Editor’s note: Shortly after publication of this story, the US Consulate in Hong Kong first changed and later removed its Web page advising employees to stockpile a 12-week supply of food and water. Nov 7, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The US State Department is advising government employees overseas to stockpile enough food and water to last up to 12 weeks in preparation for the threat of a severe influenza pandemic.A Nov 3 statement posted on the Web site of the US Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau said the State Department recently sent guidance on “shelter-in-place” or “self-quarantine” to all diplomatic and consular posts.The statement said that overseas employees, like their stateside counterparts and private citizens, should maintain supplies of food and water for a possible pandemic. The advisory urges families to store nonperishable foods that don’t require refrigeration, preparation, or cooking. Also, families are advised to store 1 gallon of water per person per day.The Hong Kong consulate also advises US citizens in Hong Kong and other countries to prepare for water supply disruptions if infrastructure breakdowns occur during an influenza pandemic.Suggested water purification techniques include boiling for at least 10 minutes and adding specified amounts of regular Clorox bleach.The recommendation that US citizens overseas stockpile 12 weeks’ worth of food and water differs from the current federal recommendation for general pandemic preparedness. The government, on its pandemic planning Web site, recommends that US residents stockpile 2 weeks’ worth of food and water.See also:PandemicFlu.gov article “A guide for individuals and families”http://www.flu.gov/individualfamily/familyguide.html
Recently at the Ripley County Hall of Fame Banquet I was able to relive many memories from the days when I was coaching basketball at Batesville. John Galle was inducted into the Hall, and I sat a the table with John’s family which included Bill Wanstrath. John is an accountant and works in Indianapolis. John barely made the basketball team as a freshmen and sophomore, but he was all-conference his junior and senior years. We saw something in John and we felt it was worth keeping him on the squad until his skills became evident. He more than paid us back for our patience. It was a good thing that in those days you did not have to choose your team in June so they could play all those summer tourneys. John would have been cut and who knows what might have happened. Bill, of course, was born with a serious birth defect that left him with only one useable arm. In Bill’s case, no one told him he was handicapped. He always played like a player with both arms working. Some kids would have stayed at home and felt sorry for themselves, but Bill went about doing the same things all young boys did. Obviously he knew of his limitations, but he worked so hard that they were overlooked quickly. It was always fun to get on an official when Bill would get a rebound and the referee would call Bill for pushing off. We would always ask how you could get the rebound in your one hand and somehow push off with that hand at the same time. I am still waiting for an answer. What really stands out is the success these two individuals were then and still are today! It was a great privilege for me to get to coach both of these great athletes!