Preparing for a pandemic should be part of every household’s emergency plan

Health officials in the U.S. have
advised
businesses, schools and communities to prepare for a possible
outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. On Tuesday, February 25, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said a wider spread of the virus in the
U.S. can be expected, but the agency is uncertain of the severity of the
threat.

The disruption to everyday life could be severe.

“It’s not so much a question of if this will happen
anymore but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how
many people in this country will have severe illness,” said
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the head of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory
Diseases at the CDC.

Being prepared for a pandemic should be a part of every
household’s emergency plan. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Ready.gov website offers the following tips:

Before a Pandemic

  • Store a two-week supply of water and food.
  • Periodically check your regular prescription
    drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
  • Have any nonprescription drugs and other health
    supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold
    medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
  • Get copies and maintain electronic versions of
    health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store
    them, for personal reference. Get help accessing electronic health records.
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about
    how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care
    for them in your home.

During a Pandemic

  • Limit spread of germs and prevent infection.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • When you are sick, keep your distance from
    others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when
    coughing or sneezing.
  • Washing your hands often will help protect you
    from germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of
    sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and
    eat nutritious food.

Here at the Triple-I blog, we’ve been following the news of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease both from an insurance industry and a public safety perspective over the past few weeks. For Triple-I members, we also make available a database of news abstracts. Members can access the latest news pertaining to COVID-19, by clicking here (scroll down on the page to the coronavirus in the news section).