1. BE PREPARED – Build your individual and family emergency plans.
A number of Lake County government agencies are working to prepare for emergencies, such as floods, tornadoes, chemical spills, bioterrorism threats, a flu pandemic and communicable disease outbreaks. However, government and service agencies cannot meet this challenge alone. Every organization, employer and individual needs to be involved in preparedness activities, including businesses, schools, daycare centers, and families. An informed and prepared public can cope with emergencies better and take appropriate actions to decrease risk during an emergency. This is a good time for everyone to start working on (or revisit) their own emergency plans, whether they are a large corporation of a small family. For more information visit Lake County Health Department. If you are interested in volunteering to assist your community with preparedness efforts, please call the Health Department’s Medical Reserve Corps at (847) 377-8358.
2. KNOW WHERE TO GO
In the case of an illness outbreak or bioterrorism event, you may be asked to visit your local polling place to pick up medic9ine for your family. Visit Lake County Health Department or call (847) 377-2421, if you are unsure of your polling place. During recent months, the Health Department has worked with the County Clerk’s Office, townships and municipalities to develop a plan that would utilize local polling places as points of distribution should the need for mass medication distribution arise during a public health emergency. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the development of mass medication plans for providing medication to an entire population within 48 hours. By utilizing polling sites, the population will be spread out to a large number of locations close to home, alleviating possible traffic congestion and reducing the need to travel far.
3. DON’T FORGET
Pandemic Flu is still on the map. An influenza (flu) pandemic is a worldwide outbreak of flu disease. This occurs when a new type of influenza virus appears that people have not been exposed to before (or have not been exposed to in a long time). Many scientists believe it is only a matter of time before one occurs. While pandemics happen globally, they must be managed at the state and local level. For additional information visit www.pandemicflu.gov.
A Word About Seasonal Flu
Now is the time to protect yourself and your family against seasonal flu. The best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated. Anyone older than six months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions, can get the flu shot. Although ‘seasonal’ flu is not the same as pandemic flu, getting your flu shot each year will help you stay healthy. You should also practice good health habits:
Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds to help protect yourself against germs.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing to help prevent others around you from getting sick. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick.
For more information, visit Lake County Health Department