The following article was originally posted on the Applied Systems blog.
You can plan and make decisions now that will protect you and your family during an infectious disease outbreak. Creating a household plan can help protect your health and the health of those you care about in the event of an outbreak in your community.
Use this checklist to help you take steps to protect the health of you and your family.
- Create a household plan of action.
- Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan to discuss what to do if an outbreak occurs in your community and what the needs of each person will be.
- Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk of serious complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will recommend actions to help keep people at high risk for complications healthy.
- Create an emergency contact list including:
- Carpool drivers
- Health care providers
- Local public health departments
- Other community resources
- Choose a room in your house that can be used to separate sick household members from others.
- Talk to your neighbors about what their plan includes.
- Learn about the emergency operations plan at your child’s school or child care facility.
- Learn about your employer’s emergency operations plan.
- Practice good personal health habits now.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you’re sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, cabinet handles, cellphones, TV remotes and other electronics) using a regular household detergent and water.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Stock up on pharmacy items and basic medicine. You’ll want to have a 14-day supply of any prescription medications for those in your home. It’s also wise to have pain relievers, cold and flu remedies, medicine for upset stomachs and electrolyte-heavy liquids in your home.
- Load your pantry with food and home supplies. Keep a two-week supply of canned and nonperishable food and enough bottled water for everyone in your home. Make sure you have plenty of soap, cleansers, detergent, toothpaste, first aid items along with body, face and hand wipes available.