When building a shelter for the long-term consider the population size and density within your shelter. Close proximity often leads to illness. You'll want to have a way of dealing with sick people, preferably some kind of isolation if space allows. The CDC offers some isolation guidelines. It's also a good idea to make sure everyone is up to date on all of their vaccines to limit the spread of disease. Use gloves and alcohol-based foam soap to limit exposure to illness. Anti-bacterial soap is great, but it can lead to antibiotic-resistant strains that you won't be prepared to handle with limited medical resources.
Total separation is the key to preventing an outbreak. Quarantine all those suspected of contracting the disease until you can be sure they aren't showing any symptoms. Illness can be spread through contact or bodily fluids. Wear personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection to limit exposure. Keep the trash and laundry separate to avoid spreading the disease.
Diseases can also be airborne. If possible have a separate air ventilation system. This will contain the airborne particles and stop a possible outbreak.
- First aid kit
- Private sleeping area
- Survivalists Medical Desk Reference
- Alcohol-based foam soap
- Bin for medical waste
- Bin for soiled laundry
- Separate air ventilation system
- Personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, masks, eye protection
Staying healthy is a great way to prevent disease. With the proper vitamins and nutrition, your body will be better able to flight of illnesses quickly. If your bunker is underground you'll want to have plenty of vitamin C and D since you won't have access to fresh fruit or the sun for an extended period of time. There should be plenty of nutritious food storage to keep everyone fed and healthy for an extended period of time.
Airtight bunkers have their advantages. They can safeguard your family from radiation and poisonous air. However, stale air in a confined space can breed mold and bacteria. Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can build up as well. You'll need a ventilation or fresh air exchange system.
Clean drinking water is vital to survival. Freshwater will regulate body temperature, maintain healthy fluid levels in the body, and flush out toxins and waste products. Water prevents headaches and dehydration. It is essential for healthy kidneys, normal bowel functions, and digestion.
Veterinary care for pets
Are your pets going to join you in the shelter? Fleas and ticks attach to pet fur and spread diseases.Sock up on flea and tick medication if furry family members will be bunking with you.
Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes and affects animals. While it can't be transported to humans, it could kill your dogs. Heartworm prevention is pretty simple, give one heartworm prevention pill to your dog once a month. Pills typically come in a 6-month supply from your vet. Note dogs should be tested for heartworm prior to given them the pills and tested again if you miss a month's dose. If the dog is infected the pill could have fetal side effects.
- Flea and tick medication
- Heartworm medication
Photo Credit: http://www.stpaulswoodridge.qld.edu.au/Our%20School/Pages/Student-Health.aspx