plan, it is important to think about the challenges that you might face,
particularly if a pandemic is severe. It may take time to find the answers
to these challenges. The following are some situations that could be caused
by a severe pandemic and possible ways to address them. A series of checklists
have been prepared to help guide those efforts, to organize our national
thinking and bring consistency to our efforts. You will find two checklists
(Pandemic Flu Planning Checklist for Individuals and Families; Family Emergency
Health Information Sheet) to help you plan. Other planning checklists can
be found at www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/tab3.html.
Disruption May Be Widespread
Plan for the possibility
that usual services may be disrupted. These could include services
provided by hospitals and other health care facilities, banks, stores,
restaurants, government offices, and post offices.
plans in case public gatherings, such as volunteer meetings and worship
services, are canceled.
Consider how to
care for people with special needs in case the services they rely
on are not available.
Able to Work May Be Difficult or Impossible
Find out if you
can work from home.
Ask your employer
about how business will continue during a pandemic. (A Business Pandemic
Influenza Planning Checklist is available at www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/tab4.html.)
Plan for the possible
reduction or loss of income if you are unable to work or your place
of employment is closed.
Check with your
employer or union about leave policies.
May Be Closed for an Extended Period of Time
Help schools plan
for pandemic influenza. Talk to the school nurse or the health center.
Talk to your teachers, administrators, and parent-teacher organizations.
Plan home learning
activities and exercises. Have materials, such as books, on hand.
Also plan recreational activities that your children can do at home.
Services May Be Disrupted
Think about how
you can rely less on public transportation during a pandemic. For
example, store food and other essential supplies so you can make fewer
trips to the store.
plans for taking care of loved ones who are far away.
ways to get to work, or, if you can, work at home.
Will Need Advice and Help at Work and Home
Think about what
information the people in your workplace will need if you are a manager.
This may include information about insurance, leave policies, working
from home, possible loss of income, and when not to come to work if
sick. (A Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist is available
Meet with your
colleagues and make lists of things that you will need to know and
what actions can be taken.
who want to help people in need, such as elderly neighbors, single
parents of small children, or people without the resources to get
the medical help they will need.
information resources in your community, such as mental health hotlines,
public health hotlines, or electronic bulletin boards.
Find support systems-people
who are thinking about the same issues you are thinking about. Share
Stock a supply of
water and food. During a pandemic you may not be able to get to a store.
Even if you can get to a store, it may be out of supplies. Public waterworks
services may also be interrupted. Stocking supplies can be useful in other
types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters. Store foods
(will keep for a long time) and don't require refrigeration
are easy to prepare
in case you are unable to cook
or no water, so you can conserve water for drinking
See below for a checklist
of items to have on hand for an extended stay at home.
steps to limit the spread of germs. Make good hygiene a habit.
Wash hands frequently
with soap and water.
Cover your mouth
and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
Put used tissues
in a waste basket.
Cough or sneeze
into your upper sleeve if you don't have a tissue.
Clean your hands
after coughing or sneezing. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based
Stay at home if
you are sick.
is always a good idea to practice good health habits.
Eat a balanced
diet. Be sure to eat a variety of foods, including plenty of vegetables,
fruits, and whole grain products. Also include low-fat dairy products,
lean meats, poultry, fish, and beans. Drink lots of water and go easy
on salt, sugar, alcohol, and saturated fat.
Exercise on a
regular basis and get plenty of rest.
the seasonal flu shot protect me against pandemic influenza?
No, it won't protect
you against pandemic influenza. But flu shots can help you to stay
Get a flu shot
to help protect yourself from seasonal flu.
Get a pneumonia
shot to prevent secondary infection if you are over the age of 65
or have a chronic illness such as diabetes or asthma. For specific
guidelines, talk to your health care provider or call the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Hotline at 1-800-232-4636.
Make sure that
your family's immunizations are up-to-date.
Knowing the facts
is the best preparation. Identify sources you can count on for reliable
information. If a pandemic occurs, having accurate and reliable information
will be critical.
for information on pandemic influenza is the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) Hotline at: 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).
This line is available in English and Spanish, 24 hours a day, 7 days
a week. TTY: 1-888-232-6348. Questions can be e-mailed to email@example.com.
Listen to local
and national radio, watch news reports on television, and read your
newspaper and other sources of printed and Web-based information.
Talk to your local
health care providers and public health officials.
The Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) has released the HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan (see
HHS activities detail the medical and public health response to an influenza