Get Ready newsletter

Get Ready Now!: Fall 2009 issue

Celebrate Get Ready Day and spread the preparedness message on Sept. 15
How prepared are you and your community for an emergency or disaster? APHA’s Get Ready Day, held annually on the third Tuesday in September, is raising awareness about community preparedness.

Bring the preparedness message to your community during Get Ready Day on Tuesday, Sept. 15, by holding an event. You'll find plenty of helpful free preparedness planning materials on the Get Ready fact sheet page, including fact sheets from our new Are You Ready? series. If you are not sure what sort of event to hold, check out the ideas and planning tips in our new Get Ready Event Guide or create preparedness games for kids with our Get Ready Games Guide.

September is National Preparedness Month so check out materials from that event as well.

If you hold a Get Ready activity, drop us a line and let us know. Check out the newly created APHA Get Ready calendar of events. We encourage you to submit your events as well as get ideas from others from this resource. We'd love to hear what you did! E-mail us at

Get Ready Starter Kits distributed

assemblyThis summer, APHA distributed 100 starter kits to help individuals and organizations across the country host their own Get Ready events. The kits included a banner, a T-shirt, balloons, stickers, pencils and a CD loaded with preparedness educational materials — all in custom APHA Get Ready boxes.

A group of dedicated APHA staff members got together to tackle blowing up balloons, assembling, packing and sealing 100 starter kits. It sounds daunting, but the superstar group managed to complete the task in just two hours. Many thanks to all of the staff members and vendors who helped make our pack-a-thon a success!

Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks
Daylight saving time ends Sunday, Nov. 1. Is your emergency preparedness stockpile up to date?

When it’s time to change your clocks because of daylight saving time, remember to check your preparedness kit to make sure your emergency stockpile isn’t missing any items and that the food hasn’t expired. APHA’s Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks campaign is reminding people to refresh their emergency supplies before a disaster occurs and to use the clock change as a reminder.

New Get Ready fact sheets available

factsWhat should I do if an earthquake or flood strikes? How do I prepare for a heat wave or winter storm? How can I prevent getting H1N1 flu? If you have any interest in finding the answers to any of these questions (and you definitely should), then check out the seven new fact sheets from APHA’s Get Ready campaign. They are available in both English and Spanish. Help spread the word on how to deal with each of these ever-present public health hazards. Get ready and educate!

Check out H1N1 flu preparations report to President Obama

President Obama’s advisory council known as the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) has released a report on Aug. 24 assessing preparations for H1N1, formerly known as swine flu. The advisory group was led by the nations’ foremost leading scientists and engineers, and detailed steps that should be implemented nationwide to curtail a serious H1N1 outbreak, as well as its impact. View the main recommendations emerging from the report. Notably, the council recommends that the H1N1 flu vaccine continue to be developed at an accelerated speed, and that high-risk individuals receive the vaccination first. To view the full report, click here.

Back to school guidelines relating to H1N1 flu virus

As children around the nation prepare to return to school, the fall flu season is upon us. In anticipation of this, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius joined forces in July to highlight strategies to continue learning in the event of student absences and to educate parents and students on how to slow the spread of H1N1 flu. Check out these school guidelines as well as other helpful resources, such as a communication toolkit for schools.

House and Senate Appropriations bills provide pandemic flu preparedness and response funding

Both the House and Senate versions of the Fiscal 2010 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bills provide the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services with $354 million in funding for pandemic influenza preparedness and response activates. In addition, each bill provides an additional $158 million directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for CDC's Influenza Program to provide public health preparedness and response to limit morbidity and mortality from influenza both domestically and globally, including seasonal (annual) influenza, avian influenza and pandemic influenza. Both bills have passed out of committee and await action by the full House and Senate.

Visit the Get Ready Booth at the APHA Annual Meeting

Come visit the Get Ready booth in the exposition hall at the 137th APHA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia in November. There will be educational materials, fun interactive games and helpful staff to answer any questions you may have about our Get Ready campaign and ways in which you can become involved.

Don't forget to get your seasonal flu shot

Each year in the United States, around 36,000 people die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized because of seasonal flu. People who don't get a flu shot are putting themselves and their close contacts at risk for flu.

Getting a flu shot is the single best way to protect yourself and the people you love from seasonal flu. And there is still plenty of time left in this flu season to make getting the flu shot worthwhile. Call your doctor or health clinic and schedule time for you and your loved ones to get your flu shots. Make sure you get ready for this flu season by getting your shot! Note: this vaccine does not protect against the H1N1 virus. That is still being developed.

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