How to Seal Your Home Against Bioterrorism and Pandemic

Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared several articles on the details of a number of different likely bioterrorism agents. Today, I will finally begin to address how to protect yourself against bioterrorism, as well as any pandemic or widespread chemical threat, by securing your home. This will be a series as well, and to start off with, I will discuss sealing off your home from biological, chemical, and pandemic threats.

But first, if you’d like to check out any of the bioterrorism articles you may have missed, here they are:

Understanding Chemical and Biohazard Threats

Anthrax

Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers 

Smallpox

After reading about these common bioterrorism agents and thinking about the possibility of them being used in an attack, you might feel quite helpless and vulnerable to the reality of this threat.

In reality, while such an attack could easily cause many fatalities and a massive pandemic disaster, there are also a lot of very cheap, affordable measures you can take to seal up your home so you can hunker down in it and survive. In fact, taking the moment to review such threats is in reality quite prudent, because you can anticipate your needs now and get prepared.

And getting prepared is what we’re all about.

 

Sealing Up Your Home

To protect yourself and your household against contamination, you’ll have to consider the flow of pathogens in and out of your home. You want to be able to seal openings in your home, and follow a safety protocol when entering and exiting the dwelling. You also need to be prepared inside to receive and properly handle a possibly contaminated or fully sick individual.

There are a few simple items you’ll need that will significantly impact your odds of survival:

  • duct tape
  • plastic sheeting or garbage bags (preferably white, but you can use any kind of garbage bag)

Get yourself these items, and get as much as you possibly can. The more, the better.

With these items, you can do nearly everything you’ll need to do to seal off your home.

You will need to seal up all your windows, doors, vents, chimneys, anything. Every opening in your home should be covered. Once sealed, check regularly.

To do this, make sure they are securely locked, as well. You might even board them up, particularly if security or inclement weather are an issue.

Then, tape over the seams in all openings. So, for example, to seal up a window, place duct tape over the whole frame of the window, where the window meets the wall, and in between the two sliding panes, if applicable. For vents, seal all around the edges of the vent where it meets the wall, and so on.

Leave one main door unsealed, as you will create your entrance area around this, but carefully seal up the rest. Note that you might not want to leave your front door as the main entrance door, if you’d like to perhaps avoid drawing attention to your home and leave stealthily. Also, the front door might very well not be the most practical as a mud or laundry room door might be more practical for a safe entrance area. Make sure door hinges are securely covered with tape, as these are not always airtight.

Make sure to have several reliable pairs of scissors and knives, so you can cut the plastic or garbage bag out to the right size.

Once you’ve covered up all the seams, then cover the whole window, door, or vent with plastic sheeting or garbage bags, and tape down. Make sure to tape beyond your initial seal tape, to create another layer of protection.

Next, you will have to establish a quarantine room and secure your safe entrance and exit.

We will discuss further aspects of these rooms in upcoming posts, but all you need to know for now is that you need to seal off the room the entrance leads into, as well as a quarantine room.

You might have to improvise and experiment at this point as to what works best for your house. Some rope or very sturdy twine might help here. The idea is to create a space by the entrance that anyone coming in can stop in, take their clothes off, totally sanitize their bodies, and enter into the next room fully clean. The easiest way to do this would be to hang a plastic curtain to separate the part of the room with the door from the part of the room with the door to the rest of the house. When you enter, remove all your clothes, seal them up in garbage bags to be transported to the laundry facility (or, if possible, have disposable outerwear you can also wear on top, either homemade or purchased specially; in this case you will still want to carefully launder your clothing but it will help reduce the odds of contaminants entering the home).

This area will also have to be set up to bathe in, even in buckets of water. Again, we will dive more into this in an upcoming post.

The half of the room that leads to the rest of the house will be where there are clean clothes for you. The outside of the door will be covered with a curtain of plastic sheeting as well, just to be safe. A makeshift tent over this door would be ideal as well.

Your quarantine room will be similar. If you can have an entrance room that leads into the quarantine room, all the better, but in a pinch, you can hang a plastic curtain or makeshift tent over the door to the room, then surround the bed or beds with plastic sheeting, then create a partition in the room to have an initial sanitation room.

Next, you will have to stock these rooms and set yourself up for sanitation, so stay tuned for our discussion of these steps.

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