Get Ready newsletter: Get Ready Now!: Spring 2012 issue

Get Ready Blog launches a new series to help you stay safe this summer
Summer Safe SeriesWith summer just around the corner, we’re thinking warm thoughts. To help you stay safe when it’s hot outside, the Get Ready Blog has introduced a new series called Summer Safe. The series will include posts about staying safe in the heat, protecting yourself from insect-borne illnesses and preparing for severe summer weather.

APHA's Benjamin testifies before Congress on preparedness

Dr. Benjamin_testimonyAPHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin joined a panel of emergency preparedness experts who testified before a House subcommittee June 6. Preparedness, response and recovery from disasters such as hurricanes and terrorist attacks were the focus of the hearing, which was conducted by the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications. Benjamin emphasized the importance of preparedness, noting that, while the U.S. has made great progress since 9/11 attacks and the subsequent anthrax attacks, much of that progress is endangered by funding cuts. He noted that public health has lost 52,000 jobs since 2008 and that 23 percent of local health departments across the U.S. have cut emergency preparedness in recent years. “We need a more sustainable, long-term funding mechanism that helps integrate preparedness,” he told the subcommittee. Photo courtesy of House Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness

Get Ready campaign visits Maryland school 
firetruckFun, food and fire trucks were on the agenda May 19 when APHA’s Get Ready campaign visited Galway Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md. Nearly 100 children attended the event, which was part of a health fair hosted by the school. APHA staff and volunteers led students through a range of games aimed at teaching the importance of being prepared for disasters, flu and other emergencies.

Students lined up to play Pin the Tissue on Sneezy Sam and Pin the Soap on Samantha, and won prizes such as hand sanitizer and musical hand-washing timers that teach how long they should wash their hands. Another popular game — What Doesn’t Belong? — quizzed kids on what should and should not be included in an emergency preparedness kit.

The event culminated with a tour of a fire truck, compliments of the Burtonsville, Md., Volunteer Fire Department, and healthy snacks provided by Montgomery County Public Schools’ Division of Food and Nutrition Services. Photo courtesy of Teddi Dineley Johnson 

Flu Near You Update

The 2011-2012 flu season may be winding down, but did you know you can still get the flu even in the Flu Near You - Take the challenge!summer? That’s why we’re asking people to continue answering the question, “How are you feeling?” when they get their weekly Flu Near You emails.

Not getting emails from Flu Near You? You can still join thousands of other people across the country and sign up to be a disease detective today.

Plus, if you’re an APHA member, you can join the Flu Near You Challenge and win prizes like cash, iPads or maybe a renewal of your APHA membership. The contest is going on all through the summer, so don’t forget to spread the word about Flu Near You!

Emergency Stockpile Recipe Contest: Disaster never tasted so good!
stockpile recipesWhat would you eat if a natural disaster or other emergency knocked out the power in your home? That’s the challenge we presented recently when we announced our Get Ready Emergency Stockpile Recipe Contest. After the Get Ready team prepared and tasted recipes from around the country, we announced our winners in April. Check out the top recipes and try one today! Photo courtesy Michelle Holshue  

Announcing the winners of our Get Ready Scholarship

 In May, Get Ready announced the winners our Get Ready Scholarship. Students were asked to write essays on various topics related to emergency preparedness. Two students each from the high school, undergraduate and graduate college levels – six students in total - were chosen from hundreds of applicants as the winners of the scholarship. Each of the students will receive $500 from the Get Ready campaign to further their education and pay for school costs as well as a free one-year APHA membership. You can read excerpts from the essays on the Get Ready Scholarship page. Congratulations to each of our winners!

Hurricane season is here: Be prepared
Did you know that hurricane season for those living on the Atlantic coast of the U.S. started on June 1? Are you ready for a potential hurricane? Preparing a hurricane emergency supply kit is critical if you live in an at-risk area. In so
me cases, you may need to evacuate or shelter-in-place, so be sure to tune into what local officials are advising. Learn about this and more in our fact sheets available in both English and Spanish (PDFs).

CDC offers emergency preparedness guide for older adults
A new guide from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention titled “Identifying Vulnerable Older Adults and Legal Options for Increasing Their Protection during All-Hazards Emergencies: A Cross-Sector Guide for States and Communities” aims to equip public health officials, the aging services network, emergency management, and essential partners from other sectors and at all jurisdictional levels with critical information, strategies, and resources to improve the planning for and protection of vulnerable community-dwelling older adults during all-hazards public health emergencies. The guide covers topic areas such as developing plans, partnering and collaboration, using data for action, building registries, using law-based solutions, sheltering and caregiver preparedness. For more information or to download the PDF of the guide, visit here.

Two new personal preparedness applications available
The winning applications from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Facebook challenge are now live. According to the recent press release, “The two apps, bReddi and Project: Lifeline, do more than allow users to identify lifelines. They also let users create and share personal preparedness plans, and track the status of their Facebook friends in disaster-affected areas. Both apps achieve the goals of helping families and friends to plan more easily, being better prepared when a disaster strikes, and more reliably and efficiently getting the word out about each others' health and safety.” Both apps can be accessed through the ASPR website or directly through Facebook.

Save the date: Get Ready Day is Sept. 18
Held each year on the third Tuesday in September, APHA's Get Ready Day is timed to coincide with National Preparedness Month. In 2012, Get Ready Day will be held Tuesday, Sept. 18. For questions about Get Ready Day, call us at 202-777-2742 or email us. We'd love to hear about your activities. Visit our event planning page for tips and to request hard copies of materials for use in your activities.

Two new Get Ready podcasts recently added
Check out the most recent podcasts the Get Ready campaign has added to its lineup:

(1) Episode 26: “How to stay safe in hot weather”
Released: May 22, 2012. Running time: 9:47

Description: In this episode, Linda Degutis, DrPH, MSN, speaks with The Nation's Health Reporter Teddi Dineley Johnson about heat-related illnesses. Degutis, director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, offers tips for staying safe in hot weather and describes the warning signs of heat-related illnesses.
• Play podcast
• Read transcript
• Download a Healthy You tipsheet from The Nation's Health (PDF)

(2) Episode 25: “Tips for creating a useful first-aid kit”
Released: March 7, 2012. Running time: 21:14

Description: What should you put in your first-aid kit? Richard Bradley, MD, a member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and an associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, provides tips on what you need to have on hand for an emergency.
• Play podcast
• Read transcript
• Download a Healthy You tipsheet from The Nation's Health (PDF)

Featured new blogs
APHA’s Get Ready campaign offers a regular blog centered on topics related to emergency preparedness. We encourage you to follow our blog.

• 2011-2012 flu season is officially over
• Get ready for hurricane season: It’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week!
• Flu Fridays: Flu shot can protect pregnant women from more than just the flu
• Flu Friday: Canada fails its first Flu Report Card
• Flu Fridays: Flu vaccine safety
• Are you heading to the Olympics this summer? Add one more thing to your packing list
• Volunteering during a disaster: Stories from the American Red Cross

Follow our Get Ready board on Pinterest
Do you use Pinterest? The American Public Health Association is on Pinterest, and we have a pin board dedicated to Get Ready and emergency preparedness!

Check out our Get Ready product of the month
Browse our online Get Ready store. We offer a variety of merchandise, perfect for gifts. (Don’t forget Father’s Day is coming up!) Our featured product of the month is a pair of Get Ready flip flops for comfortable wear during these upcoming summer months. They are available in kids’ sizes too.  Also, stay shaded from the sun with this sporty, adjustable Get Ready cap priced at $15.99, while spreading the important message of emergency preparedness. Browse these products and more at the online store!  

Follow our Get Ready Twitter handle
Do you tweet? If so, consider following our Get Ready Twitter handle that provides regular links to public health news and research. 
Donate: Show your support for APHA’s Get Ready campaign. Make your tax deductible year-end contribution today.

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

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Posted June 18, 2012