Be Prepared for Flu Season

During flu season, you may get sick and need to stay home for a week or so. Plan ahead and have a two-week supply of items you may need.

Here are a few things you should consider having on hand for the flu season, which generally is October through March.

Prescription Medicines and Medical Supplies

  • Prescription medicines that you take regularly
  • Other medical supplies if you have a chronic health condition, such as insulin and strips for diabetes, rescue inhaler medicine for asthma, or oxygen for COPD

Over-the-Counter Pain Medicines

  • Ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Flu medicine
  • Decongestant (medicine to clear the nose and chest)
  • Cough syrup
  • Sore throat lozenges or spray

For medicines you already have, check the date to make sure they haven't expired.

Other Useful Items

  • Thermometer (Taking body temperature)
  • Alcohol-based hand cleaners
  • Tissues
  • Foods that are easy on the stomach, such as broth and soups, saltine crackers, and applesauce
  • Basic hygiene supplies such as toothpaste, soap, and toilet paper
  • Fluids to stay hydrated, such as Gatorade or Pedialyte (for children)
  • Face masks to cover your nose and mouth if you must leave your home, such as to a medical appointment
  • Phone number for your doctor's office or the Consulting Nurse Service
  • Contact information for work in case you need to call in sick
  • If you have pets, have extra supplies such as dog food or cat litter

Adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009.

Clinical review by Travis Abbott, MD
Kaiser Permanente
Reviewed 03/01/2014

The Consulting Nurse Service is available around the clock to Kaiser Permanente members who have medical questions or concerns.