Indeed, the actions taken by individuals during a pandemic may have the biggest effect on its outcome. The most important step people could take would be to try to avoid contact with those who are sick. Everyone must be prepared to stay at home if necessary; to that end, the CDC recommends storing a two-week supply of water and food.
People also need to educate themselves about appropriate preventive measures should an outbreak occur. Just last month, for instance, the CDC issued new recommendations for the general public regarding the use of face masks and respirators. During a pandemic, face masks should be considered for use in crowded settings; respirators should be considered when close contact with an infectious person cannot be avoided. Although the devices do not offer complete protection, they can help reduce exposure to airborne viruses and provide an additional margin of safety.