H7N9 and S.I.P.D.E.

This is a guest post by Bam Bam

I started writing this article as a mind mapping exercise. I had written, “This is a test. This is only a test.” I wrote out the day’s developments of H7N9 and my dh got concerned. As you will read below, the CDC has placed U.S. hospitals on alert for H7N9. Minnesota has issued a health alert—they have sent samples from patients who have symptoms of H7N9 to the lab for testing. This has made him uncomfortable and we are off to Walmart and Sam’s Club to shore up our preps.

The purpose of this “test” is to help you fill holes in your preps. So what is S.I.P.D.E.? This is something my dh learned in motorcycle school as taught by a police officer.

  • S Scan
  • I Identify
  • P Predict
  • D Determine
  • E Execute

For example, I am approaching an intersection on my motorcycle. (This is my dh speaking right now.) As the light turns yellow, I scan the scene: forward, to the left, to the right, and rearview mirrors. Then I identify objects and events in my environment. To my left, a car is backing out of a driveway. The driver is elderly. To my right, a small child is playing ball on the sidewalk. I then predict potential hazards (accidents). The elderly driver may not see me and may pull out directly in my path; the child will probably stay on the sidewalk but if that ball goes in the street, the child may run into the street to retrieve it. Before these events even happen, I determine what I will do. Will I swerve, honk the horn or brake? In the case of the elderly driver, the horn is probably useless as the driver probably will not hear it. These protocols allow me to execute immediately. I will immediately brake while keeping an eye on the elderly driver backing out of his driveway; I will honk my horn to get the attention of the small child to alert him that there is an oncoming vehicle.

Let us apply this approach to H7N9. We begin by scanning the situation. As of this writing, there have been 102 cases with 21 deaths. There are no confirmed cases outside China. An international team of influenza experts arrived in China late last week to help Chinese officials determine the source of the virus. They have not yet determined how people are getting sick. The CDC has put U.S. hospitals on alert. According to Flu Trackers, Minnesota has issued a health alert for the new flu; they began testing patients who fit the CDC’s description of H7N9. We likely have 24 hours before the results of these tests become public knowledge.

Next, we identify potential hazards. H7N9 may be here in America, here in my neighborhood. We have a friend who paid $8000 for a trip to China. The lady who lives across the street travels to China and Hong Kong regularly on business trips. They check the mail at the same kiosk of mailboxes that we do. Flu can survive on nonporous surfaces for eight hours. Our neighbor to the left is an emergency room nurse.

Tomorrow’s paper may report the first cases of H7N9 in the U.S. The general populous may ignore these reports. Or panic may set in. We need to predict what people and institutions are going to do. There may be a run on grocery stores. Shelves may be emptied of essential items like bleach, flu medicine and respirator masks. Gas stations may run out of gasoline. If cases of H7N9 multiplying exponentially, authorities may order the public to shelter in place. Schools may shut down. Public transit may shut down. Grocery stores and gas stations may shut down. Think Boston. Not just for a day. But for six months.

Be grateful that you have been paying attention. You have 24 hours or perhaps even days before the general public is made aware of the situation. You need to determine now what you are going to do if those samples from Minnesota come back positive. My dh is a little disturbed by the possible cases in Minnesota and he has determined that both vehicles and his motorcycle need to be gassed up.

Last night he asked me if we had everything on hand we would need if we went on lockdown for six months. I took a deep breath, and then began an inventory. I came up with a list of things we would need. This morning he determined that we would take money out of savings and go shopping to get everything on the list. (We will use everything on this list anyway, so I am not concerned that we are jumping the gun.)

We are good in most areas but we need more acetaminophen. (Walmart was out of the big bottles last time I went shopping.) We have scripts that need to get filled. We need to stop by the local produce store to pick up raw honey. We need to bring our supplies of pet food up to six months. I have gone through all our preps and we need dish soap and napkins, tampons and cat litter.

Well, my dh is back from the gas station. I need to take a shower so we can execute our plans. Now do I think we need to get everything done today? I think we have more time to get our preps in order. But my dh has made up his mind. It is better to be prepared and not need the preps than to need and not have.

Here’s the question for the Pack. If you had 24 hours before H7N9 created a public panic, what would you need to do to fill holes in your preps?

Do you have enough ingredients to make laundry soap? Do you have enough cat litter? Do you have enough feminine hygiene products? Do you have enough prescription medication to last you for six months? What do you need to do today to get your family ready? Please share your thoughts below.


  1. In my health and longlife pages,that went with my 4,5 ,or 6 leaf clover sales as well as talisman sets,I said viruses are killed by a strong stun gun type current of electricity.

    I sent 2/3 rds of my $3.7 million dollars worth of stock,saying this.As well as ,they could do a chamber that isolates a quantity of blood on a dialysis machine to do this without shocking the patient ,even as a treatment that would go a long ways for the AIDs pts.

    Also for making the whole blood supply safe,it could be exposed to the stun gun type of current to kill any virus that may be lurking therein,over the past 33 yrs,honest to God….

  2. ie,that is,I sent the 2/3rds of my stock/$3.7 million worth, to the Am Red Cross HQ,in Falls Church ,VA,what Ive done with my life,on a pension…

  3. In the big black book of secrets,boardroom classic publishers,it says its legal to import no more than a 90 day supply of meds.

    Down in Mexico,a years supply of AIDs treatment meds costs 500 bucks while here in the US of A,it costs 30 grand for the very same thing.
    Under Obama care,shouldn t they give such pts a all expence pd medical vacation,wouldn t that save apx 24 grand a yr?But surendipitously,the AIDs drugs can be used on superviral strains such as in this discussion,scientific generalization,as a universal principle…

  4. Grumpy Vermonter says:

    Masks, check. Gloves, hmmm, need more. Bleach, tinctures and the rest I really need to get serious about. Bam Bam, thanks for the heads up as always, and for the links. I’m going to get that mucus stuff for hubby, who has asthma as well. Need more kitty food and litter as well.
    On another note, just wanted to say Thank You for anyone who included us in their prayers for a possible job in S.D. for hubby. He got a call this evening, just as my sister was over helping me put up an extension ladder so I could replace the peak of the trailer back that had fallen down from the wind today. If they like him, they’ll call again. If I could ask again for prayers? Kind of confusing, wondering what to do right now, so I guess for God’s direction to be made very clear would be great. We just found a great church right close by, which was a huge surprise and happened so oddly. then hubby got the call today. They’re adding yet another tax in our state – a 7 cent gas tax. We are so taxed it’s not funny anymore.

    • Grumpy,

      We will keep you and your dh in our prayers. Make sure you get the generic of Mucinex–it’s a lot cheaper.

      • Grumpy Vermonter says:

        Thank you, Bam Bam. And I added the Kirkland Mucinex you linked on Amazon on my “wish list” there so I can get back to order it easily. Really appreciate the prayers!

  5. Chinese authorities have not announced any new cases in the last 48 hours. That’s not because they have the situation under control; it’s because they have decided to report on new cases weekly and not daily.


    As of Wednesday, information on the H7N9 cases in China will be publicized on a weekly basis, said the commission.

  6. Flu Trackers has boots on the ground in China. The web translation is not very good. I sure wish someone in the Pack could read Mandarin. But here’s one report. At one hospital it looks like they have set up triage for flu patients. They are reusing thermometers, sterilizing them with bleach. They are putting face masks on patients in the waiting room.


  7. I was out repairing my front porch this morning myself.Had to cut out part of a deck planck and replace it with new one,It was 20 yrs old,and a lot better than replacing all of the planks.I think that one came from the lumber yard infected,cause they were pressure treated deck planks.
    Try using screws and liquid nails,it comes in a caulk tube for roof repair.I did a roof repair on my 14 x 24 garage,with a 2×3 ft strip cut from roll roofing,and patched it over the leak with 5 gal pail of asphalt roofing cement ,runs apx 30 to 40 bucks,while a 3×35 ft roll of roll asphalt runs apx 35 bucks at builders supply like home depot or lowes.com

    I buttered the patch under and around the edges on top,feathered it out with a putty knife,hint ,hint,Grumpy Vermonter,you could use roofing nails,but screws probably work better on metal roof,just butter over with asphalt roofing tar..

    • Grumpy Vermonter says:

      Khbostic, it actually was the peak part of our vinyl siding that blew off, leaving the gable end wide open. On trailers of this vintage, it seems that they didn’t think sheathing was necessary! I shined a flashlight in there and could feel the warm air hitting me in the face. Our rafters are 2×2’s – real quality there – NOT! This place is moldy, the floor is caving in here and there, the steel frame underneath is angled on the long sides, so you can’t put anything under it to support and keep the long sides from sagging down, the windows are rotten, the walls are rotten and well, the list just keeps growing. I keep kicking myself for not taking the day off from work when the so-called home inspection was done on this place, as the “home inspector” didn’t mention most of this. It’s just not worth our while to keep pouring money into this pit, given that the supporting steel base is so poorly designed. I don’t believe they make trailer bases like this anymore, where your joists run the length of the place – at least I hope they don’t! Then the dryer died last week, just as we were thinking we might be able to afford a steel shed to replace the soggy spider box out there that is slowly sinking into the ground. Right about the same time the dryer died, we got a notice in the mail from the state, who owns this park, that all oil tanks now are required to be on cement pads, with roofs over them or the fuel companies won’t be able to fill them legally this year. Our tank is on it’s last legs and the quote I got from the fuel company was anywhere from 1000 to 1200 for the tank alone, not to mention the pad and the roof and the labor to unfill the old tank and remove it and install the new tank. I could do the roof for the tank, but the materials cost is even a concern right now. The place the tank needs to be is right near where the electrical service comes up from underground, so I wouldn’t be comfortable digging deep enough there to make a frost proof pad to suit the state. Due to the shed crumbling and the dryer dying, our fund for a woodstove so we could sidestep the furnace/oil tank fiasco is drying up. Just as I’m selling a few things on ebay and making a little bit to put towards all this, they start looking at an Internet Tax!

      At this point (and yes, I know I’m whining) I might actually be happy if the EPA came and declared our site a wetland due to the runoff from the huge hill smack behind us, as the little stream running under and beside our place right now is making it boggy and moldy here. I am getting the feeling that we are being squeezed in from all sides on purpose, but yep sure could use some prayers so we know just exactly what that might be!
      And lest you all think I do nothing but whine I have to say the winter-sowing in containers has worked pretty well so far. I have a lot of strong, healthy seedlings out on our deck/porch that make me smile. Nothing like seedlings to lift my spirits – that, and our daffodils are blooming! If I successfully get these into the ground, I will do a write-up for you all on how to do it in a zone 4b area or colder, if there’s interest.

      • I would probably get some o s b ,it comes 5/8 inch thick as well as 3/4 in thicknesses,in a 4×8 ft sheet.I would then measure where you say the arch blew out in a high wind,and cut to fit in there,measre how long by how hi.
        I d maybe back it with som 2×4 pieces for a frame to attach it to,then fill it in with liquid nail product in a caulk gun.6 bucks buys a can of styrofoam spray,apx 10 oz,that you spray around it to create a dead air space,it hardens in 24 hrs,you can trim with a razor knife/boxcutter ,if excess.
        25 bucks buys a jig saw at most big box stores to do the repair.Builders supply storsselldrill bits with screwdriver attaCHMENTS FOR DRIVING SCREWS IN WITH REVERSABLE DRILL,WITH CORD COSTS APX 23 BUCKS,NEEDS 50 FT EXT CORD.THEN YOU CAN SCREW THE OLD SIDING BACK ON,OR BUY MEASURE ,AND CUT NEW SIDING.

  8. As for jobs,every state has a fed funded Employment Security Comission office im most every county.Like yours would be just put Vermont Employment Security Commission ,dial 411,ask for their no.
    They have computerized job banks to search,also you could look on out of state job bank for S Dakota as well there.
    You say your husband has asthma,my maternal grandmas sister had it,and had to get off the wheatfarm they were raised on in Ontario,85 mi east of Detroit.
    My great aunt took over the head bookkeepers job from my grandma,when she left to open a ma and pa restaurant with my grandpa.My great aunt retired from the job,at Ludington News Co in Detroit around 1973,and they d just started automating.They took expired magazines,and comics off shelves,ripped front covers off and repacked as pkg deals to put back on shelves.
    Hay was one of asthmas triggers for my great aunt.Theres lots of wheat grown in S Dakota,hay is better qualityfrom wheatstraw.Never heard what line your hubbie is in.Also see http://www.ask.com,then type in jobfind then name of your area…besides employment office,classified ads in local papers…

    • Grumpy Vermonter says:

      khbostic, thanks for the info about the wheat. It’s mold that really sets hubby off, and guess what we’ve got in spades here 🙂 His line of work is called maintenance technician, which is a fancy way of saying he has the know-how to work on semiconductor fab machines and does the trouble shooting for same. He applied for a job as a process tech. out there, which he thinks he’s qualified for and could reasonable do.

      • The thing of mold is that its endemic throughout the snowbelt.So,you would probably find it in S Dakota as well.We had it in Michigan when I was a kid,my uncle had it in the Tennessee mountains where he worked for Texas Instruments,that changed hands to Siemens.He ha a couple creeks around his house,with a unfinished basement,he put down the builders plastic down there.
        He asked me what kills it,I had a set of encyclopedias that said :Tri Sodium Phosphate,found at hardware stores.I also told him a space heater in the basement would help draw moisture out of the air and make the place drier,the heat would just rise so it wouldn t be wasted.
        My older brother got a electric solid state t v repair 1 yr tech rating in the early 70s.E I T /electronics institute of tech had a placement service along with their program,ended up moving to California,where theres a lot of that kind of work,but 1/2 the students dropped out,as it was too demanding.
        On your windows ,use regular caulk around window frames,I ve touched up mine with clear paintspray for a weater barrier too.On inside I place plastic sheets with tape ,and keep it there all yr round.If sills are gone measure and cut and just put it over whatevers left.I also sealed windows shut with caulk as I have a window air conditioner,75% have one these days.
        I have to warn you,smoke from woodstoves, is also a trigger for asthma.My aunt had heavy vinyl plastic clear slipcovers on her chairs ,beds,sofas ,so as not to stir up the dust,another trigger,and did the same for her car.So once again the 4 mil black plastic comes in a 100 ft roll ,you unfold it and place under the home for a vapor barrier.The builders supply store usually sells repair books,as well as books on how to build a outbuilding like a multi car garage,maybe look at http://www.lowes.com or http://www.homedepot.com etc

  9. More prayers here for you all, GV. . . .

  10. http://www.nothingbutsoftware.com has 3 resume programs,just went thereto look it up,not to o bust again.$ 11 to 15 buck price range.just type in seach box resume software ,once there if wanting it.
    http://www.officemax.com might have diverse software progams as well.
    Back when I was at comm college in late70s,they had a work study program ,where you could just take a couple classes,and work maybe 20 hr s a week,ask by calling guidence counsellor at community college whereever you are,if interested.

    Some churches here an there,have building companies,you might ask if they have something like that ,if building constructions your thing,or join the freemasons lodge,and or call them to see if anyones hiring.Some hang out in front of the employment office,to see if anyone comes by looking for day laborers.
    Most major cities have manpower temperary employment agencies,which amounts to day labor.I had a aunt by marriage that used towork in a office like manpower,without the franchise name.She died a few yrs back..

  11. http://www.thedailysheeple.com is running a story right now,asking is human to human contact now happening with the china bird flu,citing its spread from china to taiwan.

    I was thinking,instead of veggies in ball mason quart jars,the meat would be worth 3 times as much in those jars.I never learned how myself,but my dads sisters all canned veggies from the garden.

    My dad couldn t get a job teaching in S FL,so he went to work for the Singer Sewing machine franchise.They brought in a quarter million cuban refugees.They started to do cottage industry piece work for the garment industry.So they bought lots of stuff at the singer sewing machine store,cloth,sewing machines etc.They d ship 18 wheelers full up to the new york garment industry,Pants,Dresses,Skirts,Blouses,undies,etc..Former millionaires,disposessed out of Cuba…

  12. Going for the stretch here,spread the word,Generally,for Vermont,and rural New England,I d say the sugar beets for sugar is a great cash crop.I watched a documentay on modern marvels
    .It said the secret is to process the sugar beets the same day theyre dug up and harvested.Like corn,the sugar turns to starch,the longer its not processed.1/2 of America s table sugar comes from beets these dys.Whats left over after the sugar is extracted is turned into animal feed at stockyards,to fatten them up before the animals are processed.
    Even ptatoes can be fed to animals,5 to 8 weeks before being processed.
    Both can be turned into gasohol,which doesn t work well in cold weather,so its best used the warm 6 mo out of the year…So,gasohol co ops as well,from this for New England s economice wellbeing…

    • Grumpy Vermonter says:

      khbostic, Vermont’s Champlain Valley used to be known as The Breadbasket of the East. Looking at it now, you’d never believe it. Macmansions and development sprawl all over it, but under all that is really good soil. There was a bit of back and forth about outsiders from other states bringing all their crap with them into their new paradise and how the person was upset by that. To some extent, I believe that is true in every state. We certainly have it here. The people doing the changing think they are doing great things, too. At some point you just have to laugh about it, because getting upset doesn’t do anything but spread yet more ill will and we don’t need any more of That in the world just now!

  13. I get a catalog from http://www.henryfields.com and it sells elderberry potted plats for 19.99 ea.in york and nova type.Says it grows 12 to 14 feet,but I didn t have any luck with it here some yrs back.

    The best luck Ive had is going to wallyworld and getting tomato 6 packs with some liquid fertilizer like miracle grow.However,Im on a shallow 3 ft wide by 25 ft deep well,so I didn t want to wear my well out,after doing it the first 6 yrs i was here,planting lawn,trees ,and s.privet hedge.I put in a doz pecan trees,there was already a few when I bought my lot.Im trying to grow shade and a nw windbreak on my 1 acre lot,with a 12×50.
    I put up the 14×24 garage,and 8 x 12 front porch/started as a deck /landing,then I added a roof over it about 18 ft on roof.
    I then added a 8×8 landing at back door,maybe I ll add a roof to that.
    This may be the way to go for the 20% babyboomers that are at retirement age right now,another hint.
    I told the red cross,that 75% of New Englanders are heating with oil at apx 4500 a yr for avg home.For luck,I said tell them to install multiple natural gas space heaters to save 1/2 on heating bills,also with electric space heaters like the quartz infrared 5000 btu units,in multiples.Propane costs a lot more than natural gas.
    Heres some genius:using natural gas space heaters and using natural gas in the big 300 lb tanks,trucking natural gas in,instead of the higher cost of propane,as a new industry.

  14. I was a member of the AARP a few yrs.However,they put you on mailing lists that send you insurance ads /spam all the time in your regular postal delivery.

    They have a website at http://www.aarp.org I believe.I mention this as sometimes they help with employment of older workers.Its about twice as hard getting a job after youre 55 yrs old plus.
    On my 4 leaf clovers,I saw a ad in the signals catalog yrs ago charging apx 28 bucks for one in a frame,postpaid.

    Then I wanted do give some extra value so I developed my health and longlife resource pages with many resources for them to save the price of the clover,if they needed stuff the resources sold.

    That was besides some of the grtst hits of alternativemedicine/natural health.I lised resource of bookclubs that give a hundred to 200 bucks in books with club membership,as a instant rebate kin of thing,hows that for luck?

  15. http://www.shtfplan.com headline yesterday said: authorities should definately get ready for a worst case scenario,concerning this bird flu strain..
    Personally,I feel the symptomatic treatment for upper respiratory distress in elderly could make the difference of life and death,same for pneumonia,of which these are symptoms that go with the flu.

    Here in N Carolina,the primatene mist is a epinephrine inhaler for symptomatic relief of respiratory distress,it ot pulled from the shelves and banned,wouldve been helpful.After it wears off,i can cause a severe temple headache,relieved by a antihistamine cold capsule.

    http://www.swansonvitamins.com carries a condition specific formula called lung specifics,that might be good in this area.What I do have in reserve is the cordeceps musroom,but when it wearsoff,it can cause rebound respiratory distress by itself,be advised.

  16. There’s an important new development with H7N9. The CDC has updated its testing protocols on H7N9 testing. Throat swabs appear ineffective in detecting the virus. The man in Taiwan was tested twice using throat swabs and both tests came back negative. The infection was confirmed with sputum specimen testing. The Chinese CDC ruled out person-to-person transmission because throat swabs came back negative. This is both good and bad news. It is bad news because there are likely hundreds of more cases of H7N9. It is good news because it suggest there are clinically mild cases that did not require hospitalization–hence, the virus may not be as lethal as initially thought.

    I will post the link in a separate comment so this gets posted immediately.

  17. Why would they recommend throat swabs to test for the flu? Seasonal flu tests have always been nasal swabs or a nasal wash.

  18. My dh had some friends over tonight. One of the guys spit in my driveway and I had to go off on him. I figured I would pass on the info here, when people spit on the ground and it gets walked thru, those germs can easily be brought into the house. Sounds kind of weird but I enforce a no spitting zone around my house, especially since the guys tend not to take their shoes off at the door.