Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid….And Prepared

There are some things scarier than two more years of the Bush Administration. As we relive the Hurricane Katrina disaster, there is a worse catastrophe lurking in the corner: the Avian Flu.

Ok, ok, maybe it’ll be a wild asteroid or some day, some politician is going to push the button on an atomic bomb that will destroy mankind. The “Bird” Flu, however, is not a science fiction dream. Quietly and quickly, first responders and health officials across the state are learning about the effects of this potential pandemic cause by influenza. Garfield County, an area with barely 50,000 residents would suffer 300 deaths alone, according to experts.

Businesses and governments could have up to 45% of their staff home sick or tending to the sick, meaning municipal water and sewer service could halt; grocery stores, gas stations and banks would close; and hospitals would be paralyzed under the quantity of patients.

Basically, as Katrina victims have found out about disaster response, during an Avian Flu pandemic you would be on your own. And forget about waiting for an immunization shot…it would take over six months just to start with the first batch and there will be many VIP’s, health and safety workers-and politicians, before you.

The best way for people to prepare for the Avian Flu (it’s a matter of when, not if) is to have at least a month’s supply of water, prescriptions, food, etc., on hand stored at home.

That’s fine to say when someone has the money and space to keep this extra stock of supplies-and the inclination to be prepared. As Hurricane Katrina showed, there are many, many people who live on the margin or who are already sick, how would they get ready for this disaster? Unfortunately, there is no secondary plan for them.

If you don’t have enough to worry about and are looking for more doomsday scenarios, take a look at Wednesday’s ABC 20/20 TV program called “Last Days on Earth.”

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Leslie Robinson

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