American Public Health Association
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For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact APHA Communications at 202-777-2509 or email us .

APHA Reminds Americans to Plan for Emergencies During National Preparedness Month

Washington, D.C., September 1, 2010 – With flu season approaching, hurricane warnings affecting the East Coast and ongoing threats of other natural or human-made disasters, there is no better time to plan for emergencies. The American Public Health Association is encouraging Americans to join it in observing National Preparedness Month, an opportunity to mobilize communities across the nation to become better prepared for the next health emergency.

To build nationwide participation around this year’s observance, APHA’s Get Ready campaign issued a preparedness pledge, now signed by thousands of public health advocates, encouraging them to help safeguard their own communities from a disease outbreak, natural disaster or other health hazard. Advocates have also been invited to observe Get Ready Day, held each year on the third Tuesday in September.

Sponsored by APHA, Get Ready Day is an opportunity for community members to hold local events aimed at raising awareness about emergency preparedness and empowering advocates to get a flu vaccination, create a stockpile and make an evacuation plan, among other basic preparedness steps.

These fundamental activities are illustrated in APHA’s first-ever Get Ready Video, launched in time for Get Ready Day. The viral video tells the story of preparedness through an animated story of an ant and grasshopper.

“As we observe National Preparedness Month, we must all recognize that every person can take basic steps towards building stronger, more resilient communities,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP, (E), executive director of APHA.  “We encourage everyone to join the Get Ready campaign and learn about how to better equip themselves, their families and their communities for when a disease outbreak or other health emergency strikes."

The Get Ready campaign, sponsored by APHA, helps Americans prepare themselves, their families and their communities for all disasters and hazards, including pandemic flu, infectious disease, natural disasters and other emergencies. Learn more at www.aphagetready.org

For more about APHA, visit www.apha.org.

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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.