Doomsday: Global Pandemic

Warning Time: no warning to weeks

Likelyhood: Extremely likely - every one hundred years on average.

Possible Effects: People refuse to go to work to avoid getting sick, large decrease in world population

Risk assessment

Along with a massive solar storm, this Doomsday scenerio is one of the top two most risky events.

Probability - First a global pandemic occurs about once every one hundred years, so the probability of another pandemic in the near future is very high. In fact, the last pandemic was 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak which killed approximately 6% of the world's population. Worse was the Plague during the middle-ages, which is estimated to have killed up to 50% of the European population alone. Neither influenza nor the plague has been eradicated. From H5N1 to H5N9 the flu is constantly mutating, and in California the plague is frequently found in rodents. Then there are other diseases such as Ebola, SARS, the thread of biological war and terrorism.

Risk - The second reason a global pandemic has such a high risk assessment is due to the sheer death-toll and other far reaching consequences. If 6% to 50% of the world's population dies, that's at least 433 million to 3.6 Billion people gone! This death toll could be compounded by the mobility of people today and health care system's inability to handle such an influx of sick patients. We have not yet experienced a pandemic when people can move to the opposite side of the planet in under a day.

Consequences of global pandemic death-toll.

Obviously if half of the world population dies that would be horrid. Many more would also get sick. Hospitals are not setup to handle a surge of so many sick people seeking help all at once - the vast majority of people would have to be turned away. There will likely be people dying in their homes. There will likely be people dying in the streets.

World productivity would plummet as even healthy people start to refuse to go to work to avoid becoming infected. This would exacerbate the health care system problems and obviously would also cause stock markets to tumble and economies to collapse.

This doomsday scenerio would be severly destablizing to the whole world, as a consequence the possiblity of the outbreak of war(s) increases. With the world being so unstable, some countries might seek to take advantage of their neighbors.

Things to know about disease.

Incidence - The number of people who actually contract a specified illness divided by the number of people at risk for catching a disease.

Morbidity Rate - This is the percentage of infected people who actually die from the disease. You can consider this as "how deadly a disease is if you become infected." For H5N1 the morbidity rate is over 50%. For some Ebola strains it is 90%!

Incubation period - By the time you finally experience the symptoms of a flu, you have already been infected for days. During that time you could have infected multiple people. A global pandemic could spread just like that - before it is even noticed.

Survival Plan

You may not get much warning so pay attention to the news. There could be a minor item about new deaths from a known disease in a foreign county. Then possibly another news item about the disease causing even more deaths - this time North America. At this point you need be be paying close attention - is the disease spreading rapidly? How close have the deaths been, etc.? If 1 death one week, turns into 6 deaths another, then 36 a week later and it's getting closer to you - it is time to start considering bugging-out. It is likely that by the time you hear the word "pandemic" used in the news - it will be too late.

As you are watching the news, remember that government agencies have a vested interest in keeping people calm. If people are panicing, stores become overrun as people stock up, there may be runs of banks, markets could crash, etc. All of which adds more work for government bureaucrats trying to maintain control, and hurts public opinion of elected officials which messes with their politic career. So just keep in mind that things are usually worse than the government would let on.

Avoiding other people will be important to surviving a global pandemic. During the Plague of the middle-ages, those who were most likely to survive were those who could afford to stay isolated.[*] So you want to bugout to some place very remote, and stay there.

Should you decide to admit a family member or friend to your bugout location, keep them isolated until the incubation period is over. Food, water and first aid supplies should be given such that the person remains isolated.

If the pandemic is spread by birds - like an Avian flu - you will need to be extra-vigilant in purifying water, and sanititaion.

Remain positive - barring a nuclear war breaking out too due to world instability, a global pandemic would be resolved after a few years. Some people would be resistant which could form the basis of immuninization. Also, medical science has made huge strides from DNA splicing. Today, some cancers can be cured by splicing cancer DNA with human T-Cell DNA - creating T-Cells that attack the cancer.

Prepper Supplies Needed

  • Long-term bug-out shelter - you need to be isolated until the pandemic subsides.
  • Water purification that kills / removes the pathogen. Boiling or distilling water should kill whatever "superbug" is there. So a water distiller, or simple metal pot and fire will be needed. Water filters would be risky to count on as most do not remove viruses.
  • If you're really serious about prepping for a pandemic, consider disposable biohazard suits or even UV air purifiers.