Emergency Preparedness Institute Releases Emergency Measures for Swine Flu Preparedness

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Today The Emergency Preparedness Institute, Inc. announced a detailed list of simple actions every person needs to follow both at home and at work to minimize swine flu exposure. In addition, the Institute also has provided a list of preventative measures for businesses to undertake to be prepared for a swine flu pandemic.

but not always listen to the message and take the necessary and very simple actions

Today, The Emergency Preparedness Institute, Inc. announced a detailed list of simple actions every person needs to follow both at home and at work to minimize swine flu exposure. In addition, the Institute also has provided a list of preventative measures for businesses to undertake to be prepared for a swine flu pandemic.

On Sunday, April 26, 2009, the Center for Disease Control and the White House declared a public health emergency concerning swine flu, advising Americans to be prepared for extensive outbreaks of the illness. Although only a small number of cases had been definitely confirmed at that time, the expectation is that additional and more severe cases would be seen in this country.

Reassuring people that this was a precautionary measure and not reason for panic, the government emphasized that there were steps that everyone should take to avoid the spread of the disease.

"Information and prudent actions are the best defense against getting sick," says Norris Beren, Institute Director. "People tend to "hear" and "read" but not always listen to the message and take the necessary and very simple actions," Beren says. "The more people that do the right things, the more people are helped. This is not like preparing for a hurricane or tornado."

About Emergency Preparedness Institute
The Emergency Preparedness Institute (EPI) was formed in 2001 in response to increasing evidence that the nature and frequency of potential disasters had changed. EPI was founded on the belief that traditional thinking about emergency preparedness, emergency management and disaster recovery may be ill adapted to the new realities.

Believing that these new realities demand new strategies, EPI's mission is to explore, uncover and spread the most effective "emerging" strategies and practices for saving lives and property during an emergency or disaster. Beyond simply collecting and disseminating the current "best practices" of the industry, EPI is vigorously engaged in discovering the "next" practices that will advance the discipline of emergency management in communities, businesses, and families. The Institute is located in Mt Prospect, Illinois.

For more information or a copy of these tips contact Sara Bylak at info (at) getprepared (dot) org

Tips for Safety from Swine Flu Illness

Personal Actions:

  •     Know symptoms of various types of illnesses, such as flu, cold, etc.
  •     Contact medical doctor immediately upon onset of symptoms
  •     Stay informed about flu outbreaks, get news alerts on line, listen, read or watch news reports
  •     Exercise careful hand hygiene.
  •     Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if hands are not visibly soiled.
  •     Cover your cough. People who are coughing should be encouraged to contain their coughs by use of disposable tissues.
  •     A surgical mask can reduce the number of droplets coughed into the air. Ask a sick person to wear a mask if one is available provided the person can tolerate it
  •     Avoid traveling when ill
  •     If possible, avoid going to work or school or other public places while ill
  •     Raw food always should be handled hygienically. All utensils and surfaces (including hands) that come in contact with raw food, especially poultry, should be cleaned carefully immediately with water and soap
  •     For travelers, assemble a travel health kit containing basic first aid and medical supplies. Be sure to include a thermometer and alcohol-based hand rub for hand hygiene

Businesses:

  •     Provide flu shots if possible to employees, if appropriate and recommended by public health authorities
  •     Provide disease control information in paycheck stuffers and posters for employees
  •     Teach employees how to reduce their risks of illness by proper preparedness and safe methods of careful hand hygiene as described above
  •     Develop backup preparedness plans, build inventory, cross-train employees and utilize other strategies to continue to function the business when large numbers of employees are out sick at the same time
  •     Provide adequate supplies of facial tissues and receptacles for disposal
  •     Sanitize restroom facilities, eating facilities and work areas where appropriate. Keep the workplace safe and prepared for a high incidence of germs and contamination by stressing sanitation
  •     Provide individualized personal equipment when appropriate such as ear pieces and head sets for phones, welding masks, goggles, and provide alcohol wipes for equipment used by more than one person, such as handsets for phones, head gear, etc.
  •     Coach employees who travel, especially on airplanes, about hygiene, air quality issues and prophylactic needs, such as face masks, alcohol wipes, medication, and other doctor recommended needs
  •     Have plans for temporary workers as needed
  •     Prepare for loss of basic services such health care, law enforcement, emergency response, communications, transportation and utilities
  •     Have contingency plans for vendors, suppliers, professional staff and customers who cannot respond to your needs or accept your products or services
  •     Provide maximum air quality safety procedures in the workplace
  •     Revisit sick day policies to avoid people reporting for work who should not because of illness
  •     Encourage employees to wear disposable gloves or face masks if appropriate for their job function -e.g. food handling, medical workers, personal care employees, etc.

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