Throughout history, human beings have struggled against the ravages of infectious disease. Although modern medicine has given us ways to treat and cope with infectious disease, the possibility of a deadly epidemic, or even pandemic, disease outbreak is still a very real one. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make sure you and your family are prepared. Part of preparing for an infectious disease outbreak involves practicing good hygiene and keeping your home clean. In the case of an outbreak, you may be asked to remain home for days or even weeks at a time. You’ll need to make sure you have supplies of food, water, medication and other essentials. Many people also like to stock up on antibiotics like Levaquin, which has been recommended for use in the case of a bioterrorism attack due to its effectiveness against many different types of bacteria.
Start Practicing Good Hygiene Now
Good hygiene habits will stand you in good stead in the case of a disease outbreak in your area, but they keep you healthy all the time, no matter what’s going on in the public health sphere. Proper hygiene habits can protect you from the common cold and the seasonal flu as well as against more serious infectious disease outbreaks and bioterrorism attacks. Keep your home clean and sanitary at all times. Make sure any pets in the home are treated for fleas and ticks; these annoying parasites can carry deadly infectious diseases. Wash your hands before and after preparing food, after going to the bathroom and after touching the family pets or caring for a sick person. If you do get sick, prevent the spread of the illness by staying home. Remind loved ones to continue good hygiene habits. Cover your mouth after sneezing, blowing your nose, coughing or touching used tissues. Use soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, to clean your hands and prevent the spread of germs. Don’t share lipstick, towels, toys, beverages, food, eating utensils or anything else that may have been contaminated with a sick person’s germs.
Stock Up on Emergency Supplies
Having emergency supplies on hand can save your life in the event of a disease outbreak, natural disaster or other emergency situation, when normal services aren’t available. You should have at least three days’ worth of water and a week’s worth of food available for everyone in your family. In the event of a disease outbreak, however, you may need to stay in your home for a month or longer. The more food, water, medicine, pet food and other supplies you have on hand, the better off you’ll be in the event of an emergency situation. Prepare an emergency survival kit for your home, school and place of work. Include a manual can opener, at least three days’ worth of dry or canned food and fresh water for each person and animal, along with first aid supplies. You should also include copies of your family’s important documents, including insurance policies, birth certificates and licenses. Also include spare eyeglasses, infant formula, at least 30 days’ worth of medication, a change of clothing, a sleeping bag and other emergency supplies. Don’t forget to pack an emergency radio in your survival kit. In the event of an infectious disease outbreak, authorities will set up emergency medication centers where you can go to receive vaccinations, if they are available, or pick up emergency medical supplies. In an extended emergency situation, you may also need to pick up food and water from designated dispensaries. If other services are down, you can depend on your emergency radio for information about where to find medication.
Establish Emergency Contacts
You should arrange to contact a friend or relative in the event of an emergency situation. This friend or relative should live at least 100 miles away; in the event of an emergency, local phone lines may be down, so you may be forced to place a long distance call. You may also be able to send a short text message to your friend or loved one in the event of an emergency. If a disease outbreak occurs and you are asked to stay home or shelter in place, you’ll need to call your emergency contact with information about your location and how you may be contacted. If your family gets separated during the event, everyone should call the out-of-town contact with information about their location and preferred method of contact. The out-of-town contact can then relay the information back to you. Keep a corded phone in your house in case the power goes out. Corded phones draw their power from the phone line itself. You may also want to purchase a solar charger for your cell phone and other devices, if you can afford one. Disease outbreaks can and do happen. Be prepared, and you and your family will stand a much better chance of survival if the worst should occur.