Kia Mataara! Be Prepared!

Kia Mataara! Be Prepared!

HE Code: 
Pamphlet DLE
Publication date: 
1 March 2010
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Advice for whānau on planning, preparing an emergency kit and practising basic hygiene in the event of an influenza (flu) pandemic. This resource replaces HE1914.

Ngā kawa-ā-rewharewha morearea
Some practical steps to be prepared for a flu pandemic

Kia mohio ai, kia ora ai!
Stay informed and stay alive!

Ngā tohutohu ā mate
Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of Influenza can include:

  • fever (a temperature ≥38 °C)
  • cough or sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches or headache
  • chills or fatigue
  • some people also experience diarrhoea and vomiting.

Remember: the worst symptoms usually last about five days, but coughing can last up to two weeks.

Horoia ngā ringaringa
Keeping your hands clean

It is important to keep your hands clean at all times. Washing your hands regularly will ensure that when you touch surfaces or shake hands you do not pass on germs.

Kia Mataara – Be Prepared

Here are some practical steps you can take to stop the spread if you or someone in your whānau is sick with influenza.

1. Stay away or keep contact short

  • If you or a whānau member is sick, stay home for at least five days. Do not go to work, school or Kōhanga where you could spread the flu.
  • If you have to go to a hui or social or sporting gathering, keep your time there short and avoid kissing, hongi and shaking hands.

2. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly and regularly

  • Wash your hands with liquid soap or alcohol gel (a squirt about the size of a 50 cent piece) for at least 20 seconds regularly to stop germs from spreading.

3. Use tissues for all sneezing, coughing and wiping. Then throw them away

  • Cough or sneeze into your upper arm and use a tissue if you can.
  • Discard all used tissues into a lined bin or plastic bag.
  • If you need to spit, spit into a tissue and throw it away in a lined bin or plastic bag.

4. Keep sick areas well ventilated

  • Influenza spreads quicker when there is not enough ventilation. Open your windows for a bit of fresh air!

5. Have a whānau plan.

  • Make a whānau plan that includes an emergency food and water kit, prescription medicines e.g. blood pressure pills, paracetamol or ibuprofen, and a contact list of whānau and your doctor.
  • If it is hard to get time off work, include a list of caregivers who can help look after sick people.
  • See the check list below.

Tiakina te whānau me ngā tamariki
Looking after our families and our children

Rest and isolation

A person with influenza could be sick for up to two weeks. Try and keep sick family members away from others and in their room instead of on the couch.

Keep up food and drink

Even if the sick person is not thirsty, keep up the liquids. A sick person needs at least 2 litres (8 cups) of fluid a day. The best are cold drinks of water, diluted fruit or soft drink, or breast milk for babies. For meals, keep it simple like watery soups, toast or fruit. But if a sick person is not hungry, don’t make them eat. It’s more important to keep up the fluids.

Have a stocked first aid kit

Thermometer – keep this in your kit and wipe with disinfectant between uses.

Disinfectant wipes or gel – keep a few packets or bottles specifically for your first aid kit.

Paracetamol or ibuprofen– keep a few packets handy.

He rārangi whakareri
Your check list for daily care

  • Healthline 0800 611 116
  • Hauora clinic / doctor
  • Another whānau support contact
  • First aid kit
    • Paracetamol / ibuprofen
    • Thermometer
    • Cough mixture
    • Other medication you regularly take e.g. blood pressure pills
  • Flu supplies
    • Tissues and plastic bag for used tissues
    • Hand gel
More information on influenza and planning for an influenza pandemic is available on: or you can call Healthline 0800 611 116