SUNY Cortland students can prepare themselves in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak by having important items on hand and creating a plan with family members on how to proceed if the College closed and students were dismissed.
Below are some recommended steps toward becoming prepared for an emergency.
Plan with Family Members
If the College were closed, students should have a plan in place with their family related to obtaining transportation home or establishing temporary housing.
Take Important Papers and Valuables
If dismissal were to happen, students might only be able to take valuable items and necessities with them, such as:
- Important papers and documents such as driver’s license, special medical information, insurance policies
- Computers, valuable jewelry and any other non-replaceable items
Keep Gas Tanks Full and Cash on Hand
Gas and cash are precious commodities to have before, during and after an emergency event.
If there were no power for some reason during an emergency, banks may be closed, checks and credit cards unaccepted, and ATMs may not be operational. Consequently, it is important to have plenty of gas in cars at all times, and to always have a supply of emergency cash for use in the event of a crisis.
Protect Yourself from the Flu Virus
When it comes to illness, prevention is the best approach. Here is some information on ways that you can help to protect yourself from the flu virus and guidelines for if you are sick:
How Flu Spreads
Flu viruses spread in respiratory droplets caused by coughing and sneezing. They usually spread from close person-to-person contact. In other cases, people become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth, eyes or nose. The virus can live for as long as 48 hours on surfaces like doorknobs, desks and tables.
Healthy adults, infected with the virus, may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to seven days after becoming sick. That means that you can pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
How to Prevent the Flu
- Get an annual flu shot. A vaccine against any new strain of Influenza wouldtake some time to develop, so getting a regular seasonal flu vaccine is even more critical during a pandemic because this will help to reduce the burden of the seasonal flu during a pandemic.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water. Hand washing can help to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses that could cause illness to yourself or others
- When soap and water are not available, use an antibacterial hand cleaner. When used properly, these sanitizers reduce the transmission of disease-causing germs.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched using antibacterial wipes or soapy water.
Other Ways to Prevent the Flu
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Cover your mouth with tissue when sneezing and discard the tissue and wash your hands immediately, or cough/sneeze into your elbow if a tissue is not available
- Stay away from others if you are sick; don't go to class or work for at least 24 hours after your fever goes away (without taking any fever-reducing medications such as Tylenol, Motrin or Asprin).
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
If you develop symptoms of the flu, contact your health care provider. On the SUNY Cortland campus, students may visit Student Health Service, located in Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-26.
The Student Health Service is open in the morning for walk-ins, from 8-11 a.m. and for appointments in the afternoon 1-3:30 p.m. An appointment can be made by calling (607) 753-4811, or from an on-campus phone, extension 4811.
If it is found that you do indeed have the flu, there may be medications available to alleviate your symptoms. You should also get plenty of rest, drink lots of liquids and avoid using alcohol and tobacco.
The flu can be debilitating, causing the person who is ill to be bedridden for extended periods. Be alert to the well-being of friends, relatives and co-workers. Those with the flu may need assistance in getting medical attention and care. If you are at special risk from complications of flu, you should consult your health care provider immediately upon recognizing flu symptoms.