Washington, D.C., Sept. 1, 2011
– Last week’s earthquakes and the widespread impact of Hurricane Irene serve as important reminders to prepare for all types of public health emergencies throughout the year.
With these recent events in mind, the American Public Health Association is encouraging all Americans to participate in Get Ready Day activities in September, National Preparedness Month. Suggested Get Ready Day activities include an after-school community preparedness fair for students, parents and families; educational games for kids teaching them how to prepare for emergencies; and much more.
APHA devotes the third Tuesday of each September to help Americans prepare themselves, their families and their communities for all disasters and hazards, including pandemic flu, infectious disease, natural disasters and other emergencies. This national observance, known as Get Ready Day, is part of a broader year-round emergency preparedness campaign supported by APHA.
“Celebrating its five-year anniversary this year, the Get Ready campaign is dedicated to educating the public on the potentially lifesaving impact they have in creating a stronger, healthier and more prepared nation one community at a time,” said Alan Baker, interim executive director of APHA.
This year, APHA’s Get Ready Day efforts will work toward empowering middle and high school students with the tools and knowledge they need to become prepared for the next health threat. To help students stay safe and prepared during an emergency, APHA’s Get Ready campaign has published a wide array of ready-to-use material such as a school preparedness fact sheet, project kit for high school students and more. Other Get Ready Day ideas, materials and resources are available online at http://www.getreadyforflu.org/new_pg_facts.htm.
Today, in the lead-up to Get Ready Day 2011, Sept. 20, APHA is launching two separate contests. The first, a video contest, is available to all students in grades six-12 who produce and submit a one-minute original video that discusses an aspect of preparedness, such as creating an emergency kit or having an emergency plan. Entries will be judged on creativity, originality, quality, overall appeal and success in conveying the message of Get Ready Day. Submissions for the video contest are due Oct. 14.
APHA is partnering with the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care for the second contest, which encourages school-based health centers to host a Get Ready Day event with students during the month of September and submit a description of the event.
“The goal of this year’s contest is to equip our next generation of public health advocates with the tools and knowledge they need to prepare their community for disaster,” said Baker. “The events surrounding this year’s Get Ready Day should be a valuable opportunity for students, as well as their families and communities, to gain a greater understanding of how to stay healthy and safe in times of disaster.”
Submissions for the school-based health center contest are due by Friday, Oct. 10. First prize for each contest is $500. Second place winners will receive $250 and third place winners will win $100. More information on Get Ready Day is available at www.aphagetready.org.