Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Lights, camera, animals! Announcing Get Ready’s annual photo contest

APHA’s Get Ready Photo Contest is back!  Don’t miss this chance for your pets to be Get Ready’s next animal supermodels.

This year’s photo contest is all about animal-to-animal friendships. Pets, farm animals, zoo animals and even animals from your backyard are welcome, but we need two or more animals in the picture — and the friendlier they are the better. Winning photos will be featured in APHA’s 2021 Get Ready Calendar.

Whether animals are doing something incredibly human, promoting emergency preparedness related or just looking downright adorable, we want to see them. For extra credit, take a look at our Get Ready campaign topics and have fun illustrating preparedness tips in your photos.

Need more inspiration? Check out photos in our previous Get Ready calendars. Then grab a camera, check the lighting and snap away!

But don’t delay: The deadline to submit your photos is July 22.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Hurricane season is here! Are you prepared?

Hurricane season began June 1, and it could be a dangerous one. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted that there will be three to six major hurricane seasons this year.

With the COVID-19 outbreak still going on, there are a few extra things to take into account during this year’s hurricane season. For example, you might have to shelter in a different place. Stores may not be open to get food or medicine. But you can take steps to make yourself and your family safer in case of a storm.

1. Create a stockpile checklist.
2. Involve the kids by making emergency preparedness fun, not scary.
3. A budget stockpile checklist can help you prepare for less money.
4. On your mark, get set, go bags! Make sure your go-bag is ready in case you need to leave quickly.
5. Put COVID-19 supplies in your go-bag. Add hand sanitizer and masks for each family member.
6. Keep your important documents, such as your ID and birth certificate, in a safe and easy-to-move container.

Remember, when you’re told by officials to evacuate, don’t hesitate to go!

With these steps, you’re stronger better and ready for whatever comes your way.

(Photo courtesy CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS)

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Get Ready Mailbag: Can we go back outside already?!

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 getready@apha.org.

Q: People on the news are going to restaurants, beaches and hair salons. Why I am still sitting inside? I’m ready to quit this and go back out!

A: We hear you: Staying at home to protect yourself from coronavirus isn’t fun. So it’s easy to be envious of those who are out and about. In some states, people are going out because elected leaders have decided that the risk from COVID-19 there has dropped enough to do so. But the list of places people in those states are allowed to go is still very limited.

And some health officials aren't sure those leaders are making the right decision. They’re worried it’s too soon, and that more people may get infected and die. They don’t want to put health and lives at risk just so businesses can reopen, and they don’t want to overwhelm already-strained hospitals and medical workers.

Even in states that haven’t eased their safety recommendations, some people are deciding to go against advice and venture out. That’s relatable — as we’re all going a little stir crazy — but it’s not OK. Spending time in close contact with people outside your household is not a good idea yet, especially if you live in an area where cases of coronavirus are still increasing. (And even if they’re not, that can change quickly.)

The best thing to do is wait for health officials where you live to say it’s alright to go out and socialize again. They will know if the risk has fallen enough where you live and advise you on what you can do safely. Be sure to follow recommendations from actual public health and medical officials — not your friends, not political figures and not some TV talking head. Trustworthy sources of information include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and your state or local health department.

When health officials do say it’s safe to stop saying home, you should still use your best judgment. If you’re someone who is older, or has diseases like diabetes or asthma, you will need to decide if it’s worth it, as you’re more likely to die or get very sick from COVID-19. And even if you don’t have those conditions, you can still pass coronavirus to someone you care about — like your family — without even knowing you have the disease.

Remember, even when cases of COVID-19 do fall and people start coming together again, the disease is not going away. So keep washing those hands, cleaning regularly, covering your sneezes and coughs, and wearing masks. When it comes to COVID-19, it’s better to have cautions than regrets.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Get Ready: What you need to know about the 2019 novel coronavirus

With all the news reports about a big new disease outbreak spreading in China, you may be looking for answers. In fact, you may be feeling a little freaked out. The Get Ready campaign is here to help.

Image courtesy CDC. Case counts as of Jan. 26, 2020
First off and foremost, if you live in the U.S., there’s no need to be alarmed. While there are estimated to be thousands of cases in China — mainly in Hubei province and its capital city, Wuhan, which is located in the eastern part of the country — there are few cases here in America.

The disease, which for now is being called the 2019 novel coronavirus, is in the same family as the common cold. Symptoms may include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, people have died, with at least 80 deaths reported in China.

Here in the U.S., doctors, hospital workers and other health professionals are on high alert for the disease. People who are sick in the U.S. can be isolated in hospitals to help prevent spread of the disease.

So why all the hullaballoo on TV and online? Part of the reason is that the 2019 novel coronavirus is a new disease that hasn’t been seen in humans before. So health officials want to find out more.

The new virus may also be similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome, a disease that killed 800 people around the world about 20 years ago. That worries health officials. But even during that outbreak, there were only eight cases of SARS in the U.S., and no deaths here.

More cases of 2019 novel coronavirus are expected to be reported in the U.S. in coming days and weeks. And it may be spread between people here at some point. In the past, health workers who are caring for sick people have been at high risk for such infections.

So you may be asking, “What does this mean for me?” Good question. In short, the risk to you and the rest of the U.S. general public is low. In fact, it’s much more likely that you’ll get the flu, which is estimated to have sickened 15 million and killed about 8,800 people since September in the U.S. alone.

Bottom line: To stay safe, keep doing what you’re supposed to do to prevent getting sick from a cold.  That includes:
• washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
• avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
• staying out of close contact with people who might be sick; and
• cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

And remember, if you’re sick with a cold or flu, stay home!

To learn more about the 2019 novel coronavirus, check out this info from CDC, which is being updated as more details are known.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Pass along fun and merriment this season, not the flu

The holiday season is upon us, whether we’re ready for it or not. But one thing we can be ready for this season is the flu.

Before holiday shopping, socializing and endless eating take over our lives, take a break and go get your flu shot. Bring along family members or friends who haven’t received their vaccination as well. Make it an outing, with holiday sweaters and a stop for brunch to make it festive if you have to.
The important thing is to just go get your vax. Because flu season is here, and it’s looking like it will be a bad one.You need to be protected and so do the people you care about.

Last week was National Influenza Vaccination Week, which promotes flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond. One reason officials are encouraging flu shots now is that all that holiday partying and travel can spread the flu. That means you can 1) get the flu and 2) pass it along to people you care about, which is a gift no one wants to receive.

The flu shot is safe and takes about two weeks to be effective after you get it, so now is the perfect time to get yours.

Still not convinced? There are so, so many benefits to getting a flu shot
Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with the flu. Millions of illness and flu-related doctor visits are prevented each year by flu shots.
Flu vaccination can reduce visits to the hospital for flu. For seniors, getting a flu shot can lower their risk of flu-associated hospital visits by 40%.
In children, the flu vaccine can be particularly lifesaving. A study in 2017 showed that flu vaccination significantly decreases the risk of kids dying from the flu.
Flu vaccination can help prevent serious medical issues for people with chronic illnesses. In people with heart disease, flu vaccination decreases the rate of cardiac events.
Flu vaccination helps to protect women during and after pregnancy. Getting a flu shot protects babies after they’re born. It also reduces the risk of flu-related acute respiratory infections by about 40% in pregnant women.
Even if you do get the flu, getting the flu shot will mean that your symptoms will not as bad, and they won’t last as long.

For more info on vaccines and flu, check out our Get Ready fact sheets. For resources to share from CDC, including posters, FAQs and talking points, see their National Influenza Vaccination Week page.