TTUHSC Pandemic Flu Initiative
HomePandemic Flu

Individuals and Families

Introduction

photo by M. Vugrin

Individual and family protection is a high priority to all West Texans. There is no single plan that fits everybody’s needs. Some families may include newborns, infants and very young children. Others may include elderly members or individuals with special needs. Some individuals rely on a constant need for important medications or medical procedures. Regardless of the individual or the makeup of a family, planning is very important and the following checklists and information are provided from government websites and documents. You can review and print them for your own individual or family checklists.

Remember, preparation is the most important thing you can do to be ready for a pandemic.

Individual and Family Planning

The following resources are offered for families and individuals to consider in preparing their plans.

Individual and Family Planning:
www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/individual/index.html

Pandemic Flu Planning Checklist for Individuals and Families:
www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/individual/checklist.html

Pandemic Flu Planning Checklist for Individuals and Families (SPANISH - ESPAÑOL):
www.pandemicflu.gov/espanol/planguide/checklistsp.html

Family Emergency Health Information

Think about health issues that could arise if an influenza pandemic occurs, and how they could affect you and your loved ones. Preparing for an emergency can include recording health and contact information. For example, if a mass vaccination clinic is set up in your community, you may need to provide as much information as you can about your medical history when you go, especially if you have a serious health condition or allergy.

Some websites have resources which may assist you in recording and organizing family health information.

Family Emergency Health Information Sheet

in html format:
www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/individual/familyhealthinfo.html

in .pdf format:
www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/pdf/informationsheet.pdf

Emergency Contacts Form

in html format:
www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/individual/emergencycontacts.html

in .pdf format:
www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/pdf/emergencycontacts.pdf

A Guide for Individuals and Families

There are many challenges to consider when preparing for pandemics. Essential services may be disrupted. Food and water may be in short supply. Schools and daycare may be closed for extended periods of time. Medical care may be disrupted. Working may be difficult or impossible. Officials may even need to restrict travel to prevent a virus from spreading. The following web resources may help address your questions as you plan.

A Guide for Individuals and Families:
www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/individual/familyguide.html

A Guide for Individuals and Families in .pdf:
http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/pdf/guide.pdf

Pandemic Flu Planning Ahead – Home and Community:
www.redcross.org/news/ds/panflu/planahead.html

   

Personal and Family Planning for a Pandemic Flu

Be aware of what could occur during a pandemic outbreak and what actions you can take to lessen the impact of an influenza pandemic on you and your family. These checklists below are a summary of steps persons should take in personal planning. For more information www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/pdf/Individuals.pdf.

Family Emergency Communication / Contact Planning

  • Create a list of all cell, work, and home telephone numbers, as well as e-mail addresses of all family members. 
  • Discuss a plan should a family member become 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 with others.
  • Have nonprescription drugs and other health supplies, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
  • Have a thermometer.
  • Talk with family members about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

Planning for a pandemic

During a pandemic it will be important for you to have extra supplies on hand for an extended stay at home. You should gather supplies in advance, in case you cannot get to a store or stores run out of supplies during the pandemic. This can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and natural disasters.

  • Have a two-week supply of water and food – especially non-perishable food.
  • 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, 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.
  • Volunteer with local groups to prepare and assist with emergency response.

Limit the spread of germs and prevent infection

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water/gel hand sanitizer (Handwashing Poster: English version - Spanish version).
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues and dispose of tissues properly.
  • 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.
  • 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 ill, they should be immediately moved to a location and remain isolated from the rest of the house. The 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 (two week supply)

Food Items

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, 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 (if infants at home)
  • Baby formula (if infants at home)
  • Instant soup
  • Jell-O
  • Gatorade-type drinks
  • Pet food (if you have pets)
  • Other nonperishable foods

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-diarrhea medication
  • Vitamins
  • Fluids with electrolytes such as Gatorade or Pedialyte

Other Items

  • 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 for cleaning, bathing, etc
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