On Public Health Security - August 2016 - The Power of Preparedness: National Preparedness Month 2016


On Public Health Security
August 2016
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Stephen C. Redd

Dear Partners,

As we face serious public health challenges like Zika at the global level and devastating flooding in Louisiana at the local level, it seems timely that National Preparedness Month is fast approaching. This September marks the 13th Annual National Preparedness Month, and CDC’s theme this year is “The Power of Preparedness.” Although preparedness is a powerful public health principle to communicate year round, this month is an opportunity to highlight how each of us can take action both collectively and individually to stay safe from disaster.

Throughout September, CDC will release Public Health Matters blog posts, social media messages, and graphics focused on a different area each week. These areas include:

  • Week 1: Prepare globally. Diseases know no borders.
  • Week 2: Prepare to respond. Highly trained experts come together to save lives during an emergency.
  • Week 3: Prepare locally. State and local health departments keep people safe from public health threats.
  • Week 4: Prepare together. Close-knit neighborhoods are more resilient during a disaster.
  • Week 5: Prepare yourself. Have an emergency kit ready for use in any situation.

CDC will also host a Twitter chat on September 27th from 1:00-2:00 PM ET on the power of preparedness in situations that impact our daily lives. @CDCEmergency will host this chat, and I will join in on @DrReddCDC. I hope you will join us using #CDCPrep2016.

Additionally, CDC has been invited to participate in the United States Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Office of Emergency Preparedness 10th Annual Emergency Preparedness Month Fair. The fair will educate Senate staff on how to prepare for emergencies both in the workplace and at home. At the CDC booth, CDC will share information and resources with Senate staff and display various examples of preparedness and response tools, including Zika Prevention Kits. About 300 staff are expected to attend.

Federal agencies will also come together in September to promote the fall PrepareAthon. The PrepareAthon is a nationwide, community-based campaign for action to increase emergency preparedness and resilience. PrepareAthon messages will focus on specific hazards this fall, including winter weather, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, and flooding. The month will culminate in the National Day of Action on September 30th. I encourage you to find out what events are going on in your area and get involved.

We hope you’ll be inspired to engage in your own activities throughout the month. You can learn more about what CDC is doing for National Preparedness Month and find sharable graphics and resources on the CDC Preparedness Month website.

On a personal level, I will use this National Preparedness Month as an opportunity to check the expiration dates on the food and medicine in my family’s emergency supply kit, and test my family’s knowledge of our emergency plan and what we will do in an emergency.

We would love to hear about what you’re doing to celebrate National Preparedness Month! Please share any activities that your organization is planning so we can work together to educate people about the power of preparedness.

Thank you,
Stephen C. Redd, MD
Director, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Noteworthy Events

The Federal Emergency Management Association’s (FEMA) National Preparedness Month (NPM) 2016 web page has a Social Media Toolkit with graphics, videos, and publications, to help you spread the word about preparedness.

The 2016 Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) Annual Meeting, entitled “Creating the Future of Public Health”, is September 21-22 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can register here.

The National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH) is hosting the “Disaster Health Education Symposium: Innovations for Tomorrow” on September 8 in Bethesda, Maryland. There is no registration fee for this event, and you can register here.

The Florida Institute for Health Innovation is hosting a half-day seminar entitled “Mass Casualties: Hurricanes, floods, fires and terrorism” on September 26 in Boca Raton, Florida. You can request more information about attending the event here.

The 2016 National Indian Health Board (NIHB) National Tribal Health Conference (33rd Annual Consumer Conference), entitled “Achieving and Sustaining Quality Health Care in Indian Country”, is September 19-22, in Scottsdale, Arizona. You can register here.

The Emergency Preparedness & Hazmat Response Conference is November 1-4 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Learn and network with a wide range of preparedness and response professionals. You can register here.