Photo of people wearing respiratory masks

What is a Pandemic?

A pandemic occurs when an infectious disease spreads throughout the global population. Often, pandemics arise from a new strain of influenza. Since the virus is new, the human population is likely to have little, to no, immunity against it.

How do I prevent disease spread?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for ~ 20 seconds before are after eating, after you have been in a public place, after using the washroom, after coughing or sneezing, after touching commonly touched surfaces
  • Stay healthy by eating well, drinking lots of water, getting regular exercise (if you can) and rest
  • Get your annual flu shot
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home from work, school, errands etc. when you are sick to prevent spreading the illness
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow

How to prepare

  • A 72 hour kit is recommended for situations such as power outages or snowstorms
  • During a pandemic, you should:
    • Have enough non-perishables foods for 14 days (two weeks) in the event you are required to self-isolate – stock up gradually!
    • Fill any prescriptions and stock up on any medications ahead of time
      • Get an extra month of prescription if you can
    • Have some over the counter pain/fever medication on hand
      • E.g. ibuprofen and acetaminophen
    • Purchase extra food/supplies for your pets
    • Have a plan for your children or any other dependants in the event you get sick
    • Check on friends and family that may have disabilities – support them!
    • Prepare for possible changes in healthcare as access may be limited
    • Surgical masks are only recommended for people that infected or taking care of the ill
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