Helping Families Prepare For H1N1, Other Health Emergencies

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The H1N1 flu outbreak, Los Angeles wildfires, hurricane season and other recent events serve as important reminders of the need to be prepared for any possible public health emergencies. With this in mind, the American Public Health Association recognizes National Preparedness Month with Get Ready Day events across the nation encouraging Americans to be prepared.

Held each year on the third Tuesday in September, Get Ready Day is an opportunity for communities around the nation to hold community events aimed at helping Americans get ready for all hazards, including disasters, pandemic flu and other emerging infectious diseases.

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“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,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “With H1N1 flu on many of our minds, we hope to reach out to even more Americans with the message of the importance of being prepared for any emergencies we may face.”

Some of the preparedness tips shared during Get Ready Day events, also available in Spanish, include:

* How to keep yourself safe from H1N1
* How to get ready for an emergency at work
* How to get ready for earthquakes
* How to get ready for floods
* How to get ready for a heat wave
* How to get ready for power outages
* How to get ready for a winter storm

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; and much more.

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