Biological Threat Assessment and Containment, by Anon.T

Thursday, May 21, 2009

When either you or your group is confronted with a biological threat [such as a pandemic or biological warfare], you must determine the following before making decisions either for yourself or for your group.

1) What is the threat?
2) What is the incubation period prior to showing symptoms?
3) How contagious is the threat?
4) By what means is the threat contagious?
5) What is the morbidity rate?
6) What is the mortality rate?

Once you have determined these things, you can make sound decisions that can get you and your group through a trying time.

Quarantine:
In the event that you are forced to deal with new members joining your group, [during a pandemic] you will need to quarantine them for a set period of time. This will assure you and your group that the new-comer's presence does not cause harm within your group.

To set up quarantine you will need the following items which will be detailed below:

Shelter
Food & Water
Disinfectant
Communication equipment -or- Another pre-determined way of communicating with the quarantined.
Medicine
Symptom measuring devices and charts.
Rules that the quarantined must follow if they wish to become part of your group.
A plan should the quarantined not follow those rules.
A plan should the quarantined show symptoms and/or become sick.
A way for the quarantined to expel waste that does not pose a risk of infection to other members of the group.
There is not a single point above that can be neglected for any reason. Having to survive a biological threat has nothing to do with niceties or with comfort.

Shelter:
A place [that is downwind,] away from all group activity for the person(s) in question to be quarantined. How far away is far enough? Miles would be great but it is probably not economical so do with what you have to ensure that your group never gets within a 1,000 feet of the quarantined.

Food & Water:
Whatever the food and water that you supply or that your possible guests bring, they must have means of making it safe for human consumption.

Disinfectant:
You and the quarantined must be able to protect yourselves from the environment and the biological threat. A strong bleach solution, a rag and a bucket would be fine for disinfecting everything. Alcohol sanitizer and anti-bacterial soap are luxuries if you can afford them.

Communication:
The group and the quarantined must be able to communicate for numerous reasons. Humans get pent up if they are left in a confined place to their own devices for long and to limit the risk of the quarantined coming too close to the group, they must be able to communicate with the group from a safe distance.

Two-way radios with rechargeable batteries and a way to recharge them at the quarantine site make the best answer to the communication problem, the only problem is that they are expensive to have spares around and impossible to outlast the quarantine if power isn’t available to recharge them.

In the absence of two way radios, your group should have a pre-determined plan for communication should anyone be at risk for the threat, including any quarantined individuals.

The group should never risk entering a place of possible contamination if it can be avoided in any way, so a group should have a Communication Center set up some distance away from the quarantined and a further distance away from the group.

To allow the best ventilation, Communication Centers should never be indoors so a tree, a table or a large rock, all make adequate places.

Each member (the group and the quarantined) should have a pen and multiple sheets of paper (A dry erase board for each group would do fine) of their own to write on and leave at the communication center. Each member should understand the nature of the quarantine and the time at which the papers will be picked up, read and possibly replied to that is consistent with the length of time that the biological threat is thought to stay active on paper.
(e.g: Every 3 hours from __ a.m. - __ p.m.)

Medicine:
Your group should have medicine that can be used to treat common pains and injuries so that the quarantined can be comfortable and it will be easier to gauge their symptoms if they should have any.

Symptom Measuring Devises:
You should include devises that allow the measuring of all symptoms familiar to the threat. Some adequate symptoms measuring devices include a Thermometer, a watch for checking pulse and blood pressure and so on.

Rules:
Your group should have rules that everyone in the group must follow and separate rules that the quarantined must follow if they wish to eventually enter your group. These rules must include items like; Staying at least _00(0) feet away from every member of the group at all times, keeping the quarantine area clean and free of infection, following proper communication procedures, washing all contaminated clothing upon entering the quarantine area and being honest with the progression of any and all symptoms including minor symptoms that may or may not be related to the threat.

Contingency plan for symptoms within the quarantined:
This plan needs special consideration because the quarantined may be members of one’s own family or close friends and particular thought must be given to how they will handle the onset of symptoms and how the group must handle the quarantined should they become less than complacent including delivery of proper medication to treat the threat.

Contingency plan if the quarantined does not follow the rules:
This plan should be relatively simple. Anyone who puts your group’s health and safety at risk by not following the rules is not a valued member of any group and should be avoided like the threat itself.

Waste Expulsion:
Human waste is possibly a carrier of the threat and since it cannot be avoided it should be taken into consideration.

If there is a working toilet and sink at the quarantine site, by all means use it.

In place of a working toilet and sink, the quarantined will have to take special measures to not endanger the group. In an outdoor environment, the group will have to dig a hole at the quarantine site (Prior to the visitor’s arrival) at least 5-6 feet deep and mark that area with a flag easily visible to both the quarantined and the group. The quarantined will then need to expel all human waste in that hole and only in that hole (to limit the exposure of contaminants to the quarantine site) and then kick a little bit of the pre-dug dirt back into the hole covering the excrements.

This is the time where a little lime would go a long way. If at all possible to acquire, get some lime prior to the threat to have on storage for just such a need.


Quarantine Items:
2 - 5 Gallon bucket(s) or the equivalent.
Bleach
Rag(s)
Anti-Bacterial soap
Food that does not need cooking (Min. of incubation period worth of food if able to spare) and additional food left at communication center every day.
Water or a clean water source
2 way radios with rechargeable batteries and a battery charger
Paper and Pens should the 2-way radios give out
Gloves
Mask(s)
Flag(s) for marking human waste site
Watch for keeping time for communication and symptoms
Thermometer
Toilet Paper (If available)
Quarantine Item Set Up:
All should be able to fit within the 5 gallon bucket with the exception of food and water (Though a little will be placed in there in advance) including the following items placed on the top:

Rules of the group
Expected quarantine Time
Rules of quarantine
Rules of communication



Rules:
This will be a pre-printed or pre-written page that will be given to the prospective guests to read and decide whether they are willing to do the things necessary to join the group.

Hello,
We are very glad to see you healthy and well and are taking the health and wellness of our group extremely serious. In doing so, we have implemented rules that you must adhere to without exception if you wish to join our group.

These rules may seem tedious but we are not taking chances when human life is at stake just as we will not take chances in protecting your health or the health of any new members to our group.

Firstly, we will not be having any face to face communication. In place of this, we will provide, among other things, a 2 way radio, rechargeable batteries and a battery charger so that we may communicate with each other at all times (or another way of communicating as described later).

The current known incubation period of the threat that we face together is ____ hours or __ days. If you wish to join our group, you will be forced to quarantine yourself in a location that we provide or set for ____ hours or __ days to ensure your safety and the safety of our group. If you are not willing to follow these rules including duration of quarantine, kindly set down this sheet of paper now and walk away.

At no time will a group member come within 500 – 1,000 feet of you during your time in quarantine. This is for the protection of all members of the group and yourself. Do not violate this rule – Use the radio or the aforementioned way of communicating in it’s place.

Once you enter your quarantine location, you will be required to stay within _00(0) feet of your quarantine location until the time of quarantine is over. If you breach this _00(0) feet marker which we will set or determine, you will no longer be eligible for joining our group. Please follow this rule.

If you do not have food and water with you, food and water will be provided for you at a drop point that we will disclose later.

Human Waste:
There will be a pre-dug designated latrine that will be used for the disposal of all human waste. Human waste, which already poses a health safety hazard is not to be expelled into any container but dropped directly from your body into the designated latrine as you “go to the bathroom” after which you are required to kick dirt or shovel lime back into the latrine to cover the waste.

Food disposal:
Only prepare as much food to eat and you are going to eat. Any food that is not consumed is to be buried with the waste as noted above.

Self evaluation and symptom reporting:
We will provide you with the tools necessary to evaluate yourself. You will be required to evaluate yourself twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. You must answer all items honestly. You are to report the following items to the group:

Appetite: None, Normal or Excessive
Vision: Clear, Blurry or Normal
Fluid Consumption: Normal, Heavy or Low
Temperature:
Physical Well-Being: Tired, Energetic or Normal
Medications taken within the last 24 hours:
Pain: None or on a level of 1 – 10 with 10 being the worst pain you’ve ever felt.
Stress Level: Low, Moderate or High
Symptoms: ________
Urine Excretion: Yellow, Cloudy or Clear (Was there a hot or burning sensation when urinating?)
Waste Excretion: How many times a day and; Loose, firm, normal or painful.
Staying Healthy:
We expect that you came to us healthy and we want to see you remain that way. Please eat 3 meals every day, drink plenty of liquids, busy yourself with items you brought or by writing a story (not involving the current situation but rather one that is purely fictional) and following the listed daily exercise recommendations:

Walking: Even in a confined area, walking moves the blood through your system and will provide a healthier you.
Arm and leg stretches: Stretching your arms and legs is a fundamental need that every body has.
Not staying in one spot or position for an extended period of time.
Brushing your teeth daily with or without toothpaste and brushing your body down (dry shower) with a rag are two essential ways of staying healthy.
Please do not perform any muscle building or muscle retaining exercises during this time. Muscle building exercises break down your current muscle to rebuild more and releases toxins into your system. Refrain from any such activity during this time so as not to confuse the symptoms of muscle breakdown with symptoms of the threat.

Positive Thought:
Negative thought will not be tolerated in our group. You are a strong person and you will get through this. Please do not let the dire nature of this threat overwhelm your sense of self worth or the free will that God gave to you. If the threat seems overwhelming, know that you are strong and pray for the endurance to see this through.

Carried Item Quarantine:
Please understand that the items that you brought with you may carry the threat on them for an unknown amount of time. The group will decide which items can be cleaned, used or disposed of without hesitation or regard to personal feelings. You may at no time keep an item that the group feels is dangerous.

That is it. Those are the rules required by anyone who wishes to join our group and anyone who leaves our group for any amount of time.

If you are not 100% sure that this move is right for you and 100% sure that you will abide by these rules, there will be no hard feelings between us. Please put this paper down on the ground, wave a goodbye and walk away now.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times that we all must face.

If you are positive beyond doubt that you will abide by these rules and any rules that the group may impose in addition to these, please fold this paper up and place it in either your shirt or pants pocket. At this time we will disclose the location of items that we will be providing you and further our communication together.

Go on to Document #2


Document #2 – On a separate sheet of paper

Hi,

We are very glad that you have chosen to quarantine yourself from our group before joining it. This shows that you care as much about our well being as we do yours and proves your willingness to put the group’s needs ahead of your own. In no way does quarantine mean isolation, we look forward to communicating with you using the two way radios that we will provide or the use of a communication center that we will set up.

We know that this can be an emotional time. Please do not let your emotions run your self control, will for life or care for others. We are here to communicate with you throughout this entire time and we look forward to spending time with you once you join our group.

The location that you will be staying in during your quarantine is:


________________________________________________


We will provide the following items for you if you do not already have them on hand.
2 - 5 Gallon bucket(s) or the equivalent (for the cleaning of clothes and items.)
Bleach
Rag(s)
Anti-Bacterial soap
Food that does not need cooking (Min. of incubation period worth of food if able to spare) and additional food left at communication center every day.
Water or a clean water source
2 way radios with rechargeable batteries and a battery charger
Paper and Pens (In case the 2-way radios give out or for story writing)
Gloves
Mask(s)
Watch (for keeping time for communication and daily health evaluations.)
Thermometer
Toilet Paper (If available)


Radio Operation:
Provide instruction for radios here

Communication Center:
The communication center will be at the following location.



________________________________________________

We will be using the communication center for the supply or re-supply of all goods including the items that you will get once entering quarantine. We will also use it for communication if the radios fail to work properly. We will be checking for communication every ___ hours (1 hour beyond the time that the threat is thought to survive on paper) from ____ a.m. to ____ p.m. daily. Please flag a new communication by placing __________ over the paper or dry erase board for the group to see.

Proper Communication Etiquette:
As you can probably tell, we are limited by the items that we have on hand including paper. Please write legibly and please tear off the paper at the bottom of your communication so that the rest of the paper may be saved for later use.

To limit the risk of exposure, we will not be touching any communication items at the communication center. It will be your job to dispose of all paper used for communication by placing it in the latrine.

Emergency Communication:
A true emergency is something that is life threatening and that cannot wait until our next communication. We will never cry wolf to you so please express the same care and respect for us.

If the need should arise for emergency communication, the universal distress code that we will use is 3 of anything, 3 seconds apart. That means 3 loud whistles 3 seconds apart, 3 bangs on the bottom of a bucket, 3 shouts using the word “Emergency” or 3 blows on an air horn.

We will continue to use this code every 3 minutes until visual confirmation can be made of the person issuing the emergency code and the group.

Example use of the Emergency Distress Code: Whistle Whistle Whistle – Wait 3 seconds - Whistle Whistle Whistle – Wait 3 seconds and then finally Whistle Whistle Whistle now wait 3 minutes and repeat.

That covers it. We are so glad to see you well. Please fold this paper up, place it in your pocket and follow the schedule below:

Schedule:

Now:
Gather your items and bring them with you to the quarantine site.
Leave all items well outside of the quarantine site until proper decontamination can be fulfilled.
Before entering the Quarantine Site: Remove any outer clothing which may be contaminated and place all items inside the bleach/water solution that is in the bucket provided for you at the site.
Next, take a rag and rinse your body over with the bleach and water solution from head to toes. Bleach will not hurt you at the strength it is diluted to. Please wash well your hair, face, hands and all exposed body parts.
Dry off with clean rag provided.
Enter Quarantine site


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