During a pandemic you may need to set up a quarantine room or
tent to isolate the sick. Your survival depends on both knowledge
and skills. In a pandemic situation your survival might depend on
whether you have the foresight to restrict the movement people
who seem healthy, but who may have been exposed to a
communicable disease while off premises.
Below is everything you need to know on how to construct an
isolation room to help you manage contagion like Avian flu,
Ebola, SARS, Swine flu or another pandemic in crisis…
How to set up a Quarantine Room
The topic of setting up quarantine room is something rarely
discussed in prepper forums, though it did come up in some
prepper circles during the Ebola scare of 2014. Don’t wait for the
last minute when the local stores won’t have any nitrile gloves or
respirators available. Plan now.
Here are the steps to setting up your quarantine:
Step one: pick a room or other location.
Designate a location for your quarantine area. In setting up a
quarantine room, the first thing to realize is that a quarantine
room is not the same thing as a safe room! The main purpose of
setting up a quarantine, or sick ward, is to prevent deadly germs,
parasites, diseases or plagues from infecting and killing the rest of your group. Know in advance which room you will designate for
- Room: Pick a room with easy access from a point of entry
that does not have heavy traffic.
- Garage: A garage might get cold at night, but you can make
accommodations for comfort.
- Recreational vehicle: An R.V., camper, tent trailer or van is
an ideal place to keep contagion from getting into your home.
- Tent: A tent is another excellent place to quarantine
In summary, the location of your quarantine room or camp is
important. Ideally, a slightly off-premise cabin or Recreational
Vehicle is an ideal solution for quarantine, as is a garage. If the
quarantine area is a room is in your home, make sure to have fast
access from entryway to the room as with a back door as you risk
exposure to your family or group the moment the quarantined
person enters your home
Step two: set up a sanitation station.
Basic supplies for setting up a quarantine room need not be
expensive, but there are a few necessary items to have for
sanitation purposes. For a quarantine, you’ll need to have a
variety of sanitizing agents on hand.You can store all the items in
a five gallon bucket.
- Antibacterial wipes and disinfectants.
- Bleach is good to have on hand, but last just six months.
- biohazard bags. Biohazard bags are not just garbage bags.
They are thicker and they’re marked to identify the biohazards
- disposable gloves. For Ebola you’ll need double gloving, but
for most pandemics disposable gloves are fine.
- Steramine tablets. One bottle of Steramine is enough to
make 150 gallons of sanitizer. Commercial in strength
Steramine also makes an economical household sanitizer
that’s ideal also food contact surfaces. Most preppers aren’t
aware of these odor-free, non-corrosive tablets. They do not
irritate the skin and you can apply with a clean cloth or
sponge. You can spray them on food processing equipment,
sinks, countertops, cabinets, refrigerators, stovetops, cutting
boards, and all other non-porous articles and surfaces.
- Drop cloth and duct tape: You’ll need enough drop cloth to
cover the access to the room in curtain layers. Hang two
layers. One to enter the room, and then hang another curtain
barrier with three feet of space between trap contagion. You
may also like to cover the windows to keep the contagion
from spreading. Remember the duct tape which has infinite
- Chemical suits and protection. Isolation gowns, exam
gloves, bufount caps (hair covers) and foot covers
- Respirators. N-95 or N-100 masks are imperative for a
pandemic situation. Goggles are also helpful to minimize
- Antiviral facial tissues. Having Kleenix on hand is a comfort,
but having antiviral facial tissues is important for reducing
exposure to others.
- Emesis bags (for vomit). Pictured in blue, right, an emesis
bag a convenient and hygienic way to limit the contagion.
With a wide mouth receptacle, the bag also can seal
immediately following use. A zip-lock bag is a poor man’s
emesis bag, but you may find it a mess. Emesis bags are
also useful for cancer patients.
Step three: Get an off-grid toilet.
The sick can’t do their business where everyone else does or they
will spread the contagion. In addition to the sanitation supplies
listed above, you need to set up a commode.
Start with a five-gallon bucket for all your supplies. You can even
make an emergency toilet from a five-gallon bucket as a do-it-
- prepper toilet can be your bucket
- toilet paper
- hand sanitizer
- towelette wipes
- kitty litter to help contain the sewage
Step four: Sanitize the patient.
An outdoor off-grid shower can help you keep clean, especially
when there’s a quarantine necessary for the bird flu.
- Clean the person in quarantine. Before bringing possibly
infected individuals to your home or camp, the quarantined
person must be scrubbed and rinsed. An ordinary garden
hose will do the trick (along with a scrub brush and
sanitizing solution, such as GoJo, pictured right). Be sure the
quarantined person scrubs under fingernails and carefully
Step five: take care of laundry requirements.
Doing the laundry is an issue during a pandemic event. Don’t
necessarily assume that you’ll have time to do the laundry or
even want to, but have a plan in place for the following:
- Cleaning the laundry: You don’t want to mix laundry of the
sick person with everyone else’s laundry. Have a simple
method to wash the most basic items if you are able to
salvage them. In the case of Ebola, for example, you will not
bother sanitizing the laundry, but instead you’ll need to
dispose of the contagion as biohazard, sometimes you may
just have to burn the contagion.
- Burning the laundry: Your quarantine plan eventually will
require a place to burn contaminated and/ or launder these
items. Anyone who ever read the Velveteen Rabbit as a child
will remember that the little boy’s family burned his prized
velveteen rabbit after he got deadly sick.
As quarantined guests enter your facility, you must confiscate
their possessions and place them in bio-safe bags for destruction
or storage. The option of storage will be a difficult decision as the
materials must be stowed away from the others until the germs
Step six. Stock a mini kitchen.
You’ll need a minimum of two weeks to a month of food for each
patient(s), such as Mountain House bucket, pictured right;
electrolyte drinks; emergency water and a means to boil it.
Step seven: Ensure you have supplies.
- Medicines: Diarrheal medication and fever reducers, are of
top importance for a quarantine room. See the complete list
of prepper medicines to consider, including elderberry syrup
- Sanitation: Set up a wash basin with soap and water, hand
sanitizers. Make sure you have trash bags, a portable toilet
with disposable bags, and toilet paper; and, of course
bleach. Extra clothes are also important for people who may
have soiled their clothing during the course of their stay in
- Kitchen Cleanliness. As aforementioned, Steramine tablets
can help you keep your kitchen clean. Cleanliness is
important in all aspects of preventing infectious diseases.
Typhoid fever, for example, spreads after ingesting food or
water contaminated by a human carrier, which makes it
extremely important for the cook in your family or group to
take extra measures to wash hands before preparing food or
serving beverages. Likewise, the quarantined should eat only
from disposable utensils, plates and cups to minimize
- Steramine Tablets: Steramine Quaternary Sanitizing Tablets
are highly important. Just one Steramine sanitizing tablet
per gallon of water, makes 150 gallons of cleaning solution.
- Fresh clothing: Keep pajamas or fresh clothing available for
- Biohazard removal: Infected individuals need to Are you
prepared if the quarantined person dies or otherwise
excretes fluids? Be sure to have a biohazard kit on hand to
remove fluids and minimize possible exposure to others to
include biozhard bags, emesis bags, and disinfectants.
- Bloodborne Pathogen Bodily Spill Kit. Specifically designed
to protect the user during biohazard clean-up, the
Bloodborne Pathogen Bodily Spill Kit, pictured below is a 24-
piece kit that includes a complete head-to-toe defense
package for fluid pick-up necessities and to protect against
bio-hazardous contaminants. This kit meets with federal
OSHA recommendations and contains an ample supply of
garment disposal and biohazard bags. Products are contained
in a sturdy, reusable plastic case that can be easily carried
or mounted on a wall.
- Cavicide Disinfectant. CaviCide is a convenient, ready-to-
use, intermediate-level surface disinfectant which is effective
against TB, HBV, HCV, viruses (hydrophilic and lipophilic),
bacteria (including MRSA and VRE) and fungi. It is safe for all
areas of the facility including NICU, operating rooms,
isolation rooms, patient care areas and laboratories. When
used as directed, it will also effectively clean and
decontaminate critical and semi-critical instrumentation.
CaviCide is safe for use on non-porous surfaces. It is perfect
for cleaning and decontamination of environmental and
medical device surfaces. See also CaviCide disinfectant
- Biohazard bags. A biohazard bag provides a high density
isolation liner to provide maximum film strength for tough
applications. They also feature star seal bottoms which allow
equal weight distribution and leak resistance. Additionally,
bags are red to indicate use for infectious waste or
hazardous waste to warn others. Don’t skimp and use
ordinary trash bags.
Learning about Quarantines from the past:
- Ships from foreign lands. In the not so distant past, around
the seventeenth century, ships required isolation for “forty
days and forty nights” after spread of the black plague. If
after the alotted time, no one died or showed signs of
disease, the crew was permitted to set foot on land.
- Typhoid Mary: Even with quarantine, a person can be
asymptomatic and yet infect others. This was the case with
Typhoid Mary, an immegrant named Mary Mallon from
Cookstown Ireland who came to New York in 1900 and
allegedly spread Typhoid Fever without herself being
affected. Hired as a domestic cook (and later a laundress),
she may have infected as many as 49 people, with three
deaths resulting. She spent nearly three decades in isolation
enforced by public health authorities at the time.
Learning about Quarantine from television and movies:
- Doomsday Preppers: Setting up a quaratine room or facility
is rarely discussed on other prepper sites and forums. One
episode of Doomsday Preppers featured a woman concerned
about the Bird Flu and she illustrated her plans of quarantine
using her son as an example. In another episode of
Doomsday preppers on pandemic prepping, a woman
ensures hundreds in her area has the proper information and
tools regarding pandemics.
- The Colony: In the movie, The Colony, illness was not
tolerated. Anyone showing signs would face immediate
quarantine and without improvement would have two
options: walk into the blizzard or be shot. The option of
“walk” was eventually removed as the condemed would
eventually wander back to the colony and risk infecting
- Contagion: “No one is immune to fear:” such was a line in
advertising for the movie Contagion, starring Matt Damon,
Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Kate Winslet. The movie
follows the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus.
Step ten: post your signage.
Have professional signage well before a collapse. A foreboding
sign, like the orange one posted top right, will tell everyone to
keep out. It could also come in handy in other scenarios where no
one is actually ill. Why would looters risk a deadly infection? They
will keep out of your fake quarantine zone when you have a
You can make your own quarantine sign, but it looks like the CDC
or a team of health professionals have visited your hone if you
post a real sign. Have fun with your prepping! Use this sign as
entertainment for your Halloween trick or treaters!
Step three: gather other necessary supplies.
- Wool blanket. Wool blankets are an excellent survival tool.
If you’re setting up a tent as a quarantine room, be sure to
include a wool blanket for each patient.
- Prepper library. Depending on the threats in your area, you
may need a specific reference book on Avian flu, Dengue
Virus, Zika or Ebola.
Questions you may have about a quarantine
How long should someone remain in quarantine?
In setting up a quarantine room or camp, survivors wait to see if
the new members become ill before exposing the potential hazard
to the other survivors. The length of time of a quarantine depends
on the type of communicable disease.
Why set up a quarantine?
The purpose of setting up a quarantine is to isolate individuals who
have been granted access to a community or a home. After news of
a pandemic, all potential members of a community after a total
collapse of society should be placed in quarantine to ward off
potential illnesses and to ensure they are not carrying diseases or
parasites which the could spread to your group.
Diseases with fleas, rats, mosquitoes or other vectors as carriers:
Set up a quarantine, even if you live in the
Preppers who live on farms away from big cities may think they are
at low risk (and therefore may not bother to set up a quarantine),
but ironically it’s the rural locations in which the infected will be
drawn towards in an effort to escape pathogens they may already
carry. For these reasons, every prepper must take action now to get
a quarantine plan in place.