In the event of a pandemic, N-95 respirator masks would be important to have. I hope we never see a pandemic of the swine flu---but wouldn't it be nice to know you were prepared just in case. You may never need your 72 hr kit or your life insurance, but it is all "just in case".
Do your research on swine flu, the pandemic of 1918 , swine flu in your area and what you would need in your home.
The pandemic of 1918 began mild in late spring and put a lot of people in bed feeling sick but tolerable. By fall, the sickness mutated and approx 50 million died. 2 mths later it was wiped out like it never came.
Utah had it's first case diganosed May 2nd--I remember because those individuals were in Park City and I was going there the next day. Less than 6 weeks later our numbers are 688 diagnosed swine flu case and 2 deaths. My daughters' preschool sent a note home today informing us a student in her class was diagnosed with swine flu. Class will continue but precautions have been taken and children are being watched closely.
When do you need to use a respirator? These are n-95 respirator masks, not just regualr face masks. One common mistake in 1918 was to make it a law to wear masks---but these masks did nothing to filter the airborne particles. If you and your family was quarantined at home for 3 mths you would not need to wear a mask unless you were a caretaker for a sick individual. It would be necessary if you were to go into a large crowd. My husband is a mailman and there is a swine flu case in his office. He is told that masks and gloves may soon be required. Kind of makes me wonder what the mailman could be coughing on to my mail:(
Harbor freight is having a weekend sale on n-95 masks--2 piece for $.99. You can also order a pack of 20 masks for $14.95 from Emergency Essentials.