I’m ready to help. What can I do?
There’s no simple answer to this question, because it depends to a certain extent on where you live. For those who want to dive right in, here’s a link on the personal hygiene issues we need to master (practice now) to help prevent spread. Here is a link to a number of sample letters to local authorities and business leaders that you can use to raise awareness in your community.
Assuming you’re new to pandemic-flu family-unit preparedness:
- Read essentials (citizen’s guide (PDF file)).
- Look at *some* local consequences (with a small guide for doing so) … “just horrible enough”. Expect some kind of adjustment reactions.
- Sign petition to Honorable Tom Harkin (just after you’ve read the essentials) … perhaps not too useful in the grand scheme of things (we just don’t know!), but we facilitate people *doing* something. You shouldn’t stop here at all! Plus, reading the petition will help you see a consolidated version of the main issues.
- Make a plan http://www.codeready.org
- Stock up, in practice, for 2 weeks, and as soon as you THINK you’re done, start stocking up for 4 weeks etc.
- Organise some simple things with your immediate neighbors and extended family (mutual care in times of crisis, etc).
- Your neighbor (i.e. give them a copy of the citizen’s guide, tell them about this page, or whatever you feel works best for them).
- Your school, boss, PH official, water and sewage folks, etc.
- Rinse and repeat: Go back to learning a bit more and repeat the whole thing. (Two “stop points”: the pandemic comes OR you feel ready enough.)
We can’t be sure whether this is the most useful order for each individual action. You may want to start at any point.
For example, this is what King County in Washington State (US) is doing now in having the health department speak to businesses. National pandemic preparedness plans can be found sorted geographically and alphabetically (see Canada for an example of national and provincial planning) while personal pandemic preparedness guides can be found here. Check out the FluWiki’s information on the public health situation, preparedness plans and news about your own location around the globe and see if there’s additional information to add. Use the web pages and contacts already provided on the FluWiki to ask questions of your local authorities. Or, check the personal preparedness page and see if there’s information there that will help you.