Extra stocks of antiviral drugs are being bought by the Department of Health to protect Northern Ireland against any major outbreak of swine flu.
Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said there were currently stocks to cover half the population, but extra stocks were being bought to increase cover to 80%.
In a ministerial statement to the Assembly today he said the move was being taken despite no previous global pandemic being known to affect more than a third of the population.
At the same time stocks of antibiotics are being increased in case they are needed to treat complications of influenza, particularly pneumonia.
The minister said Northern Ireland was still free from any confirmed cases of swine flu - test results on another four people are awaited.
"We are well prepared for any cases that may emerge," he told MLAs.
Mr McGimpsey said there remained considerable uncertainty about the global outbreak but previous flu pandemics showed a lower rate of summer infection but an increase in winter.
"So we must be on our guard and prepare for a potential further wave of the swine flue virus in the autumn, which may be more widespread.
"It is important too, that we use our stock of antivirals carefully so that the public will be protected during the winter months," he said.
Some reassurance must be taken from the fact that, to date, anyone who has contracted the virus outside Mexico had a relatively mild flu and that in addition it appeared swine flu responded well to treatment with antivirals and some people recovered with no antiviral treatment, he said.
But he added: "That does not mean we will be complacent. No-one can say for certain how this virus may change or if the situation will worsen.
"We have been planning for a potential pandemic for a number of years and this country remains amongst one of the best prepared in the world."
Stocks of antiviral drugs have been placed in hospitals and in GP out of hours centres, in addition measures are in place to ensure an adequate supply of the medication will be available in community pharmacies, said the minister.
Around 800 people have contacted the Northern Ireland flu helpline - 0800 0514142 - for advice since in was established last Thursday.
Meanwhile Invest NI is encouraging businesses in Northern Ireland to consider their continuity planning and crisis management in the light of possible further swine flu outbreaks.
The economic agency is offering guidance on its website - www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/swineflu.
"With good planning , businesses can minimise the impact of most crises, including large numbers of staff potentially being on sick leave," said Shauna Fenton, head of the nibusinessinfo team.
"It's important to identify what the potential risks are and the possible impact on the business, produce a crisis plan and test it to see whether it works," she added.
The website also features guidance on how to perform a risk assessment, handling workplace heath and guidance for international travellers about health and safety controls.
Another government website - www.nidirect.gov.uk - is being updated regularly with information about worldwide health and travel, in the wake of the outbreak.