As you and your family plan for an influenza pandemic, think about the challenges you might face, particularly if a pandemic is severe. You can start to prepare now to be able to respond to these challenges. The following are some challenges you or your family may face. Click on the challenge for recommendations to help you cope.
Essential Services You Depend on May be Disrupted
- Plan for the possibility that usual services may be disrupted. These could include services provided by hospitals and other healthcare facilities, banks, restaurants, government offices, telephone and cellular phone companies, and post offices.
- Stores may close or have limited supplies. The planning checklists can help you determine what items you should stockpile to help you manage without these services
- Transportation services may be disrupted and you may not be able to rely on public transportation. Plan to take fewer trips and store essential supplies.
- Public gatherings, such as volunteer meetings and worship services, may be canceled. Prepare contact lists including conference calls, telephone chains, and email distribution lists, to access or distribute necessary information.
- Consider that the ability to travel, even by car if there are fuel shortages, may be limited.
- You should also talk to your family about where family members and loved ones will go in an emergency and how they will receive care, in case you cannot communicate with them.
- In a pandemic, there may be widespread illness that could result in the shut down of local ATMs and banks. Keep a small amount of cash or traveler's checks in small denominations for easy use. Back to Top
Food and Water Supplies May Be Interrupted and Limited
Food and water supplies may be interrupted so temporary shortages could occur. You may also be unable to get to a store. To prepare for this possibility you should store at least one to two weeks supply of non-perishable food and fresh water for emergencies.
- Store two weeks of nonperishable food.
- Select foods that do not require refrigeration, preparation (including the use of water), or cooking.
- Insure that formula for infants and any child's or older person's special nutritional needs are a part of your planning.
- Store two weeks of water, 1 gallon of water per person per day. (2 quarts for drinking, 2 quarts for food preparation/sanitation), in clean plastic containers. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. Back to Top
Being Able to Work May be Difficult or Impossible
In the event that work or other schedules are interrupted, ORO will use this website to make any special announcements. Policy decisions related to work schedules, office closings, event cancellations, current information on the status of the Pandemic threat, and other relevant information will be prominently located on the ORO website.
There are also other communications tools that ORO has to ensure that all employees are well informed about work requirements and expectations. Those include, but are not limited to, locally generated DOECAST email messages, telephone notifications, Employee Daily News, and the ORO Monthly Newsletter.
ORO management is committed to providing good, up-to-date information to employees, and that information will be found here in the event that a Pandemic strikes East Tennessee. Back to Top
Schools and Daycare Centers May Be Closed for an Extended Period of Time
Schools, and potentially public and private preschool, childcare, trade schools, and colleges and universities may be closed to limit the spread of flu in the community and to help prevent children from becoming sick. Other school-related activities and services could also be disrupted or cancelled including: clubs, sports/sporting events, music activities, and school meals. School closings would likely happen very early in a pandemic and could occur on short notice.
- Talk to your teachers, administrators, and parent-teacher organizations about your school's pandemic plan, and offer your help.
- Plan now for children staying at home for extended periods of time, as school closings may occur along with restrictions on public gatherings, such as at malls, movie theaters.
- Plan home learning activities and exercises that your children can do at home. Have learning materials, such as books, school supplies, and educational computer activities and movies on hand.
- Talk to teachers, administrators, and parent-teacher organizations about possible activities, lesson plans, and exercises that children can do at home if schools are closed. This could include continuing courses by TV or the internet.
- Plan entertainment and recreational activities that your children can do at home. Have materials, such as reading books, coloring books, and games, on hand for your children to use. Back to Top
Medical Care for People with Chronic Illness Could be Disrupted
- In a severe pandemic, hospitals and doctors' offices may be overwhelmed.
- If you have a chronic disease, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, or depression, you should continue taking medication as prescribed by your doctor.
- Make sure you have necessary medical supplies such as glucose and blood-pressure monitoring equipment.
- Talk to your healthcare provider to ensure adequate access to your medications.
- If you receive ongoing medical care such as dialysis, chemotherapy, or other therapies, talk with your health care provider about plans to continue care during a pandemic. Back to Top