When preparing for a possible emergency situation such as pandemic influenza, it is important to consider the basics of survival, including fresh drinking water, food, clean air and warmth. Since it may be necessary to protect yourself and others from being infected with the virus, you may have to remain in your home for several days. The checklist below contains item that will be important to your survival and comfort if you cannot leave your home and people cannot enter.
Food and water - Be sure to have at least one gallon of water per person per day along with dried or canned food to last at least three days. Grocery stores may not have sufficient supplies or healthy staff to remain open. Remember baby formula and diapers if you have an infant.
Medications, First Aid kit and equipment - If you or anyone in your family must take medications, be sure to have an adequate supply on hand. Keep a First Aid kit stocked with necessary materials and a basic tool kit.
Blankets and clothing - Make sure you have plenty of warm blankets and extra clothing for all family members on hand in case of disruptions in electrical power or other utilities.
Mouth and nose protection - Face masks should be available for each member of the family to prevent the spread of disease. A mask made of dense-weave cotton material that fits snugly over the face and mouth is best. Take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the best fit for children. There are a variety of masks available for sale in hardware stores.
Phone - Make sure you have at least one standard, hard-wired telephone since cordless phones will not work during a disruption in electrical power. Keep a contact list of important phone numbers in your emergency preparedness kit.
Battery-powered radio with extra batteries - Information from federal, state and local authorities will be relayed through the media. A radio will be your vital link to this information.
Flashlight with extra batteries - Stores are now selling flashlights with self-contained kinetic generators. One of these will come in handy if you run out of fresh batteries.
Items for personal comfort - Toiletries such as soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and paste, facial and bathroom tissue will be important to make your time at home more comfortable. Be sure to include items for children such as games, coloring books and other activities.
Large trash bags and ties - Keep a supply on hand to safely store trash and garbage since refuse service may be disrupted or postponed for several days.
Pets - If you have pets, make sure they have current vaccinations and ID tags on their collars. Make sure you have plenty of food, water and litter for them.
Emergency Preparedness Plan - Take the time to prepare a family emergency plan. Be sure to record medical histories, medication lists, and the weights of all children less than 90 pounds. Establish a family contact list of who to contact in an emergency. Don't forget to check on your neighbors or relatives, especially those who are seniors.