Pandemic Planning

Week 1
Items to Buy:
  • One box of dry cereal per person in your house
  • One can of soup per person in your house
A pandemic influenza outbreak would mean that the things regularly available to us might not be in full supply.  A pandemic kit will ensure that you have the things you need to be comfortable in your home.  This week, begin saving empty plastic containers (milk, juice, etc.).  These containers can be used to store water when a pandemic outbreak is imminent.  Take stock of the things you have in your house that could be put in your kit, including a manual can opener, flashlight with batteries, portable radio, and thermometer.  Also, find a tote or container to place your kit items in for easy storage.
Week 2
Items to Buy:
  • One can of ready-to-eat meat or tuna per person in your house
  • One can of beans or chili per person
  • One can of fruit per person
Begin gathering family medical information to put in your kit.  Information to have on hand includes blood type, allergies, past/current medical conditions, and current medications with the dosage for all members of your family.  Emergency contact information such as hospitals, family physicians, pharmacist, employer contact information, school contact information, etc. should also be kept in the same location.  Family emergency health sheets are available to download at


Week 3
Items to Buy:
  • Garbage bags
  • Paper towels (two week supply)
  • Baby food/formula and/or pet food

To ensure you have all the medications you need during a pandemic outbreak, consider packing away a one month supply of all prescription medications you currently take.  Pharmacists will be busy, and leaving your home may put you or others at risk.  Contact insurance companies to see if you can purchase a 3 month supply of medications at a time.  If not, begin to stockpile prescriptions by picking up your next month supply one week early for several months.  In four months, you will have one month extra supply on hand.  Rotate your prescription medications out of your kit each month to ensure medication does not expire.


Week 4

Items to Buy:
  • Alcohol based hand sanitizer (60-95% alcohol)
  • One can of ready-to-eat pasta per person in your house
  • One can of soup per person in your house
Begin to teach children about germ prevention:  proper hand washing, and covering coughs and sneezes.  Keep children home from school if they are sick!  Model proper behavior by following germ prevention rules yourself, and always stay home from work if you are sick.  Your co-workers will thank you!


Week 5
Items to Buy:
  • Peanut butter (one jar for every two people in your house)
  • Standard flu medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen for fever reduction, anti-diarrhea, and cold and flu medicines.
Symptoms of pandemic influenza are similar to those of the seasonal flu, only more severe.  Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, and muscle pain.  Buy medications that have previously controlled flu symptoms for your family to have on hand.  Remember to watch expiration dates and rotate medications out of your kit!
Week 6
Items to Buy:
  • One can of vegetables (per person)
  • One box of granola/fruit bars (per person)
  • One box of crackers (per person)
Talk to your employer about what would happen if you could not go to work.  Discuss liberal leave time, ways you could work from home, and flexible work hours.  Even if you do not become sick, you may be responsible for the care of a sick family member or may need to take care of children who can not go to school or daycare.  Also, encourage your employer to help prevent the spread of pandemic influenza at work by modifying common practices such as shaking hands and working in close proximity to other employees.  Businesses might consider having supplies such as tissues, disinfectant, and hand sanitizer available for employees as well.
Week 7
Items to Buy:
  • One gallon of bleach
  • One box of disposable gloves
  • One box of tissues (per person in your house)
Contact the organizations and groups you are a part of.  Consider how you might meet as a group (other than in person) during a pandemic, if you needed to.  Also, consider some of the ways you might help the community during a pandemic.  Organizations are a great way to distribute important information.  Encourage family and friends to build a pandemic kit as a safety precaution!
Week 8
Items to Buy:
  • One can of vegetables (per person)
  • One bag of dried fruit (per person)
  • Extra supply of toilet paper (enough for two weeks for your family)

Put items in your kit that your family likes and uses on a regular basis.  That way, you can efficiently rotate the kit items into your pantry to use, while buying new items for your kit.  This will help ensure that the items in your kit do not expire before you use them.  Remember to check expiration dates on items in your pantry as well!

Week 9
Items to Buy:
  • One jar of applesauce (per person)
  • One jar of peanuts or mixed nuts (per person)
  • Antibacterial hand soap (one dispenser for every two people in your house)
  • Spray disinfectant (like Lysol)
Use a disinfectant (1 gallon water to 1/4 cup bleach or spray disinfectant) to clean door knobs, light switches, handles, toys and other surfaces that are commonly touched at home, school and work.  Clean these items frequently to help prevent the spread of germs!  Pandemic influenza will spread like seasonal influenza (through the respiratory tract), so get into the habit of disinfecting now to help keep you and your family safe in the future. 
Week 10
Items to Buy:
  • Drink mix ingredients (recipe below)
  • One box or bag of rice (per person)
  • One can of fruit (per person)
  • One box of cereal (per person)
Prevent dehydration for those who are sick by making sure they receive enough fluids (juice, soup, ice, water).  Keeping your loved ones hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to ensure recovery.  The recipe below, intended to help prevent dehydration for those over age 12, is provided by the American Red Cross (2006).  Make sure you have the items below to make this electrolyte drink mix.
  • 1 quart water
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt substitute
  • Mix well and flavor with lemon juice or sugar-free Kool-Aid
Week 11
Items to Buy:
  • Vitamins appropriate for each member of your house
  • One can of fruit per person
  • One box of crackers per person
  • Baby food/formula (two weeks supply, if applicable)
Help yourself avoid illness by keeping your body healthy!  Drink plenty of water, exercise and eat plenty of vegetables, fruit and lean protein.  Also make sure you get plenty of sleep each night.  Being run down will only make the flu worse!
Week 12
Items to Buy:
  • One can of soup per person
  • One can of meat per person
  • One can or bag of beans per person

Congratulations!  You have prepared yourself and your family for pandemic influenza!  If all individuals in Miner County are prepared, the impact a pandemic will have on our communities will be greatly reduced.  Continue to add items and watch expiration dates to ensure the items in your kit do not expire!

Contact Info

Please see department pages for direct contact information.

Physical Address: 

Miner County Courthouse

Park Ave. & Main St

401 N. Main St.

Howard, SD 57349


Office Hours: 

7:30am-12:00pm & 12:30pm-4:00pm

Monday - Friday

(Sheriff/Dispatch Office Open 24/7)