National Preparedness Month promotes emergency readiness
It’s a timely, crucial moment to stress the importance of readiness in case of disaster. September is National Preparedness Month. The observance, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Ready.gov campaign, asks Americans a simple question: Would you be ready if there were an emergency?
Throughout the month, more than 3,000 organizations nationwide are supporting efforts to help Americans prepare in case of emergency.
To be more prepared start with these four steps:
• get an emergency kit, including water and food supplies
• make a plan for emergency contact communication, in case family and friends are separated during a disaster
• be informed by checking media for global, national and local information
• get involved by taking response training such as first aid or volunteering to support local first responders
Find answers to important preparedness questions, including what to do during a disaster and how to fight against infectious diseases, with APHA Get Ready Q&As.
Sept. 18 is Get Ready Day!
Help spread the message of preparedness Sept. 18 in celebration of Get Ready Day. Held each year on the third Tuesday in September, APHA's Get Ready Day is timed to coincide with National Preparedness Month.
To take part, send a tweet about preparedness today with the #GETREADYDAY hashtag, post a message on facebook or share a link to the Get Ready site. You can also print one of our many great fact sheets and post it on your office bulletin board or home refrigerator.
Visit the Get Ready Day website for more event ideas.
New fact sheets on disability and preparedness available
APHA's Get Ready campaign has created a new five-part preparedness fact sheet series for people living with disabilities. The fact sheets are available in English and Spanish as PDFs, as audio files, as text pages and as ASL videos. The fact sheets were created by the campaign in consultation with APHA's Disability Section and disability experts. Check out the fact sheets, add your logo and share them in your community!
Enter APHA’s Get Ready Preparedness Cats Photo Contest
Do you have a cat? Is she or he photogenic? (Need we ask?) Snap a photo of your cat and enter APHA’s Get Ready Preparedness Cats Photo Contest! Winners will be featured in a Get Ready calendar.
The contest, held in conjunction with National Preparedness Month, is using cats as a fun way to promote preparedness. Much as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used zombies last year to successfully raise awareness of preparedness — and created a social media sensation! — we’re using our feline friends to raise awareness. (Let’s face it: Cats own the Internet.)
Take a look at the topics covered by the Get Ready campaign — such as having enough water stored, preparing for evacuation, driving in a disaster or having a plan — and figure out how to illustrate it with your cat.
Read our FAQs and official rules and regulations for complete info. Contest entries are being accepted through Sept. 30, so get snapping!
APHA reminds you to set your clocks and check your stocks on Nov. 4
APHA encourages you to check your stockpiles when you reset your clocks at the end of daylight savings time early this November. Daylights saving time ends Sunday, Nov. 4. If you haven’t created a stockpile, now is the time to create one.
For tips on what to include in your stockpile, check out Get Ready’s free stockpiling fact sheet, also available in Spanish. Remember to include plenty of water. Don’t forget to prepare for your furry friends, too, with the pet stockpiling fact sheet!
Get Ready covers “Call Me Maybe”
Did you hear about our new music video, “Let’s Get Ready?” We wrote our own lyrics about emergency preparedness to the tune of Carly Rae Jepsen’s, “Call Me Maybe.” We thought it would be a fun way to introduce new people to Get Ready – and it features real APHA staff members! Check out the video and share it with your friends.
We want your stories about getting ready!
September is National Preparedness Month, and Get Ready wants to share your stories about emergency preparedness. What made you decide to get ready for disasters? Have you experienced a tornado or earthquake? What did you learn? Did the last power outage make you wish you’d stockpiled more batteries? During the last hurricane, did you have to evacuate? We want to know how you get ready, and why!
Send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we might feature your story on our blog next month.
Recipes for disaster
What would you make for dinner if an emergency knocked out power in your home for multiple days? That’s what we wanted to find out when we announced our Emergency Stockpile Recipe Contest this spring. We received lots of great recipes for meals that can be made easily without cooking or refrigeration.
Check out the winners!
Visit the Get Ready booth at APHA’s 140th Annual Meeting in San Francisco
If you are planning to attend APHA’s 140th Annual Meeting in San Francisco in October, be sure to make time to stop by the Get Ready booth, #2325. When you stop by, you can enter to win a free three-day emergency disaster kit, play bean bag toss and pick up other goodies and information. For more information on APHA’s Annual Meeting, visit the APHA website.
Federal funding for preparedness
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a six-month continuing resolution on Sept. 13, essentially maintaining all federal funding at fiscal year 2012 levels through March 27. This includes level funding for public health and emergency preparedness activities, which were funded at almost $1.3 billion for fiscal year 2012. The continuing resolution also includes additional funding through the U.S. Department of the Interior for fighting wildfires. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure this week and barring any amendments in the Senate, the bill will then be sent to the president for final approval.
While the continuing resolution avoids cuts to preparedness funding, significant funding threats face this and most other public health programs in January. As a result of congressional failure to develop a bipartisan deficit reduction proposal, as required under the Budget Control Act, most federal discretionary programs, including public health preparedness, face an across-the-board cut of 8 percent to 10 percent by Jan. 2 if Congress does not enact a plan before then to reduce the national debt. Under this rigid budgetary tool known as sequestration, Public Health Emergency Preparedness grants would be cut by an estimated $48 million in fiscal year 2013, which would drastically affect states’ ability to respond to a range of public health threats, including infectious diseases, natural disasters, explosions and biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological events.
Read our action alert and help us tell Congress you want them to protect public health funding.
APHA Flu Near You Challenge going strong
Help track the flu by taking part in APHA’s Flu Near You Challenge. Sign up for the challenge and you could win cash and other awards!
APHA’s Get Ready campaign has teamed up with HealthMap to help track flu cases through a new online flu surveillance tool, Flu Near You. People use the tool to report their flu symptoms, which will help map influenza. Flu Near You wants millions of people in the U.S. to participate.
The challenge ends Oct. 15, but it's not too late to be involved! Winners will be announced at APHA's 140th Annual Meeting in October. Register now and start signing up Flu Near You users today!
Back to school health
Public Health Newswire, APHA's news blog, sat down with APHA’s Flu Near You Fellow Michelle Holshue, RN, BSN, to educate the public about flu preparedness and strategies to prevent and protect families — especially children — against other infectious diseases. Holshue talks about what to expect for the 2012 flu season and how to prevent another H1N1 pandemic.
Watch the interview
Follow our Get Ready board on Pinterest
Do you use Pinterest? The APHA is on Pinterest, and we have a pin board dedicated to Get Ready and emergency preparedness!
Follow our Get Ready Twitter handle
Do you tweet? If so, consider following our Get Ready Twitter handle that provides regular links to preparedness news and research.
Donate: Show your support for APHA’s Get Ready campaign. Make your tax deductible year-end contribution today.