Preparing for a Pandemic

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"Stores are going to run out of what you need, too," Washington said. "So that's why you need to stock up now. And we encourage families to have supplies on hand like flashlights and batteries, matches. Hand-cranked or battery-operated radios, and a manual can opener, because you are going to need to open all those cans of food. And this may not seem important but you must get activities for your children and yourself, games, coloring books, cards."

Cleaning Supplies

"You have to have all those on hand to keep your home clean and to have receptacles for all your trash," she said. "You probably won't have trash service and you need to account for that. You need to make sure to have paper towels, toilet paper and soap. Everything you need to keep your home clean and practice good hygiene."

Medication

"You need to get an additional 10 days of all your prescription medications," Washington said. "You should also have over-the-counter, fever-reducing medications; medications for upset stomach; and cold and flu medication. You'll also want to have fluids like Gatorade and Pedialite, which have electrolytes and will help a family member rehydrate if they get sick. Also, keep a few thermometers around in case someone gets sick."

If a Family Member Gets Sick …

"The first thing is to strengthen your hand washing and to have the infected family member cover his mouth when he coughs," she said. "You should also keep that person isolated in a certain part of the house and identify a family member who will help him. You may have to take turns."

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