Individuals and Families

Currently there is no influenza pandemic, and globally we are in the pre-pandemic preparation phase.

As in other emergencies, pandemic influenza could affect everyday life. Schools and businesses might be closed during pandemic influenza. Travel could be limited during a pandemic. Preparing now can limit the effects of pandemic influenza.



Key Activities

While the thought of a global disease outbreak may seem overwhelming, there are many things you can do to prepare for pandemic influenza and reduce your risk. Fortunately, these actions are similar to those recommended for any potential public health emergency and include the following steps:

  • Get educated
  • Protect your health
  • Develop preparedness plans

Get educated. Read about pandemic influenza and avian influenza from official sources and pay attention to stories in the media. Local officials will work with the media to deliver important messages to the public about any local health issues.

Protect your health. To defend yourself against illness, implement the following practices:

1.     Wash your hands often with soap and warm water; 
2.     Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as much as possible; 
3.     Stay away from people who are sick; 
4.     Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing;
5.     Get regular exercise, enough rest and eat healthy, balanced meals.

The CDC offers additional information on Stopping the Spread of Germs at Home, Work & School.

Develop preparedness plans. According to the federal government, "A pandemic is likely to be a prolonged and widespread outbreak that could require temporary changes in many areas of society, such as schools, work, transportation, and other public services."

It is important to stock a supply of water and food. During a pandemic you may not be able to get to a store. Even if you can get to a store, it may be out of supplies. Public waterworks services may also be interrupted. Stocking supplies can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters.

Store foods that:

  • are nonperishable (will keep for a long time) and don't require refrigeration;
  • are easy to prepare in case you are unable to cook;
  • require little or no water, so you can conserve water for drinking;

See a checklist of items to have on hand for an extended stay at home.

Public inquiries to the CDC:
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)
888-232-6348 (TTY)
e-mail :
This service is offered in English and Spanish, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. is the official U.S. government Web site for information on pandemic flu and avian influenza. Visit the Who's At Risk tab to access detailed information and preparedness tips for the following audiences: 

For more information about pandemic influenza send us an email or phone (619) 692-8499.