HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PANDEMIC  

Know both the magnitude of what can happen during a pandemic outbreak and what actions you can take to help lessen the impact of an influenza pandemic on you and your family. This checklist will help you gather the information and resources you may need to prepare in case of a flu pandemic.

Family Emergency Communication / Contact Plan

  • Create a list of all cell, work, and home numbers, and e-mail addresses of all family members. 
  • Discuss a plan if a family member becomes ill and lives out of state.
  • Prepare for the possibility that airports and roads may be closed and think about a location to meet when travel is possible.
  • Each family member should have a medication list that is shared among members.
  • Have nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
  • Have a thermometer on hand.
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

Plan for a pandemic

  • Store a two-week supply of water and food. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store, or if stores are out of supplies, it will be important for you to have extra supplies on hand. This can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and natural disasters.
  • Ask your doctor and insurance company if you can get an extra supply of your regular prescription drugs.
  • Have nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including fever and pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
  • Keep cleaning supplies at home to adequately clean any potentially contaminated surfaces.
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.
  • Volunteer with local groups to prepare and assist with emergency response.
  • Get involved in your community as it works to prepare for an influenza pandemic.

Limit the spread of germs and prevent infection

Cover Your Cough Flyer Image
Cover you Cough Flyer

  • Teach your family and friends how to wash hands frequently with soap and water/gel hand sanitizer, and model correct behavior.
  • Teach your family and friends to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues and dispose of tissues properly - and be sure to model that behavior.
  • Teach your family and friends about fever control and taking their temperature.
  • Teach your family and friends to stay away from others as much as possible if they are sick.
  • Teach your family and friends to use a disinfectant on contaminated surfaces.
  • Stay home from work and school if you or your family member is sick.
  • Prepare a quarantine room. If anyone in your family becomes stricken, they should be immediately moved to a location that is isolated from the rest of the house. This room should be as far away as possible and should be stocked with food and water, medical supplies, sanitation facilities, communication, cleaning tools, and entertainment (books, radio, TV, etc.).

Items to have on hand for an extended stay at home

Examples of food and non-perishables

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, and soups
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Peanut butter or nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Crackers
  • Canned juices
  • Bottled water
  • Canned or jarred baby food and
  • Baby formula
  • Instant soup
  • Jell-O
  • Gatorade-type drinks
  • Pet food
  • Other nonperishable foods

Examples of medical, health, and emergency supplies

  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment
  • Soap and/or alcohol-based (60-95 percent) hand wash
  • Medicines for fever, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen
  • Thermometers
  • Anti-diarreal medication
  • Vitamins
  • Fluids with electrolytes such as Gatorade or Pedialyte
  • Cleansing agent/soap
  • Disinfectants such as Lysol or bleach
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Portable radio
  • Manual can opener
  • Garbage bags
  • Tissues, toilet paper, and disposable diapers
  • Water

(Information adapted from http://www.flu.gov/professional/pdf/individuals.pdf.)