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The H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Outbreak

Updated: 8/31/09, 1:37 AM

Parents & Family Resources

Pandemic Flu Planning

You can prepare for an influenza pandemic now. You should know both the magnitude of what can happen during a pandemic outbreak and what actions you can take to help lessen the impact of an influenza pandemic on you and your family. This checklist will help you gather the information and resources you may need in case of a flu pandemic.

To plan for a pandemic:

  • Store a two week supply of water and food. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store, or if stores are out of supplies, it will be important for you to have extra supplies on hand. This can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters.
  • Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
  • Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.
  • Volunteer with local groups to prepare and assist with emergency response.
  • Get involved in your community as it works to prepare for an influenza pandemic.

To limit the spread of germs and prevent infection:

  • Teach your children to wash hands frequently with soap and water, and model the correct behavior.
  • Teach your children to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues, and be sure to model that behavior.
  • Teach your children to stay away from others as much as possible if they are sick. Stay home from work and school if sick.

Items to have on hand for an extended stay at home:

Examples of food and non-perishables:
Examples of medical, health, and emergency supplies:

Ready-to-eat canned meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, and soups

Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood-pressure monitoring equipment

Protein or fruit bars

Soap and water, or alcohol-based (60-95%) hand wash

Dry cereal or granola

Medicines for fever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen

Peanut butter or nuts


Dried fruit

Anti-diarrheal medication



Canned juices

Fluids with electrolytes

Bottled water

Cleansing agent/soap

Canned or jarred baby food and formula


Pet food


Other non-perishable items

Portable radio

Manual can opener

Garbage bags

Tissues, toilet paper, disposable diapers

A checklist is available for download in nine languages at http://pandemicflu.gov/plan/individual/checklist.html

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