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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

30 Pandemic Essentials

Below is a list of 30+ Pandemic Essentials I feel we need in our emergency buckets, boxes, or containers. Here’s the deal: We all keep hearing about the different strains of FLU or MRSA. Let me explain what I call a Pandemic Flu Outbreak. I wrote this article in 2016, not knowing the world would have a pandemic in 2020.

The Pandemic Flu is the virulent human flu that will cause a global outbreak or pandemic of a severe illness. Right now, there is no pandemic flu, but because our bodies might have very little immunity to a massive outbreak, the disease can spread quickly from person to person.

In other words, a pandemic is a global disease. It occurs when new influenza emerges and begins to cause serious illness. The virus passes from person to person and then spreads worldwide.

30 Pandemic Essentials

Influenza Pandemics

Three influenza pandemics occurred in the last century: 1918-19, 1957-58, and 1968-69. Many scientists believe it is only a matter of time before another occurs.

This is why I feel so strongly about having a Pandemic Essential bucket. I know we all have first aid kits. When was the last time we checked to see if we had current items or if we were missing some badly needed Motrin or Tylenol for adults and kids?

What are the dates on the medicine containers? How many alternative home remedies are we prepared to make or use? These 30 pandemic essentials are the bare minimum needed.

30 Pandemic Essentials We Need:

Large Pandemic Bucket

1. Face Masks (N-95s)

To help stop the dust from an earthquake or infections from spreading from sneezing (I store hundreds of these- it’s who I am).

2. Diapers (cloth)

They can be used for many things: cleaning babies, stopping the bleeding from cuts, washing or drying dishes, or adding a scarf for your head. These are the diapers I recommend: Gerber 10-Pack Cloth Diaper Prefold Premium 6-ply with absorbent padding.

3. Cough Medicine, Fever Medications, Prescriptions

As required (stock up on 90 days if possible), Hydrogen Peroxide and rubbing alcohol, Vicks VapoRub. Product for stitches, besides Butterfly Bandaids. ZipStitch

4. Portable Radio

Hopefully, you have a crank or some way to power it to hear what is happening locally if you lose power.

5. Flashlights

Please store extra batteries, or a solar flashlight is even better with a crank as well; my favorite is the Solar Lantern

6. Manual can opener

This is a must-have for every kit. You might need to open other’s food storage cans and your own.

7. Garbage bags and kitchen-size bags

These can be used for trash, body bags, and potty chairs.

8. Cans of juices (bag/cartons)

I put 100% juice in this container-ten pouches. I am sure it has some sugar, but I still need it in my bucket.

9. Fluids with Electrolytes

I can also make my very similar electrolyte solution, but I want one large bottle ready to serve. Drip Drop

10. Anti-diarrhea medicine

Diarrhea can kill if the person gets too dehydrated. I always look at a child’s lips to see if they are dry and shiny, red, or cracked; these are possible signs that they need water as soon as possible.

11. Paper towels

I only put four rolls of paper towels in the bucket. Of course, we can use more, but this bucket is just an emergency grab container.

12. Toilet paper

This is a must-have in my 30 Pandemic Essentials list! LOL! You can never have too much toilet paper.

13. Thermometer

I put this in the bucket, but if someone is sick, we can usually tell if they have a fever. Things become critical when the fever gets over 104 degrees in the morning. Typically, fevers are always higher in the afternoon. I get worried if it’s in the morning; it’s just me. If I can’t break a fever, I will worry. If I can break a fever, I feel the fever is good, and the body will fight the virus naturally.

Remember, I’m not a doctor. I am a mother and grandma; we have a mother’s intuition. If the child is lethargic or sleepy, we know what to do, but if we have zero access to a doctor or antibiotics, I want to be able to think through what I must do to help someone until help arrives.

14. Canned baby formula

We will need bottles ready to serve if needed. I feel I must put some baby formula in my bucket. I don’t have any babies around me, but if I had to feed a newborn baby, I would have something, hopefully, that is nourishing to a baby.

15. Dog or Cat food

Yep, I am thinking about my beloved Shis-Tzu, Izzy. If you have pets, at least small pets, you can take them with you, along with some cans of food for them in your bucket.

16. Soap and anti-bacterial soap

I am constantly washing my hands. I know this is one more way to keep hands clean and slow the spread of infection. Wash hands..wash hands…wash hands!

17. Cups: lots of cups.

I decided on some small 4-ounce cups because I can put 100 in a small bucket area. This means I will have 100 cups for whatever or whoever needs them. We will also need paper plates.

18. Disposable rubber gloves

You can never have too many disposable gloves, and latex-free gloves are even better when you decide to buy some to add to your stash.

19. Bleach

Okay, I have to say I need bleach. Some people are against bleach, so I will use it to help clean up the sewage backup overflow or whatever I need to kill bacteria. Pool shock works well, too (very concentrated, carefully).

20. Clear plastic sheeting

(4mil) One hundred feet for setting up an isolation room. One of my readers mentioned adding Mosquito netting (folds up very small) to the bucket.

21. Duct Tape

Oh my gosh, start talking about Duct Tape; we can use it in a million ways. That’s the link where I share 25 ways to use duct tape.

22. Borax

Great for toilet provisions. It helps clean the potty chair, but it also puts a little in the bottom of the portable toilet to help control the odor.

23. Clothesline rope and clothespins

We might have a washing/rinsing bucket, but we might need to hang up some wet clothes to dry.

24. Laundry Soap

Let’s be ready to use it for washing our underwear, at the very least. We can wear shirts and shorts or pants several times, but it would be nice to have clean underwear.

First Batch

DIY Laundry Detergent/Soap

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 3 cups
Author Linda Loosli


  • 1 bar Fels-Naptha Soap-grated either by hand, food processor, or salad shooter
  • 1 cup Borax Detergent Booster
  • 1 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (not regular baking soda)


  • Grate the bar of soap by hand, or use an electric vegetable grater.
  • Put these 3 ingredients in a blender to blend.
  • After doing this, it will look just like the store-purchased detergent, but will not include all the “fillers."
  • You will use less product per load and will have fewer “soap bubbles."
  • Remember, just having bubbles doesn’t mean clean. I use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per load, depending on the size of the load.
  • I have a HE-High Efficiency washer, and it works great in regular washing machines as well.
  • Store the finished product in an airtight container, preferably glass to keep it dry.
  • I store some in 5-gallon buckets, but I don't live where it's humid. Just giving you the heads up.

25. Dawn Dish Soap

This is my favorite liquid soap. It might cost a bit more, but the few extra cents of cost are worth the grease this stuff can clean. One of my readers mentioned using Dawn Soap in baggies with water to clean underwear, rinse and dry them. Plus, she uses Dawn Liquid Soap to wash her hair!

26. Kitty Litter

Great for potty chairs (a reader mentioned you can get “oil dry” much cheaper at automotive stores).

27. Water Filters and purification devices

I use the LifeStraw and the Berkey Sports Water Bottle to filter water.

28. Water containers

Collection, storage, and carrying containers (never throw out a bucket). You can never have too many buckets for washing, rinsing, or mixing large batches of meals for your neighborhood (food containers only for meal preparation).

29. Water

LOTS of water needs. I have WaterBricks with handles to grab and go.

30. Food

We need a minimum of 2 weeks of food for everyone in your family.

31. Lysol or Clorox Wipes

We need to be able to wipe down everything possible.

32. Sanitary napkins

These can be used for so many things.

33. Regular unfolded diapers

These can be used for scarves, bandages, slings, and diapers.


Designed to help with dehydration. Drip Drop

35. Disposable Aprons, thank you, Holly

Disposable aprons

Stock Your Home Pharmacy

Final Word

Here is a link to the Weekly US Map Influenza. I am sure all the states have a website where you can view how they are prepared for a Pandemic Outbreak should one occur. Please remember that I am not a doctor or someone in the medical field. I want to be prepared for the unexpected.

These are just 30 Pandemic Essentials to get you started. Preparing for an unforeseen emergency or disaster is another step. This is part one of my pandemic preparedness project. I’ll provide additional information in the days to come.

First aid kit by Linda

Copyright Images: Depositphotos_12301402_m-2015 and Depositphotos_36962601_s-2019

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