The Picture of Health. Public Health Improvement Plan
Personal Preparedness

Personal Preparedness - What does it Mean?

Being prepared for an emergency can mean many things.  It may mean stockpiling food, water and medications to make sure that you and your family have enough supplies to get through a power outage.  If you have to evacuate your home, it could mean planning how you will care for your pets.  In some situations, it means planning for how your elderly or disabled family members and your young children will be taken care of while you are working.  Personal preparedness for large-scale disaster means planning for a long recovery period and anticipating problems that you may not expect – such as lapses in communication infrastructure that cause difficulty with online banking or ATMs or make it difficult to contact family and loved ones.

Being Personally Prepared for Pandemic

Personal preparedness in pandemic or pre-pandemic situations requires unique strategies.  In this context, being personally prepared includes listening to and following guidelines for the protection of public health.  This means frequent hand washing, voluntarily staying home if you suspect you are ill (or keeping ill family members at home) and practicing social distancing (limiting non-essential contact with others).  Experts predict that a vaccine will not be available until approximately 6 months after a pandemic begins.  These, and other, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) are the best way to prevent contracting and/or spreading communicable diseases – and avoid the need for medication that may or may not be available.

How Can I Prepare?

For more information about Personal Preparedness and useful planning materials, including checklists for individuals and businesses, please visit our Public Health Preparedness Resources