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Sealing Your Home in Violent Disease Outbreak Scenarios

Saturday, 07 September 2013 00:00 Written by  Naomi Broderick

For most homeowners, home security means a sturdy fence, a bump-proof lock, and maybe even shatter-resistant window panes. Those who want an extra layer of defense might invest in security equipment, like an alarm system. Defending one’s home within legal parameters can be difficult enough as it is, but accounting for an outbreak of contagious disease requires turning a home into a veritable quarantine zone.

While popular media like The Walking Dead and World War Z glamorize the brutality and drama that can be exploited from a massive contagion scenario, a prepared homeowner who knows how to adequately gear their home for such an event with ample supplies has the best chance of survival by far (sorry, Daryl Dixon.) Here are a few considerations that any homeowner can benefit from in the case that a disease outbreak of this caliber becomes more than just fiction: 

1. Identify and eliminate access to the contaminant

The first step for any successful survival plan when a disease outbreak endangers your household is to: 1) Identify whatever potential contaminants exist within and surrounding your premises and 2) isolate these contaminants to the best of your abilities. Except in rare cases of foodborne illnesses, such as the swine flu outbreak as of late, these are fairly common and present little threat as a contagion. Limiting exposure is a simple act of knowledge.

But when people or animals threaten to spread disease, it is crucial to recognize their symptoms, isolate them from the majority of the household in an airtight environment, and determine whether or not they present a threat to the remainder of your household as either a fatal contaminant or through any demonstrated aggressive behavior. It can be difficult to consider, but keeping infected individuals separated in a fenced-in area outside or in an external shed can be a helpful way to isolate them from your household until a cure is available.

When contaminants are airborne, it is fundamental to avoid using a home’s central heating and air conditional system, which may spread contamination throughout a home. The idea is to locate areas where contamination exists and, when eliminating these problems isn’t viable, sealing off affected areas. Using adhesive like weather-stripping or simply stuffing crevices to create an air-tight seal in contaminated areas is the only guaranteed way to prevent spread throughout the home.

2. Defense begins outside, not at your front door

When all bets are off and legal restrictions are no longer a viable concern, installing or constructing an adequate parameter to seal the exterior of your home is an essential tool in keeping your household safe. Your fencing should be at least six feet high to keep looters or infected victims away. Picket fencing and other decorative touches are in no way a substitute for a fence of substance.

The best way to have a readily available fencing solution for when it becomes necessary is keeping a few rolls of industrial wire fencing and posts stored near your property. Wire fencing is likely the best option for quick installation and is widely available in standard measurements that exceed the bare minimum height you need for safety. In particularly violent outbreaks which cause aggression in victims or in which scarcity drives survivors to loot, barbed wire might be an effective addition in deterring anyone from mounting your fence – especially if you’re under the recommended height.

When fences aren’t easily available, makeshift barricades can be constructed fairly quickly from pallets, plywood, scrap, corrugated metals, or other available materials. While far from elegant or convenient, these last resort barricades might be your only option as a last line of defense between your home and an infected population. When fencing and barricades fail, know when to fall back on your home’s primary entrances with reliable modifications and back-ups.

3. Reinforce doors and windows

Installing solid, airtight doors and windows is ideal, but a tall order when an emergency breaks out and supplies are low. If affordable, invest in doors of heavy, thick wood or metal. Install locks that are resistant to physical damage rather than simple bump-proof models. For sheer physical durability, dead bolts and screw-anchored chain locks are the best option. Upgrade windows to shatter-resistant panes, or with the cheaper alternative of theft-resistant window films.  Shutters and storm windows are additional modifications that can improve the durability of your windows.

When aggression is a serious issue and an imminent threat to your household, keeping boards available for reinforcing exits can be an effective last-resort strategy, though blocking yourself indoors can expose yourself to danger if a home is sheltering any infected victims or if there arrives another danger, such as fire or gas leakage. It can also be a serious concern if harboring other surviving drifters is a priority in your plan.

While it can be easy to make light of violent disease outbreak situations with how popularized these types of events have become in “zombie” films, books, and video games, it’s important to consider how your home can handle the possibility of such an event nonetheless. With these emergency concepts and protocols, a household can stand a much greater chance in surviving such a disaster. 

By Naomi Broderick, a prepper enthusiast and professional writer with Protect Your Home from the Northwest.

Last modified on Tuesday, 24 June 2014 12:40
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