Make your own 'swine flu survival kit'

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Midlands nurse says people need to gather some key items to create a swine flu survival kit.

The kit should include fluids with electrolytes like Gatorade and Powerade -- fever reducers with ibuprofen or acetaminophen as well as cough and cold medication.

"Many of us have these items already in our homes, whether it's in a closet or under lock and key," said Health Department Nurse Manager Kay Aaby. "But over the years, like last year you might have used them, they might have an expiration date on them. Or you might not have certain items that you thought you had."

Aaby says the kit should also have items to prevent spreading the flu virus -- things like hand sanitizer, possibly even face masks, specifically the N95 mask, which federal officials now say that health care workers should be wearing.

"Many times we are in different places," said Aaby. "We don't have water and soap available, so hand sanitizer is very important -- at least 60% alcohol based. Purell is one of the examples of hand sanitizers."

And like in all emergency kits, make sure to have plenty of water and about two weeks worth of non-perishable foods.

"It's really important to start planning ahead and to have these items in your house as a stockpile," said Aaby. "There may be shortages of certain supplies, so it's important to start stockpiling some of these items."

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