Thursday, February 28, 2019

New infographics share 10 fast facts to help you prepare

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed these days. You might even feel it’s hard to find time to prepare for emergencies. Luckily, APHA’s Get Ready campaign is here to help you stress less. We have two new infographics with five fast facts that everyone can use to get prepared. 

Our new infographic on “go-bags” will help you get ready to go quickly during an emergency. You’ll learn five essential types of supplies you need in every go-bag. The infographic is quick and easy to follow. If you’re wondering why you need a go-bag or want more supplies, our go-bag fact sheet can fill you in.

Measles has been in the news lately, and for good reason — it’s dangerous. It’s really important to get vaccinated and protect yourself, your family and community from this highly contagious disease. Our new measles prevention infographic can help you share that message.

Get Ready infographics are perfect for sharing at the office, at school, in the community or at home. Check out our full lineup. There’s even space at the bottom to add your logo!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Be ready for winter chills

Winter 2019 has been record-breaking. Remember that deadly polar vortex that froze much of the Midwest in January? Chicago felt a wind chill of 51 degrees below zero. Brrr!

There’s almost a month of winter still left. This week’s storm that blanketed the mid-Atlantic with snow and ice and shut down the federal government in the Washington, D.C., area was a timely reminder that winter isn’t over. As temperatures drop, be aware that winter chills can bring cold weather injuries and emergencies.

One risk is frostbite. It can occur when you are exposed to extreme cold. It causes your body tissues to become frozen, and can even damage your muscles and bones. The first signs of frostbite are redness, pain and numbness.

If you recognize the symptoms, seek medical care. Go to a warm room. Remove wet clothes and soak in warm water. Do not walk on frostbitten toes or rub your skin. You can cause more damage!

You might also be at risk of hypothermia if you spend a long time in very cold weather. It happens when your body loses more heat than it can produce and leads to a lower body temperature. Symptoms are shivering, confusion, memory loss and slurred speech.

Take your temperature if you notice signs of hypothermia. If it’s below 95 degrees, get emergency medical attention right away. If medical help isn’t available, follow the same steps for frostbite. Start by warming the center of the body — chest, groin, neck and head. Warm, non-alcoholic beverages can help increase body temperature.

You can take steps to prevent cold-related injuries by dressing the right way for the weather.  Cover your skin, including your face, hands, ears and neck. Wearing layers, gloves, a hat and sturdy boots will help keep you warm.

Be a good neighbor and help others get ready. People who are homeless are most in danger of cold-related injuries. You can help by donating warm blankets, clothes and other emergency supplies to your local shelter.

Don’t let arctic winds freeze you in your steps and keep you from being prepared. Stay warm and safe!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Emergency preparedness just got a lot more fun with Get Ready valentines

Love is in the air! Share the love instead of germs this season with our Get Ready Valentine’s Day graphics.

From llamas and donuts to Ariana Grande and Drake, our new valentines will make you smile.

Print them out and share with your friends and family. You can also take them to school or the office for everyone to enjoy. 

Don’t forget to share our GIFs and graphics on social media. Tag us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram if you want us to be your preparedness pal this Valentine’s Day.

La preparación para emergencias ahora es más divertida con nuestras tarjetas del día de San Valentín

¡El amor está en el aire! Comparte el amor en lugar de los gérmenes con nuestras tarjetas de San Valentín.

Desde llamas y donas hasta Ariana Grande y Drake, nuestras tarjetas de San Valentín te harán sonreír.

Imprímelos y compártelos con tus amigos y familiares. También puedes llevarlos a la escuela para que todos disfruten. 

No olvide compartir nuestros GIF e imágenes en las redes sociales. Etiquétanos en Twitter, Facebook e Instagram si quieres que seamos tu amigo de preparación este día de San Valentín. 

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Measles is making a comeback. Let’s stop it in its tracks.

By Jim Goodson, M.P.H., courtesy CDC.
Once upon a time, in the year 2000, measles was eliminated in the U.S. Before the measles vaccine, the disease infected 3 million to 4 million Americans each year. As many as 500 died and 48,000 were hospitalized annually.

Those numbers have dropped dramatically, but that doesn’t mean measles has gone away. In recent years, there have been a few big surges, including more than 660 cases in 2014 and 370 last year. This year has seen almost 80 cases already.

Part of that is because of a measles outbreak in Washington. About 50 cases have been diagnosed as of this week, mostly in young kids. 

Measles is super contagious. It’s so contagious that if one person has it, 90 percent of people who are not immune to it will get sick too. Symptoms of measles appear seven to 14 days after becoming infected. Measles’ first symptoms are high fever, cough, runny nose and water eyes. Two to three days after symptoms first appear, tiny white spots may appear in your mouth. After three days, a rash breaks out on your skin, spreading from your head to your feet. 

Measles spread by sneezing or coughing. You can avoid measles by getting vaccinated. The two-dose shot protects you from measles, mumps and rubella. You can also get a version of the shot that protects against chickenpox.

So if we have a vaccine and it works so well, what’s going on? The problem is that some people are refusing to vaccinate their kids, often because they are scared. There is no reason to be scared. Data are really clear that MMR protects far more than it harms kids. In the Washington outbreak, health officials have confirmed that most of the kids were not vaccinated. 

Sadly, vaccination coverage has fallen nationally to about 92 percent for MMR. The World Health Organization has identified vaccine hesitancy as one of the biggest threats to global health this year. Globally, measles has seen a 30 percent increase, in part because of people who have been skipping vaccinations.

The good news is you can prevent the spread of measles. Get the MMR shot. Also, wash your hands often. Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth. Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick. And if you’re sick, don’t go to work or school. 

Find out more about the importance of vaccinating kids with our Get Ready fact sheet