Few years ago, the word Ebola was rarely used in daily conversation. It was a horrific disease that very few people really knew about, but assumed it was isolated to the far corners of the world where everyday people would never come in contact with it. Then, last summer, the word Ebola took on a whole new meaning. It burst the bubbles of those who had been living in a fantasy world where deadly viruses didn’t exist and were all in the heads of conspiracy theorists. People had to face the fact that a pandemic could very well happen. In fact, in some parts of the world, Ebola was certainly on track to become this century’s black plague. Fear and fear mongering left people scrambling in an effort to protect themselves, without really understanding what they could do to protect themselves from a pandemic.
It is time to get educated. If Ebola rears its ugly head again, which it very well could do considering it is by no means contained or eradicated and there is no cure, you must be ready. Hospitals will be hotbeds for viruses, Ebola or otherwise. It may not even be Ebola that becomes a pandemic. It can be a strain of flu or some other virus that runs rampant through nations all around the world. Think back to the days of the bird flu and then the swine flu. You will need to be prepared to take care of your loved ones at home should they show signs of an infection or have been exposed to whatever pandemic is ripping through the nation.
It isn’t pleasant, but you need to separate the sick person from the rest of the family or your group. This is the only way to keep the pandemic from claiming more victims.
1) If possible, the quarantine room should be located away from the main living quarters. If you have a shed in back or a barn, use this as your quarantine room. If this isn’t possible, use the basement or a room that is furthest from the main living quarters.
2) Choose a room that does not require the infected person to go traipsing through the entire house. A room with a door to the outside is ideal or at least fairly close to a door.
3) Store enough thick ply plastic sheeting and duct tape to cover the entire room in plastic. You will want to cover the ceilings, walls and floors with the plastic sheets. Secure it in place with duct tape. Don’t be stingy. Cover the vents and doors as well to keep the virus contained in the room. You don’t want it spreading throughout the rest of the house.
4) Have a trash bin inside the quarantine room, lined with heavy duty bio hazard liners. This is where you will dispose of any bedding, gloves and other protective equipment before you leave the room. This trash will need to be burned and not left outside to be spread about or rummaged through. If the area has bio hazard pick up available, leave it to the experts to dispose of.
5) Set up an area outside the room that will be used to don protective gear. Gear that will need to be stocked next to the area includes;
- Nitrile gloves
- N95 masks
- Foot coverings
- Hair covers
- Goggles/full face mask if possible
Before a person enters the quarantine room, they need to put on all of their gear.
6) Inside the room, you will also want some form of sanitation. The sick person will need to be kept clean. Moist towelettes, emesis bags, bedpans or a portable toilet and a change of clothes will all help keep the room sanitary and the sick person somewhat clean. A wash basin with antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer will also be required.
7) Have red tape or a quarantine sign on hand to put up on the door of the room. You don’t want anybody walking in by mistake.
8) Before an ill person enters the quarantine room, they need to strip and shower with an antibacterial soap from head to toe. All of their clothing needs to be placed inside a bio hazard bag and burned. Set up a camp shower outside for this purpose.
9) Have enough medical supplies on hand to treat an infected person. Depending on what kind of virus or illness spins out of control into a pandemic, fever reducers, pain relievers and bandages may all be needed.
10) Use a box fan in the window that blows air outwards, this will create a negative pressure room that sucks biological contaminants outside.
Setting up a quarantine room isn’t something anybody likes to think about, but it could very well become necessary when hospitals and clinics are overloaded during a pandemic. Being able to care for your loved ones can be comforting as well. The responsible thing to do is to have the supplies needed to quarantine infected individuals to reduce the spread of the illness to others.
Most of the items needed for a quarantine room are very inexpensive and can be bought in bulk. Don’t put off buying until the next deadly virus pops up and the necessary equipment flies off the shelf before you get yours.