Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday: 15 October 2014

Welcome Prepper and Survivalists,

CDC microbiologist Frederick A. Murphy

I am going to change, for today, the normal format for Wednesday's post because of the current Ebola threat for the readers.

Ebola is a virus that is currently spread through direct contact with blood or body fluids of an infected person. These body fluids are urine, saliva (spit), sweat, feces (poop), vomit and semen. There is also a 'sharps' hazard from needles and syringes used by infected people.

The Ebola virus is not spread through the air, water, or insects like mosquitoes and flies. It can only be contracted from infected mammals such as monkeys, apes, and humans.

Normally, an Ebola outbreak is confined to West Africa. With growth of urbanized areas, human encroachment of forested wilderness areas, and the ease of international travel, Ebola has recently occurred outside its traditional boundaries.

Historically, Ebola has a fatality rate of 25% to 90%. The current epidemic fatality rate is about 55%

Currently, Ebola is normally spread by 'direct contact only' that means you have to have a cut, scrape, or wound breaking the skin or contaminated body fluids getting into your eyes, nose, mouth or through sexual contact.

Additionally, ...

Dried Ebola virus can survive for several hours on doorknobs, counter tops, and other surfaces. The Ebola virus can survive several day (I have read up to six days) in body fluids at room temperature.

Now, some folks are reporting of the possibility that Ebola may become 'airborne.'

That is true.

There is a possibility someone having a cold, allergies, or other respiratory illness with sneezing and coughing could spread the virus by sneezing or coughing directly into your face.

However, ...

It has to be directly into your face. Not like with the flu virus.

Protective Equipment
Now, some folks are rushing out and buying protective equipment for their families. This may be a waste of resources.


* Do you and your family plan to come into contact with a person inflicted with Ebola?

* Do you plan to care for someone infected with Ebola?

* Do you plan to come into contact with items contaminated with Ebola?

* Do you have the resources to store a large amount of chlorine disinfectant and disposable protective equipment and the means to safely dispose of the contaminated equipment?

* Do you have the knowledge to set up a decontamination station?

* Lastly, do you even know what protective equipment you and your family need?

With that said, ...

You and your family have decided to purchase protective equipment. You will need gloves, boots, coverall (pants and coat) , specialized head covering (hood), face shield and eye protection, and protective mask. All of these items, except the protective mask, are impervious to liquids (waterproof) Damn, I almost forgot, you need a waterproof apron, too

With a possible 90% fatality rate, this is not a time to improvise.

I might change these links to try and make some money from folks, but for right now, these are for illustration purposes only.


You want Nitrile gloves. I would suggest the extra tough Nitrile gloves (Uline) with an extended cuff, if possible. You need to buy them in various sizes. I like and wear an extra-large at work. Some guys at work like a snugger fit, so they wear a large.

I personally like my gloves slightly powdered. They are easier to slip on and off.

Either way, large or small, powdered or unpowdered, you and your family will want a lot of these because you are going to be wearing two pairs, every time you use them.

Ebola has up to a 90% fatality rate.


Kameraad Pjotr
Ordinary waterproof boots are fine. I would suggest purchasing white boots for ease of seeing possible contaminates.

These boots should have no buckles, zippers or other openings like rips, tears, or ...

You know, ...

You should be able to stand in a pool of water, and the boots should not leak.

No hip waders or knee highs either.


You'll see ; - )

 Protective Coverall

Jarek Tuszynsk
The next item for your protective equipment is a waterproof or water-resistant coverall. I would suggest something like the Tyvek elastic coverall or the Tychem elastic coverall that covers your whole body. You could also purchase a coat and pants made from the same type of material.

By the way, you want them a little big. They have a habit of ripping out the crotch when you take too big of step or climb up and down ladders.

Either way, don't get the hooded ones.

 Protective Hood

If you listened to me, you bought the protective suits without hoods (There is a reason. I'll tell you later).

So, ...

You will need protective hoods like these from Uline.

 Protective Mask

If you are former military, when I say protective mask, you probably think of the old M-40 protective mask or the MCU-2/P Protective Mask. If you're still serving, some of you will think of the the newer M-50 protective mask.


I'm talking about the 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing) N-95 from Uline and FitSeal's N-99 from SafeHome

Remember, the Ebola virus is currently  transmitted only by blood or body fluids, so a N-95 mask is adequate.

However, if your going to the expense of buying all this protective equipment, you might as well splurge for the N-99 masks.

Now, some of y'all are going to purchase a 'real' protective mask like the ones I first mentioned. I have even seen folks recommend your family do that. At $200 to $300 a mask, you'll be out close to a $1000 just for the mask. Plus, you have to decontaminate them, so you'll need a lot of filters at $30 to $40 for one filter after each use.


You thought you could reuse filters to save money?

Face Shield and Eye Protection

Photographer's Mate 3rd Class
Lamel J. Hinton
Next, you are going to need a face shield and eye protection.

The face shield can be the typical face shield found in industrial applications. It just needs to completely cover your face, like this setup from Uline.

The eye protection needs to be goggles, with no vents, better know as indirect vent safety goggles

No, safety glasses, duh.

If you have to ask, you shouldn't be doing this.


Lastly, you are going to need a waterproof apron to cover the zipper on the Tyvek suit!

Trained professionals have died using these techniques.
You have been warned

Suiting Up
First, you are going to need someone detailed orientated.

No joking, ...

This person needs to be an obsessive-compulsive, clean freak, that loves you.

I'm serious, ...

Don't have someone that dislike you help you suit up!

Next, you're going to strip naked and put on hospital scrubs and socks. No watches, No jewelry, No wedding rings, and No street clothes. No underwear that includes a bra. (O.K. maybe just a bra)

Athalia Christie

If you have to ask, you shouldn't be doing this.

Next, put the Tyvek coverall on. Don't zip up, yet.

Next, place the pair of waterproof boots on. The waterproof coverall's legs should go over the boots.

Next, put on a pair of Nitrile gloves on your hands then another pair. It's known as double gloving. The sleeves of the Tyvek suit go over the gloves.

Some folks suggest taping the sleeves and legs of the coverall to the gloves and boots. You can do that, but use a 'weak' tape because you don't want to rip the suit as your removing it, later.

Now, zip up the Tyvek suit and place the impervious apron on.

After you do that, place the hood on.

Yes, you will see in the later picture that folks are wearing their hoods under the apron. That's a mistake. If you don't know why, you shouldn't be doing this. (I'll tell you why in a moment)

Athalia Christie

Next the mask goes on according to the manufacture's instructions (the straps are over the hood) then the goggles.

Next, the face shield

Lastly, your detailed orientated, obsessive-compulsive, clean freak, that loves you partner has been inspects your gear to make sure there are no tears and no uncovered skin through the whole process.

Athalia Christie

One last time, the detailed orientated, obsessive-compulsive, clean freak, that loves you partner checks your protective equipment.

Why, Why, Why???
By now, you're probably wondering why the sleeves go over the gloves, the pants' legs go over the boots, the waterproof apron over the coverall, the hood over the apron, and the face shield over the mask and goggles.

And, ...

Not a piece of skin showing.

If someone was to puke, spit on you, piss on you, throw sh*it at you, or just explodes, the resulting blood and body fluid would run down the protective equipment like water on a roof. Finding no opening to contact your skin; possibly infecting you with a virus the kills up to 90% of the people it infects.

Wearing the Suit
You are going to fry in this protective suit. If could be 50°F (10°C), you will be sweating. Any hotter, and your boots will fill with sweat ; - )

So, ...

You're going to want to rush. Don't!!!

Take your time and make sure you stay as clean as possible. Every time you dirty your gloves, wash them with a strong chlorine bleach solution. Same for your apron, you want to stay as clean as possible. Plus, try not to touch anything unless it's important

Cleanliness is survival when you're dealing with Ebola.

Next, never, ever on pain of a slow and ghastly death touch your face. No matter how bad your nose itches, don't scratch it.

Getting dressed was the easy part. Taking it off is going to be difficult.

So, ...

You're going to need a decontamination station.

The first stop is washing your gloved hands with a strong chlorine bleach solution.

The next step is getting sprayed down with the strong chlorine bleach solution from a garden sprayer.

Once again, you want your detailed orientated, obsessive-compulsive, clean freak, that loves you partner to spray your protective equipment in such a manner that every inch of you is covered in bleach solution and none of it washes under the protective equipment.

Athalia Christie
As you can see in the pictures the decon team is wearing minimal protective gear. This might work. I would want a little more gear, but that's me.

Next, you step into a strong chlorine bleach solution to decontaminate your boots.

After that you step forward to a clean place, so your partners can start removing your gear.

Yep, that's right partners.

'Cause every time they touch your protective equipment, they either change people or change gloves.

So, ...

Off comes the face shield.

Next, the goggles then the mask.

Very carefully remove the hood, so that nothing drips on you as the hood is taken off.

Next, the apron comes off then the tape around the sleeves and boots. Make sure you or your partner does this slowly to avoid ripping the Tyvek suit.

As each item is removed it is taken to a place to be safely stored until it can be decontaminated, again.

Next the suit comes off then the boots, then the gloves.

Next, you strip out of the hospital scrubs and socks and take a shower with a weak chlorine bleach solution then rinse and then soap and water.

Save It or Trash It
The gloves, protective mask, and the tape (if you use it) are all disposed of responsibly. This contaminated material can't just go in the trash. It has to be properly disposed of by incineration.

The Tyvek suit, hood, and apron are decontaminated using a strong bleach solution by another detailed orientated, obsessive-compulsive, clean freak.

Or, ...

Just trash everything but the boots.

Lastly, ...
If you don't know the difference between a virus and a bacterial infection, your family might just want to implement a self quarantine.

Warning, Warning, Warning
Katniss showed me an article from our local hospital just before she went to bed.

The article said the local hospital was reevaluating its procedures since the recent infections of healthcare workers, here in these United States and Spain.

So, ...

Be prepared for all this information to be out of date and to implement other precautions.

There's more.

Centers for Disease Control - Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease)

Centers for Disease Control - Transmission

Centers for Disease Control -

Bloomberg - Spanish Health Worker May Have Gotten Ebola From Suit

The Washington Post: Health and Science - Suiting up for Ebola


Unknown said...

Wow, pretty intense preparations. maybe time to bug-out?

Someone You Know said...

Dear Cliff Kummer,

Yeah, it is definitely something that families might want to be preparing for such as building an emergency evacuation kit, contacting family across town, out of state, or in a different country, building a cache, and other issues.

Sincerely, SYK

For those families, unsure of where to start, I would suggest the book Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead because it covers the sensible preps families may want to start taking for this potential event.

Mr Evilwrench said...

Saw this coming months ago, and ordered a case of N95 masks, a case of nitrile gloves, tyvek bunny suits, face masks, boots, the lot. I even have gas masks should that be necessary. Might still want to fill in a couple of details, but we could bug in and do fine.

Divemedic said...

I think we are being lied to when they say that Ebola is not airborne.

Health care workers have been effectively dealing with blood born pathogens (HIV and Hepatitis) for decades. Two nurses in the same unit get Ebola, then we find out that the precautions began as the steps you outline above, and then we find out that the medical teams have all switched to using positive pressure respirators, and we are supposed to believe that there is no chance of airborne transmission?

Someone You Know said...

Dear Mr. Evilwrench,

Excellent. The preps you and your family bought in advance will definitely help protect y'all from other events too, like an influenza outbreak, dust hazards, and make it easy to decontaminate after a chemical or nuclear event. Just make sure to set up on inspection routine because the nitrile gloves will start to breakdown. We have this problem at work.

Sincerely, SYK

Someone You Know said...


I see what you're saying, but one of the problems, as seen in the Dallas hospital nurse's complaints, is they weren't trained or provided with the appropriate PPE. Plus, most of the blood borne diseases medical personal, like yourself, have to deal with have 'simple' precautions.

Ebola, in advanced stages of the disease, creates a lot of body fluids. Plus, HIV and Hepatitis, as far as I know, are 'fragile,' so they don't stay contagious as long as Ebola on solid surfaces.

Almost lastly, as I mentioned putting on all this protective equipment is time consuming. Stepping into a suit with a positive pressure respirator, velcro closures, and disposable is easier, quicker, and the hospitals don't need to hire a second nurse to check the gear.

But, ...

Like I said, you and your family are going to have to be prepared for the 'rules' to change. Either through a mutation or officials learning what works and doesn't work. (Ooooh, I heard an interview where one of the African Ebola researchers stated his medics are better trained and more knowledgeable about Ebola precautions then western midecal workers, including doctors!)

Lastly, in Africa, the doctors haven't had to deal with someone with an upper respratory infection, allergy, or ???

But, ...

We might see Ebola going 'airborne' through this route.

Sincerely, SYK

Someone You Know said...

Mr. Evilwrench,

I almost forgot.

Did your family use a formal 'Threat Analysis' process like the one in the Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead free sample?

Sincerely, SYK