Working on the shopping list for next week

October 12, 2014

I am starting my shopping list for next week and it will have a little of every thing. I have only a few items to pick up to finish off the sickroom supplies. Cash and Carry has some disposable aprons that I think will add another layer of protection plus they should be handy for staying clean with messy clean up jobs around the house. My local hardware store has some Nitrile gloves at a good price and a small metal garbage can that should make a good little “burn barrel”.  The full face shield is starting to look like a good solution for the outer layer of protection and those safety shields are multi-taskers of protection that can be used for other jobs as well. I found a neat item at the local hardware store. It’s a zipper that you can stick on two different tarps to join them together and it costs about $8.00. I have thick plastic sheeting for making a protective barrier adding that zipper might be handy for making larger tarps at  low cost.  Double sided poster tape can be put in place around windows and door so you can seal them quickly. Just leave the protective strip on after you stick the tape on the wall and if you need to create a barrier then take off that backing and stick the tarp or plastic to the tape. Leaving the protective paper/plastic on the tape till you need it will keep it free of dust and keep it sticky. I have used the 3M poster tape and it works much better than duct tape for holding things to a wall.

The local vet has IV bags for a good price so I will be getting a few bags for hydration/patient support for the sickroom. I have been reading that some of the big box stores are getting low on gloves and masks so you might check out a paint stores like Sherwin Williams or auto parts stores and even food service suppliers.  Many people will not even consider these stores so they should have stock on hand.

I have been doing some thinking about beds for a patient.  Using a regular mattress without a moisture barrier is probably a bad idea as you will want something that can be sanitized easily with a spray down of bleach. Camp air mattresses fit the need, as they are somewhat inexpensive and can be used for camping, slumber parties or even extra house guests.  I have a couple of these type of mattresses but I’m also checking out a few of the moisture barrier mattress covers for the bed in my sickroom. I noticed that the local Dollar Tree had sheets for sale and I will get one to test out and report the results.

I need to get a couple more spray bottles anyway for my “decon stations”  I’m looking for some shallow trays I can set up with a little bleach solution that can be added to my entry ways.  That is what the Germans used during an outbreak of Hoof & Mouth disease while I was stationed there in the Army.  It might just me seeing potential fixes, but the more I look at how my house is set up the better it seems to get as far as isolation and decontamination.  One last thing for your sickroom make sure the air vent is completely air tight if you have some sort of forced air heating system.  Get a small heater for that room if you need to add heat because those forced air systems will recirculate air and that is a bad thing when dealing with disease.  If you have carpet or wood floors in your sickroom you might want to consider tarps or plastic drop clothes that are easily sanitized and cleaned.

For food shopping I feel I’m doing well with what I have on hand but I’m adding some pork sausage, bacon and German sausages for some variety and easy to make meals that can be quick or slow and easy via the Crock pot. I need to get more of the “fun size” candy bars just in case of a chocolate shortage or if Halloween happens with this whole Ebola thing going on. I think my jello/pudding stash is good but I’d like to add  two more 100 count package of the “Otter pops frozen treats” for the sick room.  One thing nice about winter in S.W Idaho the whole outdoors can become your freezer.

Okay I’m getting a little OCD about setting up the sickroom for Ebola at worst and some of the diseases that are coming via the USA’s  southern border.  I think this is a much like a slow moving storm and you have time to take action. I don’t think it is a time to panic but you should be proactive in not only how to go into “lock down” mode but how you will deal with any infectious diseases.  Did you think how incredibly valuable an Ebola survivor might be for any community?  They will be immune to catching the disease so they could travel, shop, forage and many other jobs with no risk of infection!  While these people might understand the fear, I don’t think they will have all warm & fuzzy feeling towards those that refuse to help them at all. Remember in the “West” it is Medically trained people that are getting hit hardest and those type of survivors could be critical to the survival of your tribe.  I think you could set up a tent if you are not prepared to welcome a person into your home. You could drop off a groceries and supplies at their front door. Plus you can practice good hygiene and sanitation right now  that is low risk. I don’t want you to think you are invincible or you have to be a hero. Just practice your medical/sickroom procedures now, so you are prepared.

1st aid supplies, sickroom setup and Mom is driving again!

September 19, 2014

The Tyrex suits and respirator masks arrived today. The suits look and feel like they could stand up to a hand washing and/or being sprayed with a sanitizing agent at least a few times. I want to get a few more on hand before I sacrifice a suit for testing but overall I’m well pleased with the purchase. The CPR/air respirator masks look good for both infants and adults for rescue breathing and the mask can be hooked up to an Oxygen supply. The package the mask comes in has a pair of  gloves and an alcohol pad for sanitizing as well as basic instructions for use. The mask has a one way valve that should offer some protection to the care giver but, if I had to deal with an infectious disease like TB, pneumonia or ebola I would not feel very comfortable depending on that little valve.  I’m looking to add one the respirators that have a squeeze bag for giving oxygen and they are only about $15.00 at Amazon. For that price I can see getting it, as it is safer and you avoid the hyperventilating problem of rescue  breathing.

Some times I think this house was built with the idea of a sickroom in mind. I have been in many of the neighbor’s homes most were built in 1910-1940s and all seem to have at least one or two bedrooms that can be easily blocked off from the main living quarters. Many of the homes have been updated or renovated but the basic bones of the house are easy to see and I think the folks of that time did think of a sickroom and planned for it.  I maybe wrong but the area for my sickroom is very to set up and block using a little bit of plastic around doorways and I can create a double barrier between the sickroom and main living quarters.  I have nice set of shelves that I used as a linen closet that also work great for sickroom supplies and the big bathroom can handle most of the basic sanitation needs for a sickroom. I can close off the sickroom form the supplies and bathroom. Add another bit of plastic barrier between the sickroom and main living quarters but I can use the bathroom for basic cleanup and have a good place for storing sickroom supplies without walking through the main living quarters. I suppose a few folks may think I’m over reacting or that my OCD is kicking into high gear but I like to think that I’m being prudent in anticipating and preparing for the worst that can happen.  At the end of July the CDC said there was nothing to worry about Ebola and now they are expecting over half a million cases as of this week.  The Entrovirus D68 has been confirmed in over 16 states and is suspected in many more. Over 700 children and newborns  were exposed to TB by a health care worker in El Paso Texas and the list goes on and on!  I don’t think I’m over reacting by getting things on hand that can help with any illness that I might have to deal with and I find being proactive is a better plan than hope no one gets sick!

Mom drove today to our walk at the Mall. She has moved to using her pain meds just to sleep so she feels competent to drive as she is not under the influence of drugs. We hit a couple of yard sales and I got a nice carpentry saw for $3.00 and a battery powered pepper grinder that will work great for making my spice blends. This pepper grinder has a large area for holding spices and while I can use my manual pepper grinder and have coffee grinder I use for big batches of spices. This battery power grinder gives me the the option of using power without using electricity or muscle power.  The carpentry saw gives me something for a finer cut compared to my bow saws and a a good saw costs quite a bit so finding one at a yard sale cheap is a real score. I’m still hoping to score a good vice and table grinder for my basic shop tool setup but overall I’m in good shape for muscle, battery and electrically powered tools.  There is nothing wrong with gas power tools as gasoline is a great energy dense fuel. It is also one that is dependent on a working infrastructure and one of the first items that runs out in a disaster. Having alternate energy backups is critical for any prepper!