Disaster Tip Sheet: Pandemics and Disease Outbreaks

Pandemic and Disease Outbreaks

Preparing for Pandemics and Disease Outbreaks

View Healthcare Ready’s blog on the refill-too-soon laws by state.

  • Fill prescriptions on time or ahead of time, if you can
  • Call your pharmacist to ask if your prescriptions can be filled early

Try to keep non-perishable food, water, and can openers on hand

  • Go for canned meats, fruits and vegetables that are ready to eat, and can be used in a renal diet
  • Protein bars, cereal and granola, and dried fruit are great snacks to have

Fully charge your electronic devices, and pack spare batteries and chargers

  • To conserve battery: limit the use of unnecessary apps and switch your phone to low-power mode when fully charged 

Keep a list of your local healthcare facilities, with addresses, phone numbers, and emails/websites

  • Consider these facilities:
  • Hospitals/ERs
  • Pharmacies
  • Urgent care clinics
  • Ancillary care
  • Dialysis Centers, Cancer Treatment Centers 

Make sure you know your prescription medication and health information – use Rx on the Run to keep a list of your prescriptions

Plan for any chronic conditions you may have

  • Diabetes: Talk to your pharmacist about keeping a supply of insulin on hand – Try to refrain from eating sugar and other carbohydrates 
  • Kidney disease: Make sure you have access to dialysis treatment and use the renal diet
  • Cardiovascular disease & hypertension: Try to refrain from high-salt and fatty food and aim for 30 minutes of activity a day to manage your blood pressure.
  • Pulmonary disease: Work with your supplier to understand options for keeping resupplies of oxygen with you.
  • Disability: Identify a trusted caretaker if necessary 
  • Aging: Post emergency numbers near every house phone and cellular phone 
  • Asthma: Have a plan to ensure you have a supply of your asthma medications and supplies.
  • Cancer: If you have a cancer survivorship care plan, keep a copy handy and take steps to lower your risk for infections.

Keep a list of helpful hotlines

  • Healthcare Ready: 1-866-247-2694
  • FEMA Disaster Assistance Helpline: 1-800-621-3362
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (or text “TalkWithUS” to 66746)
  • Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER): 1-866-901-3773
  • Red Cross: 1-800-733-2767
  • American Diabetes Association: 1-800-342-2283
  • American Heart Association: 1-800-242-8721
  • American Association of People with Disabilities: 1-800-840-8844
  • American Stroke Association: 1-888-478-7653

Protecting Your Health for Disease Outbreaks

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or use hand sanitizing gel, and avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth
  • Disinfect surfaces you touch regularly (like desks, doorknobs, and phones) as often as you can
  • Avoid traveling to areas and regions where there is a concentration of cases
  • Avoid interactions with those who are sick
  • If you are sick and think you may have been exposed to the disease
    • Call your doctor and let them know your symptoms
    • Try to stay home and keep distance from others
    • Work with your employer to determine their sick leave policy, which may be more generous during an outbreak
    • Cover your hands and mouth when you sneeze and cough
  • Only follow health advice from your healthcare providers and trusted public health sources like CDC.gov (and WHO.int during a global pandemic)
  • Make sure your medications remain stable
    • Some medicines must remain within a certain temperature range
    • Tip: insulin can remain stable between 59°F and 86°F for up to 28 days1
  • Use RxOpen.org to find open pharmacies near you 
  • Drink plenty of bottled water and avoid skipping meals or eating spoiled food
    • Eat nutrient-rich, non-perishable foods such as fruits and vegetables 
  • Check with your health insurance provider for emergency support resources and hotlines
    • Start by calling the number on the back of your insurance card for assistance 
    • If you don’t have insurance, call 2-1-1 and ask about local services that may be able to help
    • If there is a disaster declaration, you can also try to apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance for financial support by calling 800-621-3362 or visiting DisasterAssistance.gov

Download our Pandemic and Disease Outbreak Tip Sheet here:

This Tip Sheet was created thanks to the generous support of Eli Lilly



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