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

Get Ready Now!: Winter 2012 Issue 

General announcements
APHA reminds you to set your clocks and check your stocks on March 11

Clocks and stocks logoDaylight saving time begins on Sunday, March 11. APHA’s Get Ready campaign reminds you to set your clocks and check your emergency stockpile at this time. Is your emergency stockpile missing any items? For example, batteries for your flashlight? Do you have enough water in your supply? Check out our free resources on stockpiling, including checklists and more. These are available in English and Spanish. Although daylight saving time serves as a good time for reminder, this information is good year-round; you don't have to wait for the clock change to update your stockpile.

Preparedness funding in President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget
On Monday, Feb. 13, President Barack Obama released his fiscal year 2013 budget proposal. The introduction of the president’s budget serves as his recommendation to Congress for the upcoming fiscal year and marks the beginning of the congressional budgeting process. Next, the House and Senate will attempt to pass their own versions of the fiscal year 2013 budget and then the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will undertake a process of preparing the 12 individual appropriations bills that fund all of the federal government’s programs and agencies.

The president’s proposal would fund the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s influenza planning and response at $159 million, which is level funding compared to fiscal year 2012. This incorporates core pandemic and seasonal influenza activities. Also funded at CDC, state and local preparedness and response capability activities would receive $642 million, a reduction of $15.5 million versus fiscal year 2012. Funding for CDC’s Strategic National Stockpile would be reduced by $64 million to $439.4 million for fiscal year 2013. In addition, funding for Academic Centers for Public Health Preparedness at CDC would be eliminated in the president’s proposal. At the Health Resources and Services Administration, hospital preparedness funding would be cut by $120 billion below fiscal year 2012, for a total of $255 million.

APHA submitted comments on flu vaccine coverage for health care personnel
In January, APHA submitted comments to the Health Care Personnel Influenza Subgroup of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee on the group’s draft report and recommendations for achieving the Healthy People 2020 goal of 90 percent influenza vaccine coverage for health care personnel. The draft recommendations provide important guidance for health care personnel and workplaces, including employing a strategy of both education campaigns on the importance of the flu vaccine for health care personnel and mandatory vaccination policies. APHA noted its longstanding support for employers requiring influenza vaccinations for health care workers, and encouraged the committee to broaden the definition of health care personnel to include those working outside of traditional health care facilities. A final report is expected this year.   

Flu Near You update
How are you feeling?
That’s the question thousands of people across the U.S. answer once a week when they check in with Flu Near You. Win up to $25,000 - sign up now!Simple, quick, and easy to use, Flu Near You is a first-of-its-kind tool that gives the public the opportunity to take part in public health surveillance.

To spread the word about Flu Near You, APHA created the Flu Near You Challenge. APHA members can sign up for Flu Near You with their member number and then start recruiting users into the Flu Near You system. Members can win prizes for recruiting users, including cash, an iPad or even a renewal of their APHA membership.

So far, APHA members have enrolled more than 3,000 users into Flu Near You, but we hope to involve thousands more. With flu season finally heating up, we need your help to ensure the success of our project! Learn more at our Flu Near You Challenge website, or listen to our recent Get Ready Report about Flu Near You on our podcast page.

Preventing communicable disease during National Public Health Week 
NPHW 2012Since 1995, APHA has served as the lead organizer of National Public Health Week. From April 2-8, APHA and its partners will focus on the theme: “A Healthier America Begins Today: Join the Movement!” Each day of the week, we will discuss ways in which Americans can take preventive measures to live longer and healthier lives. On average, 42,000 deaths per year are prevented among children who receive recommended childhood vaccines. Join the movement on Wednesday, April 4, to address the importance of preventing communicable diseases. 

Everyone has a role to play, and each action, no matter how small, can make a big difference in a community. Consider planning an event to promote proper washing of your food and hands before cooking and eating to help prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses. Create a local movement by coordinating a town hall meeting to address modernizing food safety through collaborative partnerships with consumers. Visit the National Public Health Week website to download the National Public Health Week toolkit, communicable disease fact sheet, sign up to become a partner and post your events to help raise awareness of preventing communicable diseases. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter too!

Essay scholarship contest for students: Deadline is March 26
APHA is now accepting entries for its 2012 Get Ready Scholarship. To raise awareness about emergency preparedness, APHA is offering its fourth annual Get Ready Scholarship. Learn about all the details, requirements, rules and regulations on the Get Ready Scholarship Web page. The scholarship is a component of APHA’s Get Ready campaign, which works to help Americans prepare themselves, their families and their communities for all disasters and hazards, including pandemic flu, infectious disease, natural disasters and other emergencies. Six scholarships of $500 will be awarded: two scholarships for high school seniors, two scholarships for college undergraduates and two scholarships for graduate students. The deadline for submissions is March 26, or until entry limits are reached. For questions about the scholarship, email Charlene Bright or call 202-777-2491.

Winter weather preparedness tips and power outage fact sheets
Winter is here. While many parts of the nation have experienced a rather mild winter compared to previous years, we are still not in the clear. February and March can produce surprisingly snowy months in parts of the country. Check out our fact sheet: “How to get ready for winter storms.” Power outages often occur due to a fallen tree limb or inclement weather common in the winter season. Do you know what to do and not to do in the event of a power outage? Read our fact sheet: “How to get ready for a power outage” to find out more. Add your logo, too!

Get Ready e-valentines a big hit
EValentine"I love you enough to have a plan." That was the message behind the Valentine's Day e-cards created by the Get Ready campaign this year. Featuring themes such as earthquake preparedness, hand-washing and emergency stockpiles, the cards used a touch of humor to send the message that preparing is caring. The cards were very popular, with hundreds of people viewing and sending the e-valentines in the first few hours.

If you missed out last w
eek, you can still send a card — it's never too late to tell someone "I love you enough to be prepared!" View or download our e-cards for free on the Get Ready website.

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

• Episode 23, Part A: “Flu Near You — Bringing the public into public health surveillance"
Michelle Holshue, RN, APHA’s Flu Near You fellow, discusses the new Flu Near You flu-tracking tool.

• Episode 23, Part B: “Flu Near You Challenge"
Michelle Holshue, RN, APHA’s Flu Near You fellow, discusses the Flu Near You Challenge for APHA members and offers tips to recruit new users into the system.

• Episode 24, Part 1, "Preparing for Disasters: Information for people with disabilities"
Danielle Bailey, MPH, research assistant at the Oregon Office on Disability and Health, speaks with The Nation's Health reporter Teddi Dineley Johnson about disaster preparedness for people living with disabilites. Bailey offers tips on sheltering in place, preparing a disaster kit, dealing with power and communication service outages, and more.

• Episode 24, Part 2, "Preparing for Disasters: Information for people with disabilities"
Continued from Part 1, Danielle Bailey, MPH, research assistant at the Oregon Office on Disability and Health, speaks with The Nation's Health reporter Teddi Dineley Johnson about disaster preparedness for people living with disabilites. Bailey offers tips on sheltering in place, preparing a disaster kit, dealing with power and communication service outages, and more.

New fact sheet focuses on driving in disasters
Our latest fact sheet, “Safe travels: Disasters preparedness on the road” addresses what to do when you encounter a disaster while driving. It is available in both English and Spanish. In preparing to stay safe while on the road, it’s especially important to learn about disasters that can happen with little warning and are likely to catch you off guard. Such disasters can include tornadoes, flash floods, landslides and earthquakes. Get tips from this potentially lifesaving fact sheet, and share this information with your loved ones. Add your logo, too!

Check out our Get Ready product of the month
Browse our online Get Ready store. We offer a variety of merchandise, perfect for gifts. Our featured product of the month is our 12 oz. thermos bottle, to keep you hydrated and warm during these colder, winter months.

Social media
Check out our latest blog entries

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

• Flu Fridays: Learn about our new flu tracking tool, Flu Near You
• Have you used our materials? Let us know what you think
• This Valentine’s Day, love your family enough to have a plan
• Flu Fridays: How to take care if you get the flu
• Get Ready for an earthquake: It’s the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut

Follow our Get Ready Twitter handle
Do you tweet? If so, consider following our Get Ready Twitter handle that provides weekly links to public health news and research.

Give us your feedback: Take our survey!
Has APHA’s Get Ready campaign made you more prepared for an emergency? Are the fact sheets helpful? Please take our brief survey and tell us what you think about the campaign and the resources you may have used such as fact sheets, the blog, our Twitter, podcasts, newsletters and website. Your feedback will not only help the campaign grow even further, but also provide us with potential area for improvement. 
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 Feb. 23, 2012