Epidemics don’t discriminate and can put all facets of society in jeopardy. A fast, thought out response during a widespread health crisis, may save the lives of you and your loved ones. Healthy daily practices and communicating an epidemic plan are the first steps in keeping you and your family healthy during an illness epidemic.
Start with Healthy Habits
Your daily habits are the foundation for a healthy life, regardless of an epidemic.
• Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
• Exercise regularly.
• Get a good night’s sleep.
• Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to wash them thoroughly and often.
• Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands. Use your elbow.
• Work, kitchen and bathroom areas should be routinely cleaned and disinfected.
• Get a yearly flu shot.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Avoid close contact with the ill.
Prepare Your Family with an Epidemic Plan
It’s important to have a family plan in case of a pan or epidemic. The following simple tips may keep your loved ones safe should a widespread illness occur.
• Ensure that each member of your family knows your epidemic plan and the steps to execute it.
• Should the government ask that people not travel, have a shelter or quarantine area established ahead of time.
• Stock up on at least a week’s worth of nonperishable food. As well as personal, household and medical items.
• Should a loved one fall ill, have an outbreak plan. How will you care for the sick person and what is each family member responsible for?
• Have a list of emergency contacts at the ready. It should include your family physician, the nearest hospital and pharmacy, employer, school, spiritual guide, personal contacts, state public health department and emergency contact information, such as police, fire and paramedics.
• Have a knowledge of important health information such as allergies, past and current medical conditions and blood type. As well as any medications and their dosage.
• Have a radio available in case of government enforced quarantines or travel restrictions, as well as school or work closings.
With proper prevention and care, you and your family can come through a widespread illness healthy and unscathed.