Tag Archives: event planning

What To Do When Things Don’t Go As Planned During Events

What To Do When Things Don’t Go As Planned During Events

Planning a big event is something that you will find to be trying at times. You will have a lot of things to do and you will find not enough time to do them in. you will feel rushed and maybe even a little bit anxious at the same time. You will not be able to make everything perfect and this is something that you will just have to deal with.
Anytime you are planning something, you will probably find that something goes wrong. You will not have an easy time with everything unless you are perfect and in real life that does not happen. You will want to make sure that you are prepared to take on the things that are going to happen so that you are able to deal with them and move on to the next item.
No mater how much planning you do for your special event, you will see that something will always be missed. This is usually the case even if you are double-checking and rechecking everything. You will want to make sure that you can handle mistakes and forgotten things that somehow go untaken care of when you are planning a special event.
You can get your party to run a little better when you are using a good checklist. This will be a list that will include all the things that you have to do for your party. Once they are accomplished, you can check them off and this will make your party planning a little easier and more organized as well. This is one thing that will be a great help to you and anyone that is helping you with the party as well.
If you are find that it is the day of the party and moments before the party is set to begin you see that something was missed, you can try your best to fix the situation. You may have to use a little bit of your creative side to come up with a quick fix, but you may surprise yourself with a great idea. You can be surprised at the way that your mind will think when you are in a bind and looking for an easy fix.
If you are at the event and noticing that something is not going right, you will want to try and fix the problem as fast as you can without anyone knowing about it. You may not want to draw a lot of attention to the problem that you are trying to fix. However you may want to find someone to help you with the situation and get a strong fix for it. This is something that you can do with the right amount of help. You can also have some of your friends going around the party and looking for things that need are going wrong. You may find that this is a huge help with things because you cannot be everywhere at one time.
The biggest thing that you need to do when you see that something is going off course at your event is to not get upset. You want to be able to stay calm and use your resources that you have to fix the problem. You should not panic and get all worked up because one thing is going wrong. You will find that once you get a hold of yourself and let your brain think, you will find a solution to anything that comes up. Who knows, you may not even have to worry about some of the small stuff that goes wrong. As long as you and everyone are having fun, you will have a very successful party.

Prepare Your Shopping List like a Professional Party Planner

Prepare Your Shopping List like a Professional Party Planner

When you will be planning a party, or even planning an entire event, being well organized can set you apart from those who have a difficult time of it. Organization is your best friend when it comes to successfully planning and having a party or event of any size. And, the key to having successful organization skills lies in your shopping list. When you have an excellent shopping list, then you are sure to have all of the supplies you need on the day of your party or event.

It is very easy for most people to become overwhelmed when they enter a store or mall. You walk in thinking that you know exactly what you want, and then you find yourself amongst so much amazing stuff that you start to question your original thoughts and decisions. This often leads to purchasing things you hadn’t planned on. In the worst case scenario this means you forget vital items, in the best case scenario it generally means that you spend too much money and go over your budget. The simple way to avoid having this happen is to make a good shopping list and then stick to it when you shop.

The first step in preparing your shopping list is to gather up a pencil and a pad pf paper. You want to label the first page of the notepad with the date of your event and any location information you might need later, such as an address or phone number, if your party will not be held at your own home.

The second step in preparing your shopping list is to decide what the menu will be and what ingredients your menu requires you to have. Take the time to go through each recipe for your menu and write down each of the ingredients you will need to purchase and the quantities you will need. Each of these ingredients, with their amounts listed, will go under the heading of “food” on your master party shopping list.

The third step to preparing your shopping list is to decide on any beverages which you will be serving and the quantities you need to obtain. Each of your beverages, with their amounts listed, will go under the heading of “beverages” on your master party shopping list.

The next step to preparing your shopping list is to decide what party and paper goods you will need for the event or party. Consider things like plates, cups, silverware, serving bowls, centerpieces for tables, flowers, tables and chairs, etc… Make sure to write down anything you could possibly need on your master party shopping list.

Now that you have an all inclusive master shopping list, it is a good idea to break that list down by stores and times when you will be buying the items listed. For example, you will likely want to shop twice at the grocery store. The first time you will want to shop for everything which will last until the date of your event; the second time you will want to shop for perishable items such as fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and breads. This means that you want one page for the items you will purchase on the first trip, and another page for the items which you will purchase at the last minute.

As you make your sub-lists, you will want to add in your shopping times to your master party planning calendar. You will likely have two grocery shopping trips, a trip to the party store, a trip to the liquor store, and a trip to the florist as well. By taking the time to schedule shopping at each of these venues, you can ensure that you do not forget to go to one store or another, and that you will have the time needed to obtain all of the things you will need to have a successful party or event. As you can clearly see, creating a master shopping list is the only way to plan a successful party or event like a professional party planner. And, through the use of sub-lists you can zero in on just what you want and ignore the other things in the store that might have otherwise tempted you.

Learn from the Olympics How to Organize your Events: Part 2 of 3 – Planning a Profitable Event

Learn from the Olympics How to Organize your Events: Part 2 of 3 – Planning a Profitable Event

In the first part of this series, we looked at the logistics of an event, both the logistics of fans getting to the event, and the internal logistics allowing fans to move from one item of interest to another. This time we will look at how to ensure that our event is profitable.

The Olympics are a fun example of trying to put on the best show that the world has ever seen and still turning a profit. Every two years, usually about a month before the games, there will be newspaper articles about how far over budget and behind schedule the ticket sales the Olympic Games are. Fortunately, most of our events are not judged by the same standards that the Olympics are held to, but they do have evaluation criteria. One common feature of all events is that they have both a budget and an objective. The size of the budget and the scope of the objectives differ drastically, but that does not make them any more or less important to the person planning the event.

The 2002 Winter Olympics were a good example of working hard to stay on budget. At the time of the Olympic Bid Scandal, the Winter Games looked like they were destined to be far over the prescribed budget. As they turned the corner, under the leadership of Mitt Romney, one of the things that helped them was to bring large silent sponsors in to the events. Most of the large profile sponsorships for the Olympics are predetermined (Delta, Visa, Coca-Cola, etc) leaving little room to go out and recruit additional sponsors with the lure of advertising space and publicity. They were still able to find organizations to help foot the bill and keep the games within their budget. Organizations like Marker, NuSkin, and the Eccles Foundation donated money, products, and services to help the games. These companies did not end up with Television commercial spots, but Marker had a label on the uniform of every volunteer and NuSkin distributed sunscreen and other toiletries to thousands of people who attended the events. This created a tremendous amount of goodwill for these organizations.

Staying within a budget is a problem that most people have. There always seems to be more to do than resources with which to do it. Like the Olympics, most of our events would benefit from contributions from sponsors. This can be as simple as having a local business pay to print your tickets in exchange for an advertisement on the back of each ticket, or having local restaurants donate pies for a pie eating contest. The more creative you get, the more possibilities you will be able identify to add an additional boost to your budget.

The Olympic Games have more objectives than most of us would be able to keep straight. From fostering world peace to bolstering the local economy, to creating an atmosphere conducive to the athletes breaking as many world records as possible, everyone has their own metric by which they judge the Olympics. In general, the Olympics do a good job planning the locations of the venues to benefit the athletes and the logos and displays to benefit the visitors from the different nations in attendance. They also are pretty consistent with helping the economy of the local community.

Most of us are lucky in that we do not have as many objectives behind our events. The majority of event planners, however, never stop to consider all of the different objectives that their event may have. It is usually a good idea to take some time and think of all of the stake holders in the event. This includes the organizations that are hosting the event, the participants and performers, and attendees of the event. Once you have listed everyone who is involved, try and think of why they are involved. What is their motivation? As you start to answer these questions you will develop a fairly complete list of the objectives of your event. It is then a good idea to prioritize them in such a way that you spend most of your time meeting the objectives that will make the most difference to the outcome of your event.

Taking the extra time to find sponsors to help you with your budget and to identify the objectives of your event will help make your event a success. You will be surprised at how easy it can be to identify the little things that will make a difference as you begin to plan your event.

Next: Managing your Event

A Professional Party Planner’s Guide to Classroom Parties

A Professional Party Planner’s Guide to Classroom Parties

In my opinion, nothing can be more fun and challenging than planning an elementary school classroom party. Whether the event is Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, or the end of the school year, you can use your creativity and really have some fun in your planning. And, because your attendees are all children, your efforts will not go unnoticed or unappreciated as they can with adults.
The first thing you need to do is meet with the teacher and any other parents who have offered to plan or help with the party. Before any planning can take place, it is imperative that everyone be on the same page and understands what the party will look like once it is all planned out. Good planning and communication early in the process can go a long way towards heading off potential problems later on.
The classroom teacher needs to let you know how much time will be allocated for the party and at what time it will happen. In addition, the teacher will need to let you know what roll she wishes to play in the party planning and in the event itself. Some teachers prefer to let the parents handle the entire party from planning to the big day, while others prefer to have more of a say and an active roll in the planning and the party itself.
To plan the party itself, ask the teacher what foods they prefer be served. Would they like to go with snacks? Healthy foods? Cupcakes and cookies? Find out what is easiest and what will make the least amount of mess in the classroom which will have to be cleaned up at the end of the party.
When the topic of purchasing food comes up, this is a good time to ask if the school can provide anything for the party, if a collection will be taken up from each of the families who have kids in the class, or it the parents will be paying for it themselves. A lot of times the budget for the event will have a lot to do with the planning for the party.
The next item for discussion is the activities, if any, for the party. Will the children be playing games, making a fun craft project to take home, etc… One of the most appreciated crafts around holiday times can be something that the kids can make at school and then wrap and present to their parents as gifts for the occasion. With some creativity this can be done relatively inexpensively.
If the teacher prefers to let the parents plan the party, the teacher can leave the meeting and the parents can meet, or plan to meet again, to plan more of the details of the day. While planning the party with other parents it is always a good idea to make sure you have back-up plans incase one of the parents doesn’t do what they said that they would, or doesn’t show up the day of the party. Unfortunately, things like that do happen and it is just so much better to be prepared for them ahead of time than to be caught on the day of the party without supplies or enough people.
With these professional party planning tips you can make your children’s parties the best in the school!

Outdoor Barbecue Catering Events

Outdoor Barbecue Catering Events

It’s barbecue season! Time to get outdoors, invite family and friends and have a celebration. But, if you have ever hosted an outdoor event, you know how much work it can be.

It’s your gathering and you need everything to be just right. There are so many considerations and so much to do. Planning, finding a date, organizing; not to mention everything that needs to be done on the day of the event. Many people simply don’t host because it is too much work.

An outdoor event catering company can help with all of these details and do so much more to turn your barbecue into a more enjoyable occasion, for you and your guests.

Starting with the planning, a catering company will help by presenting options and ideas for making your barbecue extra special.

Of course, the menu is very important. Not only does it need to be tasty and well-prepared, but, your health-conscious guests want healthy hors d’oeuvres and main courses – done barbecue style. Look for a catering company with a specific barbecue or outdoor menu. Many indoor specialties simply don’t work as well out-of-doors.

But, it’s more than good food. You need great service. Your catering company should be ready to prepare and serve food outdoors. The serving staff needs to be courteous, professional and able to make your guests feel comfortable.

Make sure the barbecue catering company you choose will take care of everything you need for an outdoor event, from place settings to tents. You should not need to worry about set-up and clean-up either.

The barbecue catering specialists at Ida’s Kitchen are ready to take care of everything you need for a successful outdoor event.

Planning Bachelorette Party For The Bride To Be

Planning Bachelorette Party For The Bride To Be

Are you charged with planning bachelorette party for your friend, the bride? Ask her what kind of event she’s looking forward to because you don’t want to embarrass her. At the same time, you don’t want a “princess event” when she’s looking forward to a walk on the wild side. In either case, planning bachelorette party can be a big affair.

The bachelorette party has become a substitute or an addition to the traditional shower. While the shower might feature older relatives and friends, the bachelorette party is for the “girls” a bride hangs out with.

When planning bachelorette party, you should know that some of these events are of the “cakes and tea” variety. Decorations will include pastel streamers and hearts. The theme will be romantic and gifts may include household items that the bride will need if she is setting up a home for the first time. In many ways, this kind of party is just a shower for the younger set.

Other times, planning bachelorette party will involve pampering the bride and her wedding party. Perhaps an in home bridal make up demonstration will do the trick. Other times, a trip to the spa for all of the guests makes for the perfect party. In this case, gifts that reflect the luxurious nature of the day – soaps, perfumes, etc. – are most appropriate.

Some brides, picking up on the more decadent tastes of their male counterparts, will want a sex-themed party. This may involve male strippers either as an at-home event or as a party to Chippendale’s. If it is an at home party, themes and decorations may be quite crude. Gifts, as well, can reflect the sexual nature of marriage and exotic lingerie is always welcome.

Other times, the “girls” go out to a bar for a last night out. The bride will be given a checklist of events she must do that evening including kissing a man with the groom’s first name, getting a single guy’s phone number, and more.

Destination bridal showers are becoming popular as well. When planning bachelor party away from home, consider what the bride wants. Is she looking for the ultimate spa experience in Scottsdale, AZ, or is she wanting to party in Vegas?

But, as brides and grooms find that they don’t want “one last fling” as much as they want to celebrate their commitment to each other with both their male and female friends, you may find that planning bachelorette party involves the groom as well.

The so called “Stag and Doe” or “Jack and Jill” parties involve all of the bridal couple’s friends. They are also used as fundraisers for the wedding sometimes.

As far as finances go, you should never expect the bride to foot any of the bill. The guests should chip in for her portion. Considering that the guests must cover their own bill as well as a portion of the brides’ planning bridal party must keep a reasonable budget in mind.

It can be a lot of fun planning bachelorette party.

Baby Birthdays: Planning For Baby’s First Birthday

Baby Birthdays: Planning For Baby’s First Birthday

Baby birthdays are a special occasion. During the first year of baby’s life, he or she will likely give you many firsts and many outstanding memories. Yet, there is something magical about that first birthday. In fact, to many parents it is th starting point of a transition from being a baby and being a toddler. Planning that special day for your child will be more for you than the baby since they likely won’t remember it. Yet, making it memorable is not hard to do, especially when you have family and friends wanting to celebrate this day with you.

To Party or Not

The first question to ask about baby birthdays is whether or not to have a full scale party for your child. In some families, it is a tradition to have a larger family get together on that first birthday as a way of welcoming the child into the family and reaching such an important milestone. In other families, the day is a private affair with just the immediate family and perhaps grandparents in attendance. The bottom line is that you should do what is right for you.

Remember that baby won’t remember this day. Pictures and video will be there to help them to see what their first birthday was like though. Planning a fun event can be a good way to show your child love and to celebrate with your loved ones. Because they likely won’t participate too much, be sure to include only a small number of things to do at the event. Otherwise, family and friends will be overwhelmed.

Planning Tips

Planning for baby birthdays should be fun itself. While there is no need to go over the top, there is no doubt that you will be tempted to do so. Set a budget for the event and stay within it. Besides feeding the family that attend and a few colorful decorations, the budget can stay fairly low. Here are some additional tips to help you plan this first birthday.

Activities: When baby birthdays come along down the road, you will want to include lots of fun activities and games to play. While this is a good thing to do for children who are older, at one year old, the child probably won’t participate and will not care one way or another. If you do plan activities for the event, be sure they focus on the age of the other children who will attend the event to keep everyone involved.

Entertainment: Along with activity planning comes entertainment. Many parents want to have a face painter or clown attend. Again, do this for the older kids. One year olds are much more likely to receive a fright by these people since they do not know them.

Decorating: One thing is for sure, one year olds love color. Their eyes are developing the ability to distinguish between colors more readily and they will be attracted to bright colors. Choose a color palate that gives them vibrant colors, often done with classic colors. Keep everyone safe. Balloons are a choking hazard to children this young. Decorate with a 1-year-old theme if you like. Your child may also have a favorite television character or another theme they relate to. Use this first birthday party as a time to celebrate whom your child is by allowing the decorations to come through.

Cakes: The first baby birthday cake is going to be special, no matter what you do with it. Since baby’s shouldn’t have a lot of sweets just yet, you may wish to choose a healthier versions of cake to give him or her. Whatever you do, be sure he gets a piece of his own to smash and eat.

One of the most important elements in any first birthday party will be many fun photos of you with your child. Don’t over plan the event. This day is not just for your little one. It is a day for you, too as the parents. Your baby is growing and with remarkable speed. Make it a special day for you to share with your child. Ten or twenty years from now, they will want to see what you did and how you interacted with them more so than the number of toys they received.

5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Planning Your Next Event

5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Planning Your Next Event

When it comes to planning an event, it can be rough. You not only have to worry about all the details that are major, but you have to deal with all the little things. You may find that there are some reoccurring problems that you have when you plan events. Each problem that you run into should teach you some kind of lesson for the next event.

The first thing that you should avoid when it comes to planning your next event is getting overwhelmed with details. If the event is getting bigger and bigger and you’ve seem to lost control over things, you need to get backup. It’s hard to plan an event, especially if it is a very important event. You have to plan where you are going to have the event, the theme, the decorations, the food, the caters, the supplies, and the budget. You need to make sure that you stay within a budget, but get everything done. This is when you need an assistant.

If you don’t have an assistant you will have an emotional breakdown and it could ruin the event. Depending on your personality, the breakdown can be crucial. This is way you need an assistant. Don’t get overwhelmed with things. When it comes to using an assistant you can leave them the minor things like fetching, fixing, decorating, and all the small details that you should never worry about.

The second pitfall that you need to avoid is the bar and food. If you are going to have a catered dinner or event, you need to make sure that you have a written contact upon hiring. The contract needs to state the money, the food, and basically what you expect from the amount of money that you are paying. Even put the times when they need to show up in the contract or you may end up with irresponsible caters. You need to make sure that the food looks and taste good. You don’t want to have people looking at you with disappointment.

The third pitfall to avoid has to deal with contracts. Get a contract written for everything. It can be on a tablecloth, if you must. Just make sure that you have it in writing what you are paying them, why you are paying them, what you expect from them, and the day and times that they need to show up with the goods. If you don’t, you will end up having someone come to you saying that they overbooked or they have increased the costs.

The fourth pitfall to avoid is bankruptcy. Make sure that you set a budget for your event. The way to successfully set budget is to set a least and the most amounts. For example, you can pay at least $5,000 for the party, but you can go to $7,000. Then you aim for the average, so you would like to have a $6,000 party. If you set your budget like that you know exactly if you need to cut the corners or if you can expand somewhere on the party. You will also be more successful if you set yourself some limits. You’ll be more likely to be under budget.

The fifth and final pitfall to avoid, is relaxing too far in advance. A lot of people will plan an event so far ahead that they think that they can take it easy the day before or even the day of the party or event. You need to realize that when you find extra time to relax, make some phone calls. Make sure that everyone is on the same page so that when the day comes you don’t run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. You can take the day of the event with an relaxed pace because you were on top of things the day before.

8 Key Factors Of A Successful Event Planner – Learn To Pick Wisely

8 Key Factors Of A Successful Event Planner – Learn To Pick Wisely

Planning an event is a big job. No matter what type of event it is, you will find that there is a lot of different things that you have to make sure get done. You need to be focused and ready to take on this type of challenge when it comes to planning an event. If you are not able to handle it all yourself, you will want to think about hiring an event planner to make it a little bit easier.
There are a few different key factors that are important when you are trying to find a successful event planner. You need to think about the person that you are hiring and what they can do for you. You have to learn to pick and choose your event planner wisely so that you are not finding yourself in a bad situation later on.
1. You will want to make sure that you are getting a highly successful event planner to take care of your next event. You need to make sure that you are finding someone that is ready to take on a challenge and do the best job that she can for you. You want them to be devoted and able to help you though anything that is thrown your way.
2. You want a professional. You want to have someone help you with your next event that has the extensive training that is necessary to make the most of the event. You need to have someone that you can count on that has the experience that you need to make this the best ever. You can make the event highly successful and very professional when you have help that matches your needs.
3. Getting a professional event planner that pays attention to detail is very key. This is one of the most important key factors in making an event a great success. You will want to have the person helping you very interested in making you happy. You need them to be very efficient and willing to do what you need them to.
4. You will want to interview your event planner to make sure they are the person that you feel comfortable with. You want to have someone help you with your special event that you can trust and get to know. They will want to be make your event the best that it can be and give you all that you are looking for and maybe even a little bit more. You will be surprised at the amount of help you can get from your wedding planner when you chose them well. Ask them important questions that you are going to need to know. You want to make the most of this time and get to know them very well.
5. The person that you are hiring to take care of your event will have to know the financial part of the business. They will have to be willing to make sure that they take care of all the business transaction s that have to be dealt with so that you can get the event rolling on the right budget. They will have to be aware of the process and that they have to stay within the budget to keep on track.
6. Get the references that you need to make a good decision about the event planner that you need. You want to make sure that you have someone that is going to have former clients that are happy with their work. You want to contact these people and find out what they like and disliked about the event planner. This will help you make a better decision as to who is the right person for the job.
7. You will also need to make sure that the event planner is able to get word of your special event out there. You want them to be able to get the advertising part of the business out there for everyone to know about. You want to get as many people to your event that you can. This will mean a lot of hard work and effort to go into the great event that you have been planning and waiting for.
8. Price. This is one of the most important things that you need to consider before you hire an event planner. You want to make sure that you are getting someone that you can afford to do the job. You want to get an event planner that is going to be in your budget and also be very good. You do not want to pay for someone that you do not think will get the job done. However you also want to make sure that you are getting someone that you can trust and feel good about the price at the same time.

Pure Water Hydration in an Avian Flu Pandemic – The Value of Planning in Northern Virginia and the Washington D.C. Metro Area

Pure Water Hydration in an Avian Flu Pandemic – The Value of Planning in Northern Virginia and the Washington D.C. Metro Area

A threat to the nation’s health is emerging in Asia and the Indian Sub Continent that has potentially devastating implications. Avian Flu (the H5N1 strain of Influenza A) is a fact in many parts of Asia, although to date the avian strain has not combined with human influenza in a sustained manner. If a new strain emerges in humans with the fatality profile of the H5N1 virus, the effect on the world population will be dramatic.

When the combination to create a human to human strain occurs however, and isolated cases may already involve human to human transmission, the conditions precedent to a world wide pandemic will be met. Pandemic flu is defined as “a global outbreak of disease that occurs when a new influenza A virus appears in humans, causes serious illness and then spreads easily from person to person world wide.” (Source: Grattan Woodson, MD, FACP) The original Avian Flu (H5N1) represents a deadly strain for humans with a 50% mortality rate and many experts believe that the pandemic could be equally lethal..

Pandemics occur when existing flu strains mutate and make their way from birds or swine to humans in a new strain for which humans have little no immunity. Historically pandemic influenza has caused widespread damage and death. Influenza pandemics are a regular occurrence in history.

Pandemics in History

To date, only influenza outbreaks account for pandemics and pandemics have occurred throughout history. Over thirty pandemics have happened in recorded history. All influenza pandemics infect many times more people than normal seasonal ( flu caused by viruses that are already among people) influenza outbreaks. In addition major pandemics can have severe adverse effects on the economy and daily life.

Three flu pandemics occurred in the 20th century with differing levels of intensity..

• The 1918 “Spanish Flu” Pandemic- A “major level event” pandemic that accounted for over 50 million deaths world wide.( Originated in Kansas, USA)

• The 1957-58 “Asian Flu” pandemic – A “minor level event” pandemic that accounted for 36,000 deaths in the United States alone

• The Hong Kong Influenza of 1968-69 – A “minor level event “pandemic that accounted for about the same level of deaths as seasonal flu.

The severity of a pandemic depends upon the virus that causes it and the H5N1 Avian flu virus has proven to be particularly fatal to humans. One fact is clear: pandemic influenza will occur again – it is only a question of when. When a virus starts to spread easily and rapidly among humans the conditions for a pandemic have been met.

The 20th century pandemic examples occurred in waves of illness of up to three waves over a 9-12 month period. Often the first wave was not the most severe. During the 1918 Pandemic, over 90% of the deaths of the pandemic occurred during the second wave.

Human Impact on Virginia of a “Medium Level Event”

Northern Virginia is a densely populated, high technology corridor adjacent to Washington, D.C.. Because of the buildup in the Homeland Defense industry as a result of the war on terrorism, the population is large and experiencing rapid growth. Many of the new comers are young professionals with young families.

Based upon historic data a ‘medium level event”, more serious than the Asian Flu Pandemic of 1957-58 but not as severe as the 1918 Pandemic, will result in the following estimates for the State of Virginia:

• 2,700 to 6,300 deaths

• 12,000 to 28,500 hospitalizations

• 575,000 to 1.35 million outpatient visits

• 1.08 million to 2.52 million people becoming sick

Estimates for losses from a “major level event” are significantly higher.

Infrastructure Impact

In addition to human damage, the effect on the infrastructure will be considerable. Having a large number of ill people will be very destructive to the infrastructure. A major pandemic will likely disrupt essential public services and supplies and create temporary breakdowns in food delivery, electric and water utility service and possible public order in major urban centers. These critical industries are highly dependent on raw materials supplied by vendors and key employees with the expertise to maintain operations.

An Integrated Economy

The United Sates enjoys the benefits of a highly integrated economy with highly efficient delivery of goods and services and rapid communications. This level of integration allows for more efficient management of material inventories but would break down rapidly in the event of dislocation in any part of the chain. Basic industries like electrical and water utilities would soon cease to function. Disruption of channels of distribution for the food industry would result in rapid and near total shortages of food and water.

What Can Be Done to Prevent a Pandemic?

Flu Shots and the Pandemic

Standard flu shots for seasonal (normal) flu will not guard against a new pandemic strain of the flu virus because each new flu mutations have different DNA characteristics. For new strains it takes many months to develop and distribute a vaccine and during this time the new strain will most like have run its course.

Anti-Viral Treatments

Presently, the only available anti-viral antibiotic effective against the H5N1 strain of influenza is Tamiflu® (oseltamivir) . This drug is in short supply, requires a doctor’s prescription and is not manufactured in the United States. Other anti viral antibiotics are in the development stage but are not proven ready for production.

What Can Be Done to Prepare for a Pandemic? – Prepare Now!!

Preparing now can limit the spread and effects of pandemic influenza. A pandemic would touch every aspect of society, so every part of society needs to prepare. Essential services may be disrupted, food and water supplies may be limited and medical care for those with chronic illnesses may be suspended..

Although most people will have little or no immunity to pandemic influenza, in the event of a flu pandemic proper planning and preparation will help mitigate the damage. Planning has already begun at the international, federal, state, local, community and individual business levels but experts agree that all planning must start at the family level.

The family will serve as the core of wellness and remedial care since hospitals and other health care provides will become quickly overrun with patients if a major level pandemic occurs.

As a basic unit of society, the family can provide first line care and prepare a preventative survival plan that can be rapidly implemented. These plans include improvement of basic hygiene, assembly of food, water and medical supplies and protocols for avoiding infection. Management of the protection of the family unit, with proper planning, can significantly reduce the impact of a pandemic.

Federal, state and local internet sites are the best source to help develop workable and effective Family Survival Plans. The State of Virginia and local counties in Northern Virginia like Fairfax County have initiated plans and planning out reach that will help mitigate the effects of a pandemic. Like all disaster plans, there is nominal cost associated with proper planning.

There are two parts of planning: resource planning and home treatment planning. Resource planning involves the stock piling of food, water, regular prescription and non prescription drugs and strategies for home care of infected individuals. Home treatment planning involves specific actions to treat infected individuals.

A key aspect of home treatment is treating dehydration.

Planning for the Treatment of Dehydration

As part of an overall pandemic disaster survival plan, the role of hydration cannot be overemphasized. The human body can survive for weeks without food but only days without water.

Preventing dehydration ranks highest of all treatments for influenza and many experts feel that preventing dehydration in flu victims will save more lives than all other treatments combined. (Source: Preparing for the Coming Influenza Pandemic by Grattan Woodson, MD, FACP)

Most family survival plans provide for a sufficient supply of drinking water to last for an extended period in the event that normal drinking water supply is disrupted. Pure water is required for both drinking and cooking. Many estimates call for 1 gallon per person per day for as long as the normal supply is disrupted.(At least two weeks and possibly more).

A good source of bottled water is required since normal supplies will be disrupted.

How to Choose a Water Supplier:

A family pandemic disaster plan needs to provide for a consistent source of pure drinking water. Tap and well water are unreliable sources during a pandemic and bottled water is considered the best source by many experts.

Purified water, because all minerals and contaminants have been removed, is the purest water and has the longest shelf life of any bottled water. Extended shelf life is important if the pandemic is extended by subsequent waves of infection.

Many believe that distilled/filtered/oxygenated water is the purest, best tasting water with the longest shelf life.

Pick a supplier with local manufacturing in the Northern Virginia area to avoid home delivery disruption. In the event that a pandemic disrupts channels of distribution, avoid bottled water suppliers who source their product from remote springs with long supply lines.

Although no one can predict with certainty the timing and virus strain of the next pandemic, the risk of an influenza pandemic is serious. Proper planning will serve to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

Like all disaster planning, a small amount of serious planning is cost effective and good insurance to maintain good health. Plan for the worst and hope for the best.