Pandemic Survival Kit | How To Survive

A severe pandemic may incapacitate a significant portion of the population. When a percentage of people are dying, it will get real. Real scary. Can you survive a pandemic? Yes you can. Here’s how to survive a pandemic…

Take a deep breath, read through this entire article with its recommendations. Make your own decisions and choices. Be prepared.

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Stay away from people

This may sound easy. But it’s not. Not at all. Why? Because there’s so many of us, and close proximity is inevitable. At first, people will believe that it won’t affect them. It will be business as usual. Going to work. Daycare. School. Errands. The grocery store. You name it…

The simple truth is to avoid proximity to other people, until it’s over. Easier said than done.

A severe pandemic may cripple infrastructure supply-chains, like groceries and things you need at home for a pandemic. Panic buying, people who are sick not going to work, or even self isolation or quarantine.

Are you ready and able to self quarantine for 7, 14, or more days? Worst case, could you remain isolated for weeks or even a month or more?

This article is re-published and updated for your information, given the recent publicity of the “coronavirus” outbreak which is evidently spreading in parts of Asia at this time. Though the article applies generically to any severe pandemic outbreak.

Surviving a pandemic is a matter of ISOLATING YOURSELF from OTHER INFECTED PEOPLE until it has run its course. At worse, this could be many weeks, month(s) or even longer (though absolute worst case).

Since you may not know which people may be infected (showing no symptoms yet), you will need to stay away from everyone outside of your home sphere for maximum mitigation. Therefore in order to be fully prepared, you must have the ability to self quarantine. To not go out where other potentially infected people are. This includes going to ‘work’, grocery shopping, etc..

You must have everything that you need already at home.

People going about their business…

During the onset of a severe and deadly pandemic, most people will not fully realize the ramifications. They will continue to go about their daily habitual routines of going to work, the grocery store, etc. They may be exposing themselves to the potential mortal consequences of a deadly pandemic.

Almost every transmissible disease has an incubation period during which time the person is infected but not yet showing signs of disease. Quite often, a person can be contagious for one to several or more days before exhibiting symptoms. That’s a problem!

Incubation Period

The incubation period of an infectious disease is the time between infection and symptom onset. Many viral infections will manifest themselves within a period of 3 – 5 days, and most within 10 – 14.

Ebola virus incubation potentially up to 21 days. Incubation period for Pneumonic plague is 1 – 3 days. Bubonic plague is 2 – 6 days. Up to 4 days for severe Coronavirus. (for example)

UPDATE: COVID-19 Coronavirus is said to be asymptomatic (no symptoms) for up to 14 days while shedding virus. 24 days has also been reported. It is apparently highly contagious during all that time!

Bugging in | Staying Home

If it ever gets real bad, the tough part will be deciding at what point to “bug in”, or stay home. Why? Because your employer will probably want you at work. If you choose to stay home, you might be risking your job (at least at first). There’s no clear answer. It will be an individual choice based on what’s going on out there.


The following is a starter-list of preparedness items, focused to do with pandemic survival. In reality there is much more to consider than this list. But hopefully it will set you in a direction to begin considering your options, should you ever need them…

Again, the key is to have enough supplies to hunker down without having to be around other people. Though some supplies are specific to the potential health realities of sick people.


This is to get you thinking about a pandemic shopping list. Things you need at home. Food for a pandemic.

Food, Water, Consumables

Firstly, be sure to have enough of the basics to remain at home for weeks, maybe longer, without having to go out and resupply. It’s a simple concept. But in reality most people don’t keep enough food and supplies to make it beyond a week.

FOOD SUPPLY. It’s not terribly difficult to build up a supply that will last 1 month — a good initial preparedness target – for each and all members of the household. Then 3 months.

There are reputable emergency food companies that sell kits of varying quantities (days). I like the ready made “food buckets” because they are quick and easy. But that’s just a starting point.

Augason Farms 30-Day Emergency Food Storage

Wise Company Emergency Food Supply

Augason Farms Lunch & Dinner Food Bucket

An excellent family operated and well established business in emergency preparedness who distributes several quality brands of emergency food is Ready Made Resources. I recommend that you check them out too. Tell ’em you came from Modern Survival Blog 😉

(UPDATE) New Article: Food To Survive Pandemic For 90 Days

(UPDATE) Coronavirus concerns: Listen, if you’re an amazon prime member, you can mitigate the risk of going to the grocery store among other potentially infected people. You can get just about any grocery delivered to your door. This might make sense for some of you, at least temporarily until threat of pandemic has subsided.


Water & Food (Level 2 Preparedness)

WATER FILTER. Clean, pure drinking water without bacteria or virus. An essential preparedness item is a quality gravity water filter, such as one of the Berkey models from USABerkeyFilters. I use their filters exclusively. The Best.

WATER STORAGE. Though we’re not expecting shutdown of water infrastructure, it’s always a good idea to have some water storage at home. Cases of ‘bottled water’. And/or water-specific storage containers. For example, these Samson Stackers.

TOILET PAPER. Can you ever have enough backup TP? Plus, when sick, you’re going to go through lots more than normal. On average, most use ~2 rolls/week/person. How about 5 per week? That’s ~60 rolls for 3 months per person.

KLEENEX / TISSUES & PAPER TOWELS. Get enough for 90 days so you don’t have to go out to the store and risk contagion from the pandemic. Paper towels ideal for sanitary / surfaces cleanup and disinfection with antiseptics.

Pandemic-specific Survival Kit Supplies

Protection for at home, or away from home. Surfaces may become contaminated with virus. Virus may become airborne via droplet or even aerosol transmission (worst case). These are the things that you need to think about, and to protect yourself from. — The things you can do to mitigate the issues associated with virus and contamination.

Firstly, good hygiene habits. Wash your hands. Especially after being out in public places. It may seem silly to describe “how to”, but read this to do it right.

Don’t touch eyes, nose, or mouth without having washed your hands first! Especially after having been in public places (e.g. grocery store?). It’s hard not to touch your face!

LIQUID BLEACH. “Regular” liquid bleach for sanitation and disinfection (have enough of it).

Read: Disinfectant Bleach-Water Ratio.

NITRILE EXAM GLOVES. Several boxes of disposable gloves. Example: Nitrile Exam Gloves

CHEMICAL RESISTANT GLOVES. These are thicker. Use them to protect hands while mixing / applying a batch of disinfecting bleach/water. Also for dealing with dangerous wastes (Wells Lamont).

FACE MASKS. Provides some protection from particulates entering your respiratory system. Rated at least for N95, like these from amzn. Note as of this update (FEB-2020), most are sold out due to coronavirus. But check back later…

RESPIRATOR MASK. The next step up. Quality respirator mask such as this one: 3M P100 having replaceable filter cartridges.

FACE SHIELD. It will help protect the eyes, nose, and mouth while in close proximity to an infected person (e.g. while treating). Example: Safety Works Adjustable Headgear

DISPOSABLE COVERALL SUIT. Such as the DuPont Tyvek Suit (several).

HAND SANITIZER. Use it for quick hand sanitizing after any public or patient exposure . It must have at least 60% alcohol active ingredient antiseptic (70% even better). Though you should wash hands often with soap and water. Search hand sanitizer on amzn.

HEPA AIR FILTER. HEPA filters for in-house air filtration. Virus will latch on to sneeze/cough globules. Aerosol transmission would be even worse (this coronavirus has been said to exhibit this). A HEPA air filter at home will help to catch this.

VOMIT BAGS. Sorry, gross I know. But if someone at home gets sick, these sure make it a bit easier to deal with. (We’ve been using this type of bag). It has a convenient closure method to minimize exposure – twist and secure bag into the notched ring. We first saw them at our local hospital.

DISINFECTING WIPES. Keep surfaces disinfected at home. Also, (tip!) grocery stores have this near their carriages / baskets. Use them! Wipe down the handles. Search Disinfecting Wipes on amzn.

LIQUID SOAP | HAND SOAP. An aggressive formula soap such as Dawn Ultra. Have enough hand soap (i.e. pump bottles).

MEDICATIONS. Enough of whatever you may be taking. Also consider those which may help alleviate symptoms if someone were to get sick at home.

FLU SYMPTOM MEDICINES. Make sure that you already have enough in your house. Fever reducers (Ibuprofen, Tylenol). NyQuil, DayQuil. Whichever of this type of relief has worked for you in the past. Just make sure you have a supply.

ELECTROLYTE REPLACEMENT. If someone becomes sick, they may dehydrate (not good!). So keep some electrolyte replacement, such as this one from Vitalyte.

IMMUNE SYSTEM BOOSTERS. Get enough sleep. Keep your body strong. Eat right. With that said, there are boosters and supplements. Such as the following (view on amzn),

Elderberry Gummies with Vitamin C & Zinc (Kids)

Elederberry Gummies with Vitamin C & Zinc (Adults)

Vitamin C Powder

ISOLATION ROOM. You might consider the materials necessary to set up a temporary isolation room — in case someone at home gets sick with this virus. This may include a separate HEPA filter for the room. An adequate supply of nitrile gloves and masks for in-and-out. Maybe even a portable toilet for the room.

If you are very serious about an isolation room, you might have a look at CBRN protection by way of a professional isolation tent for quarantine or protection mode. CoronavirusTent.com

PORTABLE TOILET. For provisional isolation room, if you need to set one up. (Self-Contained Toilet).

The Takeaway | How to Survive a Pandemic

The world is ill-prepared for the fight against severe pandemic outbreaks. The Plague, Ebola, MERS, SARS, avian flu and other illnesses could re-emerge at any time. We live in a world of high speed transportation (worldwide). There are more people than ever, and things could spread fast.

While the list above is not complete for an overall pandemic preparedness plan, it should get you to thinking about your own preparedness. Search Modern Survival Blog for further ideas and opinions regarding prepping & preparedness.

Feel free to add your additional suggestions below…

The first chunk of comments below are relevant to earlier posting regarding Ebola.

Jump to comments surrounding the Coronavirus which begin about (here) down the page.

Continue reading: Mind-blowing Exponential Growth – Parallels with a Pandemic