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​Special Populations

Below is information to help older Pennsylvanians, people with disabilities, and other special populations in the event of a flu pandemic.

Tips for Older Pennsylvanians

In a flu pandemic, it will be important for you to avoid public places and to stay at home in order to limit the spread of infection. Stores may be closed and you may not be able to buy the supplies you need on a regular basis. That is why it is important for you to prepare now and know what to do in case of an emergency.

Store at least two weeks worth of nonperishable food (like canned meats and vegetables), and sealed, clean water. You will need at least one gallon of water per person per day.

Keep an emergency kit. This should include:

  • Backup batteries/power source, and directions for use of medical devices
  • Disinfectants and chlorine bleach
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen, cough medicine, first aid supplies
  • Prescription medications

Keep two weeks worth of your current prescription medications if possible.

Have a list of emergency contacts that you can call, as well as people who agree to call and check in with you in an emergency.

Wash hands frequently, especially before eating and after using the bathroom, coughing, or sneezing.

If you are sick, stay at home. This will help you to avoid spreading germs and to recover more quickly.

Eat a variety of healthy foods and stay physically active to maintain health.

Stay informed about the situation and be aware of directions given for your health and safety. In order to access correct information, pay attention to the news and public service announcements. You can find out information from the television, radio, or internet. You may also want to call your caretaker or emergency contacts to see if they are informed about the situation.

People with Disabilities

The following is a checklist of supplies people with disabilities should prepare to have in case of a flu pandemic:

  • Power Supplies
    • For those who depend on power for equipment or refrigeration, have a back-up power supply (generator, power inverters, charged batteries, adapter plug for vehicle lighter).
    • For devices that use batteries, stock extra batteries.
  • Hearing
    • Notebook and pen
    • Battery-operated lantern (for lip reading and sign language)
    • Visual or sensory alerts
    • Vibrating/strobe alarm clock
    • Extra pager, hearing aid, or implant batteries.
    • Pager/communication devices
  • Mobility
    • Manual chair for electric wheelchair users
    • Pair of heavy-duty gloves for wheeling over debris
    • Shower chair and toilet riser
    • Patch kit for flat tires and extra inner tubes
    • Extra charged battery for a power wheelchair or scooter
    • Assistive devices for eating
  • Sight
    • Extra pair of glasses
    • Extra supply of contact lenses and lens solution
    • Extra cane tips or telescoping cane
    • Portable radio with batteries

For more special populations emergency preparedness information visit