Even though there is no pandemic
flu in the world as of yet, you can prepare for an Influenza pandemic now. The
CDC has published a Pandemic Flu Checklist for Individuals and Families. This
informational document is not unlike any previous disaster preparedness
guideline, however, you should become familiar with what could happen and to
what magnitude an pandemic could impact your daily activities and inform your
family now of what actions can be taken to prepare. If you would like a copy of
this checklist please go to
and click on the “Pandemic Flu” section. It is very
possible area governments will ask citizens to stay home during the initial
phase of such an event so it is important to keep a supply of food and water on
We take shopping for granted; thinking
that there will always be an unending supply of what we need.
|If you wait until there is an emergency to
“stock up” it might be too late as the picture of empty grocery store shelves
here will testify.
Everyone Help Themselves
In an effort to assist everyone to
be better prepared in the event of ANY type of emergency, trends for
preparedness are encouraging all citizens to take ownership for their own
readiness and safety. Many stories and experiences were expressed after the
recent wind storm that leave many residents without power for days in some
Not to beat a dead horse but everyone
needs to have some type of preparedness plan in place. People with special needs
should have a back-up family member who is able and willing to assist with
continuation of vital services for oxygen, meals, secondary power, medication
delivery, and transportation. There is minimal nursing care if any
provided in shelters. Patients who they choose to go to a shelter MUST supply
their own medications and oxygen and a family member to care for them.
People who use space heaters that require
kerosene are at additional risk for carbon monoxide poisoning if the equipment
is improperly used. So if elderly people remain at home and use this type of
heat they need to be monitored for safety. On the other hand in very hot
weather prepare to stay cool. Cooling or heating shelters may be open in
communities if needed to provide residents with the ability to have a place to
go to cool down or get warm.
Nonperishable foods that are
nutritious, enough for 10-14 days for each family member, should be kept on
hand and be easy to open, prepare and eat in the event
of extended power outages. A manual can opener should be included in your emergency
An extra supply of fresh batteries
should also be kept as flashlights or other battery run items will quickly run
out of power as well with extended use.
It is a good idea to compile a list of any
important phone numbers in advance so they can be easily accessed, and a “landline”
or hard wire phone should be brought out of storage to replace any cordless.
Only each individual knows what is the best plan for themselves and their loved
ones. Plans should customized to meet the needs of every family member
including those with fur or feathers. Remember pets are not allowed in
shelters so make arrangements for them in advance.
If you would like more information on
Influenza or Pandemic Influenza you may call Washington County Public Health
(518) 746-2400 or 1-800-624-4221.
Other Pandemic Flu
*Links to external sites are
provided as a convenience.
Washington County has no control over the format or content of any
information found on any external site.