Friday, April 3, 2009

The Short List to Preparation for a Pandemic

What is pandemic flu, and how does it differ from seasonal flu? According to the Center for Disease Control:
“Pandemic flu is virulent human flu that causes a global outbreak, or pandemic, of serious illness. Because there is little natural immunity, the disease can spread easily from person to person.”

1. Check with your school district if it applies to your family about their pandemic plans and lesson plans.
2. Determine which room in your home will act as the isolation room, or room where those who are ill will be cared for. Whenever possible this should be a room with its own bathroom facilities. If you have a bedroom which is separated from other bedrooms in the home, this would be a good choice. When possible, this room should also include a TV with DVD player and enough room to set up an additional bed.
3. Stockpile food and medications: three month supply of the foods we eat on a regular basis and over-the-counter drugs for fever, muscle ache, nausea, diarrhea, and sore throat pain and prescription drugs.
4. Discuss pandemics and your plans as a family to help reduce fear and consider this educational tool.
5. Complete a basic medical record for each person in the family, and any others you will care for. You can find a basic form by clicking here.
6. Designate a primary care giver and a second if the first should become ill, hopefully a person who has a strong immune system.
7. Consider the following list of items to have on hand or in storage:
alcohol-based hand wipes or alcohol-based (60-95% alcohol) gel hand sanitizers
cleaning and disinfecting products
trash bags
masks (N95-- one 20 count box per person)
a gown
anti bacterial wipes
notebook or make a form to complete each time you care for a patient (a form will be available at in the Pandemic post on December 12th)
Blood pressure devices (cheap and widely available these days)
Fluids with electrolytes
8. Consider reading and printing the following articles:
Caring for your family in a Pandemic
Pandemics-Prepare for a Quarantine