Monthly Archives: March 2013

Pandemic Survival

Pandemic Survival Tips

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.

Seven years ago in Sumatra, the H5N1 strain mutated into a highly virulent human-to-human strain that infected eight family members and killed seven.

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:

The H5N1 Avian flu strain has a 50-100% mortality rate. See: 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.

See link:

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.

Ready-UP! America

Ready-UP! America

Ready-UP! America

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.

Doris Edwards & Son

Doris Edwards & Son

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.


Emergency Transportation



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.

Traffic Jam

Emergency evacuations clog traffic.

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.  

Walking from disasters

Walking to escape disaster

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.


Montague Paratrooper Bike

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.