Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Of all the global disasters that could happen, probably the most likely is a pandemic. We know this because pandemics happen on a regular basis. They’ve happened before, and they will happen again, especially if humans keep making contact with wildlife and operating wet markets.
That’s why when the Covid-19 pandemic began, many experts weren’t surprised. We were already overdue for a major pandemic, and it had finally arrived. But as it turns out, Covid-19 probably wasn’t a naturally-occurring pandemic. It probably leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China.
Until recently, this was considered a conspiracy theory, but now the U.S. Energy Department has concluded that a lab leak is the most likely origin of Covid-19. They’re not alone. Several other agencies, including the FBI, also believe a lab leak is the most likely explanation. Even the former CDC director has said this.
This is terrible news. If Covid-19 leaked from a lab, that means we are still overdue for a major pandemic.
Right now, the most likely cause of a pandemic is the new strain of avian flu (H5N1), commonly known as bird flu. This type of flu emerged back in the 90s and has only spread among birds…until now.
The U.S. is in the midst of the worst bird flu outbreak in history. This new strain spreads very easily and has forced ranchers to cull millions of chickens in order to stop it from spreading. This is partly why egg prices have been so high.
Normally, bird flu only infects birds. But recently, there have been more and more reports of bird flu infecting mammals. Bird flu has always been able to infect mammals, but they always get it from birds and not from other mammals.
Recently, an 11-year-old girl in Cambodia died after contracting bird flu, and according to the team that decoded the genetic sequence, it had mutations that make it better adapted to humans.
If bird flu spills over into humans, it will be devastating. Bird flu kills half the people it infects, so if it starts spreading among humans and we aren’t able to contain it in time, it could be a civilization-ending disaster. We can hope that it will be less deadly after it makes the jump to humans, but we won’t know until it happens.
Experts are saying we shouldn’t panic because the virus prefers to bind to avian-like receptors, and it would be difficult for the virus to switch receptor preference, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. After all, it keeps appearing in more and more mammals.
Every year, a bird flu pandemic becomes more and more likely as it mutates in mammals all over the planet. So if you haven’t started preparing, now is the time.
Below is a list of supplies you should consider stockpiling before a bird flu pandemic. I could have included food, water, guns, and other emergency supplies, but for this list, I focused on items that are especially useful in a pandemic. The list is in alphabetical order.
1. Air Purifiers
Viruses can become airborne by attaching to aerosols, tiny particles and pieces of liquid which are always floating around. To reduce your chance of catching a virus that way, get an air purifier for your home, especially one with HEPA filters.
Bleach is important for cleaning surfaces that might have viruses stuck to them. Simply mix 1 cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water and use it to to scrub the surface.
3. Disinfectant Spray
Disinfectant sprays like Lysol are very effective at killing viruses. If you don’t have any bleach, you can spray surfaces with this instead.
4. Disposable Gloves
If someone in your home has been infected, you’ll want to wear disposable gloves when you’re around them in case the virus gets on your hands.
5. Duct Tape
6. Electrolyte Powder
Anyone infected with a virus is going to become dehydrated. A great way to combat dehydration is with electrolyte powders which you can mix with water. Or if you prefer, you could just stock up on Gatorade.
7. Emesis Bags
Another term for emesis bags is barf bags. Basically, you throw up in them, and they’re very important for people who can’t make it to the toilet.
8. Face Masks
If you don’t have any face masks left over from the Covid-19 pandemic, make sure to get some because as soon as the next pandemic begins, face masks will sell out fast. However, don’t just get ordinary cloth masks. Get N95 masks which are far more effective.
In case the virus is particularly contagious, you’ll want to wear goggles around infected people so it doesn’t get into your body through your eyes.
10. Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer will also sell out quickly if there’s another pandemic, so make sure you have plenty of it on hand.
If someone in your home is sick, a humidifier is a good way to alleviate their symptoms.
12. Immunity Boosters
13. Kitty Litter
Kitty litter is an effective way to soak up the fluids of a sick person that have gotten onto carpet or upholstery.
I was going to include this under the next list item, OTC medications, but loperamide (Imodium) will be crucial for a sick person who has become severely dehydrated, so I decided to single it out.
15. OTC Medications
16. Plastic Sheeting
Plastic sheeting will be necessary if you need to set up a medical quarantine in your home.
17. Rubbing Alcohol
As long as it contains 70% isopropyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol can kill viruses on commonly-touched surfaces in your home. You can also use rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel to make your own hand sanitizer.
I should be pretty obvious why you need hand soap. You’ll want to wash your hands regularly, and for at least 20 seconds. I taught my children to sing “Happy Birthday” twice while washing their hands. Even when they sing it quickly, it still takes about 20 seconds.
20. Toilet Paper
Get ahead of the inevitable toilet paper shortages by stockpiling it now. You’ll especially need it if someone in your home gets sick.
21. Trash Bags
You’ll also need lots of heavy-duty trash bags if someone in your home gets sick. Anything that can’t be cleaned that could have the virus on it should be thrown away.
22. Tyvek Suit
If someone in your home is sick and isolated, but you need to bring them food or supplies, a Tyvek suit will ensure you don’t get infected.
23. Water Purifier
It’s possible for viruses to travel through water and infect anyone who drinks it. Unfortunately, ordinary water filters won’t remove viruses because viruses are too small to be captured by the filters. However, certain water purifiers such as a Steripen can kill viruses using ultraviolet light.
Although a bird flu pandemic does seem inevitable, panicking about it is a waste of energy because it could be years or even decades before it happens. For now, just focus on getting prepared so you’ll have everything you need when the time comes.
Thanks for reading! If you're new here, I highly recommend reading this article which explains why civilization is going to collapse. If you want to start preparing, check out our list of free books and manuals and our list of recommended supplies. If you're feeling anxious about collapse, please visit the support page for tips on how to manage your emotions, places where you can get help, and lists of articles and videos on coping with collapse anxiety.