Contact your Department of Public Health

Follow your Department of Public Health on DPH Facebook Page or DPH Twitter Site

Flu Virus

Pandemic Flu Information

Have a Plan

Contact Information

Saint Louis County Public Health
Communicable Disease Control Services

Saint Louis County DPH

6121 North Hanley Road
Berkeley, MO 63134

[email protected]

Get Informed

How to Avoid Catching the Flu

Here are some simple things YOU can do to keep from catching or spreading a “bug” - whether it’s a “flu bug” or the common cold.

  • Try to keep a distance of three feet away from others.
  • Always cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.
  • Stay home if you are ill.
  • Call your doctor on the phone if you can avoid going in to their office.
  • Check with your physician about getting the pneumococcal vaccination. It protects you from many types of pneumonia, one of the most common and fatal complications of the flu, especially for older adults.

Plan Basics

Making a Pandemic Influenza Plan for your Family or Business does not have to be scary. Getting started is the hardest part. Whether you create your plan all at one time or add to it part by part, beginning to think about how a Pandemic might affect your life is the first step.

And here is how:

  1. Educate yourself on the subject of Pandemic Influenza.
  2. Think "outside the box" about how a Pandemic might affect your organization
  3. Prepare a list of all of the critical tasks that need to happen in your family or business (See the Sample Spreadsheet on how to do this in the Planning Tools section)

    For example, if you are making a plan for your family:
    • What are the essential household tasks that you have to do in order to maintain a safe household? (Perhaps the dishes need to be done and trash needs to be taken out, but dusting and weeding can wait a few weeks.)
    • What are the essential things that need to be done in order to maintain your family? (Perhaps the baby needs to have its diaper changed but practicing piano or basketball with the kids can wait a few weeks)
  4. Decide who is usually performs these tasks and then also who would be able to perform them in a Pandemic. (See the Sample Spreadsheet on how to do this in the Planning Tools section)
    For example, usually Mom and Dad change the baby, but in the event of Mom and Dad getting sick could Grandma, Grandpa or Older Sibling change the baby?
  5. Make an Emergency Preparedness Kit for Pandemic Influenza (See the sample list of what to put in a kit in the Make A Kit section)

Planning Tools

Here are a few tools to get you started (Courtesy of Ameren UE). For the most comprehensive resource on plans, please visit the There you will find plans for schools, businesses and families.

Make a Kit

Are you prepared?

Do you have a Pandemic Influenza kit?

If not, here is a list of things that you might want to consider putting in your basement or otherwise safe place to protect you and your family in the event of a pandemic.*

Medical and Health
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood-pressure monitoring equipment
  • Soap and water, or alcohol-based hand wash
  • Wipes
  • Vitamins
  • Fluids with electrolytes
  • Cleansing agent/soap
  • Thermometer
  • Disposable diapers
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Prescription medications (one months supply)
  • Photocopies of prescriptions
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses
  • Special items for babies/elderly
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes for each family member
Food and Non-perishables
  • Enough Canned food to last your family for 2 weeks
  • 3 Gallons pf Wter Per person per day for 2 weeks
  • Dry foods such as cereal, granola, dried fruit
  • Canned or jarred baby food and formula
  • Pet food/supplies
  • Single serve drinks
Emergency Supplies
  • Flashlight
  • Battery Powered radio
  • Batteries
  • Can Opener
  • Credit card and cash
  • Personal identification
  • Spare car keys
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Signal flare
  • Whistle
  • Map of area
  • Paper and pencils
  • Masking or duct tape
  • Toilet Paper
  • Plain chlorine bleach
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Plastic garbage bag
  • Blankets
*This list is not definitive. It is a suggestion by Saint Louis County Public Health Department of items you may want to consider. Other items according to your own personal tastes may be appropriate.


There has been a lot of conversation on the subject of masks for use in a Pandemic. It is up to each individual as to whether or not they feel that they would like to wear one. There is no conclusive evidence that a mask would definitively protect you in a Pandemic. However, it certainly passes the common sense test of usefulness. In order for the mask to be effective, it is essential that the mask be comfortable. If the mask is uncomfortable the wearer will inevitably 'play' with it and compromise the barrier that it helps to create. It is generally agreed that a mask, as part of a layered approach to protecting oneself against influenza is a healthy idea. Other layers that should be used in conjunction with masks include not going to crowded venues, keeping a distance of three or more feet from others and of course HAND WASHING!

For more mask information you can read this article A Simple Respiratory Mask.