Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2015 Vol. 62 No. 10

Message From The Chief

Last month was National Preparedness Month in the United States, and the overriding theme for the month was, “Have a plan.” But the truth is too many of us don’t have a plan for when the unexpected occurs. We tend to think that disasters or emergencies always happen to someone else. Until …

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Every year in the U.S. thousands die from flu-related illness, and Texans are not immune. The best way to avoid getting this serious disease is to get an annual flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over six months old get a flu shot, and get it early.  Getting a flu shot may reduce the severity and length of your illness if you do come down with the flu.

Other important steps you can take to protect yourself from the flu this season:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that can become contaminated with germs

Most people who get the flu usually recover on their own, but it can take some time. What if you do get sick, do you have a plan? Are you prepared to deal with being sick, for being away from work or school and for reducing the risk of getting your family and friends sick? What will you do if a family member gets sick and it significantly affects your schedule?

If you do get the flu, stay home and get medical attention as soon as possible. Don’t go to work or school. Many people think they must “press on” and get the job done no matter how bad they feel. (More than likely, if you have the flu your coworkers may not want you around them anyway.) If you must go out, avoid close contact with other people, and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

If you have people in your home who are susceptible to getting the flu or who are at risk of developing serious complications from the flu, such as very young children, adults over 65 and people with certain medical conditions, make sure they get vaccinated early. And if they get the flu, make sure they get treatment early.

This season, get your flu shot. Encourage your family and friends to get their flu shots. Learn and practice the steps that can help protect you, your family, friends and coworkers. Take the time now to sit down and make a plan to help you if you get sick or if someone you provide care for gets sick.

Chief W. Nim Kidd, CEM® TEM
Follow @chiefkidd on Twitter

Flu Season - Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Flu Vaccine Finder

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