Get Ready newsletter

Get Ready Now!: Spring 2010 issue

What is the Get Ready campaign?
Check out our new brochure and share with others This hot-off-the-press brochure highlights the purpose of the campaign, suggests ways to get involved, and explains where to find our free materials and resources. This information can be used by health workers, organizations and all Americans to promote preparedness within communities. The new brochure is available to download here (PDF) and we encourage you to share this information with others.

APHA congratulates this year’s Get Ready Scholarship winners
Six students at the high school, college and graduate level were chosen as the 2010 Get Ready Scholarship winners. This year, we received an overwhelming response from nearly 1,000 contestants from across the nation. Winners were determined through an essay contest on the importance of emergency preparedness and disease prevention. Excerpts from the winning entries can be viewed here. The winners are: Leah Wight— Golden Valley High School, Merced, Calif. (high school level), Courtney Farr — Robert L. Patton High School, Morganton, N.C. (high school level), Brittany Voorhees — Holy Names University, Oakland, Calif. (undergraduate level), Delaney Moore — Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, Ind. (undergraduate level), Tazeen Dhanani — George Mason University, Fairfax, Va. (graduate level), and Kristen Paz — Pepperdine University, Malibu, Calif. (graduate level). To read more, visit here.

Seasonal health alert: Look out for ticks!
Ticks are the leading carriers of diseases to humans in the United States, second only to mosquitoes tickworldwide, according to e-medicine health. Outbreaks of tick-related illnesses follow seasonal patterns (about April to September in the United States) as ticks evolve from larvae to adults. While the best way to avoid ticks is to limit your exposure to their habitats (woodsy areas), if this is not possible, experts suggest wearing long-sleeve light-colored clothing, tucking pants legs into socks, applying repellent and thoroughly checking your body for possible ticks afterwards. Remember to check your children and pets too! Learn more about tick prevention and control from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site. Should you find a tick, do not panic—read more about removal instructions. To find out more about tick-borne diseases, visit here.

New fact sheets

H1N1 flu fact sheet now in 10 Asian and Pacific Islander languages
factsThanks to the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, the Get Ready campaign is pleased to provide its fact sheet on H1N1 preparedness in common Asian and Pacific Islander languages. The health forum translated the Get Ready campaign's popular H1N1 flu preparedness fact sheet (also available in English and Spanish) into 10 languages: Chinese, Chamorro, Chuukese, Japanese, Korean, Marshallese, Samoan, Thai, Tongan and Vietnamese. For more information or to download any of these fact sheets, visit here.

¿Habla usted español? More than 20 fact sheets and materials are available in Spanish
From earthquakes and power outages to H1N1 flu and handwashing, APHA’s Get Ready campaign offers a wealth of free fact sheets to help people become more prepared. And now, the ever-growing list of Get Ready materials includes 20 resources in Spanish. In April, the Get Ready campaign debuted seven new Spanish-language translations of its preparedness materials on its website, including fact sheets on floods and H1N1 flu. To see a broader range of materials, click here. Particularly with the growing number of Spanish-speaking U.S. residents, offering campaign materials in languages other than English helps to spread the important message of the Get Ready campaign.

Do you have enough H2O in case of an emergency?
Water is an essential resource for everyday life. If an emergency such as a major waterstorm, a water main break or contamination cuts you off from your everyday water source, you'll need a back-up supply. The Get Ready campaign's new fact sheet (PDF) on the importance of water stockpiling provides easy tips for getting started. Learn more about how to safely stockpile water in case of an emergency. You should have at least one gallon of water per person per day in your emergency stockpile. That means if you have three people in your family, you should have nine gallons stored. And that’s just for drinking. Don’t forget about your pets too. This fact sheet is also available in Spanish (PDF). Add your own logo too! 

New podcasts and blogs

New podcast with the Kansas Public Health Association
Check out the new podcast entitled “Preparedness across the nation: Kansas Public Health Association helps residents get ready” that was recently added to the Get Ready website. It highlights Get Ready activities performed by the Kansas Public Health Association. Elaine Schwartz, executive director of the Kansas Public Health Association, discusses her association’s involvement in the Get Ready campaign and explains the details of an upcoming collaboration to help broaden awareness of the importance of preparedness in Kansas. In Kansas, the association is working with the Kansas Chamber of Commerce to get the word out to local businesses on the importance of workplace wellness and preparedness and uses Get Ready materials in its outreach. Follow Kansas’ lead and think about ways you and your community may be able to utilize some of the Get Ready campaign materials to help get the word out. 

Lessons learned from H1N1 response, a year later: A Get Ready Blog excerpt
It’s been a long year for those of us following the H1N1 flu pandemic and even longer for the health workers on the front lines fighting the flu. The majority of the 60 million swine flu cases in the United States were mild or moderate, with 270,000 hospitalizations and 12,270 deaths, versus 36,000 for seasonal flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates. Most of the people who were hardest hit had underlying medical conditions. Despite the challenges this widespread pandemic presented, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius calls the government's response a success. A vaccine was made in record time and given to more than 90 million people through public health networks cobbled together on the fly. What do you think? Over a year later since the initial outbreak of the H1N1 pandemic, what have we learned? What was done well and what could be improved upon? Read the recent blog entry and leave us a comment.

Partner spotlight

Learn more about the Medical Reserve Corps: Volunteers building strong, healthy and prepared communities
The Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of local groups of volunteers committed to strengthening public health, emergency response and community resiliency. Corps volunteers include medical and public health professionals, as well as others interested in improving the public health infrastructure of their local jurisdiction. Corps units identify, screen, train and organize volunteers. They then utilize them to support routine public health activities and to augment preparedness and response efforts.

Medical Reserve Corps units recently played an integral role in supporting ongoing H1N1 planning and response activities. Over the past year, Corps volunteers nationwide staffed vaccination clinics and phone banks and were mobilized to provide flu prevention education and awareness campaigns. Between the months of April 2009 and December 2009, 544 Medical Reserve Corps units and nearly 50,000 volunteers participated in H1N1-related activities, with an estimated total of 2,798 activities.

To learn more about the Medical Reserve Corps, or find the unit closest to you, visit http://www.medicalreservecorps.gov. Corps units are always looking for volunteers. The level of commitment depends on how much you are able to give. Whether you wish to work on public health initiatives, emergency preparedness and response, or both, the Medical Reserve Corps has something to offer. As a community program, your local Medical Reserve Corps may also be a wonderful resource for you and the organization for which you work. For example, the Corps hosts and works with partners to hold trainings and exercises and provides back-fill and surge capacity to hospitals and health departments. For further information, contact MRCContact@hhs.gov.  Photo depicts a Mohave County M.R.C. (Ariz.) volunteer demonstrating proper handwashing techniques during the 2009 Bullhead City Safety and Education Fair; Courtesy of the Medical Reserve Corps. 

Contact us
Tell us! Send your comments, questions, suggestions and ideas or call 202-777-2742.

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