A pandemic is an outbreak of an infectious disease that spreads across countries and continents around the world. Pandemics can be terrifying since they impact huge populations, disrupt daily life, and cause widespread illness and death. While we can’t prevent pandemics, we can take steps to prepare and protect ourselves when viral outbreaks occur. This article provides tips on pandemic preparedness so you can be ready before the next global contagion strikes.

Stock Up on Supplies

When a pandemic is declared, you may be advised or required to stay in your home due to quarantines, travel restrictions, business and school closures. Make sure you have at least a 2-3 week supply of water, food, medication and other essentials on hand. Focus on shelf-stable items like grains, pasta, canned goods, powdered milk and nut butters. Have common over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, toiletries and cleaning supplies too.

Create an Isolation Space

Designate a room in your home that can be used to isolate a sick family member. This space should have easy access to a bathroom and be stocked with gloves, masks and cleaning supplies. Have a separate set of plates, utensils, bedding and towels on hand as well. Limit access to this room once in use for quarantine purposes.

Practice Good Hygiene Habits

Viruses spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or infected respiratory droplets. Reduce risk by washing hands frequently, avoiding touching the face, practicing social distancing and disinfectingcommon touch areas like doorknobs, keyboards and phones. Keep hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes handy when on the go.

Stay Informed

Keep up with the latest pandemic news and recommendations from health authorities. Be prepared to follow public health directives regarding quarantines, travel restrictions, school and business closures that are enacted. Follow prevention guidelines and get vaccinated if a pandemic vaccine becomes available.

Prepare Your Home

In a pandemic, you may rely on deliveries for groceries and supplies. Make sure you have a one-two month supply of medications, pet food, cleaning products and other essentials. Set up alternative childcare or work-from-home plans in case schools and offices close. Arrange for others to help with errands for elderly or high-risk family and friends.

Following preparedness steps can reduce stress and keep you healthy when the next pandemic strikes. Stay calm, follow health guidelines and rely on support systems to get through a viral outbreak. With practical preparations, we can all help limit the impact of a pandemic.


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