Preparing for an emergency situation
It’s always advisable to be prepared for an emergency, and concerns about a widespread outbreak of the H1N1 flu provide yet another reminder that every household should be ready for a situation where you can’t leave your home for a period of time or supplies or services could be in short supply.
Prepare a flu survival kit
These items will help you care for someone who comes down with influenza.
- Pain relievers: either Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Caffeinated tea
- Table salt
- Basic family medical information: name and phone number of your primary care physician, address and phone number of your medical clinic and/or hospital, your medical insurance number, your medical record number at your clinic, and a list of any underlying medical conditions a doctor should know about.
- Medical resources: a list with the Minnesota Department of Health’s toll-free Minnesota FluLine (1-866-259-4655) and a first aid or medical handbook.
- Recipe for one gallon of oral rehydration formula. (Mix together these ingredients: 4 cups water, ¼ teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons sugar. If desired, add lemon, lime or mint for flavor.)
- Household bleach — not scented, color safe or with added cleaners. (For a cleaning solution, mix 1 tablespoon of bleach with one gallon of water.)
- Liquid soap (bar soap can spread germs) or an alcohol-based hand rub.
If you or a family member come down with the flu, you won’t want to go to the grocery store. Here are some food items to have on hand, just in case:
- Canned or boxed soups
- Canned or bottled juices
- Dry cereal or granola
- Protein or fruit bars
- Canned meats and tuna
- Canned vegetables and fruits
- Powdered milk
- Peanut butter
- Dried beans, rice or pasta
- Dried fruit
- Baked beans
- Spaghetti sauce
- Baby food and any foods for special diets.
Other items to have on hand
It’s a good idea to have these items on hand so you don’t have to make a trip to the store while you or a family member is ill:
- Non-electric can opener
- Personal care items (toilet paper, soap, towels, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
- If you have a pet, be sure to have pet supplies on hand so you don’t have to make a trip to the store.
Last updated Oct. 29, 2012