LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - In 2006 the Angelina County Health District received funding from the Center of Disease Control to come up with a local plan that would prepare in case of a pandemic flu. The district used that money to design pandemic flu preparedness kits that was not only used in Angelina County, but it was also distributed to health departments across Texas.
The health district believes the kits are a huge tool to help prepare communities for H1N1.
Sharon Shaw, Administrator for the Angelina County Health District, said, "We've put together a pandemic flu kit for other people to be able to teach pandemic flu concepts."
They came up with the concept back in 2006, when the Bird Flu pandemic hit.
Little did the Angelina County Health District know their flu pandemic preparedness kit would come in hand, for H1N1.
"Pandemic flu, here we are, it's not the deadly flu that we had figured back in 2006 but we do have a flu that has covered the entire globe, making it a pandemic so this kit has come in real handy," said Shaw.
Angelina County has received nationally recognition for putting together the preparedness kit that simply explains how to prepare for a pandemic flu.
"The kit contains numerous materials that anybody in the community can use to teach pandemic flu education and continuity planning to their community," Shaw explains.
Over the past six months in prep for H1N1 much of the kit material has been used. "It's been very helpful in the last six months, we were able to pull the flyers, the CD materials, the basic hand washing things, the business continuity things," Shaw said while pointing to the material in the kit.
Health districts across Texas and the nation are putting the kit to use. "We gave these away to 19 states including Puerto Rico," adds Shaw.
Within the last month Angelina County H1N1 hospitalizations went up from 0 to 3 and the pediatric H1N1 deaths for the state of Texas is steady rising, a reason why Shaw said being prepared is essential.
So during this flu season Shaw said make sure you know the simple things will help you and your family.
"Have a thermometer, know how to take a temperature, know how to get a hold of your physician, have a medical home, there's a lot things that individuals can do now to prepare for a situation like H1 N1.
Shaw mentions the Angelina County pandemic flu preparedness kit was also sent to President Obama, to show him that government money is used at local level, to make sure the people are prepared for the worse.
For more information about the flu preparedness kit or about the county's pandemic plan you can go to www.lufkinpanflu.com.