Friday, April 09, 2010

A prepared community is a healthier community: Small ways to have a big impact

During the past few days, thousands of people throughout the country have been celebrating National Public Health Week and its theme of “A Healthier America: One Community at a Time.”

Part of having a healthy community is being prepared, whether it’s for a natural disaster, disease outbreak or human-made emergency. This year, National Public Health Week organizers are urging participants to “smart small, think big,” which is also a great lesson for community preparedness. While preparing your community for anything and everything that can go wrong can be a daunting task, every one of us can take small steps that help bring us closer to that goal.

In that spirit, the Get Ready campaign is offering these reminders of small ways that you can help make your community more prepared:

• Find out where your nearest emergency shelters are located, and let your neighbors know where to go during a disaster.

• Ask your supervisor for a copy of your workplace emergency plan and become familiar with it.

• Find out where flu immunization clinics will be held in your community, and spread the word to your friends and family via e-mails, Facebook or other means.

• Sign up for a CPR or first aid class and invite others to join you.

• Set up a table with free preparedness materials at your library or community center.

• Pick up a few extra canned goods every time you go to the grocery store to donate to your community food bank.

For more small ways you can help make your community a healthier — and more prepared — place, download the National Public Health Week toolkit (PDF). And if you’ve already done something to improve the health of your community, share your story online.

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