Friday, February 06, 2009

APHA’s Get Ready campaign expands to prepare Americans for all hazards

Today’s guest blog entry is by Georges Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of the American Public Health Association

It is with great excitement that APHA announces that we are expanding our Get Ready campaign from a focus on pandemic flu and emerging infectious diseases to one that is centered on emergency preparedness for all hazards.

Since 2006, APHA’s Get Ready campaign has been educating the public on emergency preparedness in the event of a pandemic or disease outbreak. We’ve successfully used our blog, Twitter, podcasts, fact sheets, Web site and kids materials to spread this message. We’ve launched an annual Get Ready Day as well as a program to remind people to restock their emergency supplies when they change their clocks for daylight saving time.

While we will continue these efforts, we will also now be working to educate the public about preparedness during natural disasters, environmental accidents and bioterrorism and other terrorist attacks. Every disaster has unique characteristics, yet the same preparedness techniques can be used in a variety of different situations. At the same time, there are important differences to consider when deciding how to respond to an emergency: whether to shelter in place or evacuate quickly, whether to seek treatment immediately or to quarantine at home.

Our expanded focus on all hazards preparedness will help people make safe, appropriate decisions in crisis situations. We hope you’ll join us as we move forward.

Listen to our podcast interview with Dr. Benjamin as he discusses the Get Ready campaign expansion.

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