If you've ever had the flu, you know it will knock you on your ass for at least a week with full recovery taking weeks if not months. And while many people survive the flu, every year perfectly health people will die from the virus, mostly from pneumonia and respiratory arrest.
Consider the following preps for this year's flu season:
- Get a flu vaccine (these are kind of hit or miss because the effectiveness of the vaccine each year ranges from OK to dismal, never 100% effective, but better than nothing for those who don't fall into the should-not-be-vaccinated category).
- Stock up on sick-kit materials (kleenex, hand sanitizer, face masks, medication, cough syrup, canned soup, etc).
- Prepare to isolate yourself and your family in the event that there is a pandemic-level outbreak in your community (ie: have a stockpile of food, water, and everything else you would need to stay home and not go to the store for weeks at a time).
- Consider how you would work and/or educate your kids at home if your area's medical officer calls for a quarantine in your area.
- Discuss the flu season ahead of time with your doctor if you or a family member is in a high-risk group (pregnant, a small child, elderly, or already ill with a severe or chronic illness).
- Know when to go to the hospital. If someone has the flu and their condition is deteriorating (dehydrated, shortness of breath, chest pain, severe cough, etc) they should definitely head for the emergency room.
- Keep your distance from people during flu season (a good four feet is recommended as the virus is spread through droplets from people's nose and mouth).
- Study up on the flu by Googling "flu preparedness" and you will find reams of material on the topic.