TTUHSC Pandemic Flu Preparedness
Why should West Texans be concerned about planning and preparing for a pandemic?
The answer is that you, your families, businesses, social organizations, schools, local government offices and those with special needs are important to our communities, and that planning now is one of the very best ways communities can respond to a pandemic flu.
During a nationwide pandemic, communities will have to rely a great deal on themselves and their own resources, especially during the early stages of a pandemic. Communities will not be able to count on a lot of outside help from federal or state governments. As the virus spreads quickly across the nation and our region, a lot of people and communities are going to need and are going to demand help -- at the same time that government resources and agencies will be stretched very thin.
Community services and businesses will very likely be impacted during a pandemic. Schools may close for several weeks and healthcare facilities will be overwhelmed by the numbers of people seeking treatment. Decisions may be made by authorities to limit public gatherings as a means of slowing the spread of the virus. Many retail stores may face shortages of supplies as people rush to buy what they need. Supply and delivery may be cut or severely limited as the virus spreads. In short, a community's normal daily routine will change significantly.
Even though federal and state governments have already spent a lot of money preparing for a potential pandemic flu, many experts believe that individuals and communities may not be doing the same for a variety of reasons. One big challenge is overcoming the "Y2K" scare and the costs associated with preparing for an unknown, large-scale event -- like pandemic flu. Its human nature not to worry about something that hasn't happened. Unlike an unknown pandemic, the world knew the date and time for the Y2K event and planned for it. The preparations communities make for other major public emergencies such as tornados, fires and environmental accidents have proven valuable. A pandemic is another serious public emergency communities should be prepared to respond to.
A lot of pandemic flu preparation information is available through the internet and in print from government and private organizations. The next several pages of our website provide much of that information in one location.