Crash Course on Ebola Preparedness

Crash-course emergency preparedness against Ebola outbreak

The CDC has just confirmed the first case of Ebola in the USA. If Ebola breaks out in the USA there are several things we can safely assume:
1. Quarantine/Shelter in Place will either be mandatory or a REALLY GOOD IDEA.
2. Utilities and emergency services may not be reliable or available.
3. The supplies you have in your home will be all you have. Plan to camp for over a month at home.
4. You will need to assume that you are on your own till everything dies down (if anything happens).

This document is a rough draft and contains suggested minimums - please verify critical details and do some research. The current strain of Ebola incubates for about three weeks and then shows symptoms.

Food: 30 - 60 day supply

This list would feed four people for a month at roughly 3000 calories per day.  
50 pounds of dry beans and/or lentils (about $50 from Cloverdale)
50 pounds of rice ($22 from Cloverdale)
12.5 pounds of oats ($6 from Cloverdale if you split a bag)
12.5 pounds of split peas ($10 from Cloverdale if you split a bag)
12.5 pounds of pasta ($15 from Cloverdale)
6 pounds of popcorn
6 pounds of peanut butter
4.6 lbs (a little over half a gallon) of coconut oil and/or olive oil
6 pounds of sweetener of your choice (sugar, sucanat, honey, etc.)
2.5 pounds of salt
2.5 pounds of sprouting seeds
other seasonings/shelf-stable condiments
canned goods (fish, meat, beans, veggies, etc.)
shelf-stable snacks of your choice (nuts, dried fruit, pretzels/crackers, bottled juice, chocolate...)

You can get most of these items for less than $150 if purchased from a bulk food supplier such as Cloverdale Warehouse. (Most items from Cloverdale can only be purchased in large quantities, so you might consider splitting with another family if your budget is tight.) 
If you have substantial supplies of canned or other dried goods, you'll need lower quantities of the bulk items at the beginning of the list. 

Storage: Dry food can be stored long term in 5 gallon buckets if sealed in with oxygen absorbers.


Storage or filtration/treatment solution adequate for 30 - 60 days at 1 gallon / person / day.
Fresh water is plentiful across much of Tennessee - this should mean that few will need to consider storing large quantities of water. However, if water is drawn from surface sources or shallow wells filtration and/or chemical treatment may be required.

Water Storage Solutions:
I'd avoid re-using milk jugs and other used beverage containers - the plastic breaks down quickly and it's hard to get them clean and sterile inside. Used buckets from bakeries can be used.
Also, Nasvhille Barrel and Drum sells food grade 55 gallon drums and IBC totes (~200 gallon). The totes used to cost less than $100 for food grade. Stored water should be treated with chlorine or H2o2.

Water Treatment:
The Sawyer .1 water filter is the best inexpensive filter available and it even beats many of the more expensive units - it can filter out bacteria and has a high flow rate. They run from $20-40 on Amazon for different models and have an almost unlimited lifespan. In addition, I would store bleach for water treatment. A few drops of bleach per quart of water will kill viruses within about 15 minutes - the bleach can then be neutralized with Sodium Ascorbate (a kind of Vitamin C powder). Use only non-scented, plain, bleach.  

Medical Supplies

For a more details and links visit our page on Medical Supplies
In a quarantine type situation you will only go to the hospital for dire, otherwise fatal injuries (and perhaps not even then). You will be your own ER.
Listerine (or other disinfectant), Kerlex (gauze), and medical tape can handle most small injuries, up to and including ones that need stitches. The Kerlex and tape can be used to fashion almost any bandage.

The "Israeli Bandage" is a relatively economical ($7) trauma bandage incorporating gauze and compression wrap into a single unit. Super glue works for wound closure on small wounds (don't get it IN the wound, though, especially if it's deep).

Tourniquet: Small, pass-through ratchet straps can be used (with caution), or get a real tourniquet.
Medications: Asprin, Ibuprofin, Loperamide, BurnGel, etc.
Other Items: Sam Splint, Nitrile Gloves, CPR Mask, Emergency Blanket,  Irrigation Syringe, Trauma Shears
Books: Where There is no Doctor and Wilderness First Responder: How To Recognize, Treat, And Prevent Emergencies In The Backcountry

Biological Protection

I would recommend some form of N95 (or better) mask or respirator, rubber gloves (not disposable, with a large cuff), and eye protection. If you are at higher risk of exposure to people, consider adding some Tyvek coveralls and duck tape to create your own semi-disposable clean suit. Or, military surplus NBC suits are only about $20.  

Bleach is effective in killing Ebola and disinfecting just about anything. A 5% solution is what's used for washing/disinfecting equipment/suits (30 minute contact time required). 0.5% for washing skin.

Here's a video explaining what doctors are wearing when treating Ebola patients overseas.

Other Recommended Supplies (and rough prices):

Flashlight and extra batteries ($20)
Battery Powered FM Radio ($20 - also, many twoway radios can receive FM. Some can also receive SW!)
Matches/fire starting devices ($10)
Axe or hatchet ($40)
At least one weapon-grade firearm and ammo
Radio communications (walkie talkies, $20 ea - BF-888 is my recommendation)
Small solar power system ($200 for 100 watt panel, charge controller, and inverter)
Fire extinguisher ($40) and improvised firefighting stuff (water, sand)
Non-electric cooking/heating solution (Like a wood-fueled Rocket Stove, which you can easily make)
Fuel for cooking and heating (if you don't have a forest behind your house - but backup doesn't hurt)