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Pandemic Flu

A flu pandemic is an outbreak of a new kind of flu (influenza) that passes easily from one person to another around the world. This page explains what a flu pandemic is and how you can prepare for it.

How to Prepare?

It’s important to be prepared to keep yourself and your family safe and comfortable.

If a lot of people get sick from pandemic flu, some businesses might close or provide limited services because many workers would be sick or at home caring for family members. Grocery stores and drug stores might also have limited supplies. Schools and daycare centres may close.

There’s no need to panic, but it is important to have a plan to cope with a possible emergency. The Public Health Agency of Canada suggests that all Canadians take small steps now that will help them cope with a flu pandemic or any other emergency situation. Here are some things you can do:

  • If you have a chronic (long-term) lung disease like asthma or COPD, take special steps to control your symptoms and prepare for flu. 
  • Have an emergency plan for your family. An emergency plan outlines steps for handling sudden unexpected situations like a pandemic or natural disaster. It doesn’t take long to make a plan, but it could mean a big difference in your ability to cope during an emergency. Your plan should outline key details such as a meeting place for friends and family, health information and childcare arrangements.  How to make an emergency plan.
  • Have an emergency kit. You should have an emergency kit with supplies to take care of you and your family for at least 72 hours without outside help. Your kit should contain food that won’t spoil, a can opener, water, medicines, matches, a flashlight, a battery-operated radio and some cash.  Follow the advice of the public health authorities in your area. Pay attention to radio, TV, and Internet notices from the Public Health Agency of Canada and other health authorities in your area.