Influenza Pandemic Preparation and Response: A Citizen's Guide
* Talking to your healthcare provider to ensure adequate access to your medications and obtain an extra month's worth of prescription medicines.
Other Items in Your Pandemic Flu Emergency Kit
If people are not able to avoid crowded places, (or) large gatherings or are caring for people who are ill, using a facemask or a respirator correctly and consistently could help protect people and reduce the spread of pandemic influenza.
— Dr. Julie Gerberding, CDC Director
- Disinfectants and chlorine bleach
- Supply of surgical face masks and plastic gloves; these can help protect you, especially if you are taking care of family members or need to go out in public
- Supply of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and cough medicine for each person in the house for fever and pain
- Cell phone and charger
- Water purification tablets
See Appendix C for a complete stockpiling list and Appendix D for Items for treatment of severe influenza.
See Appendix E for recipe for Oral Rehydration Solution.
Ways You and Your Neighbors Can Help
Neighborhood organization can help fill the gap left by an overwhelmed infrastructure
During the 1918-1919 pandemic, community volunteers such as teachers and other persons who were out of work owing to quarantine, and closures were essential in facilitating quarantine implementation, documenting the sick, and alleviating overflowing healthcare facilities.
Control of a modern pandemic will also benefit from a similar volunteer system.
During a pandemic, absenteeism at most businesses and establishments, including essential services, could involve up to 40% of their employees.
This estimation will vary according to characteristics of the virus.
Highly desired volunteers include but are not limited to
- Retired healthcare personnel
- Skilled laborers
- People who have recovered from previous infection with the circulating pandemic influenza strain
- People with medical training that can aid in caring for ill individuals
- Mental health and spiritual counselors
- People with disaster response training
Although the threat of pandemic influenza may not seem imminent enough now to do anything, when it does become an issue it can move very quickly from one stage to the next, and it will be helpful to think these things over ahead of time.
The sooner you prepare, the better you will be able to respond.
Here are some suggestions on the types of neighborhood volunteer roles that you might need.
That's hilarious! Maybe you just need to smile less or soeihtmng. Wear "older" looking clothes - don't be so chique (is that how you spell it?)... my portugues is bad, I know. When I was teaching at Harris Intermediate School (6-7 graders) not many of the other teachers knew me because I was only there for 2 periods a day. One day I was talking on my cell phone in the hallway and a teacher came up to me and tried to confiscate my phone!!! I told her that I was actually a teacher and showed her my badge as proof... yeah, that was pretty funny. Though I had to wonder why she mistook me for a 12-year-old!!!!
Meet with your neighbors and family, and talk about what would work best for you.
- Area Leader
- Volunteer Recruiter and Coordinator
- Supplies Manager
- Medical Operations Manager
- Communications Leader
- Coroner Function
- Public Educator
- Mental Health Monitor
- Special Skills
See Appendix F for Community Volunteer Roles and Responsibilities
Citizen Corps, a vital component of USA Freedom Corps, was created to help coordinate volunteer activities that will make our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to any emergency situation.
It provides opportunities for people to participate in a range of measures to make their families, their homes, and their communities safer from the threats of crime, terrorism, and disasters of all kinds.
Citizen Corps programs build on the successful efforts that are in place in many communities around the country to prevent crime and respond to emergencies. Programs that started through local innovation are the foundation for Citizen Corps and this national approach to citizen participation in community safety.
Citizen Corps is coordinated nationally by the Department of Homeland Security. In this capacity, DHS works closely with other federal entities, state and local governments, first responders and emergency managers, the volunteer community, and the White House Office of the USA Freedom Corps.
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The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations.
Using their training, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event and can take a more active role in preparing their community.
The program is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS).
The Fire Corps promotes the use of citizen advocates to enhance the capacity of resource-constrained fire and rescue departments at all levels: volunteer, combination, and career.
Citizen advocates can assist local fire departments in a range of activities including fire safety outreach, youth programs, and administrative support. Fire Corps provides resources to assist fire and rescue departments in creating opportunities for citizen advocates and promotes citizen participation.
Fire Corps is funded through DHS and is managed and implemented through a partnership between the National Volunteer Fire Council, the International Association of Fire Fighters, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
USAonWatch (UOW)-Neighborhood Watch works to provide information, training and resources to citizens and law enforcement agencies throughout the country. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Neighborhood Watch programs have expanded beyond their traditional crime prevention role to help neighborhoods focus on disaster preparedness, emergency response and terrorism awareness.
You are awesome! I'm so happy that this is up and ruinnng. I would love to learn how your office is organized and the process you take to keeping everything in order from the initial inquiry to the delivering of images. I'm having such a hard time keeping it in order that I'm going crazy. Please help my sanity.
USAonWatch-Neighborhood Watch is administered by the National Sheriffs' Association in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice.
The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Program strengthens communities by helping medical, public health, and other volunteers offer their expertise throughout the year as well as during local emergencies and other times of community need.
MRC volunteers work in coordination with existing local emergency response programs and also supplement existing community public health initiatives, such as outreach and prevention, immunization programs, blood drives, case management, care planning, and other efforts.