Thursday, October 31, 2019

Get ready: It’s time to set your clocks and check your stocks

Daylight saving time ends this Sunday, Nov. 3. It’s the perfect reminder to check that your emergency stockpile is up to date. Get Ready’s Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks campaign helps you to be prepared for a disaster before it happens.

If you haven’t created a stockpile yet, don’t worry. Now is the perfect time. Get Ready has fact sheets that include everything that you may need.

Here’s a quick checklist of items to include in your stockpile:

  • A three-day supply of water, with one gallon of water per person per day
  • A three-day supply of nonperishable food and a manual can opener
  •  Flashlights, a radio and batteries
  •  First-aid kit
  • Prescription drugs, sanitary supplies and diapers
  • Pet supplies

Disasters usually happen with little or no warning. You may not have time to go to the store. Think about what you will be eating and using during an emergency. For stockpile recipe ideas, check out Get Ready’s emergency preparedness cookbook.

And don’t forget: Daylight savings time changes also are a great reminder to check the batteries in your smoke alarms!

For more tips on what supplies to include your emergency preparedness kit, check out Get Ready’s resources and share them on social media.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Becoming personally prepared by region

Know what disasters, like fires, happen in your region.
(By GomezDavid, courtesy iStockphoto)
Emergencies tend to catch us when we’re not looking. So we need to plan for them. But being prepared isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.  Preparedness looks different based on where you live.

Natural disasters and disease outbreak can happen anywhere. But not every state is affected the same way. The Federal Emergency Management Agency keeps track of disasters for every state. Since 1953, California has had the most fire emergencies with 227. People in New York and Virginia experience more snow emergencies. Those in Georgia and Arkansas get the most tornadoes.  Florida and North Carolina are more likely to be impacted by hurricanes. Every state is different.

Luckily, we can predict when and where some disasters will happen. They tend to repeat in the same location. But sometimes we don’t get a warning, so it’s important to prepare for your area.

The first step toward becoming personally prepared is identifying the disasters in your community. Hurricanes, earthquakes and winter storms will require different emergency steps and supplies. Read the fact sheets most relevant to you carefully. If you don’t see a link for a disaster common in your region, we have more tips online.

After you’ve figured out the disasters common in your area, make a plan. Ask yourself what you should include in your emergency stockpile.  How much water will you need? Talk about an emergency evacuation route with your friends and family. 

Once you’ve put together a personalized plan, practice it. If you have kids, practice with them too. You need emergency drills at home like in school. While preparedness isn’t a one-size-fits-all, everyone can prepare for likely disasters. That can make them a little less disastrous!

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Prepare now for power outages

By Pixsoonz, courtesy istockphoto
If you don’t prepare for power outages, you risk getting caught in the dark. Power outages happen at any time and you never know how long they’ll last.

You can start preparing for power outages by building a basic emergency preparedness kit. Never use candles to light your home! This should include a first-aid kit, a weather radio, flashlights, batteries and important medications. It could also have important documents for insurance, bank accounts and forms of identification.

You also need to have a stockpile of non-perishable food and water. Everyone in your home should have a three-day supply of food and water. And don’t forget to keep extra food and water on hand for your pets, too because they will need it! Don’t open the fridge or freezer, as letting in room-temperature air could hasten your food spoiling.

Power outages in very hot and very cold weather can be unpleasant, if not downright dangerous. In the case of extremely high or low temperatures, families should find an alternative and safe place to stay. Do not use gas stoves to heat your home. The gas buildup could suffocate you and you risk starting a fire.

It’s a wonderful feeling when the lights come back on. But, if you didn’t unplug appliances and computer, they could be damaged by the power surge. When the lights go out, protect your devices and appliances by unplugging them.

Learn more about what to do before, during and after a power outage with Get Ready

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Get Ready Mailbag: Should I worry about vaccines?

Welcome to another installment of the Get Ready Mailbag, when we take time to answer questions sent our way by readers like you! Have a question you want answered? Send an email to

My child just started school and is required to be up-to-date on vaccines. I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media lately warning of the dangers of vaccines. Should I be concerned?

We understand your concern. After all, we all want the best for our children. With so much information — and sometimes incorrect information — available today, it can be hard to know who to trust. The bottom line is: Vaccines are safe.

There is a 1 in a MILLION chance of getting a serious reaction to a vaccine. Vaccines are studied and constantly monitored by scientists to make sure they’re safe. You may have read that vaccines cause autism, but scientific studies have continually disproven this.

Vaccinating your child is critical to protecting them against dangerous, possibly deadly, diseases. These can include the flu, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, chickenpox, rotavirus, diphtheria, tetanus, pneumococcal disease and pertussis (also known as whooping cough).

Check out Get Ready's video on herd immunity:
Getting their shots also helps protect their classmates, friends, relatives and others in the community. This is because vaccines work based on something called herd immunity. When enough people are vaccinated, the entire community is less likely to get sick. Researchers have found that for a very contagious disease, like measles, it takes 90-95 percent of the population to be vaccinated to protect the entire community.

We hope this information helps to put your mind at ease. You can find out what vaccines your child needs by speaking with their doctor. You can review CDC’s recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule. If your child has missed any vaccines, your healthcare provider can use the catch-up immunization schedule to get them back on track.

Remember: Vaccines aren’t just for kids. As a parent or caregiver, make sure you’re caught up on your shots too. That way you don’t pass along diseases to young children. You can find out more about by reviewing the CDCs adult immunization schedule.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Get Ready Day: the perfect day for preparedness!

Get ready…Get set…Get ready some more…because it’s almost Get Ready Day at APHA!

This year we will be celebrating APHA’s Get Ready Day on Sept. 17! September is National Preparedness Month, which means it’s the perfect time to raise awareness of preparedness and make sure you’re ready for anything from hurricanes and tornadoes to mosquitoes and measles!

Whether you’re just getting started with preparedness or you’re a preparedness pro, you’ve been preparing all your life, here are a few basic tips and refreshers on how to be prepared for any emergency:

Preparing for emergencies is low-risk and high-reward! It can be quick, easy and cost-effective to do. And it could make a huge difference when a disaster strikes. Join us this year on Get Ready Day to start taking these easy steps to keep you, your family and your community safe and healthy in the face of disasters and other hazards.

We encourage you to help us promote preparedness and share information by posting any of our free fact sheets on your social media accounts using the #GetReadyDay hashtag, printing them for the office or campus bulletin boards or by hanging them around your community!

Get Ready fact sheets are available in English and Spanish. You can even add your organization’s logo!

We hope you’ll join our celebration on Sept. 17! Happy Get Ready Day!