Pandemic Flu & Natural Disasters
No matter how much we prepare for it, we won’t be able to completely stop a pandemic disease or natural disaster right away. Any pandemic disease or natural disaster will have a major impact on our lives – and we need to be ready for that. But together, we can get through it.
Keep yourself in shape. Eat nutritious foods, don’t smoke, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. And get a flu shot every fall, so you’re protected against ordinary “seasonal” flu.
Avoid Spreading Disease
Practice “respiratory etiquette.” Start developing habits that will help you avoid getting – or spreading – infectious diseases. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue – or the upper part of your sleeve – when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue afterward. Wash your hands thoroughly – and frequently. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based, waterless hand cleaner.
Develop an Emergency Plan
Develop a family emergency plan. Know how you’ll get in touch with each other – and where you’ll gather as a family – in an emergency. Know where you’ll go, and what you’ll do. Keep a list of emergency phone numbers in a handy place. Know what routes you will use if you have to evacuate. Store emergency numbers in your cell phones under “ICE” (“In Case of Emergency”) so if you’re unable to call, someone else can call for you. Use more than one entry (“ICE-1,” “ICE-2,” etc.) if you have more than one emergency number.
Make sure your kit has everything you’ll need to get by if you have to remain at home for a period of time – up to 2 weeks, if possible. Be sure to include:
- A supply of drinking water (one gallon per person per day) and nonperishable food
- Basic equipment like a flashlight, battery-operated radio, and a supply of batteries. Be sure to include a manual can opener
- Personal care products – soap, toiletries, waterless hand cleaner, extra glasses or contact lenses, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, tissues and toilet paper, and any special items for infants or people with special health needs
- A good first aid kit
- Kitchen utensils and dish washing supplies
- Extra clothing and bedding
- Critical miscellaneous items – notebook and pen, whistle, money and credit cards, extra car keys, medical and insurance information, and copies of other important documents
- Games, reading material, and other entertainment items – for children and adults (you might end up at home for a while)