You may have heard news reports about the possibility of a worldwide flu pandemic. While Minnetonka has an extremely good all-hazards emergency plan in place, there is no substitute for good individual preparedness for this type of emergency.
Having an emergency plan, a kit, and proper information is critical. The Minnetonka Fire, Emergency Management, and Public/Environmental Health Departments recommend the following sites for further information about pandemics as well as all-hazard preparedness planning:
- What are the symptoms of influenza?
The symptoms are similar to seasonal flu, including:
- fever > 100°F
- sore throat
- head and body aches
- stuffy nose
- lack of appetite
- in some cases, diarrhea and vomiting
- How is it transmitted?
- Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza.
- Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
- How do I protect myself and others?
The following steps are recommended by the Minnesota Department of Health to protect yourself and others from the flu:
- Cover your nose and mouth with your sleeve when you cough or sneeze.
- Clean your hands frequently and thoroughly—with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub solution.
- Clean your hands after shaking hands or having other close contact with other people; before eating or preparing food; and after touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Limit contact with others who may be ill.
- Stay home from work or school—and generally avoid going out in public—if you are sick. Remain home for seven days, or until 24 hours after your symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.
- Make sure to take enough fluids when you’re sick.
- Employers, encourage employees to stay home if they’re sick.
- If you do develop possible flu symptoms and want to consult your health care provider, call before going in for an office visit. You may not need to go in, and if you do need to be seen, a time should be set up when you will not risk exposing others to influenza in the waiting room.
- People at risk for severe flu or flu complications should contact their health care provider if they have flu symptoms or have been exposed to people with flu symptoms. Those individuals include people with an underlying medical condition, pregnant women, young children (especially under age 2) and people 65 and older.
- More information
For more information about influenza, please visit the links below.
All-hazard preparedness information
- Ready.gov (U.S. Department of Homeland Security)
- Ready Minnesota
- Businesses in the community should consider this an opportunity to review and update their Continuity of Operations Plans (COOPs), and consider processes for telecommuting and employee absences. Visit the Business Continuity Planners Association for more information.
For more information, contact Acting Fire Chief Kevin Fox at 952.939.8333 or Minnetonka Fire Department Training Chief Jim Flanders at 952.939.8334.