Keep up to date with the latest information about potential public health emergencies, such as disease outbreaks, natural disasters, or other events that could affect your community.
Sign up for alerts from local public health agencies or follow credible news source.
Take steps to stay healthy
Get vaccinated. Make sure you and your family are up-to-date on all recommended vaccines to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Examples of why it is important to stay up-to-date on all recommended vaccines:
- The MMR shot will protect you from getting three highly contagious viral infections which are measles, mumps, and rubella. These contagious viral infections can spread through coughing and sneezing and can lead to serious health complications.
- The Tetanus shot will protect you from tetanus, which is a potentially deadly bacterial infection that can enter through your body through cuts, puncture wounds, or other injuries.
- The Flu shot will protect you from the flu, which can be a serious respiratory illness. A flu pandemic can happen and can overwhelm the healthcare system and make it difficult to receive the care people need. Getting a flu shot can help decrease the strain on the healthcare system and reduce the number of flu cases.
In addition to protecting against disease, vaccines can also help parents avoid missing work and children avoid missing school due to illness. By reducing the frequency of illness in the community, vaccines help to minimize the impact of outbreaks and epidemics, which can disrupt daily life and lead to significant economic and social costs.
Practice good hygiene
Washing your hands frequently and practicing good hygiene can help reduce the spread of disease and infectious disease outbreaks. Keep hand sanitizer to use when handwashing is not available.
Build resilience for your mental health
A public health emergency, such as a pandemic or natural disaster, can be a very stressful and challenging time for individuals and communities. It can disrupt daily life, cause anxiety and uncertainty, and have long-lasting effects on mental health and well-being.
Ways to build resilience or your ability to adapt and cope with stress and hardship to better manage the challenges of a public health emergency.
- Build connections and stay connected with family, friends, and community to feel more supported and less isolated.
- Maintain healthy habits, such as exercising, eating well, and getting enough sleep, to stay motivated.
- Recognize when you need help and seek support and help from healthcare professionals or community resources.
Learn more about building resilience for your mental health to endure hardship.
Have a plan
Develop a plan with your family and friends for what to do in case of an emergency, including how to communicate with each other, where to go, and what to bring with you. Make sure everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency and practice your plan regularly.
Develop a plan with your family and friends.
Build an emergency kit
Put together an emergency kit that includes basic supplies, such as food, water, first aid supplies, and any medications you may need. Keep the kit in an easily available place and make sure it’s updated regularly.
Build your emergency kit.
Prepare an emergency savings
A public health emergency, such as a pandemic or natural disaster, can have large financial impacts on individuals and families. Having an emergency savings fund can provide a financial safety net during uncertain times. Examples of impacts include income loss (job loss or reduced hours), unplanned expenses (medical bills or home repairs), economic uncertainty (price increase in food and rent), and reduced ability to apply for credit to cover expenses.
Learn more about financial preparedness.
Learn practical and safety skills
Learning practical and safety skills can help individuals and communities be more self-sufficient and resilient during a public health emergency. Learning these skills can better prepared you and your loved ones to adapt to emergency situations, where help may take longer to get to you. Examples of practical and safety skills to learn are basic first aid and emergency response skills like CPR, using a fire extinguisher, and how to shut up utilities (gas, water, and electricity).
Learn practical and safety skills.
Resources and support