Two years ago in 2011, the film Contagion was released. The story is about a deadly virus that spreads around the world and wreaks havoc with society.
A few years earlier, ABC-TV presented the movie Fatal Contact, Bird Flu in America, a fictional account of the devastating effects of a bird flu pandemic in the United States. It followed the virus as it traveled from a market in Hong Kong and mutated into a human-to-human strain that quickly spread across the globe. After it was broadcasted last year, nearly 2000 of you wrote I.P.N. asking questions about the program and our official position on it. Normally, we would have dismissed programs like these as entertainment designed to attract viewers and exploit their fears about the subject for ratings & ticket sales. In this case, it wasn’t. It dramatically illustrated just how bad things could become if the H5N1 strain of flu mutates into a human-to-human transmissible form.
Currently, humans have no immunity to H5N1. Fortunately for all of us, this form of avian flu hasn’t spread yet, however, as most virologists & epidemiologists already know, the odds are high that very soon a global pandemic will develop and due to modern transportation systems, spread internationally with unprecedented speed. In past pandemics, influenza viruses have needed more than six months to spread. The recent 2009 H1N1 virus outbreak in Mexico spread in less than six weeks.
A short time after it was it was first detected in Mexico City in April 2009, H1N1 killed over 1,154 people worldwide. Most of the deaths were in the Americas. Eventually, there were over 1 million Americans infected.
The most troubling aspect of this development is that a virus of this type could conceivably combine with the avian flu H5N1 or other viruses and trigger a global pandemic similar to the Spanish flu pandemic (another avian flu virus) of 1918 that killed 675,000 Americans and approx. 50-100 million people worldwide.
With the numbers adjusted for the increase in world population, a similar pandemic would kill upwards of 2-3 million Americans over a period of 9-15 months and quite possibly, 150-300 million worldwide. As frightening as it may seem, it could even be much worse than this. In poor countries like Africa, Southern Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, there are no buffers to prevent the spread. It could sweep across these countries like a biological brush fire, leaving a trail of death and suffering in its wake on a scale not seen since the “Black Death” swept through Europe in the 14th century. See link: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/plague.htm
The H5N1 Avian flu strain has a 50-100% mortality rate. See: http://www.medicinenet.com/bird_flu/article.htm this means that in a hypothetical situation where 100 people are infected, between 50% & 100% of them will die upon contracting the virus. Even a mild pandemic would increase the annual death for influenza by a factor of 10 from approximately 36,000 to about 360,000.
The only question here is: Are you prepared if the worst happens?
(Or even the least?)
If you aren’t read on. The following document will outline all of the major survival strategies needed to help you survive any type of pandemic.
The Ready-UP! program was created by self-reliance/preparedness/sustainable living expert Aton Edwards in Spring 2011 to function as a mechanism that trains the general public in the aforementioned disciplines. Edwards believed that the government created preparedness programs was not connecting with the public and that something more dynamic was needed to spark interest.
Drawing from his extensive experience in teaching preparedness to large audiences, he designed a program that he knew the public would enjoy. He then enlisted the aid of several of his colleagues who worked in the same field to join him; including his friends and radio partners on the KISS-FM (now WBLS-FM) popular radio program Open Line.
The creator of the Open Line, Peabody Award winning radio personality Bob Slade, convinced his management to sponsor the event. His partners two-time Grammy Award winning composer/musician and activist James M’tume, former Federal Judge and Garden State Association of Black Journalists award winner Bob Pickett also believed in the idea and, the first presentation was at St. Francis College on July 8th 2011.
It featured the program hosts, along with the participants: Bedford Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corp director Rocky Robinson and members of his organization. Representatives of the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Riverkeeper, and several other similar groups and organizations were also in attendance.
The event was a smash success. It was due to Sadly on August 13th 2011, Edwards mother, Doris succumbed to a stroke.
His mothers death combined with other family responsibilities forced Edwards to discontinue activities with the Ready-UP! program for several months.
He along with his friends and colleagues began to reactivate the program in late 2012, holding Ready-UP! workshops called “Escape From The Grid.” As they gained popularity, his group began to plan their next large forum corresponding television program and fundraiser, all slated to begin in the summer of 2013.
The upcoming main event is titled “Ready-UP! America” It will be held at a large capacity New York area venue. For the main live presentation, The Open Line radio show team will return along with most of the original participants & organizations. The target date for the kickoff program will be Saturday, June 1st – the beginning of Hurricane season.
Ready-UP! Events will continue through the summer and ending with a gala event in September, 2013.
When the going gets really tough, you may need emergency transportation.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are forced to evacuate your home, workplace or wherever you may find yourself because of a disaster or emergency; you may not be able to use your automobile. Disasters and other emergencies often produce severe damage to buildings, bridges and roads that can make travel difficult and in many cases impossible.
It may sometimes be necessary to utilize other forms of transportation to move safely and swiftly to safe areas. If you have a short distance to cover to move to a safe area, walking is probably your best and most effective option.
However, if you need to travel longer distances, you will need a safe, tested and reliable form of transportation that you can use to move out of harm’s way quickly. On land, there is nothing more effective than the bicycle.
The bicycle pictured above is called the Montague Paratrooper.
This bike was originally developed for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for a light human powered infantry vehicle. The Montague bike is currently in use by the US Marines, Army and police departments across the United States. It is a full-size and folds. It can be easily packed inside of an automobile trunk, or slung over your shoulder and carried in its own bag!
(see video below)
A durable folding bike like the Montague Paratrooper is better than a fixed frame due to its light weight & portability. Smaller folders are great also but cannot handle the heavy loads that a full-size model can.
To make your emergency bicycle even more reliable, purchase “run flat” or “puncture-proof” tires.Britek Tires of Colorado will be marketing a new puncture proof tire soon.
There are many companies that make puncture resistant tires that you can look up on the internet.
Outside of bicycles, the only other reliable form of human transportation for land is something that can only be used by highly skilled and fit individuals. It is called an “all terrain roller skate.”
If you are an experienced roller skater and are physically fit enough to use them, this is another great option for emergency travel. Outside of a muddy road and sand, these skates can move across most surfaces.
Water Transportation Systems
In some cases, you may need to cross or travel on a body of water such as a lake or river. When you do, you’ll need a boat. For emergency transportation, inflatable boats are your best option. They are easy to use, set up, store away and are relatively inexpensive. Before purchasing an inflatable boat, you must know what types are best suited for emergency use.
To begin, there are four distinct types.
1. Yacht Tenders.
3. High performance hulls.
4. Rigid hull or RHIB (rigid hull inflatable boats)
1. Yacht tenders are best for civilians that would like to own a small safe (6-20 foot long) inflatable boat that can be used for either emergency or recreational purposes. Currently yacht tenders have four types with different hull (floor) configurations. Most have floors with four inch wide fabric and wood or plastic inflatable slats that run across the beam.
This type of slatted floor is generally found in inflatables from about 6 to 8 feet in length only, because of this very light structure yacht tenders are not as strong as others with v-hulls or inflatable keels so they don’t work as well with motors or rowing.
2. V-hull (wood or inflatable keel) These are built with a longitudinal (across the length of the boat) inflation tube or wood keel placed directly underneath the floorboards. When it is blown up, it produces a stable V-shaped keel in the front (bow) of the boat this makes the vessel more stable and buoyant as it moves through the water.
3. High-performance hulls are inflatables that are specially designed for high speed use. Only experienced users should opt for this type of inflatable craft.
4. Rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RIB’s) These have a solid fiberglass hull joined to an inflatable collar giving it the benefits of an inflatable and rigid craft. They can also hold more weight.
Inflatable boats are especially useful in flood prone low-lying areas. Even urban residents who live near rivers may consider owning a small model (8-12) for use during emergency evacuations. In large cities, traffic may prevent rapid movement. An inflatable boat equipped with a small outboard motor could easily move a family of four up to 20 to 30 miles away from a disaster area in less than four hours. In NYC, it could be used to move up or down the Harlem, East or Hudson river to a safe area.
During a flood, it could be used by a family to move quickly out of the submerged zone.
Users of inflatable boats must always remember to carefully tuck away all sharp objects so that they do not puncture the skin. This could cause it to rapidly deflate and sink. Overloading is also a safety issue. Be sure to pay close attention to the manufacturers-weight ratings. If moving through flood waters, make certain to look out for dangerous sharp debris. Use your oars to move it out of your path if possible. If not, be very careful as you move around it.
There are small gas and electric outboard motors especially designed for inflatable boats. The motor that you choose should never be over or under powered; or, over the manufacturers performance rating.
Make sure that you match the performance of the motor with the tasks it will perform. If this is an emergency escape craft, you must purchase a boat large enough to haul all of your passengers & emergency gear. Always check the length of the motor shaft (short long or extra long) each inflatable is designed to work with one or the other — never both. If you use a motor, you must purchase an inflatable that can accommodate one.
Like all inflatable objects, there will be small punctures, tears and leaks. Each boat comes with a repair kit that will allow you to easily make repairs in the field if you need to. Large tears require a bit more expertise to repair, but, they can also be done effectively if you take the time necessary to do it properly. Always be mindful to use glue that is rated for use with the material your boat is manufactured from and make sure to keep your repair kit fully stocked and handy in a floating container.
Emergency Air Transportation
Disasters and emergencies can sometimes make certain areas inaccessible to any type of land or water vehicle. This is when only some form of air transportation system will do. Regular fixed wing aircraft may not have the space to land due to debris. In most cases Helicopters and “ultralight” STOL (short take off & landing) aircraft are the best forms of emergency air transportation.
There are several personal helicopters & other similar concept vehicles being developed for civilian use. The video below is a great example of what may be available in the near future.
There are many new forms of emergency transportation that are currently being developed. Be sure to check back in this section for new additions & updates!
By Aton Edwards, Executive Director I.P.N.
Happy belated new year to all of our members, friends and associates! I haven’t posted a information update in quite sometime so, I’ve decided to put together a short video that will not only fill you in on all the details regarding our upcoming activities in 2013, it will also allow me to avoid typing – a task that I dread…
Hurricane Sandy Aftermath Ready-UP! Workshops To Be Presented New York City-Wide Beginning November 12, 2012
By Aton Edwards, Executive Director I.P.N.
As my hometown struggles to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, I along with my friends, colleagues and associates have decided to stage several self-reliance and preparedness workshops across the New York City and tri-state area. This will provide the people who were hit by the storm with critical information about resources that they may need to recover, and others with details about how to prepare for disasters and, remain self-reliant after they occur.
By Aton Edwards, IPN Executive Director
Hurricane Sandy is rapidly approaching!
Here are a few tips you can use to prepare. READY-UP!
”Superstorm” Preparedness Plan.
Make sure to have an emergency food & water supply on hand…
By Aton Edwards, I.P.N. Executive Director, Zombie Slayer
I find all this “Zombie Apocalypse” talk quite fascinating. I thought it was quite clever when the CDC decided to utilize this tongue-in-cheek approach to help motivate people into preparing for disasters and emergencies. Ever since Max Brooks released his “Zombie Survival Guide” several years ago, people can’t seem to get enough of the undead. Movies like Shaun Of The Dead & Zombieland have been packing in the crowds and the upcoming World War Z will probably be a blockbuster despite some recent rumors concerning the direction and script…
By Aton Edwards, I.P.N. Executive Director
I’m going to begin this piece by thanking all of our supporters/members for bearing with us while we re-configured our website and several other related technical and management issues.
Now that we’ve got them all solved, we’re good to go!
Quite a bit has been changed. I will reveal all of the details here at the end of the week. It’s quite exciting…
By Aton Edwards
As we move into the beginning of another year, we can look back on all of the challenges we’ve faced in 2008 and take comfort in the fact that by and large …