Be Prepared for Flu Season
During flu season, you may get sick and need to stay home for a week or so. Plan ahead and have a two-week supply of items you may need.
Here are a few things you should consider having on hand for the flu season, which generally is October through March.
Prescription Medicines and Medical Supplies
- Prescription medicines that you take regularly
- Other medical supplies if you have a chronic health condition, such as insulin and strips for diabetes, rescue inhaler medicine for asthma, or oxygen for COPD
Over-the-Counter Pain Medicines
- Ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Flu medicine
- Decongestant (medicine to clear the nose and chest)
- Cough syrup
- Sore throat lozenges or spray
For medicines you already have, check the date to make sure they haven't expired.
Other Useful Items
- Thermometer (Taking body temperature)
- Alcohol-based hand cleaners
- Foods that are easy on the stomach, such as broth and soups, saltine crackers, and applesauce
- Basic hygiene supplies such as toothpaste, soap, and toilet paper
- Fluids to stay hydrated, such as Gatorade or Pedialyte (for children)
- Face masks to cover your nose and mouth if you must leave your home, such as to a medical appointment
- Phone number for your doctor's office or the Consulting Nurse Service
- Contact information for work in case you need to call in sick
- If you have pets, have extra supplies such as dog food or cat litter
Adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009.