Well summer is almost over and the kids are getting ready to go back to school and that means flu season is right around the corner. It’s time to get prepared for the possibility for an influenza pandemic now and be prepared for a worst case scenario. What would happen if a pandemic broke out and you and your family needed to isolate yourself from other people, would you be prepared?
You should be aware of what can happen during flu season and a possible pandemic outbreak. There are certain actions you can take to help lessen the impact of an influenza pandemic on you and your family. In the event of a flu pandemic some day-to-day services may be disrupted for up to 2 weeks or longer including; doctors’ offices, urgent care clinics, banks, grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants and government offices. That means stockpiling essential supplies for you and your family is a good way to be prepared for this possibility and will give you a sense of security. You will be able to isolate yourself and family from the pandemic for an extended period of time.
During the time of a pandemic/ flu season and to prevent the spread of germs and prevent infection avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are the one who is sick keep your distance from others and if possible stay home from work, school, and running errands and isolate yourself if needed. I know this one’s tough but for heaven’s sake cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick and it’s just the right thing to do. Wash your hands often to prevent and protect you from germs and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Practice good health habits such as getting plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, managing your stress levels, drinking plenty of fluids and eating right. By doing these few things it will help keep your immune system strong and limit your vulnerability to sickness.
Here’s a basic checklist of items and resources you may need in case of a flu pandemic. This list can be modified to custom fit your family’s needs and circumstances; special needs children, seniors or the disabled. Many of these items are things you most likely already have but you need to double-check and get prepared.
Food and Water
Store at least a 2 week supply of foods your family will eat and remember any special dietary needs.
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener.
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruits
- Canned juices
- Non-perishable pasteurized milk
- High energy foods
- Food for infants
- Comfort/ stress foods
- Bottled water – at least 1 gallon of water per person per day (in case of water shortage)
- Pet food
- Pain relievers/fever reducer (e.g. acetaminophen, ibuprofen)
- Cough and cold medicine
- Stomach remedies/ Anti-diarrhea medication
- Prescribed medications
- Sports drinks for rehydration
- Thermometer/ monitoring equipment
- Supplies for disabled or special needs individuals
- Toilet paper
- Hand sanitizer (alcohol based)
- Feminine hygiene products
- Sanitary wipes (in case of water shortage)
- Disposable diapers
- NIOSH N95 Respirator Dust Mask
- Trash bags
- Duct tape
- Roll of plastic sheeting
- Portable radio
- Matches or lighter
- Cash and change
Hopefully by following these tips and suggestions and doing some research on your own you will feel more prepared and ready to take on a pandemic if needed. We all need to be prepared for those things in life that are out of our control and by making plans ahead of time you and your family will feel much more safe and secure if and when those things happen.
Author: The Survival Guy
- Measuring the uncertainties of pandemic influenza (eurekalert.org)
- The Uncertainties Of Pandemic Flu (medicalnewstoday.com)