six months.

Alternate Emergency Water Sources Inside and Outside Your Home

Inside - If a disaster catches you without a stored supply of clean water, you can use the water in—

ˇ         your hot-water tank

ˇ         pipes and faucets

ˇ         ice cubes

If your tap water is safe to drink, so is the water in your pipes and hot-water tank, even if the idea seems unappealing. If you don't drink tapwater, the water in your pipes and hot-water tank may still be useful for sanitation.

To use the water in your hot-water tank, be sure the electricity or gas is off, then open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve at the tank and turning on a hot-water faucet. Refill the tank before turning the gas or electricity back on. If the gas is turned off, only a professional can turn it back on.

To use the water in your pipes, identify and turn on the highest faucet in your home to let air into the plumbing. You then can get water from the lowest faucet.

Outside - If you need to find water outside your home, try

ˇ         Rainwater

ˇ         Streams, rivers, and other moving bodies of water

ˇ         Ponds and lakes

ˇ         Natural springs

Take steps to make water from any of these sources safer before drinking it. You should not drink flood water. Avoid water with floating material, an odor, or dark color. Use saltwater only if you distill it first.

Ways to Make Outdoor Water Safer

Note: These instructions are not for treating water to be stored, only for emergencies when no other water is available.

Untreated water can make you very sick. Besides having a bad odor and taste, it can contain toxic chemicals, heavy metals and germs that cause such diseases as dysentery, typhoid and hepatitis. Before drinking outdoor water, using it in food preparation or for hygiene, make it safer to use by

  • Straining it. Pour the water through paper towels, a clean cloth, or a coffee filter to remove any suspended particles.

  • Boiling it. In a large pot or kettle, bring water to a rolling boil for 1 full minute. Cool it and pour it back and forth between two clean containers to improve its taste before drinking it.

  • Chlorinating it. Using household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 to 6.0 percent sodium hypochlorite (listed on the label) as its only active ingredient, add 16 drops (1/8 teaspoon) per gallon to water in a large pot or kettle. Stir and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes. If it still does not smell of chlorine, find another source of water and start over.

  • Distilling it. Fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot's lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up inside the pot when the lid is upside-down without dangling into the water. Boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled.

None of these methods is perfect. The best solution is to use all of them. Boiling and chlorination will kill most microbes but will not remove other contaminants, such as heavy metals, salts and most other chemicals. Distillation will kill or remove most of any remaining contaminates.


Communicating During Emergencies

Create a disaster plan - Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster. Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather, and earthquakes to children. Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.

Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case.

Pick two places to meet:

  1. Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire.

  2. Outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Everyone must know the address.

Safe and Well Website - Following the 2005 hurricane season, the Red Cross developed the Safe and Well website, which enables people within a disaster area to let their friends and loved ones outside of the affected region know of their well-being. By logging onto the Red Cross public website, a person affected by disaster may post messages indicating that they are safe and well at a shelter, hotel, or at home, and that they will contact their friends and family as soon as possible. During large-scale disasters, there will be telephone-based assistance via the 1-866-GET-INFO hotline for people who live within the affected areas and do not have Internet access, but wish to register on the Safe and Well website.

People who are concerned about family members in an affected area may also access the Safe and Well website to view these messages. They will be required to enter either the name and telephone number, or the name and complete address, of the person about whom they wish to get information. Red Cross chapters will provide telephone-based assistance to local callers who do not have Internet access and wish to search the Safe and Wellwebsite for information about a loved one.

Be assured that the information on the Safe and Well website is secure and that information about the locations where people are staying is not published. Privacy laws require the Red Cross to protect each person's right to determine how best to communicate their contact information and whereabouts to family members. The Red Cross does not actively trace or attempt to locate individuals registered on the Safe and Well website.

Ask an out-of-state friend to be your “family contact”. After a disaster, it’s often easier to call long distance. Other family members should call this person and tell them where they are. Everyone must know your contact’s phone number.

Discuss what to do in an evacuation. Plan how to take care of your pets.

Families should develop different methods for communicating during emergency situations and share their plans beforehand with all those who would be worried about their welfare. Options for remaining in contact with family and friends if a disaster strikes include:

  1. Phone contact with a designated family member or friend who is unlikely to be affected by the same disaster.

  2. Email notification via a family distribution list.

  3. Registration on the American Red Cross Safe and Well Website.

  4. Use of the toll-free Contact Loved Ones voice messaging service (1-866-78-CONTACT).

  5. Use of the US Postal Service change of address forms when it becomes necessary to leave home for an extended period of time, thus ensuring that mail will be redirected to a current address.


To Receive Lifesaving Alerts

You can receive important lifesaving alerts no matter where you are - at home, at school, or at work.

Public safety officials use reliable systems to alert you and your family in the event of natural or man-made disasters. Many communities also offer emergency alert notifications through their own systems. Check with the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System Authorities website to learn what is available in your area.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) send free informational text messages to WEA-enabled cell phones within range of an imminent and dangerous local situation, severe weather event, or AMBER emergency.

The WEA notification is designed to get your attention and notify you with a unique sound and vibration. When you receive an alert, take action and check local broadcasts for more information.

Public safety officials use WEA to send you essential information whenever you are near the location of a life-threatening event.

You do not need to register to receive WEA notifications. You will automatically receive alerts if you have WEA-capable phone and your wireless carrier participates in the program.

To find out if your mobile device is capable of receiving WEA alerts, contact your mobile device carrier or visit CTIA, The Wireless Association.

If you choose not to receive WEA messages, you can adjust the alert settings on your mobile device. You can opt-out of receiving imminent hazard and AMBER alerts, but you cannot opt-out of Presidential alerts.

For more information about Wireless Emergency Alerts, download the WEA Fact Sheet or view Frequently Asked Questions


Strategic National Stockpile (SNS)  - Medicine Distribution

CDC's Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) has large quantities of medicine and medical supplies to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency (terrorist attack, flu outbreak, earthquake) severe enough to cause local supplies to run out. Once Federal and local authorities agree that the SNS is needed, medicines will be delivered to any state in the U.S. in time for them to be effective. Each state has plans to receive and distribute SNS medicine and medical supplies to local communities as quickly as possible.

What should you know about the medicines in the SNS?

  • The medicine in the SNS is FREE for everyone.

  • The SNS has stockpiled enough medicine to protect people in several large cities at the same time.

  • Federal, state and local community planners are working together to ensure that the SNS medicines will be delivered to the affected area to protect you and your family if there is a terrorist attack.

 How will you get your medicine if the SNS is delivered to your area?

ˇ    Local communities are prepared to receive SNS medicine and medical supplies from the state to provide to everyone in the community who needs them.

Find out about how to get medicine to protect you and your family by watching TV, listening to the radio, reading the newspaper, checking the community Web site on the Internet or learning from trusted community leaders.

Know How You Would Get Antibiotics During an Anthrax Crisis

If an anthrax emergency happened in your area, your community might need to receive large amounts of antibiotics and medical supplies from the federal government. The supplies would be sent to sites that are usually called points of dispensing (PODs). PODs would be located in your community in safe, familiar places such as schools or convention centers.

In an anthrax emergency, you would be able to find out where the nearest POD is located and what to bring to the POD by listening to news updates on TV and the radio, visiting your health department’s website, and staying alert for messages from community leaders. 

PODs are designed to provide medicine to a large number of people in a short period of time, so you could expect to stand in line. While at the POD, you would be asked to fill out a form that includes some basic information about your medical history. Once you complete your form, a POD staff member would review it and determine which antibiotic is best for you.


Bioterrorism and Conventional Drug Preparedness

To help prepare our country for possible bioterrorism attacks, FDA is working with other federal agencies to make sure adequate supplies of medicine and vaccines are available to the American public.  This page provides links to the most current information on drug therapy and vaccines, plus advice on purchasing and taking medication.   


Risks of Stockpiling Antibiotics to Counter Bioterrorism - Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics 

Are there disadvantages to stockpiling antibiotics? Yes, there are disadvantages. The consumer receives drugs without specific instructions and they might not know when to take them.

What are the unique symptoms of anthrax and which ones could be the symptoms of some other disease? Without specific instructions, patients are likely to take the drug for a common illness, cold, or cough, which is not anthrax. Thus, stockpiling ciprofloxacin could lead to widespread misuse of this important antibiotic prior to any bioterrorist event. This can create the perfect scenario for the emergence of bacterial resistance to the drug in both harmless bacteria, which is less of a concern, and harmful bacteria, which cause pneumonias, urinary tract infections, peritonitis, septicemias, sexually transmitted diseases, and so on.

Is there any safe way to stockpile antibiotics? Consumers should not use stockpiled antibiotics unless there is an official public health alert stating that we ARE having a bioterrorism event and that the organism is in fact one that can be treated with this drug. There are bacteria for which ciprofloxacin does not work. If the antibiotics are just stockpiled and used only after an alert, then I am less worried. However, this puts the responsibility on the consumer to refrain from popping these pills. Many consumers are known to ask for antibiotics in the event of a cold, for which they do not work. What's to keep the consumer from using an antibiotic they already have?!


Drug Information Related to Chemical Agents  

Nerve Agents: The following are links to drug information related to Chemical Agents:

Atropen (atropine autoinjector).  FDA has approved new dosage forms of the Atropen for use in children and adolescents exposed to certain nerve agents or insecticides. The Atropen has been approved since 1973 for use in adults.  FDA Talk Paper  (Posted 6/20/2003) 

Pyridostigmine bromide. FDA has approved pyridostigmine bromide to increase survival after exposure to Soman "nerve gas" poisoning. The product is approved for combat use by United States military personnel. (Posted 2/5/2003)

Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion (RSDL).  FDA has cleared for use by the U.S. military a liquid decontamination lotion intended to remove or neutralize chemical warfare agents and T-2 fungal toxin from the skin.  FDA News  (Issued 3/28/2003)


Drug Information Related to Anthrax


Vaccine Information


Drug Information Related to Radiation Emergencies


Precautions of Radiation Medication

Recent media reports are starting to document the side effects of taking potassium iodide. Then there is also the issue of unscrupulous vendors selling fake potassium iodide.

According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), general side effects of potassium iodide include:

  • Intestinal upset

  • Allergic reactions (possibly severe)

  • Rashes

  • Inflammation of the salivary glands

Although detrimental side effects involving the thyroid gland are rare, you're at an increased risk of damaging your thyroid gland when taking potassium iodide if you:

  • take a higher than recommended dose

  • take the drug for several days, or

  • have pre-existing thyroid disease

It is also important to remember that potassium iodide only providetemporary protection and should only be taken immediately prior to the radiation exposure, because it's cleared from your body within 24-72 hours after swallowing it. More importantly, it does absolutely nothing to counter the effects of the other radioactive isotopes that you would be exposed to. It ONLY decreases exposure to radioactive iodine, nothing else. It also does not help your body detoxify any radiation exposure.


How to Protect Yourself from Nuclear Radiation

Educate yourself, follow the situation closely as it unfolds, and be prepared—...

I've received many requests from concerned readers, particularly in California, asking for guidance on strategies to help protect against radioactive fallout from the recent nuclear disaster in Japan…Please understand that these are only preliminary recommendations that are still pending more careful analysis.

Many people are relatively deficient in iodine, and because of this they will readily absorb iodine from the environment. Your body is unable to recognize the difference between regular iodine and radioactive iodine. It will absorb them equally well. So if you are deficient in iodine and a radioactive cloud passes by, your body will tend to suck that radioactive iodine into your thyroid gland to fill up its iodine stores.

In an ideal situation you will have been taking adequate amounts of iodine from safe sources which will not only protect you from radioactive iodine but from environmental toxins that can poison your thyroid gland like fluoride, bromine and chlorine.

If you have not been taking iodine and a radioactive cloud comes near your area then it would make sense to take large doses of prophylactic iodine to prevent your thyroid gland from absorbing the radioactive iodine. However, it is important to understand that the large dose of potassium iodide only protects your thyroid for one to three days, no longer and it does absolutely nothing to protect you from detoxifying the radiation...

At this time there does not seem to be a serious threat in the US from the Japanese radiation cloud. However, it would seem wise to have doses of potassium iodide for yourself and your family should another nuclear crisis emerge that would affect you. It is just a wise safety resource to have on hand.

Although a sounder long term strategy would be to make sure you are getting enough iodine from high quality food sources that will protect you more naturally. But these need to be done over long periods of time to build up your iodine stores.

How Many People are Deficient in Iodine? Dr. Brownstein has been working with iodine for the last twenty years and has tested over 5000 patients in his clinic and found over 95% of them to be iodine deficient. This is an incredible result as it puts iodine on par with the percentage of people that are deficient in vitamin D.

An interesting side note on vitamin D is that Dr. Brownstein has worked with iodine and vitamin D as understood by the principles I have been teaching and his clinical experience suggests that iodine replacement is even more important than vitamin D in seeing immediate clinical improvement…

As we review in the interview, the massive prevalence of iodine deficiency is a new phenomenon that is likely a result of an absolute deficiency of iodine intake combined with exposure to other environmental halogens that compete for iodine receptors. This would be the fluoride and chloride that is pervasive in our water supply, along with the halogenated byproducts. Additionally we have bromine, which is part of most white flour products and added to many items like rugs, carpets and pesticides added to commercial fruits and vegetables. Dr. Brownstein has measured these levels on thousands of patients and he actually finds bromide to be the most serious culprit...

... 19 out of 20 people are deficient in iodine, and have toxic levels of bromide, which could lead to thyroid impairment, breast and prostate cancers.

Fortunately this is easily remedied with sources of supplemental iodine. Dr. Brownstein recommends about 12.5 mg every day, which is about what the Japanese typically would consume in their diet. He believes this will provide about 95 percent of the protection that the 130 mg one-time adult dose that is currently recommended by public health authorities for radiation prophylaxis.

It is tragic for a nuclear crisis to occur anywhere but Japan is probably better prepared than any country in the world from a health perspective, as it is likely that 19 out of 20 Japanese have enough iodine and will not be at risk from the radioactive iodine exposure.

So the lesson is that you and your family should ideally be on a comprehensive iodine/iodide supplement…

Considering the US has loads of older nuclear plants that are susceptible to disasters and the high incidence of iodine deficiency, it would make sense to start supplementing...

Issues Other than Radioactive Iodine You Need to Know About - It's also worth mentioning that radioactive iodine is certainly not the only danger you face from nuclear fallout. There are a number of radioactive compounds that wreak havoc on the environment and the human body, and iodine will not protect against those.

It is true that potassium iodide protects against high doses of a certain type of radiation. As the New York Times notes:

“Fortunately, an easy form of protection is potassium iodide, a simple compound typically added to table salt to prevent goiter and a form of mental retardation caused by a dietary lack of iodine.

If ingested promptly after a nuclear accident, potassium iodide, in concentrated form, can help reduce the dose of radiation to the thyroid and thus the risk of cancer. In the United States, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission recommends that people living within a 10-mile emergency planning zone around a nuclear plant have access to potassium iodide tablets…

Over the long term, the big threat to human health is cesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years.

At that rate of disintegration, John Emsley wrote in “Nature’s Building Blocks” (Oxford, 2001), “it takes over 200 years to reduce it to 1 percent of its former level."

It is cesium-137 that still contaminates much of the land in Ukraine around the Chernobyl reactor.

The Environmental Protection Agency says that … once dispersed in the environment … cesium-137 “is impossible to avoid.”

Cesium-137 is light enough to be carried by the wind a substantial distance. There is no surefire prevention for cesium-137. As the EPA notes in a discussion entitled, ”What can I do to protect myself and my family from cesium-137?”

Neither the EPA – nor any other government agency – gives advice on how to minimize the danger from cesium-137 poisoning. Well, the fact that there is no silver bullet (although some have theorized about potential approaches) does not mean that there is nothing we can do. Some Foods and Herbs May Help…


Foods, Supplements & Herbs for Radiation Protection

Many foods and herbs have shown efficacy in helping to protect against radiation poisoning. Indeed, antioxidants in general have been found by some studies to reduce the consequences of radiation exposure

…Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., director of The Fellowship at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and an expert on botanical health,  said that there is reason to believe that taking two to four grams of curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, can help protect a number of body tissues. In addition, reishi and cordyceps mushrooms can protect bone marrow from toxic assaults, and antioxidants can help the body defend itself from radiation damage…

Dr. Russell Blaylock – on the editorial staff of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons also  recommends foods and herbs to help protect us from radiation:

Gingko biloba can be protective even after exposure to radiation. Beta-glucan protects the bone marrow. Curcumin also can offer protection after exposure, particularly against breast cancer. He also suggests garlic extract, ginger, melatonin, and magnesium. …And none of these are 100% effective even against low doses of radiation.

But there are actually numerous scientific studies backing up the ability of some foods and herbs to help protect us from radiation. Admittedly, some scientific studies are good studies and some are of worthless quality. But the rest of this post will round up some of the scientific literature for your review.

As the Journal of Clinical Biochemical Nutrition noted in 2007: The results obtained from in vitro and in vivo studies indicate that several botanicals such as Gingko biloba, Centella asiatica, Hippophae rhamnoides, Ocimum sanctum, Panax ginseng, Podophyllum hexandrum, Amaranthus paniculatus, Emblica officinalis, Phyllanthus amarus, Piper longum, Tinospora cordifoila, Mentha arvensis, Mentha piperita, Syzygium cumini, Zingiber officinale, Ageratum conyzoides, Aegle marmelosand Aphanamixis polystachya protect against radiation-induced lethality, lipid peroxidation and DNA damage.

Many inexpensive foods have protective properties against radiation, including:

  • Garlic (one Indian tribe living in the desert of Nevada used to eat bulbs of raw garlic to help protect against radiation from the above-ground nuclear  tests)

  • Foods rich in beta-carotene

  • Ginger

  • Curcurim (and see this) – the active ingredient in turmeric which, in turn, is in yellow curry (available in Indian and Thai dishes).

  • Many types of seaweed (see thisthis and this)

  • Miso (when it has been “long-fermented”, instead of fermented for a shorter time)

Many herbs and supplements available at health food stores and drugstores pharmacies have protective properties against radiation, including:

And many herbs commonly available in some parts of the world have protective properties against radiation, including:

Dr. Brownstein and I agree that taking a comprehensive mineral supplement to make sure your entire mineral stores are replenished is a good idea, to decrease your potential for absorbing other radioactive isotope minerals.

Additionally, you'll want to make sure you stay well hydrated, and Dr. Brownstein also highly recommends taking vitamin C to keep your antioxidant defense mechanism strong.

"If you do get exposed to toxicity, vitamin C is one of the best anti-toxicity nutrients you can take," he says. "In this case, it's wise not only to be taking vitamin C going into the situation, but if you know a radioactive cloud is coming, to increase your intake of vitamin C to give your body a little cushion against this toxic load."

To that, I would add taking Co Q10, or Ubiquinol if you're over 40, along with the vitamin C. Why? Because vitamin C only works when it's reduced. Once it donates an electron, it's oxidized and cannot work. Therefore, you need something to recharge it and Ubiquinol tends to do that—it's a powerful, synergistic combination.

Are Sea Vegetables Like Kelp a Healthier Alternative to Potassium Iodide? Typically, vegetables provide enormous health benefits and those from the sea should provide loads of additional benefits over terrestrial vegetables. However, just like eating fish, the issue of contamination is a major factor here…Well, similarly most sea vegetables are contaminated. So while they were an ideal source of nutrition you need to be VERY careful about consuming them as an alternative to supplemental iodine.

... if you chose to use sea vegetables like kelp, nori, and kombu, then make sure you have independent third party lab verification that they are not contaminated and indeed have iodine.

Another concern here is that kelp harvested after the Japanese radiation leak could be contaminated with radiation. So if you chose to use kelp you will certainly want to not only select organic versions, but also make sure that the company is able to prove to you that it has been screened for radioactivity by an independent third party and passed.

In conclusion I believe that toxin free sea vegetables are likely the ideal way to obtain your iodine. Just as toxin free fish is the best source of animal based omega-3 fats. However, with all the 20th century industrial pollution that is an increasingly difficult challenge to acquire. But if you can be certain the sea vegetables or seaweed supplement you want to use is toxin free it would likely be the ideal way to receive your iodine.

Spirulina—another Potent Protector against Toxic Radiation - Spirulina—a blue-green algae—might be another great alternative to protect against the effects of radiation, and there is in fact research backing this up. Spirulina was actually used to treat children exposed to chronic low-levels of radiation after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

According to a scientific review of spirulina's benefits:

"Up to very recently, the interest in Spirulina was mainly in its nutritive value. Currently, however, numerous people are looking into the possible therapeutic effects of Spirulina.

Many pre-clinical studies and a few clinical studies suggest several therapeutic effects ranging from reduction of cholesterol and cancer to enhancing the immune system, increasing intestinal lactobacilli, reducing nephrotoxicity by heavy metals and drugs and radiation protection."

But what is it about this blue-green algae that gives it this radiation-protective capacity?

Spirulina has a 16 percent phycocyanin content—a blue pigment that is attached to its photosynthetic membranes. Phycocyanin is also a nitrogen storage molecule. The nitrogen atoms can form a complex with heavy metals such as radioactive cesium and stronium, hence "cleansing" these radioactive metals from your body

In one animal study from China, published in 2001, the authors concluded that "spirulina has chemo-protective and radio-protective capability, and may be a potential adjunct to cancer therapy."

…Spirulina, and chlorella, have similar concerns as sea vegetables though. They can easily absorb the radiation so if you are purchasing any that were harvested after last week you will want to make sure they have been screened for radiation.

Chlorella is another amazing tool for detoxification and is also loaded with chlorophyll which will increase your resistance to radiation.

Astaxanthin is another supplement I'd seriously consider, as it too has been found to have some protective function against ionizing radiation.

Additional Resources You Need to Aid with Radiation Detox …Ori Hofmekler makes some compelling arguments for the use of sweet whey to help protect against absorbing radioactive minerals.

The interview can be accessed by clicking here - Dr. Mercola and Ori Hofmekler Discuss Radiation Protection - Total Video Length: 20:26 Download Interview Transcript

One of the reasons for using sweet whey in a situation like this is because whey protein contains all the precursors that help your body produce glutathione, which is one of the best ways to detoxify these toxins.

"The other reason is that sweet whey is a whole whey… It's the highest source of all minerals and trace minerals that exist in nature. It has every possible mineral and trace elements—including organic sodium—that your body needs in the most bioactive form.

…Clearly, consuming whole whey has so many other health benefits (and I recommend consuming it daily anyway for optimal health) so you can't go wrong by taking it now if you've never tried it before.

If you want to use whey as a source of minerals, I strongly recommend making sure it's grass-fed organic whey from raw milk."


Alternative Treatment Methods

This page is an historical document and contains content that may be out of date. - November 14, 2001

The specific question you asked me to address today, Mr. Chairman, in my capacity as Director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), is whether there are additional health tools and practices that could effectively serve as alternatives or as complements to the ones already implemented or forecast here by Dr. Heilman to prevent or treat diseases from biological weapons.

In response to this, let me say first, that as public servants it would be unworthy and unwise of us to do anything but place our fullest confidence in those well-considered resources that our public health authorities have already summoned to meet the current national and personal threats.

Yet, we know that no measures except for some vaccines, including the proven ones already being used, can totally prevent infection by virulent biological agents once they are deployed, and no words of comfort or medications are in themselves sufficient to fully allay the concerns that we may fall prey to such weapons. Understandably, people are seeking additional measures to safeguard their health and that of their loved ones. The issue is not whether there is justification for continuing concern, but whether the measures that some are promoting do anything more than prey upon people’s fears and distract them from taking more prudent steps to protect themselves.

Some of the approaches now being considered by our frightened countryman are ones that were largely displaced by the emergence of scientific medicine. Before the articulation of the germ theory of disease in the late 19th century and the subsequent development of vaccines and antibiotics, people sought protection from epidemic diseases through a variety of spiritual exercises and by ingesting natural products. It was believed that specific rituals and selected herbal extracts and tonics would, in current parlance, eliminate the offending pathogens or boost one’s resistance to them. In fact, a characteristic shared by many of the traditional healing systems of indigenous peoples, such as Ayurvedic medicine, various forms of Oriental medicine, and the more recently developed systems like naturopathy, is an emphasis on maximizing the body’s inherent capacity to heal itself.

While augmenting one’s natural healing powers may prove beneficial for some illnesses, and is a focus of much work funded by NCCAM, there is no scientific basis to believe that this approach would be of much value in the context of virulent diseases incited by biological weapons. From the perspective of contemporary immunology, diseases like anthrax, smallpox, and tularemia exceed one’s innate immunity to control them, and progress too rapidly for specific and protective antibody and lymphocyte responses to evolve. Simply stated, they can kill us before we can arm ourselves fully to defend against them.

In spite of these impressive public health achievements, people still turn today to natural products, hoping they will help mitigate infections. Among the most popular of these products for the American consumer is Echinacea, a widely used herbal medicine. Small studies suggest that it might lessen the severity of colds and the flu. Therefore, at NCCAM we are funding substantive and rigorous studies to determine whether the preliminary observations about Echinacea hold up. Nonetheless, even if Echinacea proves to mitigate simple viral respiratory infections that almost always resolve on their own, it would be a far stretch to believe that it could prevent or ameliorate highly virulent and disseminated bacterial or viral diseases with high mortality rates. We must discourage any assumption that products like Echinacea may serve in lieu of proven drugs like ciprofloxacin or doxycycline for people exposed to anthrax bacilli.

It may not even be prudent to combine such natural products with antibiotics because of the possibility that they would interfere with the proper metabolism and action of the drugs. An instructive example in this regard is the effect of the herb St. John’s Wort on the metabolism of indinavir, a drug that has helped extend the lives of countless patients with HIV/AIDS. St. John’s Wort accelerates removal of indinavir from the body, leaving drug levels that no longer are adequate to block the replication of the HIV virus…

…Apparently, some ancient preventative strategies were more effective. From the time of the great Moslem physician Avicenna of the 10th century, Persians exposed their children to cows infected with cowpox to protect them from smallpox. Variolation with dried smallpox scabs was practiced in China and Korea centuries before Edward Jenner proved the effectiveness and greater safety of classical vaccination. Since Jenner’s time, immunity to infectious agents has been induced by administering small amounts of a virulent microbial components. This is the well-proven basis for routine immunizations, as for measles or polio, and which permitted the global eradication of natural smallpox in the 1970s.

The prophylactic benefits of exceedingly dilute substances are more in doubt than those of conventional vaccines. Starting with the use of ultra-high dilutions of belladonna to prevent scarlet fever in the late 18th century, there have been numerous claims that homeopathic medicine can prevent or treat infectious diseases. The premise of homeopathy is that ‘like cures like,’ meaning that administration of infinitesimal quantities of a substance that in higher concentrations provokes specific symptoms, will eliminate those symptoms. Dilutions beyond those likely to leave even a single molecule of the original offending substance is often required to formulate a homeopathic treatment. In the 19th century, practitioners of homeopathic medicine proposed that minuscule concentrations of killed anthrax or smallpox microbes could confer immunity to these infections. Although there have been studies of homeopathy’s potential against infections, most prominently for veterinary diseases, as concluded even by experts in homeopathy in yesterday’s Washington Post, the overall evidence of efficacy is lacking…

I mention the homeopathic approach here because products claiming activity against anthrax and smallpox are now experiencing a renaissance with the public. Even though there is some doubt that these products could be effective, we cannot prove the claims to be entirely specious. It would be unethical and dangerous to withhold proven drugs and vaccines in order to see whether homeopathic remedies protect people who become exposed. Exploration of such approaches should first involve careful studies in animals using contemporary methodologies to discern whether they hold any promise against diseases associated with biological weapons. In the interim, however, lacking any competent evidence that they work, the claims about these products are dangerous both to the individual who uses them and to the population in general who might become infected if some refuse standard treatments...


Bioterrorism and Homeopathic Treatment Preparedness

At this historic juncture, when the danger of biological attack is clear and omnipresent, the exemplary record of homeopathy in treating epidemic diseases gives the American Institute of Homeopathy both opportunity and obligation to acquaint not only our own patients, but also the medical community and the public at large with a valuable additional service of which they may well be unaware.

We have no intention of recommending homeopathic medicines as a substitute for or alternative to conventional prophylaxis with suitable vaccines or treatment with antibiotics and other medications as required. We simply offer these gentler methods of proven safety and effectiveness under the following special and limited circumstances:

1) when an actual attack is suspected or imminent, and the known risk of conventional vaccines may outweigh the uncertain risk of possible exposure, or no effective vaccine  is available;

2) shortly after an attack, for persons already exposed or at high risk of exposure who are as yet a symptomatic, or for early or incipient cases of disease, for whom conventional treatment is not yet available or has proven injurious in the past;

3) for more advanced or desperate cases, when conventional treatment has failed or caused serious adverse reactions that make it impossible to continue with it, or as an adjunct to such treatment;

4) for individuals with known sensitivity to or intolerance of conventional vaccines or  medications, or both, or who refuse to take them for any reason; and

5) for individuals suffering major or minor adverse reactions to conventional vaccines.

One further problem with relying on conventional vaccines for prophylaxis is the process of weaponization, which often involves deliberate alteration of the microbial genome to render the vaccine less protective against it. Because the suitability of homeopathic medicines is based on the total symptom-picture of the patient rather than the antigenicity of the causative organism, they should be equally effective under these conditions.

In December 2002, Jennifer Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., current AIH President, appointed a Committee to study how and to what extent homeopathic medicines might prove effective for prophylaxis and treatment of the five most commonly identified biological agents -- anthrax, smallpox, plague, tularemia, and botulism -- in the situations outlined above, and to publish a report both in this Journal and in abbreviated form as press releases to the medical community and the media…

In what follows, our main hope is to reassure the public, by showing how these diseases actually behave, and what practical measures may safely be taken to combat them, both preventively, in advance of an actual attack, and once such an attack is in progress. The information and advice we offer will hopefully provide a useful antidote to the climate of fear and uncertainty that is mainly what terror is about.

Homeopathic Treatments for Symptom Related Conditions

Homeopathic treatments for symptom related conditions with dosage and frequency methods.

Please click here to read in its entirety … Bioterrorism and Homeopathy.pdf

Buy all homeopathic remedies for a bioterrorism disaster plan in 30C potency. This brief overview offers recommendations  for emergency treatment, not  standard homeopathic protocol. Learn to recognize disease symptoms for speedy emergency response and preparedness.

Prophylaxis: To protect against a bioterrorism outbreak in your vicinity, open remedy bottle and take one sniff of the indicated highlighted remedy, once daily for a week or until threat has passed.

Exposure: After exposure to a bioterrorism pathogen, sniff the highlighted open remedy bottle once or more often immediately to antidote effects. Repeat as needed.

Health preparedness remedies for bioterrorism disaster plan: A variety of counter terrorism health approaches are useful for biological attacks. Combine homeopathy with herbs and supplements for best results. Buy a homeopathic first aid book and learn to use it. One good example is The Homeopathic Emergency Guide, by Thomas Kruzel.

Anthrax - Symptoms: Bacterial infection with flu-like symptoms followed by corrosive, blackened skin ulcers. Inhalation of anthrax causes difficulties breathing, pneumonia, shock, coma, death. Gastrointestinal anthrax causes diarrhea, vomiting, hemorrhaging, burning, restlessness, thirst, anxiety, fear, septicemia and death.

Homeopathy: Anthracinum and Arsenicum album are the two main remedies for a disaster plan. Additional remedies are Lachesis, Pyrogenium, Tarentula cubensis, Phosphorus, Bryonia.

Smallpox - Symptoms: Flu-like symptoms with purple rash followed by high fever and pus-filled bumps. Skin infection develops from open sores with possible hemorrhaging and death.

Homeopathy: Variolinum, Malandrinum, Sarsparilla, Thuja, Baptisia

Plague - Symptoms: Bubonic plague produces large, pus-filled lumps on skin over lymph nodes. Pneumonic plague attacks the lungs causing breathing difficulties, pneumonia, septicemia. Both forms lead to death.

Homeopathy: Pestinum and Crotalus horridus for hemorrhagic plague; Lachesis, Arsenicum album are effective for bubonic plague; Phosophorus for pneumonic plague.

Botulism - Symptoms: Staggering gait, confusion, headache, double and blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, descending muscle weakness

Homeopathy: Botulinum and Gelsemium, Arsenicum album, Belladonna Alternate one of these based on individual's symptoms with Botulinum until symptoms recede.

Hemorrhagic fever, Ebola virus - Symptoms: Initial onset with fever, headache, nausea followed by blood trickling from eyes, gums, nose. Black, bloody vomit with death resulting from organ failure.

Homeopathy: Crotalus horridus twice daily. Additional Ebola prophylactic treatments: alternate Echinacea extract with Crotalus horridus once weekly until threat is out of area. Take each remedy twice daily.


Natural Antidotes for Biological Toxins

The threat of biological warfare is real and concern over preparedness of the civilian population and medical professionals is growing.  There is virtually no practical way that vaccines, antibiotics or other treatment can be delivered to a frightened populace in a timely manner during a crisis.  The current strategy of having an unprotected citizenry travel to physicians’ offices or hospitals to receive prophylactic care or treatment is unfeasible. 

The public must be armed with preventive or therapeutic agents in their vehicles, homes and the workplace.  Natural antibiotics and antitoxins are well documented in the medical literature, but overlooked by health authorities.  These antidotes are readily available for the public to acquire and place in an emergency biological response kit.

Americans have grown so accustomed to relying upon prescription medications that they will probably have difficulty believing there are natural compounds as close as the kitchen cupboard that are potent antidotes against biological warfare.  These natural antibiotics and antioxidants may give unvaccinated people who have been exposed to biological or chemical weapons enough time to secure professional care.  They may even save lives.  

It is a fact that chaotic events will make it difficult to obtain appropriate treatment even if it were available.  So we must learn more about natural antidotes.  Furthermore, it is clear that antidotes to biological attacks need to be employed at home or the workplace in an expedient manner.  The idea of the masses running to obtain medical care or vaccines at doctor’s offices, clinics or hospitals needs to be abandoned if civilian defense against biological weapons is to become a reality.

Natural Antibiotic Antidotes

The Garlic Information Centerin Britain indicates that deadly anthrax is most susceptible to garlic.  Garlic is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that even blocks toxin production by germs.  [Journal Nutrition, March 2001]  Before vaccines were developed against polio, garlic was used successfully as a prophylactic.  In one test garlic was found to be a more potent antibiotic than penicillin, ampicillin, doxycycline, streptomycin and cephalexin, some of the very same antibiotic drugs used in the treatment of anthrax.  Garlic was found to be effective against nine strains of E. coli, Staph and other bugs.  [Fitoterapia, Volume 5, 1984]  Freshly cut cloves of garlic or garlic powder may be beneficial.  

The antibiotic activity of one milligram of allicin, the active ingredient in garlic, equals 15 units of penicillin.  [Koch and Lawson, Garlic: The Science and Therapeutic Application, 2nd edition, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore 1996]  Garlic capsules that certify their allicin content are preferred and may provide 5-10 milligrams of allicin, which is equivalent to 75-150 units of penicillin.  


Anthrax Natural Antidotes

The anthrax bacterium’s toxicity emanates from its ability to kill macrophage cells which are part of the immune system.  Studies have shown that sulfur-bearing antioxidants (alpha lipoic acid, N-acetyl cysteine, taurine) and vitamin C, which elevate levels of glutathione, a natural antioxidant within the body, counters the toxicity produced by anthrax.  [Molecular Medicine, November 1994; Immunopharmacology, January 2000; Applied Environmental Microbiology, May 1979].

The above sulfur compounds can be obtained from health food stores and taken in doses ranging from 100-500 mg.  Vitamin C should be the buffered alkaline form (mineral ascorbates) rather than the acidic form (ascorbic acid) and should be combined with bioflavonoids which prolong vitamin C’s action in the blood circulation.  The powdered form of vitamin C is recommended to achieve optimal dosing.  A level TABLEspoon of vitamin C powder (about 10,000 - 15,000 mgs) can be added to juice.  (Editor's Note: This should be done several times daily, and even more often in serious illness.  However, half a TEAspoon (about 2,000 mg) every 15-20 minutes is much more effective. 

Melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone available at most health food stores, has been shown to help prevent lethal toxins from anthrax exposure.  [Cell Biology Toxicology, Volume 16, 2000]  It could be taken at bedtime in doses ranging from 5-20 mg.  Melatonin boosts glutathione levels during sleep.

Of additional interest, one of the methods by which mustard gas works is its ability to bring about cell death by depleting cell levels of glutathione.  [eMedicine Journal, April 9, 2001]  So glutathione is also an antidote for mustard gas poisoning.


The Plague, Botulism, Smallpox Natural Antidotes

Virtually all bacteria, viruses and fungi depend upon iron as a growth factor.  [Iron & Your Health, T.F. Emery, CRC Press, 1991]  Iron-chelating (removing) drugs and antibiotics (Adriamycin, Vancomycin, others) are effective against pathogens.  The plague (Yersinia pestis), botulism, smallpox and anthrax could all be potentially treated with non-prescription metal-binding chelators.  For example, iron removal retards the growth of the plague.  [Medical Hypotheses, January 1980]  The biological activity of the botulinum toxin depends upon iron, and metal chelators may be beneficial [Infection Immunology, October 1989, Toxicon, July, 1997].  

Phytic acid (IP6), derived as an extract from rice bran, is the most potent natural iron chelator and has strong antibiotic and antioxidant action.  [Free Radical Biology Medicine, Volume 8, 1990; Journal Biological Chemistry, August 25, 1987]  IP6 has been found to have similar iron-chelating properties as desferrioxamine, a drug commonly used to kill germs, tumor cells or to remove undesirable minerals from the body.  [Biochemistry Journal, September 15, 1993]  IP6 rice bran extract (2000-4000 mg) should be taken in between meals with filtered or bottled water only (no juice).  

The antibacterial, antiseptic action of plant oils has been described in recent medical literature and may be helpful in fighting biological toxins.  [Journal Applied Microbiology, Volume 88, 2000]  A potent natural antibiotic, more powerful than many prescription antibiotics, is oil of oregano.  One study showed that oregano completely inhibited the growth of 25 germs such as Staphylococcus aureas, Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterocolitica and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  [Journal Food Protection, July 2001]  Oregano has been shown to be effective in eradicating intestinal parasites in humans.  [Phytotherapy Research, May 2000]  Wild oregano, which is quite different than the variety on most kitchen spice racks, has over 50 antibacterial compounds.  Just one part wild oregano oil in 4000 dilution sterilizes contaminated water.  [London Times, May 8, 2001]


Nerve Gas Natural Antidotes

Nature also provides nerve gas antitoxins.  Nerve gas interrupts the normal transmission of nerve impulses by altering levels of acetycholinesterase, the enzyme that degrades the nerve transmitter acetycholine.  Huperzine A, a derivative of Chinese club moss, has been suggested as a pre-treatment against nerve gases.  [Annals Pharmacology France, January 2000]  The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research conducted studies which revealed that huperzine A protects against nerve gas poisoning in a superior manner to physostigmine, a long-standing anti-nerve toxin.drug.  [Defense Technical Information Center Review, Volume 2, December 1996]  Huperzine A is available as a food supplement at most health food stores.  Suggested dosage is 150 mcg per day.  Pretreatment is advised prior to nerve gas exposure.


Topical Bacterial Infection Treatments

- non-alcoholic liquid calendula treats skin ailments ranging from bacterial infections to yeast. Mix with water and use as a wash for any skin lesion or sore.

Manuka honey treats sepsis and other bacterial infections when applied topically.

Pascalite clay detoxes, removing pathogens from the body. Mix with calendula, manuka honey, purified water into a paste and apply to skin lesions. Keep moist, reapply as needed.

Echinacea used to treat blood poisoning and other septic bacterial skin conditions topically and/or internally.

Coconut oil and young coconut juice both detoxify blood, destroying pathogens. Coconut juice rehydrates the body and replaces plasma in emergencies when blood transfusions are unavailable. Use either topically on wounds to disinfect, kill fungal infections, and replenish damaged skin. Buy only raw, organic products.


Essential Oils Counter Terrorism Health Approaches - Dr. Len Horowitz and Dr. Sabina Devita

What makes survivors of biological attacks different from deceased victims is their natural constitution and solid immunity. A great example of one natural, God-given, and Bible recommended, antibiotic ideally used to resist the plagues of yesteryear, and today, including biological weapons attacks such as Anthrax and smallpox, is essential oils.

Thieves — oils used historically in the 15th century to avoid the plague. Laboratory studies found this blend killed 99.96 % of airborne bacteria such as anthrax. How to use: Diffuse for short periods of time (1/2 hour or less) or apply to the bottom of the feet or dilute with V-6 Mixing Oil or Massage Oil Base for a stimulating massage under the arms and on the chest at the base of the neck. Ingredients: clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus radiata, and rosemary. 15 ml bottle.

Single essential oils to have on hand in preparation for biological and chemical warfare include the following along with the indications cited below:

Thyme thymol (Thymus vulgaris CT thymol) and Melissa — For Anthrax infection - Fill an empty capsule with about 12 or more drops of Thyme and 1 drop of Melissa. Take 3 caps a day for 10 days, rest 48 hours then start up again. Also rub these oils mixed with Massage Oil Base or V-6 Mixing Oil all over the body. Thyme 15 ml bottle.

Idaho Tansy — is a powerful immune stimulant. How to use: Apply oil directly over the cut or wound. (Rose ointment can also be used for deep wounds mixed with the Idaho Tansy oil.) This provides protection against viral infections when used topically on the skin. It is additionally applied on the feet, but not to be consumed orally as it is a very strong oil that can leave an after taste from its potent compounds. It can also be used to help stop bleeding. Caution: Avoid using if you are epileptic or pregnant. Always dilute and skin test especially if you are prone to allergies. 5 ml bottle.

Mountain Savory (5 ml bottle) and Oregano (15 ml bottle) — are powerful anti-microbial oils, particularly against viruses. These oils are akin to natural antibiotics. How to use: Diffuse or apply topically mixed with V-6 Mixing Oil or Massage Oil Base.

Melissa — is a powerful anti-microbial oil, particularly against viruses. This has powerful calming, relaxing, and antiviral properties. How to use: One drop under the tongue, or in water or juice, may suffice as treatment for viral infections. Rub two drops of Melissa into your hands and then run your hands through your hair as a preventive and sedative.

Dr. Cates, leading researcher at Brigham Young University, found that Turkish Oregano and Melissa to be much better than many antibiotics.

Without reservation, we recommend Young Living Essential Oils-a world leader in the cultivation, distillation and production of organically grown, therapeutic Grade A essential oils. The company has impeccable standards which we have personally witnessed on their organic farm and distillation facility in Idaho. They are the only producer in North America that meets International Standards for therapeutic-grade A essential oils obtaining the AFNOR label.

All of the oils mentioned above have an important role in protecting the immune system as well as having powerful antibacterial and/or antiviral properties. Thus, they should earn a respectable place in your emergency kits and home preparedness programs. We trust that this information will be of use to you in helping to protect yourself and your loved ones during this very troubling and dangerous time.

Colleagues Have Circulated the Following Natural Preventives and Treatments for Anthrax and other Bio/Chemical Threats:

Garlic:  Freshly cut cloves of garlic or garlic powder may be beneficial. The antibiotic activity of one milligram of allicin, the active ingredient in garlic, equals 15 units of penicillin. [Koch and Lawson, Garlic: The Science and Therapeutic Application, 2nd edition, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore 1996]

Garlic capsules that certify their allicin content are preferred and may provide 5-10 milligrams of allicin, which is equivalent to 75-150 units of penicillin.  The anthrax bacterium's toxicity emanates from its ability to kill macrophage cells which are part of the immune system. Studies have shown that sulfur-bearing antioxidants (alpha lipoic acid, N-acetylcysteine, taurine) and vitamin C, which elevate levels of glutathione, a natural antioxidant within the body, counters the toxicity produced by anthrax. [Molecular Medicine, November 1994; Immunopharmacology, January 2000;  Applied Environmental Microbiology, May 1979]

Oil of Oregano:  The antibacterial, antiseptic action of plant oils has been described in recent medical literature and may be helpful in fighting biological toxins.  [Journal Applied Microbiology, Volume 88, 2000]   A potent natural antibiotic, more powerful than many prescription antibiotics, is oil of oregano. One study showed that oregano completely inhibited the growth of 25 germs such as Staphylococcus aureas, Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterocolitica and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. [Journal Food Protection, July 2001]    Oregano has been shown to be effective in eradicating intestinal parasites in humans.  [Phytotherapy Research, May 2001]   

Wild oregano, which is quite different from the variety on most kitchen spice racks, has over 50 antibacterial compounds. Just one part wild oregano oil in 4000 dilution sterilizes contaminated water. [London Times, May 8, 2001]

Oregano powder from whole leaf oregano is available as OregamaxTM capsules (North American Herb & Spice Co.). A spectacular development in natural antibiotic therapy is the manufacture of oregano powder from 100% pure oregano oil, producing one of the most potent antibiotics known.  It has recently become available under the trade name OregacinTM (North American Herb & Spice Co.).  It costs about $1 per pill, but this is a far cry from the $16 per pill for Vancomycin, known as most potent prescription antibiotic.

Please call 1-888-508-4787, and ask for Jackie or Elaine, to order one or more of the following Young Living products.  To read in it’s entirety…


Clinical Trial Results on Essential Oil Treatments

The following essential oils are effective against antibacterial and antifungal agents, antimicrobial, and bactericidal and fungicidal processes.  However this is not conclusive that these methods will be effective  as treatments for contamination by biological agents.

The antimicrobial activity of 4 samples of B. citriodora oil, leaf paste, commercial tea (0.2 and 0.02 g/mL), and hydrosol (aqueous distillate) were tested against 13 bacteria and 8 fungi… The 4 essential oils were found to be effective antibacterial and antifungal agents; however, variation was apparent between oils that did not correlate with citral content.

The essential oil of Dracocephalum foetidum, a popular essential oil used in Mongolian traditional medicine, was examined for its antimicrobial activity. Eight human pathogenic microorganisms including B. subtilis, S. aureus, M. lutens, E. hirae, S. mutans, E. coli, C. albicans, and S. cerevisiae were examined. The essential oil of Dracocephalum foetidum exhibited strong antimicrobial activity against most of the pathogenic bacteria and yeast strains that were tested

The essential oil of Oliveria decumbens was investigated for its components and antimicrobial activity against six bacteria and two fungal strains. The oil exhibited high antimicrobial activity against all tested Gram+ and Gram- bacteria and fungal strains.

In the present study, the antimicrobial activity of the essential oils from clove (Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. et Perry) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) was tested alone and in combination. Both essential oils possessed significant antimicrobial effects against all microorganisms tested…The antimicrobial activity of combinations of the two essential oils indicated their additive, synergistic or antagonistic effects against individual microorganism tests. The time-kill curves of clove and rosemary essential oils towards three strains showed clearly bactericidal and fungicidal processes of…

This finding suggests that dietary oregano essential oil exerted a significant antioxidant effect. Dietary supplementation of oregano essential oil at the level of 200 mg/kg was more effective in delaying lipid oxidation compared with the level of 100 mg/kg, but inferior to dietary supplementation of 200 mg alpha-tocopheryl acetate per kg.

This study indirectly provides evidence that antioxidant compounds occurring in oregano essential oil were absorbed by the rabbit and increased the antioxidative capacity of tissues.

Patchouli, tea tree, geranium, lavender essential oils and Citricidal (grapefruit seed extract) were used singly and in combination to assess their anti-bacterial activity against three strains of Staphylococcus aureus: Oxford S. aureus NCTC 6571 (Oxford strain), Epidemic methicillin-resistant S. aureus (EMRSA 15) and MRSA (untypable).  A combination of Citricidal and geranium oil showed the greatest-anti-bacterial effects against MRSA, whilst a combination of geranium and tea tree oil was most active against the methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (Oxford strain)….

This study demonstrates the potential of essential oils and essential oil vapours as antibacterial agents and for use in the treatment of MRSA infection. To read in its entirety… The Effect of Essential Oils on MRSA


Selection & Use of  Personal Protective  Equipment against Biological Agents

The Need for PPE - Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is designed to provide protection from serious injuries or illnesses resulting from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other hazards. Careful selection and use of adequate PPE should protect individuals involved in chemical emergencies from hazards effecting the respiratory system, skin, eyes, face, hands, feet, head, body, and hearing. No single combination of protective equipment and clothing is capable of protecting against all hazards. Thus PPE should be used in conjunction with other protective methods, including exposure control procedures and equipment.

Types of Protection - There are many types of protective equipment, each with specific applications and use requirements. Information on common elements of the PPE ensemble includes:

Eye and face protection should protect responders from the hazards of flying fragments, hot sparks, and chemical splashes…

Skin protection should be used when responders may be exposed to harmful substances.

Noise - Earplugs or earmuffs can help prevent damage to hearing. Exposure to high noise levels can cause irreversible hearing loss or impairment as well as physical and psychological stress.

Respiratory - Responders should use appropriate respirators to protect against adverse health effects caused by breathing contaminated air.


Search this link before making any purchases for Personal Protective Equipment

  • Outlines Recommendations Before Purchasing Protective Equipment
  • Guide to Evaluating the Performance of Protective Equipment
  • Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards
  • Skin Exposure and Effects


*Please note the following is protocol for first responders. We provide this information so that the public will not be misinformed when attempting to protect themselves from biological and chemical threats. And what is required to be fully protected from a chemical attack.

The approach to any potentially hazardous environment, including one with biological hazards, must be made with a plan that includes an assessment of hazard and exposure potential, respiratory protection needs, dermal protection needs, entry conditions, exit routes, and decontamination strategies.

Plans involving a biological hazard should be based on relevant infectious disease or biological safety recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (e.g., and other expert bodies including emergency first responders, law enforcement, and public health officials. The need for pre/post exposure treatment of first responders with antibiotics, vaccination, or other medications should be determined in consultation with licensed medical personnel.

This document is based on current understanding of the potential agents and existing recommendations for biological aerosols and is oriented toward acts of terrorism. The recommendations provided here do not address and are not applicable to controlled use of biological agents in biosafety laboratories.

NIOSH is providing the recommendations in this document on the basis of the following considerations:

Biological weapons may expose workers to bacteria, viruses, or toxins as fine airborne particles. Biological agents are infectious through one or more of the following mechanisms of exposure, depending upon the particular type of agent: (1) inhalation, with infection through respiratory mucosa or lung tissues; (2) ingestion; (3) contact with the mucous membranes of the eyes or nasal tissues; or (4) penetration of the skin through lesions or abrasions.

Biological agents, as liquid or solid organic airborne particles, behave the same in the air as inert or inorganic particles because they share the same aerodynamic characteristics.

Because biological weapons are particles, they will not permeate the materials used in the construction of respirators or protective clothing in the same way that some chemicals can permeate through them. However, biological particles potentially can penetrate through seams, closures, interfaces, pores, and gaps in protective apparel. Careful attention to properly selected, assembled and fitted personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential to ensuring necessary protection for first responders.

Protective clothing, including garments, gloves and booties, also are necessary for the response to a suspected act of biological terrorism to reduce exposures to potential dermal, chemical, and physical hazards. Protective clothing must have physical performance properties adequate for the mission (e.g. tensile strength, puncture resistance, seam breaking strength, abrasion resistance). Protective clothing is used to prevent skin exposures and/or contamination of other clothing. The type of protective clothing needed will depend upon the biological agent, concentration, route of exposure, and anticipated work operations…

Protective clothing ensembles certified to these standards should be the first choice when selecting protective clothing for protection against biological agents. Ensembles certified by these standards may be used to meet the applicable level of protection (i.e., A, B, C, and D) outlined by OSHA in the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) standard, Appendix B. There are also other protective ensembles and clothing items that meet OSHA's specifications available on the market that will provide protection to biological agents. Detailed information on the NFPA standards in relationship to CBRN terrorism events.


FDA Approved Products for Public Health Emergencies


Respirators for Public Health Emergencies:  Many companies make N95 respirators for health care settings and other workplaces. However, the 3M respirators are the first devices to receive FDA clearance for use by the public during public health medical emergencies to reduce exposure to airborne germs.

In contrast, N95 respirators are designed to protect a person from breathing in very small particles, which might contain viruses or bacteria. They fit tightly against the face so that most of the air inhaled goes through the filtering material.

FDA’s website lets you search for medical devices that FDA has cleared or approved, including personal protective equipment. Note that some of these products may not be available for purchase.

In May 2007, FDA cleared for marketing two respirators that can help reduce a person's exposure to airborne germs during a public health medical emergency. Such an emergency can range from a worldwide outbreak (pandemic) of influenza, to a biological terrorist threat such as anthrax.

The two respirators, manufactured by St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M Company (and called the 3M Respirator 8612F and 8670F), will be available to the general public without a prescription.


Respirators Fact Sheets

CDC's National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health - Respirator Fact Sheets

Some employers and consumers are considering purchasing escape hoods or other respirators to protect themselves against potential terrorist threats, including biological and chemical substances. This guidance will provide information on what respirators are, how they work, and what is needed for a respirator to provide protection.

As a first step, plan how to respond if an emergency happens. A respirator is only one small part of that plan. There may be situations in which it's simply best to stay where you are and avoid any uncertainty outside, a process known as "shelter-in-place," as a means of survival.  Respiratory protection is effective only if:

  • The correct respirator is used,
  • It’s available when you need it,
  • You know when and how to put it on and take it off, and
  • You have stored it and kept it in working order in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions

Each type of respirator can come in several varieties, each with its own set of cautions, limitations, and restrictions of use. Some respirators require testing to ensure a tight fit to the face, and should not be used with facial hair. Others use a nose clip and mouthpiece, which is clenched between your teeth, similar to a snorkel. Some respirators prevent the user from talking while others have speaking capabilities. Every respirator contaminated with hazardous chemicals should be decontaminated and disposed of properly.

Escape respirators are designed to be used only in an emergency, and only to escape from a dangerous area to a safe area. There are several escape respirators on the market. Many of them use a hood with a neck seal instead of a face piece. They are typically designed for one-time use for a short period, typically 15 minutes to 1 hour. They may be available in a variety of sizes and will fit most adults. Individuals with small or very large neck sizes may not be able to use some escape hood designs-check the supplier product information before purchasing.

Particulate respirators are the simplest, least expensive, and least protective of the respirator types available. These respirators only protect against particles. They do not protect against chemicals, gases, or vapors, and are intended only for low hazard levels. The commonly known "N-95" filtering face piece respirator is one type of particulate respirator, often used in hospital to protect against infectious agents. Particulate respirators are "air-purifying respirators" because they clean particles out of the air as you breathe. Even if you can't see the particles, there may be too many in the air for this respirator to provide adequate protection.

Chemical Cartridge/Gas Mask respirator: Gas masks are also known as "air-purifying respirators" because they filter or clean chemical gases and possibly particles out of the air as you breathe. This respirator includes a face piece or mask, and a filter/cartridge (if the filter is in a metal shell it is called a "canister"). Straps secure the face piece to the head. The cartridge may have a filter to remove particles (such as a biological weapon), charcoal (to remove certain chemicals), both, or other parts. When the user inhales, air is pulled through the filter.

Gas Masks are effective only if used with the correct cartridge or filter (these terms are often used interchangeably) for a particular biological or chemical substance. Selecting the proper filter can be a complicated process. There are cartridges available that protect against more than one hazard, but there is no "all-in-one" filter that protects against all substances. You need to know what hazards you will face in order to be certain you are choosing the right filters.

Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR). Powered air-purifying respirators use a fan to blow air through the filter to the user. They are easier to breathe through and they need a fully charged battery to work properly. They use the same filters as gas masks, so you need to know what the hazard is, and how much of it is in the air.

Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) is the respirator commonly used by firefighters. These use their own air tank to supply clean air, so you don't need to worry about filters. They also protect against higher concentrations of dangerous chemicals. However, they are very heavy (30 pounds or more), and require very special training to use and to maintain them. Also, the air tanks typically last an hour or less depending upon their rating and how hard you are breathing.


Questions to Ask Before Purchasing Respirators

CDC's National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health - Respirator Fact Sheets

The following questions and answers provide additional information for use in selecting and using gas mask and escape respirators. At the end of this Fact Sheet, you will find a list of questions you should ask before purchasing a Gas Mask or Escape Respirator.

If I wear a Gas Mask correctly, am I completely safe? The filter cartridges protect against only certain inhaled airborne substances. Some dangerous chemicals are absorbed through the skin. Properly selected and worn gas masks and escape respirators must be combined with protective clothing to completely prevent injury from these chemicals.

Can anyone wear a respirator mask? Breathing through a respirator is harder than breathing in open air. People with lung diseases such as asthma or emphysema, elderly people, and others may have trouble breathing. Some people with claustrophobia may not be able to wear a mask or hooded respirator. Some people with vision problems may have trouble seeing while wearing a mask or hood (there are special masks for people who need glasses).

Can I buy any Gas Mask or Escape Respirator and expect it to protect me from anything that might happen?  - These respirators must be selected for protection against a specific hazard. The cautions, limitations and restriction of use provided with the respirator must be strictly followed. If your mask does not make a tight seal all the way around your face when you inhale, you may breathe contaminated air that leaks around the edges of the face seal. Anything that prevents the facemask from fitting tightly against your face, such as a beard or long sideburns, may cause leakage. Some respirators come in different styles and sizes, and fit different people differently because people's faces have different shapes. You also need training to know how to correctly put the mask on and wear it correctly. This information should be provided by the supplier of the respirator.

How do I know a respirator will protect me against the hazards it claims to protect against?  - No agency in the U.S. tests and certifies respirators for use by the general public, however, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tests and certifies respirators for use by workers to protect against workplace hazards.

Respirators certified by NIOSH will say "NIOSH Approved" and may have a certification number. However, NIOSH only certifies respirators against specific hazards. Just because a respirator is certified does not mean it will protect against ALL hazards. NIOSH-certified respirators are supplied with Approval Labels that identify the hazards that the respirator is approved to protect against. If you are buying a respirator, you should check the Approval Label to be sure that it has been certified against the hazards you want protection against.

The Questions You Should Ask About any Respirator You Are Considering Purchasing:

  1. What protection (which chemicals and particles, and at what levels) does the escape hood provide?
  2. Is there more than one size?
  3. How do I know if the gas mask or escape hood will fit?
  4. What type of training do I need?
  5. Has the escape hood been tested against claims for protection such as biological agents, chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, and radioactive dust particles?
  6. Who performed the testing, what were the tested levels, and test durations?
  7. Is the escape hood certified by an independent laboratory or government agency?
  8. Are there any special maintenance or storage conditions?
  9. Will I be able to talk while wearing the respirator?
  10. Does the hood restrict vision or head movement in any way?
  11. Can I carry the device in the trunk of my automobile?
  12. Is a training respirator available?
  13. Can I use the escape hood more than one time?
  14. Can children wear the escape hood and get the expected protection?


NIOSH Certified Respirators

NIOSH Approved Certified Equipment Search List

The NIOSH Trusted-Source page provides information to understand the types of respirators, how to identify approved models and outlets for purchase, a listing of all NIOSH-approved and FDA-cleared surgical N95 respirators, a listing of recently revoked respirator approvals and relevant User Notices.

It also contains information on how to implement the use of respirators in the workplace and use them appropriately, and includes commonly asked questions and answers (fact sheets), respirator myths, the science of respirator function and performance, and respiratory protective devices not approved by NIOSH - respirators

This site provides a listing of NIOSH-approved particulate filtering face piece respirators. This type of air-purifying respirators protects by filtering particles out of the air the user is breathing. There are seven classes of filters for NIOSH-approved filtering face piece respirators available at this time. Ninety-five percent is the minimal level of filtration that will be approved by NIOSH.


Decontamination  Procedures

Proper decontamination of protective equipment and clothing will ensure that any particles that might have settled on the outside of protective equipment are removed before taking off gear. Decontamination sequences currently used for hazardous material emergencies should be used as appropriate for the level of protection employed and agent encountered. For example, PPE can be decontaminated using soap and water, and 0.5% hypochlorite solution (one part household bleach to 10 parts water) with an appropriate contact time can be used…

After taking off gear, response workers should shower using copious quantities of soap and water. Bleach should not be used to decontaminate response workers. Note that all NFPA 1994 ensembles are intended to be disposable after a single exposure use.

Remove all clothing (at least down to their undergarments) and place the clothing in a labeled durable 6-mil polyethylene bag (removal of clothing, at least to the undergarment level will reduce victim's contamination by 85 %).

• If exposure to liquid agent is suspected, cut and remove all clothing and wash skin immediately with soap and water.

• If exposure to vapor only is certain, remove outer clothing and wash exposed skin with soap and water.

• The eyes must be decontaminated within minutes of exposure to liquid nerve agent to limit injury. Flush the eyes immediately with water for about 5 to 10 minutes by tilting the head to the side, pulling eyelids apart with fingers, and pouring water slowly into eyes. There is no need to flush the eyes following exposure to nerve agent vapor. Remove contact lenses if easily removable without additional trauma to the eye.

• If clothes have been exposed to contamination, then extreme care must be taken when undressing to avoid transferring chemical agents to the skin - i.e. any clothing that has to be pulled over your head should be cut off instead of being pulled over your head.

• Scraping with a wooden stick, i.e. a tongue depressor or popsicle stick, can remove bulk agent.

• Cover all open wounds with plastic wrap prior to performing head to toe decontamination (particular attention should be made to open wounds because cyanide is readily absorbed through abraded skin).

• Flush the exposed skin and hair with plain water for 2 to 3 minutes then wash twice with mild soap. Rinse thoroughly with water. Be careful not to break the patient/victim's skin during the decontamination process.

• Caution - many people shower as they as they do it at home rather than conducting a rapid decontamination of their bodies. Too aggressive scrubbing can lead to further damage to skin and open wounds.

• Irrigate exposed or irritated eyes with plain water or saline for 5 minutes. Continue eye irrigation during other basic care or transport. Remove contact lenses if easily removable without additional trauma to the eye.

• Utilizing large amounts of water by itself is very effective (limit pressure in infants).

• If water supplies are limited, and showers are not available an alternative form of decontamination is to use 0.5 % sodium hypochlorite solution, or absorbent powders such as flour, talcum powder, or Fuller's earth.

Sodium hypochlorite is not recommended for use in infants and young children.

• Certification of decontamination is accomplished by any of the following: processing through the decontamination facility; M9 tape; M256A1 ticket; or by the Chemical Agent Monitor (CAM).

• If still contaminated repeat shower procedure.

In cases of ingestion, do not induce emesis. If the victim is alert, asymptomatic, and has a gag reflex, administer slurry of activated charcoal (administer at 1 gm/kg, usual adult dose 60-90 g, child dose 25-50 g). A soda can and a straw may be of assistance when offering charcoal to a child (consider naso-gastric tube - if possible contact ED prior to use of NG tube in infants and children [risk vs. benefit of inducing emesis with NG tube placement]).


Bogus Internet Bioterrorism Products


Internet Claims - Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Cracks Down on Marketers of Bogus Bioterrorism Defense Products - Release Date: November 19, 2001

The Internet search focused on products claiming to protect against, detect, prevent, or treat biological and chemical agents, including anthrax. More than 200 sites marketing bioterrorism-related products were uncovered, and additional sites are being evaluated for possible warning letters. Included in the review were such items as gas masks and protective suits; mail sterilizers; biohazard test kits; homeopathic remedies; and dietary supplements such as colloidal silver, zinc mineral water, thyme, and oregano oil as treatments for contamination by biological agents.

Web sites may be subject to state or federal investigation or prosecution for making deceptive or misleading marketing claims that their products can protect against, detect, prevent, or treat biological or chemical contamination. "This marketing targets people worried about the prospect of exposure to lethal biological or chemical weapons. The FTC is aware of no scientific basis for any of the self-treatment alternatives being marketed on the Internet," said Howard Beales, FTC's Director of Consumer Protection.  To read article in


Where to Purchase Reliable Protective Products

If CDC recommends personal protective equipment, where can I buy it?

A. You can buy personal protective equipment from pharmacies, from medical suppliers, or from sources you find on the Internet.

For more information about buying medical products on the Internet, see FDA’s website on Buying Medicines and Medical Products Online.


Biologically Contaminated vs. Toxic Water

Biologically contaminated water is water that contains microorganisms such as Giardia (a common microorganism that, if not killed, leads to intestinal disorders), bacteria, or viruses that can lead to infections (see Gastrointestinal Infections, page 316). 

Toxic water sources contain chemical contamination from pesticide runoffs, mine tailings, and so on. Boiling, filtering, or chemically treating water can remove or kill microorganisms, but it will not remove chemical toxins. This is also the case when using a solar still (see page 223).

Emergency Disinfection of Drinking Water

Use only water that has been properly disinfected for drinking, cooking, making any prepared drink, or for brushing teeth.

  1. Use bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters if it is available.

  2. If you don't have bottled water, you should boil water to make it safe. Boiling water will kill most types of disease-causing organisms that may be present. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for boiling. Boil the water for one minute, let it cool, and store it in clean containers with covers.

  3. If you can't boil water, you can disinfect it using household bleach. Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for disinfection. Add 1⁄8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water, stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it. Store disinfected water in clean containers with covers.

  4. If you have a well that has been flooded, the water should be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede. If you suspect that your well may be contaminated, contact your local or state health department or agriculture extension agent for specific advice.

Boiling is the surest method to make water safe to drink and kill disease-causing microorganisms like Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium, which are frequently found in rivers and lakes.

These disease-causing organisms are less likely to occur in well water (as long as it has not been affected by flood waters). If not treated properly and neutralized, Giardia may cause diarrhea, fatigue, and cramps after ingestion. Cryptosporidium is highly resistant to disinfection. It may cause diarrhea, nausea and/or stomach cramps. People with severely weakened immune systems are likely to have more severe and more persistent symptoms than healthy individuals.

Boil filtered and settled water vigorously for one minute (at altitudes above one mile, boil for three minutes). To improve the flat taste of boiled water, aerate it by pouring it back and forth from one container to another and allow it to stand for a few hours, or add a pinch of salt for each quart or liter of water boiled.

If boiling is not possible, chemical disinfection of filtered and settled water collected from a well, spring, river, or other surface water body will still provide some health benefits and is better than no treatment at all.

Chemical Treatment

When boiling is not practical, certain chemicals will kill most harmful or disease-causing organisms. For chemical disinfection to be effective, the water must be filtered and settled first. Chlorine and iodine are the two chemicals commonly used to treat water. They are somewhat effective in protecting against exposure to Giardia, but may not be effective in controlling more resistant organisms like Cryptosporidium. Chlorine is generally more effective than iodine in controlling Giardia, and both disinfectants work much better in warm water.

You can use a non-scented, household chlorine bleach that contains a chlorine compound to disinfect water.

Do not use non-chlorine bleach to disinfect water. Typically, household chlorine bleaches will be 5.25% available chlorine. Follow the procedure written on the label. When the necessary procedure is not given, find the percentage of available chlorine on the label and use the information in the following table as a guide. (Remember, 1/8 teaspoon and 8 drops are about the same quantity.)

Available Chlorine

Drops per Quart/Gallon of Clear Water

Drops per Liter of Clear Water



10 per Quart - 40 per Gallon

10 per Liter



2 per Quart - 8 per Gallon (1/8 teaspoon)

2 per Liter



1 per Quart - 4 per Gallon

1 per Liter


(If the strength of the bleach is unknown, add ten drops per quart or liter of filtered and settled water. Double the amount of chlorine for cloudy, murky or colored water or water that is extremely cold.)

Mix the treated water thoroughly and allow it to stand, preferably covered, for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight chlorine odor. If not, repeat the dosage and allow the water to stand for an additional 15 minutes. If the treated water has too strong a chlorine taste, allow the water to stand exposed to the air for a few hours or pour it from one clean container to another several times.

You can use granular calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water.
Add and dissolve one heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite (approximately ź ounce) for each two gallons of water, or 5 milliliters (approximately 7 grams) per 7.5 liters of water. The mixture will produce a stock chlorine solution of approximately 500 milligrams per liter, since the calcium hypochlorite has available chlorine equal to 70 percent of its weight. To disinfect water, add the chlorine solution in the ratio of one part of chlorine solution to each 100 parts of water to be treated. This is roughly equal to adding 1 pint (16 ounces) of stock chlorine to each 12.5 gallons of water or (approximately ˝ liter to 50 liters of water) to be disinfected. To remove any objectionable chlorine odor, aerate the disinfected water by pouring it back and forth from one clean container to another.

You can use chlorine tablets to disinfect filtered and settled water.
Chlorine tablets containing the necessary dosage for drinking water disinfection can be purchased in a commercially prepared form. These tablets are available from drug and sporting goods stores and should be used as stated in the instructions. When instructions are not available, use one tablet for each quart or liter of water to be purified.

You can use tincture of iodine to disinfect filtered and settled water.
Common household iodine from the medicine chest or first aid kit may be used to disinfect water. Add five drops of 2 percent U.S. or your country’s approved Pharmacopeia tincture of iodine to each quart or liter of clear water. For cloudy water add ten drops and let the solution stand for at least 30 minutes.

You can use iodine tablets to disinfect filtered and settled water.
Purchase commercially prepared iodine tablets containing the necessary dosage for drinking water disinfection at drug and sporting goods stores. Use as stated in instructions. When instructions are not available, use one tablet for each quart or liter of filtered and settled water to be purified.



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In order to aid you in your emergency preparedness efforts, PrepareWise makes it convenient to purchase low-priced emergency food storage and survival supplies online and have them delivered straight to your door.

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Bioterrorism Preparedness Resources - Are You Ready Guide

Are You Ready? Provides a step-by-step approach to disaster preparedness by walking the reader through how to get informed about local emergency plans, how to identify hazards that affect their local area and how to develop and maintain an emergency communications plan and disaster supplies kit. Other topics covered include evacuation, emergency public shelters, animals in disaster and information specific to people with access and functional needs.

Are You Ready? Also provides in-depth information on specific hazards including what to do before, during and after each hazard type. The following hazards are covered: Floods, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Thunderstorms and Lightning, Winter Storms and Extreme Cold, Extreme Heat, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Landslide and Debris Flows (Mudslide), Tsunamis, Fires, Wildfires, Hazardous Materials Incidents, Household Chemical Emergencies, Nuclear Power Plant and Terrorism (including Explosion, Biological, Chemical, Nuclear and Radiological hazards).


To Report an Environmental Emergency

More information about reporting and the National Response Center

An environmental emergency is a sudden threat to the public health or the well-being of the environment, arising from the release or potential release of oil, radioactive materials, or hazardous chemicals into the air, land, or water.

Examples of environmental emergencies include:

  • oil and chemical spills,

  • radiological and biological discharges, and

  • accidents causing releases of pollutants

These emergencies may occur from transportation accidents, events at chemical or other facilities using or manufacturing chemicals, or as a result of natural or man-made disaster events. If you are involved in or witness an environmental emergency that presents a sudden threat to public health, you must call the National Response Center at: 1-800-424-8802.



How to Prepare Yourself Starting Today

Ephesians 6:11-19,

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; by Mike Adams

(NaturalNews) The age of human delusion is rapidly coming to an end. A civilization that has deluded itself into believing so many of its own lies on pivotal issues -- agriculture, fossil fuels, economics, finance, water supply, food, pharmaceuticals and more -- sooner or later runs headfirst into reality. All the theatrics of the era fade into history as the day of reckoning arrives, and the self-deluded masses wake up bewildered and disoriented, not understanding why the fabricated world they always believed was real has suddenly vanished, leaving them starving and destitute.

Buoyed by the conveniences of the industrial age (and then the information age),
 humanity has grown weak and shortsighted. A species that arrogantly believes it has conquered the world through "science" and "industry" actually stands on the verge of being destroyed by its own creations. These include:

* Nuclear catastrophes and nuclear war
* The rise of deadly pandemic superbugs
* The collapse of the global financial debt pyramid
* Self-replicating genetic pollution, superweeds and the collapse of agriculture
* The collapse of the world's fresh water supplies, followed by the desertification of agricultural land...

Preparing your mind, body and spirit

To survive this historical awakening and transition, you will need to invoke an internal toughness that encompasses your mental, physical and spiritual bodies:

PHYSICAL toughness: Expect to expend considerable time and energy in physical pursuits largely related to nurturing your own food supply. Gardening, harvesting, animal ranching and mechanical skills will keep you alive in an age when "virtual" skills (like programming websites) may be relatively useless. You'll also need a very strong, adaptable immune system to keep you healthy in a time when infectious disease runs rampant across the world, killing off those with weaker immune systems.

MENTAL toughness: To mentally survive the rapid socioeconomic changes taking place and deal with the mass death happening around you, you'll need to summon a degree of internal mental toughness that you probably didn't know you had. You'll also need the kind of mental toughness that empowers you to protect your family from physical threats, barter with neighbors at a public market, or keep pushing yourself through tremendous hardship where others might give up and die.

SPIRITUAL toughness: During the darkest days of the transition, you will need to discover a spiritual toughness that gives you strength. Beyond the physical and the mental, you will need to connect with the divine for spiritual guidance, and you'll need to find faith in the unseen, even when there is no readily apparent evidence in the world around you that convinces you of its existence. Spiritual toughness will give you the guidance and the internal light to see your way through the most challenging of times, keeping you alive when others have long since given up.

How to prepare yourself starting today

So how do you prepare yourself and increase your physical, mental and spiritual strength? You practice them.

Starting today, make it a point to exercise your body, mind and spirit on a daily basis. It's simpler than you think. You might do a daily practice that's as simple as:

PHYSICAL: Lift weights, shovel dirt, do pilates or go swimming for 15 minutes a day.

MENTAL: Learn a language or study a difficult subject for 15 minutes a day.

SPIRITUAL: Meditate or pray for 15 minutes a day.

Where many people fall short is in focusing too much time on just one area -- such as physical fitness -- while forgetting to enhance their mental toughness or spiritual expansion...

Survival from a whole new perspective

You may wonder what all these have to do with surviving the end of one human era and the rise of another. After all, when it comes to the subject of survival, most people talk about stocking up on food, water, medical supplies, ammunition and so on.

These are all THINGS for survival, but what I'm focusing on in this article is your personal aptitude for survival. If you have the personal aptitude to be adaptable at every level -- physical, mental and spiritual -- you can and will survive almost anything thrown your way. After all, the single most important survival tool you have is the one between your ears. If that tool is functioning well -- and you have the physical stamina to go with it -- you'll do just fine.

There are a thousand activities you can pursue right now that will train you for survival yet have nothing to do with classic "survival" preparedness. These are "Wax On, Wax Off" type of exercises, meaning they prepare you physically and mentally for a future encounter where your personal development will give you a sudden (and often unexpected) edge. (Yes, this reference is from the Karate Kid movie, FYI.)

So I ask you: What are you doing right now for your Wax On, Wax Off practice? Sitting in front of the TV doesn't cut it. Neither does posting comments on Facebook or downing another double grande latte at Starbucks. It's time to reexamine how you are spending your time and effort and ask yourself, "Does THIS activity help prepare me physical, mentally or spiritually for the era of human transition that's coming?"

If it doesn't, change your habits. Pursue the things that train you to be a survivor, and you will ensure your future in a world that's coming where the weak and delusional are gone... and where the future belongs to those of strong moral character. That's a future humanity desperately needs, and it's one the species will eventually come to embrace, but not before the coming collapse causes widespread global death and destruction. It's time for humanity to advance beyond its infancy, but don't expect it to be pretty... by Mike Adams

(NaturalNews) Most of the talk on preparedness these days focuses on food, water, emergency medical supplies, sleeping bags and similar items. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but it's limited to the scope of being ready for things that happen when you're alive. But this life is just the blink of an eye in the larger perspective of spirituality and the survival of your conscious soul. As journeys into the afterlife have revealed to us, there is an afterlife beyond this life, and our actions here on Earth are judged by the Creator.

What have you done to prepare your soul for the afterlife?

This isn't a joke question. We all focus on the survival of our physical bodies here on Earth, but relatively few people consider the survival of their eternal souls beyond this realm. That's strange because the world beyond this life is actually far more REAL (and eternal) than this life here on Earth (which is often described as a "training ground" or a "simulation" or a "dream").

Whether we live or die through the next Earthly preparedness crisis, the truth is that we all pass on to the afterlife sooner or later. That fact is inescapable and thus warrants the consideration of every conscious being living today.

Judgment Day will be here before you know it

Prepare your physical body to survive the physical world; and prepare your soul to survive the spiritual world.

Read in entirety…



The Ultimate Preparation

By Live Healthy Naturally

Ask yourself, are you prepared spiritually, physically and mentally for what may be just ahead?


How do you prepare mentally?

  • Set your mind to resist the culture of this world, our world today, when it conflicts with the culture of the Kingdom of God. Don’t compromise in the face of adversity.

  • Seek God’s wisdom and understanding and to discern the times in which we live.

  • Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2). 

How do you prepare physically?

  • Become fit if you are not. If you are fit, stay fit.    

  • Educate yourself on the toxins that affect your body.    

  • Learn how to treat medical conditions in the absence or in place of pharmaceuticals using essential oils. See our recommended product lines.    

  • Take the practical precautions in preparing for emergency and survival preparedness.

How do you prepare spiritually?

If you are already a believer:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:10-18).

  • Learning how to effectively pray is imperative - Prayer is our life line and our connection with the Creator of the universe. Prayer is the only legitimate vehicle from heaven to earth that enables the deployment of the power of God relative to His Kingdom.

    Our recommended teaching, The Spirit of Wisdom in Understanding Prayer and Faith will empower you to experience and operate in the supernatural power of God.


If you are not a believer,

How do you make Jesus Lord and Savior?

If you want to know why Jesus? click here…

On the spiritual plane our eternal existence has one of two choices, the decision of either Jesus as Lord and Savior that determines heaven. Or Satan that determines your final destination of hell.

No matter what the future holds for mankind on this plane, thankfully it is the Father of Heaven and His Son, Jesus the Christ, which will have the final word and has ultimately determined the fate of mankind.

Therefore, having a personal relationship with Jesus as Savior is the first, and most important, “emergency planning step” you can take for your future security and survival.