Washington, D.C., September 10, 2008
– Hurricanes Gustav and Ike and menacing tropical storms Hannah remind us of the importance of
en suring that we and our loved ones are prepared for any possible public health emergencies. With this in mind, the American Public Health Association (APHA) will host Get Ready Day events across the nation on Sept. 16 to encourage Americans to be prepared.
APHA joins the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in recognizing September as National Preparedness Month (NPM). APHA, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ “Take the Lead” campaign, will recognize NPM through various Get Ready Day events across the nation. The events are aimed at helping Americans prepare themselves, their families and their communities for all hazards, including disasters, pandemic flu and other emerging infectious diseases.
“In recognition of the importance of ensuring that individuals and communities are prepared for any sort of emergency they may face, we applaud APHA in sponsoring Get Ready Day events around the nation,” said Admiral Joxel Garcia, assistant secretary for health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “From teaching families about pandemic flu to showing kids how to help pack an emergency kit, Get Ready Day activities are a great way to recognize National Preparedness Month and help communities prepare.”
Held each year on the third Tuesday in September, Get Ready Day is an opportunity for communities around the nation to hold events aimed at helping Americans prepare themselves. APHA members, affiliated state and regional public health associations, partners and others will work together to plan Get Ready Day activities that are targeted to their specific community’s needs. Scheduled events include an after-school community preparedness fair for students, parents and families; educational games for kids teaching them how to prepare for emergencies; blog entries on the importance of preparedness; and much more. Get Ready Day ideas, materials and resources are available at http://www.getreadyforflu.org/getreadyday/getreadyday08.htm.
“Last year, we had great success with the first-ever Get Ready Day,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “We hope to build on that success this year and reach out to even more Americans with the message of the importance of being prepared for any emergencies we may face.”
National Preparedness Month is held each September and is designed to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities. NPM coalition members, consisting of national, regional, state, and local organizations, will combine efforts throughout the month of September to encourage all Americans to take steps to get ready for emergencies before they happen. APHA, one of almost 3,000 members of the NPM coalition, will celebrate by hosting Get Ready Day activities across the nation.
The Get Ready campaign, sponsored by APHA, provides information, resources and tools so that all individuals, families and communities in the United States are more prepared for a potential influenza pandemic, outbreak of an emerging infectious disease or other hazard or disasters. Learn more at www.getreadyforflu.org