The H1N1 (Swine Flu) pandemic has evolved to the point that President Obama has declared a "national emergency" to deal with the "rapid increase in illness". According to the CDC, flu is now widespread in 48 states. A pandemic is the spread of a single disease which spreads rapidly from person to person and can spread around the world in days or months causing serious illness and deaths. Much like the kits that individuals and families prepare for the hurricane season and other natural disasters, an emergency kit created incase you need to stay at home during a flu pandemic could prove to be invaluable. The time to develop a pandemic emergency kit is well before you or a member of the family has become ill. Now is a good time to gather the materials you will need.
Things You Will Need
Prescription and over the counter drugs, Non perishable foods, Non-electric can opener, Battery operated radio, Extra batteries, Books and games, Pet care items, First aid kit, Hand sanitizer, Garbage bags, Flashlight, Bottled water (enough for one gallon per person per day with extra for pets), Blankets and pillows, Extra cloths and sturdy shoes, Lighter and waterproof matches, Sunscreen, Cash
Gather the items listed in the "Things You'll Need" section. Several of the items are for use in a general emergency kit for events such as a hurricane, earthquake, flood, fire or other natural disaster. I have listed them here because a flu pandemic emergency kit can easily be incorporated into a general emergency kit and because of the need to have a good general disaster kit as well. A general disaster kit should have supplies to last at least 3 days. The portion for the flu pandemic, (non perishable foods, medicines, pet items and personal items), should have supplies to last at least two weeks.
The second step is to properly store the items in your kit. The items should be placed in large, sealable containers to protect them from moisture and pest. In addition, the food items should be marked with the date purchased. Store the containers in a cool, dry area.
The third step is to maintain the freshness of the items in your kit. Verify the freshness of food and batteries, including pet food, several times per year. Check the "use by" dates and any purchase dates that you added to the items. Rotate the items as needed to maintain freshness.
The time to develop a pandemic emergency kit is well before you or a member of the family has become ill.