11 Things You Must Have On Hand In Case Ebola Hits The Fan

Ebola is not over.  As it becomes more clear that Ebola is firmly a worldwide problem, there may have been unintentional exposure to hundredsHow to Survive Ebola of people outside of the hot zone.  To be prepared, you should have a few things on hand that will keep you safer than without them. Ebola is a serial killer and will take every possible opportunity to kill those who come to help.  But like any war, we have weapons too, and they are in the strategic categories of identification, defense, attack, and containment.  There is also an amount of practicality on this list.

It contains nothing that costs more than a few dollars. Everyone should have these materials on hand since unintentional exposure is always accidental.  Therefore your planning time is now, and you will likely be on your own if this goes downhill fast.

Finally, do not take this list as anywhere near adequate to work with an Ebola-infected patient. Instead this list is designed to reduce your chance of exposure in public, and to make a last-ditch effort to prevent further spread should Ebola hit close to home.  More elaborate barrier methods including disposable Tyvek suits and full-face respirators will certainly better your odds, but only if you have them, replace them often, and have enough of them to outfit your family or community.

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Bleach:  Chlorinated water has been proven an effective disinfectant for Ebola.  For best results mix 1:10, or one part bleach to ten parts water (not the one to nine as is often written).  So a one-gallon bottle of household bleach (i.e. Clorox) will provide eleven gallons of disinfectant.  Only mix as needed since the diluted bleach loses its strength over a day or two depending on temperature and air exposure. And paradoxically, diluted bleach is a better disinfectant than concentrated bleach, so more is not necessarily better.  And keep the area or thing to be disinfected moist with the bleach solution for minutes rather than seconds.  At least 10 minutes if you can.

How to Survive Ebola

Gloves:  The professionals use heavier, thicker gloves, but that is because they are intentionally entering an Ebola theater.  Your prevention needs will be served fine with Nitrile or latex exam gloves.  They should fit snugly and be replaced often.  To remove the gloves, pinch the glove at the wrist with one gloved hand and then pull the glove off the hand turning it inside out.  For the other hand, slide your bare thumb under the other glove at the wrist and pull off the glove without touching its outside surface.  Of course you should soak your gloved hands in the bleach solution prior to removal, and rinse your bare hands again afterwards.  And since the exam gloves are like giant rubber bands, watch out for flying material as the gloves are stretched and removed.

Masks:  There are three main mucous membrane areas on the human face; the mouth, nose and eyes and all are like wide open doors Ebola Preparedness Kitinto your body. Particle masks with a minimum rating of N-95 can offer reasonable light protection from Ebola.  While an N-100 mask is arguably better, the fit and ability to change the mask often is more important unless you plan on deliberately entering an Ebola facility. Plus N-100s cost much, much more than N-95s so they probably won’t be changed as often as they should be.

Eye Wear:  With the mouth and nose covered, the eyes need some help.  Eye wear or a transparent face mask does two main things. First, it keeps unintentional Ebola virus from reaching your eyes when virus-contaminated liquid droplets splash, squirt, spray, or projectile in your direction from another person or source.  The second thing is that eye wear helps to keep your own fingers out of your own eyes. It is easy and habitual to touch your own face, so in many ways the mask and eye wear protect you from yourself. You don’t need anything fancy unless deliberately encountering Ebola, good shop glasses or lab goggles are fairly effective. Even prescription glasses or sunglasses are better than nothing, but like wood chips or metal flakes flying around the tool shop, the virus can hit you from the side, bottom or top landing right in your eye.  Then its game over.

Alcohol:  The CDC has found that the Ebola virus can be killed by many common disinfectant agents. They also advise using waterless alcohol disinfectants that are popular these days. Keep in mind three things: 1) Disinfectants are only helpful if used, so having them is not the same as regularly using them. 2) Soap, running water and vigorous scrubbing is more effective so consider the alcohol only a stopgap measure until a proper washing can take place. And 3) Many other fluids contain alcohol, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or acetic acid (vinegar). Just remember that Ebola, while not a particularly durable virus that will die within a day without a host, does put up a fight so using something like using methyl alcohol gasoline additives (Heet, etc.) as disinfectants will require more time than if a bleach solution was used. And be careful because garage or kitchen decontamination solutions may dissolve other plastic barriers or gloves as well as acting like solvents providing the virus a faster pathway through membranes and even skin.

Also Read: Ebola Understanding And Preparing For An Outbreak

Duct Tape:  Plastic tape and duct tape will provide an effective barrier if sealed tightly. Disinfection procedures should be followed both before and after the removal of the duct tape because the tape can provide protection to the virus in first-round of decon if it gets trapped between layers or behind corners.

Plastic Sheeting:  Whether drop cloth, ground cloth, or plastic tarp, you can use the material for many last ditch efforts to isolate an Ebola Survival Guidearea of your home, and make impromptu body bags.  Use the duct tape to secure the sheeting for isolation, and notice the direction of airflow with the goal to vent contaminated areas to the outside.  Even though Ebola is not airborne like the flu, it does easily catch rides on other materials as they are moved about.

Gasoline or Diesel Gas is not just for your bug out vehicle, but also for incinerating ebola-infected materials and bodies. While Ebola will die just fine in a few hours to 24 hours (but give it 48 hours just to be sure) if the Ebola is contained in a fluid that came from an infected person, it remains biologically hot for much longer.  Incineration is an effective way to kill Ebola, and everything else for that matter.  Just don’t do anything stupid while moving the hazardous items to your burn pit.

Thermometer:  An elevated human body temperature is one of the first objective symptoms of an Ebola infection. Therefore the Pandemic Survival Guidehumble thermometer should be used often and effectively to locate those who might be infected within your family, group, or community.  The time for concern is when the body temperature reaches 100.4 degrees F or 38 degrees C.  And remember that a clean bill of health should only be assigned when a person is exposure-free and symptom-free for a full three weeks.

Paper Towels:  You will need to use something to wipe down and dry off surfaces and body parts.  Paper towels are a better solution since linens require management and storage until properly washed. Paper towels can be burned quickly, buried or sealed in plastic bags.

Plastic Garbage Bags:  If hazmat materials cannot be burned immediately, or are made of plastic, you will need to contain them.  Everything on this list will need to be disposed of properly or burned. High quality, thick trash bags are a realistic solution to the problem of storage and disposal of potentially contaminated materials.  This is not the time to buy the cheap ones.  Don’t overload the bags, or drag them causing holes in the plastic.  And don’t just toss them outside since wandering animals of both the wild and formally domestic variety may consider your Hot Zone a free lunch.  Note, however, that the CDC has never received a report of a dog with Ebola.

Also Read: 6 Ways To Prepare Ebola

Get Ready

The above list is incomplete and inconclusive. It is not a substitute for proper knowledge and common sense.  This list is, however, designed to provide you with basic supplies on hand that will make a difference.  Good luck.

Further reading on the subject should include the military manual on decontamination, and CDC’s flyer on Ebola:

Decontamination of Vehicles Used To Transport Ebola Patients (Click Here)
CDC – What You Need To Know About Ebola (Click Here)

Photos By:
Army Medicine
CDC Global

Written by Doc Montana

Doc honed his survival skills through professional courses, training, and plenty of real-world situations, both intentional and not. Doc lives to mountaineer, rock climb, trail run, hunt, race mountain bikes, ski, hunt, and fish. Doc Montana holds PhD’s in both Science Education and Computer Science and currently teaches at a University in the northern United States. Read his full interview here. Read more of Doc's articles.

10 thoughts on “11 Things You Must Have On Hand In Case Ebola Hits The Fan”

  1. Very good advice. You reminded me that I forgot about eye protection. Thanks for the post. Perhaps the addition of personal favorites among the supplements that strengthen our immune systems could also be stocked. We should keep in mind that while everything else on your list would have long if not indefinite shelf lives, the disinfecting qualities of bleach begins degrading after 2 years.

  2. One very important item to have on hand and take EVERDAY is VIT C . Bleeding is the condition that is fatal to these people. Vit C will stop that bleeding as it does in Scurvy. Take 4-5,000 mg of it everyday to keep your immune system strong to perhaps not get Ebla in the first place! and take 20,000mg of it daily (less if you start getting diahrea, then lessen it gradually)if you get a fever and feel it is Ebola until the sickness subsides or more if the bleeding starts if the sickness does not subside.
    Vit C is water soluble and high doses will be excreted if it is not needed.

  3. Tyvek suits from home depot I like the bunny suit w/ hood complete coverage if you have a gas mask.
    duct tape to seal as much as you can.
    this is also good for dust storms rain etc they are not expensive and can last a while if you treat them well
    like having knee and elbow pads keep tears repaired with duct tape inside and out they can tolerate being sewn.

    some paint will camo them but for winter they are perfect as is of course heat is always bad but you do not always have an option.

    problem is if you have any contact you need a clean room it can be a wood frame with Visqueen or cheap tarps and a
    outside / camping shower with bleach some dawn dishwashing liqiuid or what ever is broadcast as a nuetralizer
    could be amonia or alcohol weak lye water we just do not have an idea from the outset but we can have most
    things on hand as well as vinegar.

  4. I wanted to post about Watkins Petro Carbo salve it was one of the first antibacterials I also carry triple antibiotic
    of course alcohol and peroxide in small amounts.
    Each "problem" may take a alternate approach to solve the infection, infections become resistant to antibiotics
    you may can use an older medication to kill the problem.
    Iodine, gentian violet, petrocarbo salve sulfur powder, zink oxide, Mathilde, salt, Epsom salt, tea tree oil. oregano oil. and I am sure many others.
    preparation or prepping means being ready for as much as you can it seems that my luck has been that at the most inopportune time things go south, so I stay ready best I can.

    Chemical cold packs are great and inexpensive for swelling and heat issues.


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