Yesterday’s headlines on Swine Flu reminded me it was time to ask, are you prepared for an emergency? Please understand that I’m not trying to be a fearmonger. Don’t turn to your spouse and say, “Heather says we’re all going to die from pandemic swine flu!” Understand that I’m a total geek, fascinated by viral behavior, organic or not. The current batch of headlines simply reminded me it was time to self-audit.
Each spring, I go through our supplies to ensure we won’t be involved in the panic runs when a hurricane threatens our area. It makes sense to be reasonably prepared for an interruption of basic services for other reasons, earthquakes, and tornadoes for example.
As I suspected, the guidelines for individual pandemic preparedness are fairly similar to those of any emergency. The pandemic plan suggests a two week supply of food, water, and medication for each family member and pet. This is slightly different from most plans which suggest a 72 hour supply. Interestingly the government checklist reminded families that schools and childcare centers may close for an extended period of time.
Several items to note:
- Practice excellent hygeine: wash your hands, cover your mouth, disinfect surfaces.
- Eat well and get plenty of rest.
- Talk to your employer about options such as telecommuting if a widespread outbreak develops.
- Check on disabled and elderly neighbors, friends, and family. This is especially important if they rely on services to provide basic needs.
If you were told to stay home for two weeks, could you manage?
(Sources: Xark, Pandemicflu.gov)