You can prepare for a pandemic now. You should 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 pandemic on you and your family. This checklist will help you gather the information and resources you may need in case of a pandemic.
This checklist was produced with influenza pandemic in mind. But the suggestions are also very relevant to other potential outbreaks with different transmission vectors, like Ebola (which is not transmitted by air).
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 disasters.
- Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
- Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
- Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference. HHS provides an online tool intended to help people locate and access their electronic health records from a variety of sources. http://healthit.gov/bluebutton
- 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 a pandemic.
- Sign up now for the Daily Threat Brief and stay informed before any pandemic.
- Follow @ThreatBrief on twitter.
Limit the Spread of Germs and Prevent Infection
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
- Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Printable Materials for Promoting Good Health Habits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Cover Your Cough
- Be a Germ Stopper: Healthy Habits Keep You Well
- Flu Prevention Toolkit: Real People. Real Solutions
- Stopping the Spread of Germs at Home, Work & School
- Ebola Threat References on the Web
- U.S Department of Health and Human Service
- U.S Department of Health and Human Service – Blue Button – electronic health records tool
- American Red Cross
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Influenza/Flu
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Recent Outbreaks
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Chikungunya Virus Information
For more information on preparing for a pandemic visit Ready.gov