Doomsday Preppers are ready for a multitude of catastrophic events. Whether preppers focus on having strategies and best practices in place for avoiding viral contamination or on protection for their family during a societal collapse, they are all keeping an eye to the future. So what is going on this week in the world of Doomsday scenarios? Plenty! However, there is much to be thankful this holiday weekend especially as science makes progress against the possibilities of pandemics, so there is some good news as well.
Preparing for a Flu Pandemic
New data shows that after the 2009 outbreak of H1N1 more people expect a future H1N1 pandemic but are less willing to guard against it. Health authorities feel that this shift in public perception could cause significant problems. People simply are not committed to taking the necessary precautions to keep from spreading the virus. This is unfortunate because a new study demonstrates that a very unpopular strategy should immediately be put in place in the event of a new outbreak — travel restrictions. It may be very difficult to convince world travelers to put their plans and business on hold, but scientists feel that it is crucial.
In a paper published in BMC Infectious Diseases, authors described a study examining the 2009 influenza A pandemic as a case study to evaluate the impact of regulating air, sea, and land transport. Other government strategies, namely, antivirals and hospitalizations, were also evaluated. What the researchers discovered was that most important means of slowing the spread of the virus and allowing time to produce a vaccine was limiting travel, especially air travel by 99 percent. It will be difficult to convince the public that these restrictions are necessary, especially in the United States, but the benefits are likely to outweigh the costs. We all know that the Preppers will be locked down tight if a new flu epidemic hits, do you have a plan?
Vaccinating Against H1N1
This week the FDA approved a new cell-based vaccine for defense against H1N1. Previously all available vaccines were egg-based, which take a longer time to produce. Cell-based vaccines grow the virus in mammal-based cells and can be produced much more quickly. This can be imperative in the face of an outbreak. “The cell-based vaccine is as safe and effective as traditional egg-based vaccine and the technology used to manufacture it is more flexible and reliable than the traditional technology,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a statement Tuesday. Health and Human Services is partnering with the company Novartis to produce this vaccine which is called, Flucelvax. A state-of-the-art facility is being built in North Carolina to make domestic production possible. Flucelvax is the first cell-based flu vaccine approved in the United States. However, The European Medicines Agency approved the same vaccine, called Optaflu, in 2007.
Reexamining Nuclear Threat
In Paul Braken’s new book, The Second Nuclear Age, the author makes a case for taking a renewed look at the possibilities of nuclear war and our current strategies. Braken feels that nuclear strategy much look beyond post-Cold War attitudes. Nuclear weapons count once more and world powers should address this reality.
Braken is not the only expert who feels we need to look harder at the possibilities of nuclear war. David Ibsen, leader of a national advocacy group dedicated to keeping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons spoke to a crowd at Rhode Island College this week. Ibsen is executive director of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI). In his lecture, he made a case for the extreme danger that Iran poses with nuclear weapons. He noted that an international monitoring group is expected to issue a report shortly showing increased nuclear activity in Iran. The UANI feels strongly that a nuclear armed Iran would be a considerable though preventable threat and suggests that continued economic pressures and even individual boycotting of companies that do business in Iran can make a difference. Maybe it’s not a bad idea to have Doomsday Prepper friends with a bomb shelter.
Will Bicycles Save Your Life?
Following the destruction of Superstorm Sandy, transportation was crippled and mechanized transportation mostly unavailable. Some individuals quickly realized however, that bicycles could get into places where cars could not and brigades bearing supplies slipped through the cities over broken and blocked roads. While the supplies were limited to what could be carried on a cargo bike, they were all incredibly valuable to those in need of items as simple as water or diapers.
Sandy wasn’t the first instance of bicycle brigades. In Japan, following the massive quake and tsunami, bicycles abounded through the cities. Bicycles made it possible to travel without gas and on smaller paths. This was an eye-opener to many who give thought to planning for natural disasters. In Portland, Oregon, city officials are encouraging people with cargo bikes to get training and disaster supplies so that they can be of service in the event of a disaster. Most Preppers have a means of getting around in the challenging event of disaster. Do you?
Want to see more ways to be prepared for disaster? Catch a few episodes of Doomsday Preppers and be sure to watch the new episodes Tuesday at 9PM et/pt. Some amount of preparation is simply practical!