Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Who says your holiday season can't be fun and safe? Celebrate with these safety tips!

There’s nothing like being home for the holidays surrounded by all your loved ones. Cherish this special time by learning how to protect your friends and family with these fun safety tips. There’s help here for cooking safety, gift giving, holiday travel and fire safety. Have a safe holiday season!

Cooking and food

Keep your holiday meals both safe and delicious by reducing the spread of contamination. Wash your hands before, during and after preparing food. Wash fruits and vegetables before cooking them, too. Separate raw meat from other foods. Wash anything the raw meat has touched like knives, cutting boards and your hands.

To avoid food poisoning, make sure your foods are cooked all the way. Use a food thermometer to check. As tempting as they may be, do not eat raw dough or batter. They may have harmful germs like E. coli and salmonella. 

Fire safety

Keep matches, lighters and candles away from young children. Make sure lit candles are not close to flammable objects. Don’t put them in places where they can be knocked over.

Consider using flameless candles during your holiday celebrations. Turn off and unplug lights and decorations when you go to bed and when no one is home.

Make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working. 

Store a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Ensure all family members know how to use the fire extinguisher.

Have a fire escape route from your house. If you are staying at a hotel or Airbnb, know the recommended fire escape routes. Practice a home fire drill before a holiday gathering in your house.

Gift giving

Think about practical and thoughtful items that could be an emergency preparedness gift. These could include flashlights, water bottles, first-aid kits, cool masks or hand sanitizer with a good scent. 

Try finding items that can be used in an emergency and for fun in everyday life. A water-proof backpack is a perfect example! Your loved one can use the backpack on a rainy day at school or in harsh weather conditions. 

 Holiday travel

Pack an emergency kit to take on your holiday vacation with your family. Include bottled water, non-perishable food, a manual can opener, a first-aid kit, a flashlight and extra batteries and a portable phone charger. 

Don’t forget about your furry friends! Pack emergency supplies for your pets like extra food and water, a sturdy leash, a harness, a pet carrier, a pet toy and a pet bed.

Protect yourself from COVID-19 and the flu. Stay updated on your vaccines. Mask up and test for COVID-19 if you have symptoms or have had a close contact. Stay home if you are feeling sick.

Check your car emergency supplies. They should include a flashlight, pliers, a wrench, a screwdriver, jumper cables and a first aid kit. Do not risk your safety to get to your holiday destination. If there is dangerous weather or a COVID-19 spike, stay home and enjoy a staycation. 

Being prepared and keeping those close to you safe is the best present you can give this holiday season. Don’t forget these safety tips as you gather with your friends and family each year. Happy holidays!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Three new holiday shareables from Get Ready

 As you head out for your Thanksgiving and other holiday celebrations this year, check out three new shareables available from Get Ready! They focus on holiday safety and preparedness, so this year's holiday season can be the best one yet. 

Use our food safety shareable to remind folks that their food needs to be cooked fully (165 degrees Fahrenheit for your turkey) to enjoy without risk for foodborne illness. 

Use our emergency preparedness gift guide shareable to inspire your Black Friday shopping and beyond. You know family or friends won't return a present they'll definitely use!

Share our fire safety shareable to prevent home disasters this holiday season. Never leave candles or electric decorations unattended!

From our team to yours, Get Ready wishes you a very happy and healthy holiday season!

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Get Ready for the APHA 2022 Annual Meeting

APHA 150 years logo Annual Meeting and Expo in Boston November 6 to 9

The APHA 2022 Annual Meeting is coming up Nov. 6-9 in Boston! There will be sessions and presentations in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and the Westin Boston Seaport District. Get Ready will have a booth in the APHA Central section of the Public Health Expo. We’ll have Get Ready swag and fact sheets about COVID-19, monkeypox and home disaster preparedness for you to take home. You’ll probably spend all day listening to the different sessions and presentations. If your device needs battery, our booth is giving out free power banks. You can win one by testing your knowledge with a fun trivia question about emergency preparedness. But don’t wait, there will be a limited supply! 

The Expo hours are:

  • Sunday, Nov. 6, 12:30-6 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Annual Meeting will have a ton of sessions and presentations for you to check out. You may want to learn more about how to act in an emergency or what supplies to pack before a disaster strikes. If you’re interested in sessions about emergency preparedness, we have some suggestions to recommend. Don’t miss out!

Sunday, Nov. 6

2054: Lessons Learned, Vaccine Uptake, and Public Health Preparedness in the midst of COVID-19, 2:30–3:30 p.m. 

This poster session includes lessons learned from the pandemic, vaccine hesitancy and vaccine equity in the Latina/o/x and Hispanic communities.

2056: Public Health Preparedness in the midst of COVID-19: successes, challenges, and recommendations, 2:30–3:30 p.m. 

This poster session is about the effects of COVID-19 in Latina/o/x populations across the United States and what we can learn from this pandemic to prepare for the next.

Monday, Nov. 7

3009: COVID-19 and Emergency Health Services, 10:30–11:30 a.m. 

This poster session will talk about COVID-19 vaccinations and the emergency response during the COVID-19 pandemic.

3078: Disaster Response and Emergency Preparedness, 10:30 a.m.-noon 

This oral session includes topics on equity during a crisis, COVID-19 response and disaster preparedness. 

3229: Disaster Response and Emergency Preparedness, 3–4 p.m. 

This poster session touches on disaster preparedness, recovery and response.

Tuesday, Nov. 8

4117: Disaster Preparedness and Response In Community Health, 10:30 a.m.-noon

This oral session will talk about the impact of infrastructure disruptions in Puerto Rico, emergency response planning, the impact of natural disasters and health equity.

Wednesday, Nov. 9

5090: COVID-19 & Emergency Health Services, 10:30 a.m.-noon 

This oral session will talk about COVID-19 vaccinations and the emergency response during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We love meeting new people, but let’s remember to stay safe. The Annual Meeting will be a busy event with many people. Masks are required at APHA 2022. You will need to show proof of up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination. We recommend a flu shot, too.  We look forward to seeing everyone there!

Monday, September 19, 2022

Celebrate Get Ready Day with new resources from APHA

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022 is Get Ready Day! We celebrate Get Ready Day on the third Tuesday of every September, which is also National Preparedness Month. Get Ready Day is a chance for people to prepare their homes and their loved ones for emergencies like natural disasters or infectious diseases. Here are some tools you can use to share and celebrate Get Ready Day with us!

APHA's summer interns have recorded a podcast with tips about emergency preparedness, and different preparedness topics you may not have thought of before, such as climate change. Listen to the podcast or read a transcript now. 

The Get Ready team has also released two new infographics: one about the importance of masking as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and one about flooding. 

You can also share the newly updated COVID-19 fact sheet from APHA, which answers questions like "why do I need a booster?"

To learn more about Get Ready Day and emergency preparedness throughout the year, follow Get Ready on Twitter or visit the Get Ready website. Happy Get Ready Day! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Get Ready Day is next week!

Get Ready Day is coming Tuesday, Sept. 20. Learn more at

Get Ready Day
 is next week, Tuesday, Sept. 20! It is a day to remember the importance of emergency preparedness. It’s always held the third Tuesday of September and is part of National Preparedness Month

Being prepared is the easiest way to stay safe in the event of an emergency. Get Ready Day is a reminder of this. When you’re prepared for an emergency, you can help protect yourself and your loved ones from diseases and disasters. 

There are so many different things you can do to celebrate and spread the importance of emergency preparedness this Get Ready Day. You could hold a Get Ready Day event on your campus, in your community or workplace! Hosting an event is a great way to spread information and help show others the importance of emergency preparedness. Here are some suggestions:

- Hold an after-school community preparedness fair and invite students, parents and families 

- Sponsor a preparedness talk in your community 

- Pass out infographics, fact sheets or other materials on your campus or workplace (many can be found on!)

- Post preparedness information and materials on community bulletin boards or around your school or workplace 

- Collaborate with local businesses to have them post or hand out preparedness fliers and information 

Hosting an event is a great way to spread information about emergency preparedness! But not everyone has the time or resources to do this. Some other things you can do are: 

- Put a link to preparedness information (or this blog!) on your website or social media account 

- Post a message about Get Ready Day on your social media to spread the word 

- Use the hashtag #GetReadyDay and follow @GetReady on Twitter 

- Post our social media shareables to your account

- Tell others about emergency preparedness resources 

- Look out for our Get Ready Day podcast next week 

- Encourage others to make emergency stockpiles, and refresh your own

Get Ready Day is a day to remember how important it is to be prepared. So get prepared – and put it on your calendar. Have a wonderful Get Ready Day! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Get Ready Mailbag: What is Monkeypox?

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 

Q: I live in the U.S. Should I be worried about monkeypox? 

Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery,
 courtesy CDC PHIL 

We understand your concern. Monkeypox has been in the news a lot lately. But don’t panic! Knowing what monkeypox is and how to avoid it will help you be prepared. 

Monkeypox is nothing new. It was first discovered in 1958 when monkeys got sick with a rash. The first human case of monkeypox was in 1970. So, why are we hearing so much about it now? That’s because there is a 2022 outbreak of monkeypox. This means the disease was found in countries that normally don’t have it, including the United States

There is no reason to panic, but you should watch out for the disease and use good hygiene to avoid getting sick. 

As of July 12, the U.S. has a total of 929 monkeypox cases. The CDC is frequently updating its map of cases by state. 

Look out for these symptoms of monkeypox and go to the doctor immediately if you have any, especially a rash.  

Symptoms include: 

· Fever 

· Headache 

· Body aches 

· Chills 

· Feeling very tired 

· A rash 

A rash is very common with monkeypox. The rash is usually found on the face, mouth, hands and feet but can be located anywhere on the body. The rash typically looks like pimples, blisters or scabs. It can be itchy or painful. There is treatment available for people who get very sick, but this is rare. Most people get better on their own in 2-4 weeks. 

Monkeypox mostly spreads through skin-to-skin contact, saliva and by touching something an infected person has touched. Monkeypox spreads easily during sexual activity, but it is NOT a sexually transmitted disease. This means that it is not spread through vaginal fluid or semen, but it can spread through contact with skin or saliva which are common during sexual activities. Talk to your partner about any new sicknesses or unexplained rashes or sores. If you or your partner are feeling unwell or have a rash, avoid having sex or do so without saliva or skin-to-skin contact. In general, the best way to prevent getting monkeypox is to not touch a person with the illness or anything they have touched.  Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer, especially after being in public areas, to stay healthy.  

There are vaccines available to prevent monkeypox. The CDC recommends that men who have sex with men, who are currently at a higher risk, and people who have been exposed to monkeypox get vaccinated. It is also highly recommended that all individuals get vaccinated against smallpox. Since smallpox and monkeypox are similar, studies have shown that having the smallpox vaccine lowers your chances of getting monkeypox by 85%. The CDC has more information about vaccinations on its website. 


Thursday, June 30, 2022

Celebrating red, white and blue? Here are some safety tips for you

A mom puts sunscreen on a toddler. Both are wearing sunhats and light colored clothing.
By Lostinbids, courtesy iStockphoto
The Fourth of July is almost here! Whether you’re going to see fireworks, spending time with loved ones or just enjoying the sun, it’s important to stay safe in the summer heat. Follow these tips to get ready for summer fun! 


When heading out for the Fourth, remember to bring a mask and hand sanitizer. As people gather to celebrate, crowds will form. COVID-19 spreads easier when a lot of people are close together, especially indoors. Wear a mask and keep your distance to lower your risk of getting sick. Keep in mind that the summer heat can make the mask you’re wearing sweaty or damp. Swap your mask for a new one if this happens. Bring extras and wear your mask over your nose and mouth to avoid the spread COVID-19. 

Summer heat 

While the sunshine is nice, it’s important to drink water and stay cool when outdoors. Apply sunscreen before heading outside to prevent painful sunburns. The FDA recommends using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and reapplying at least every two hours to keep your skin protected. Apply more often if you’re in the water or sweaty. Wear a hat, sunglasses and light-colored clothing to stay cool in the hot sun. Remember to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. Steer clear of alcohol and caffeine because these will dehydrate you faster. 

Bug bites

Want to avoid itchy, puffy bug bites? Use insect repellent, or “bug spray,” before heading outside, especially in the evening. Look for a spray with DEET in it for the best bug protection. DEET is safe for everyone to use, even if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants will also prevent bites from mosquitos and other bugs. 

Follow these tips to have a safe and fun Fourth of July and summer! You can find more information on staying healthy and safe this summer from Get Ready.