MESSAGE FROM TESS
December always brings a sense of holiday cheer, delicious treats and familial bonding that I love. Conversely, December also brings cold weather and flu season. This combination can be a real hassle, so it is important to prepare for the weather and any cold related illnesses ahead of time to prevent chaotic trips to the store during bad weather. To stay prepped, plan ahead and get some supplies  before a cold or flu gets you down in the dumps.
In this 28th week of our 52-week series, we will be discussing pandemics. Since pandemics are global outbreaks, people usually have little or no immunity to them. Being prepared for mass illness is, therefore, an important topic in our series. In this issue we will discuss ways a country typically reacts to an outbreak, the best ways to prevent and prepare for pandemics, and why modern society makes us so vulnerable to infectious disease outbreaks.
Missed any issues of the 52-weeks to preparedness series? We’ve got you covered! You can view the 52-weeks to preparedness series online at Ready Nutrition . Help friends and family become more prepared for emergencies in 2012 by sending it to them. They can easily begin their own preparedness journey using our food storage calculator  on Ready Nutrition to create a customized chart telling them how much food storage would be required to sustain their family in the face of an emergency.
Merry Christmas and Best Wishes,
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
PREP OF THE WEEK
Week 28 of 52: Pandemic Preparedness
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) , serious, contagious disease outbreaks can and do happen. CDC investigates new contagious diseases—averaging one new contagion per year. Given our vast array of transportation systems, these diseases can end up at our doorstep far more rapidly compared to any other time in recorded history. Since pandemics are fast moving, vaccinations would be useless.
When an outbreak occurs, those living in cities, and those living in close proximity of others will be more at risk. Statistics from previous pandemics indicate that 30–60 percent of the population will contract an illness. Any pregnant women, infants, elderly people, or those with chronic medical conditions are also at risk and could be the first of the population to contract the contagious illness.
When the pandemic begins, many will remain in a state of denial about any approaching epidemics and not want to think of the long lasting repercussions of such a disaster. Being prepared before the mass come out of their daze will ensure that you are better prepared before the hoards run to the store to stock up.
Having first hand knowledge of the government’s protocols  before this type of emergency arises can help put you ahead of the game. Understanding that our lives will change drastically if the population is faced with a pandemic and being prepared for this can help you make better choices toward the well being of your family. Some changes could be:
- Challenges or shut downs of business commerce
- Breakdown of our basic infrastructure: communications, mass transportation, supply chains
- Payroll service interruptions
- Staffing shortages in hospitals and medical clinics
- Interruptions in public facilities – Schools, workplaces may close, and public gatherings such as sporting events or worship services may close temporarily.
- Government mandated voluntary or involuntary home quarantine.
With any type of disaster or emergency, the responsibility falls more heavily upon our shoulders to ensure that we are able meet our needs. However, this is not anything new to a prepper. We believe in being self reliant, and if you have followed the 52-Weeks to Preparedness series , you should well be on your way to handle such a disaster.
So how do we prepare properly for this type of emergency? Similar to other emergencies we simply prepare as much as we can because any steps taken toward preparedness are better than none at all. Here are a few ideas to consider on how to better prepare for family for this type of emergency:
- Taking proper illness precautions – avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes during any pandemic.
- Create a sick room  for the home.
- Keep your immune systems up by getting lots of sleep, having a good diet and taking vitamins and antioxidants to protect your health.
- Stay inside and avoid contact with others.
Some of the following suggestions to purchase have been repeated in previous newsletters. Ensure that you have these items on hand in order to prepare for this type of emergency. To read more about pandemic preparedness, click here .
Preps To Buy:
- Have a two-week supply of emergency foods that require no refrigeration.
- Store 1 gallon of water per person per day, in clean plastic containers. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles.
- Supply of nonprescription drugs
- Pain relievers
- Cold medicines
- Stomach remedies
- Anti-diarrheal medication
- Vitamins that have immune boosting enhancers.
- Fluids with electrolytes  (such as sports drinks).
- Bleach or disinfectant
- Garbage bags to collect soiled clothing and bedding before they are washed.
- A thermometer
- Latex cleaning gloves
- Disposable gloves (in quantity)
- Hand wipes
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizers or homemade hand sanitizer supplies 
- An extra supply of your regular prescription drugs and medical supplies.
- N95 respirator masks (in quantity)
- Understand your communities role in pandemic preparedness. Find out ahead of time what your community’s protocols are in the case of a sudden onset pandemic.
- For those with special needs, ensure that you have supplies ready for them (infants, elderly, handicapped, etc.).
- Plan accordingly for pets  as well.
- Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they became ill.
- Finding out your employer’s plans and ask your child’s school or day care what their protocol is during epidemic outbreaks.
- Have some supplies prepared in your workplace.
- Identify how you can get information, whether through local radio, TV, Internet or other sources.
WHAT WE’RE UP TO
In the Home:
I love Christmas time! I have enjoyed reliving Christmas past by pulling out ornaments, pictures and decorations. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. My youngest ones and I made dough ornaments and they had such a ball painting and decorating them. I have loved watching them play with the Christmas ornaments and decor! They go into a magical land every year. One aspect of Christmas that I do not love is the lines of people checking out. Good thing I did most of my shopping online.
I bought some preparedness gifts this year for my family. The kids have a survival paracord bracelet they can add to their bug out bags. That will give us 30 feet of paracord rope if we need it in an emergency. I also bought my husband some warm winter clothes, a KA-BAR Leather Handled Hunter Knife with Game Hook. He’s been hunting quite a bit lately, and has used his pocket knife, so I wanted to give him a good blade he can use for dressing the game.
Something I’m very excited about is that my husband and son are making a homemade gravity filter to treat water. My son watched The Colony recently and really come along in his prepper mindset. I plan to take pictures and post them on Ready Nutrition. These prepper projects are great ways of getting the kids involved and also to help teach them important skill sets. We’re very proud!
In the Garden:
This week, I planted some onion sets that I bought at a local farm. I also planted some more beets, radishes and spinach. After our cold front that came through, I am trying to save the last tomato plants that I have left. Hopefully, after covering them, they won’t get too cold. They are almost ready to be picked. I just need a few more warm days… If I have to pick them early, then I already have plans to make some fried green tomatoes for the family.
STATS AND FACTS
To decrease the chances of a virus spreading and infecting other household members as well as members of your community, it is important that every effort be made to limit exposure to the illness. Pregnant women, children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are especially at risk compared to other population groups. Further, health care workers, home care givers and those who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are also at risk for contracting an illness more quickly than most.
Some considerations on how to prevent exposure to an outbreak are:
- Avoid close contact with those who are ill.
- Stay inside and avoid contact with others.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes during any pandemic.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
- Keep your hands clean. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub or make your own natural hand sanitizer .
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- If you are ill, stay indoors or keep your distance from others.
- Keeping your immune systems up by getting lots of sleep, having a good diet and taking antioxidants in protecting your health.
- Prepare a sick room  for the home to limit family member’s exposure to the virus.
LETTERS TO TESS
One of the perks of my job at Ready Nutrition is to address questions and/or concerns that you may have with your prepping endeavors. Feel free to ask anything that is on your mind because no question is too big or small. You can email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org 
This week’s question addresses wheat berries:
Why such an emphasis on huge quantities of wheat. I wouldn’t even know what to do with it. I thought the basic goal was store what you eat and eat what you store. I have NEVER used raw wheat in my life …
Wheat is one of those healthy, multipurpose preps that can help sustain us during long term emergencies . It can be used as a breakfast cereal, ground into flour, used to make bread , added to soups, cooked and added to salads or sprouted for a healthy snack and even sweetened for desserts. Too see some recipes on incorporating wheat berries into your diet, do a simple search online for “wheat berry recipes.”
They are also a true whole grain. A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron. Tasty sprouts are loaded with vitamin E, a cell-protecting antioxidant, and magnesium, which is good for healthy bones and muscles. In an extended emergency, having a diet that is calorie and vitamin rich will help you withstand the increased physical demands of surviving a long term disaster, as well as keep you healthy.
Hope this helps!
Be the change you wish to see in the world.