Finishing Your Basement

Prepping Your Home To Deal With A Pandemic

Has the recent Ebola scare in the United States left you wondering what you need to do in order to prepare your home for a pandemic? If so, here are some tips that can help your home deal with an outbreak of a potentially dangerous disease, whether it's Ebola or West Nile Virus. 

Preparing Your Home for a Pandemic

There are several ways you can prepare for a future pandemic including:

Preparing Your Septic Field

You might not think of your home working overtime, but when a sickness strikes family members, it can seriously tax some of the systems in your home, especially if your house is on a septic field. Why? Because a family sick with diarrhea and vomiting will be spending an unusual amount of time in the bathroom flushing toilets and possibly taking extra showers or hot baths. You will probably also be running extra loads of wash. All of this water can overwhelm your septic system, which can cause it to fail. To prevent such a failure in the event of a pandemic, you should:

  • Pump your septic field on a regular basis. It's important to have companies like Walters Environmental Services Inc. remove sludge out of your system before it builds up so you should have it pumped approximately every three to five years. In addition, regular pumping allows a septic tank service to check out the health of your system and to make sure that it is working properly. 
  • Limit your water use as much as possible. This may be extremely difficult, especially when the residents in your home are sick. But if too much water flows through your system, solids won't have time to settle and will rise to the surface of your field or back up into your house. And the last thing you want to deal with during a pandemic is having to clean diseased raw sewage out of your home.  

Supply Your Home

If a pandemic strikes, it's possible that your sources of food and water could be contaminated or that you'll want to avoid large gathering spots, such as grocery stores. It is also possible that a large scale pandemic could disrupt your water service as essential employees fall ill to a disease and can no longer keep the utilities up and running. That is why it is important to stock your home with the following:

  • Store at least a two-week supply of water for each member of your family in your house. 
  • A first-aid kit. 
  • Protective gear, including masks, gloves and, possibly, even Haz-mat suits.
  • Disinfectants

Create a Quarantine Room

In the event that one of your loved ones is accidentally exposed to the pandemic, you will need an area to quarantine them in so that they cannot infect the other members of your household. This room should ideally be in a separate building, such as in a stand-alone garage or possibly a shed. The quarantine room should not share the same ventilation system as the main house where your other family members will be staying. When dealing with a person who you believe is ill, you should:

  • Keep them away from the other family members until the incubation period for the particular pandemic disease has ended. 
  • Wear protective gear when visiting with or bringing supplies to the quarantined person.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands after any contact with the quarantined person or room.

Although the United States has been lucky so far and avoided any recent large outbreaks of disease, it may be only a matter of time before a pandemic takes a major toll on the citizens of this country. That's why preparing your household before one strikes makes good sense.