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!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Being prepared for global health threats, even at home

With everything that’s going on in our daily lives, it can be hard to keep up with problems that are happening far away in the world. But the world is smaller than we think. In fact, it’s only one mosquito bite or bad flu season away from being over there to right here in our neighborhoods. 

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization came up with a list of the biggest threats to global health. All of the things on the list are important. But for those of us who are really into preparedness — like we are here at the Get Ready campaign — there are a few that stand out. 

First off, climate change. Climate change makes bad weather much worse. As it continues, you should be prepared for more severe weather. Hurricanes are already getting stronger every year. And as climate change continues to warm the planet, the range of disease-carrying mosquitoes will grow.

Next up: Pandemic flu. When it comes to the next flu pandemic, it’s just a matter of when. A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease. We’ve already had a few flu pandemics that have spread quickly and caused a lot of deaths. The good news is that we can help prepare for flu pandemics.

Another thing public health folks are worried about? Other disease outbreaks. Ebola, Zika and dengue are some of the many infectious diseases threatening health around the world. Your risk of getting these diseases is low here in the U.S. But low chance isn’t zero chance, so you should be prepared. 

Speaking of big concerns, another is vaccinations. A growing number of people are hesitant or refusing to get vaccines for themselves and their kids. By ignoring science, preventable diseases like measles are threatening the health of children across the world, including the U.S. You can stand with science and learn about vaccines and why they are important.

To read more about the health challenges we’re facing globally, check out the full WHO list. 

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Which animals are the cutest? It’s your turn to vote!

APHA’s 2019 Get Ready Photo Contest isn’t over yet, and neither is the fun.

Our judges have chosen the 17 lucky photos that will be featured in APHA’s 2020 Get Ready Calendar, but now we’re giving you a chance to choose your favorites from the runners-up!

For our Cutest Choice Awards, we’ve created 10 polls with the contest photo submissions — featuring adorable cats, dogs, goats, horses and more — and YOU get to review them. Cast your vote on which furry or feathered friend looks “most playful” or has the “best smile” and our other fun categories.

The top vote-getters in each poll will get their chance in the spotlight, as we’ll be adding captions to the photos and sharing them on APHA social media.

If you submitted an animal photo to the contest, you’ll especially be interested in our polls, as your pic may be in here. If so, share the poll with your family and friends on Facebook and Twitter to drive up those votes.

Voting ends Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 5 p.m. ET, so don’t delay!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Grilling on the beach this summer? Keep food safety in mind

Today’s guest blog post is by Janice López-Muñoz, MSIH, a public affairs specialist with the Department of Food Safety Education at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The summer months are the perfect excuse to spend time at the beach, but beach grilling fun could be spoiled with bacteria that could make you sick. There are always challenges when cooking outdoors, but a little bit of preparation can have you enjoying some well-deserved beach time with the family.

Photo by Letizia Barbi via Flickr Creative Commons
Before firing up the beach grill

• Make sure local ordinances allow grilling activities. If yes, only pack the amount of food you will consume to avoid leftovers.

• Season your food at home before packing it for the trip. Remember to wash your hands before handling raw items and in between spice containers when seasoning.

• Pack perishable foods directly from the refrigerator or freezer into the cooler. Keep raw meat and poultry tightly wrapped and store them at the bottom to keep any juices away from cooked or ready-to-eat foods. Pack drinks in a separate cooler.

• A full cooler will keep its cold temperatures longer. If you still have space in your cooler, pack it with more ice.

• Don’t forget to bring moist towelettes and your food thermometer!

Keeping food safe ashore

• At the beach, partially bury your portable cooler in the sand, cover it with blankets or towels, and shade it under a tree or with a beach umbrella.

• Don’t open your cooler unless necessary to keep perishable foods colder for a longer time.

• Don't leave any perishables sitting out for more than two hours, or one hour when the temperature is above 90 degrees.

• Set up and clean your grill before bringing the food out. Clean your hands before placing any foods on the grill.

Beach grill time

Make sure your grilled items are safe to eat by using a food thermometer and checking to see if they reached the right minimum internal temperatures:

• Steaks, roasts and chops: 145 degrees with a three-minute rest

• Fish: 145 degrees

• Ground meat or burgers: 160 degrees

• Poultry, whole or ground: 165 degrees

Serve food using clean plates and utensils. Clean your hands before starting to eat!

If you have a food safety question for your summer activities, call 1-888-674-6854 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. You can also email or chat via Ask Karen. 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Feeling hot, hot, hot from heat waves

By rzelich, courtesy iStockphoto
Time to pour a big glass of ice water and cozy up inside near the air conditioner, because it is seriously hot out there. A big chunk of the U.S. is broiling in a nasty combo of heat and humidity this week. Cities such as Chicago and Washington, D.C., are expected to reach 100 degrees or more.

Because of climate change, heat waves are becoming worse and happening more often. And unfortunately, there are more to come, with back-to-back heat waves expected this season. Heat waves are even appearing in places you don’t expect. In Alaska, temperatures reached the 90 degree mark recently.

It’s not just the U.S. that’s suffering. Last month, Europe experienced a record-breaking heat wave. It was the hottest June on record for the continent, with France and Spain reaching triple digits. Dozens of people died in India this summer when the country experienced one of its longest heat waves, with temperatures over 120 degrees.

Follow these tips to stay safe during heat waves:

  • Stay inside in an air-conditioned area. If you don’t have AC at home, go to a mall, library or community center. This is a great time to catch up on Netflix, or read that book you’ve had sitting next to your bed for weeks.
  • Drink plenty of water! Don’t wait until you’re overheated to drink. Stay away from soda, caffeinated drinks and alcohol, as they can make you dehydrated. 
  • Wear light-colored, loose, breathable fabrics.
  • If you’re in the heat and have symptoms such as dizziness, nausea or excessive sweating, call your doctor or head to the emergency room immediately.