Saturday, December 15, 2018

Preparedness furrrr all! Download APHA’s 2019 Get Ready Calendar

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Time for your new Get Ready calendar! The latest edition of our annual preparedness calendar is available and it’s loaded with cuteness.

From fuzzy pups to huggable gorillas, our calendar has adorableness covered. Each month also features helpful information on disaster and emergency preparedness from Get Ready.

Photographers submitted hundreds of photos in our annual contest. And though we wanted to share them all, we had to narrow it down to just a few cutetastic pics for the calendar.

Print a copy for your refrigerator, your bulletin board and your cubicle. They even make great stocking stuffers!

Once you’ve printed your copies, share the link on social media and on your website so that others can enjoy the adorableness year-round.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Winter's on its way. Get ready for the season now!

Winter storms occur every year, bringing icy roads, cold temperatures and other dangers with them. While some storms are mild, others can result in a shutdown of major services, power outages and even loss of life.  

Science shows that there’s more at play than just Jack Frost nipping at our nose here. Climate change can make winter storms more severe and last longer. 

As the oceans warm, parts of the U.S. will continue to see more extreme winter weather. This winter’s U.S. forecast calls for blasts of cold air in the southern Plains states, big storms in Mid-Atlantic states and really cold temperatures in January and February in the Northeast. Brrr!

Before you make like a bear and hunker down inside for the winter, there are a few steps you should take to make sure that you are safe and prepared for a winter storm.

• Prepare an emergency kit that includes a first-aid kit, flashlight, batteries and other important items you and your family will need during a storm.  Include a solar- or battery-operated cellphone charger in your supplies.

• Weatherize your home by making sure it is well-insulated to prevent cold air from coming in.

• Prepare your car by checking your tires, brakes and car heater. Make sure your car’s emergency supplies are up to date, including food, water and blankets.

If you have to go out during or after a storm:
• Drive during the day to avoid traveling on black ice in the dark.

• Bundle up! Wear warm clothes, gloves, hats and scarves. 

• Walk carefully on sidewalks and crosswalks to avoid injury from slipping and falling.

Get more tips in our winter storms fact sheet, and check out our "winter ready" page for even more tools to read and share.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Los Angeles prepared for disaster by building resilience. Your community can too.

From wildfires and earthquakes to storms and floods, Los Angeles is no stranger to disaster. In fact, the region is at risk for 13 of 16 possible federally identified natural and human-caused threats. To help the community better prepare for and rebound from an emergency, officials developed a plan to strengthen its resilience.

The Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience project connected the county’s disaster plans with the community. It identified the needs of the residents and the resources available in the community. It also considered the needs of residents who are most at risk, and helped community members learn to work together in the event of an emergency.

The project, led by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, first focused on developing relationships with local hospitals, health clinics, faith-based groups, businesses and other organizations. These partnerships helped spread the message of preparedness to community members.

Officials then looked at educating residents to make sure people in the area know what to do in case of an emergency. Some information was distributed by staff but more tools were available online. 

And, finally, the project focused on hands-on activities. For example, leaders developed toolkits tailored to each region in the county. The toolkits contained a range of resources including information on how to build resilience by creating community coalitions, role-playing exercises to facilitate conversations about resilience among community members, quizzes that test a community’s readiness, mapping exercises to locate resilience resources and surveys to help identify community needs.

If Los Angeles, the second largest city in the U.S., can become more resilient in the face of an emergency, your community can too.

For starters, learn what disasters your county is prone to. The Washington Post mapped out eight of the largest disaster categories according to which area of the country they affect the most.

APHA’s Get Ready fact sheets can help educate your residents, campus or workplace about preparing for emergencies. They work well as tools to help plan your own community disaster resilience project.

But don’t wait for an emergency to strike. Follow the script from L.A. and help your community become more resilient now!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Cooking for the clan this week? Watch out for fires!

Roasted turkey with cranberry sauce and stuffing on the side are many people’s Thanksgiving favorites, but it can be tricky getting all that food together safely. With all the hubbub, Thanksgiving sometimes brings an unwanted guest: fire.

Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. In 2015 alone, fire departments across the country recorded a total of about 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day.

To keep your meal from going up in flames, brush up on these quick tips.

Before you start cooking, take some time to test the batteries in your smoke detector. Check that your fire extinguisher hasn’t expired and is in an easy-to-reach location.

Before using the stove, clean off residual grease and tuck in any loose clothing you’re wearing. Keep any kitchen items that can catch fire — like paper towels, plastic bags or cookbooks — away from the stove. Be sure to use a flame-resistant mitt when reaching to get the food you worked so hard to cook out of the oven.

With all the commotion of guests arriving, it’s easy to get distracted, but you should never leave your stove unattended. Something could quickly spark while you are away. Keep an eye on the kiddos and tell them not to play near the stove.

There’s an even higher risk for fire if you’re frying your turkey. If you choose this method, make sure your turkey is completely thawed ahead of time. Don’t overfill the fryer and never ever leave it unattended. If you see oil begin to smoke, turn off the gas supply immediately.

Happy Thanksgiving and safe cooking!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

5 ways to be more prepared from Get Ready

You can never be too prepared. And thanks to five new fact sheets, APHA’s Get Ready campaign can help you, your family and community be even more ready for the worst.

Check out these awesome new resources, online now:
• Our new fact sheet on “go-bags” will help you learn why you need them and what to pack inside. You’ll also learn why it’s important to keep your emergency go-bags up to date.
• In the case of a sudden disaster, help may not come right away. Our new general preparedness fact sheet has information on what you need to know to be prepared for many different types of disasters.
• A few days of no rain isn’t so bad. But sometimes droughts are so severe that they turn into an emergency. Learn how to prepare for a drought and what to do when one is happening in your community.
• You can get your family involved in preparedness too. Our stockpiling with kids fact sheet shows easy ways children can help gather emergency supplies and make them feel ready for disasters.
• If you had to drop everything and evacuate right now, would you be ready? Our  new evacuation fact sheet helps you plan where to go, what to bring and how to prepare.

Get Ready fact sheets are perfect for sharing on campus, at the office, in the community or at home. There’s even space to add your logo.

For the full lineup of fact sheets from Get Ready, including Spanish-language versions, check out our website.