CDC Emergency Partners Newsletter - September 30, 2016

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CDC Emergency Partners

                                                            September 30, 2016

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National Preparedness Month

NPM 2016

National Preparedness Month 2016: The Power of Preparedness


CDC worked with private and public organizations, and over 3,000 local, regional, and national governments to promote emergency preparedness throughout the month of September. Organizations promoted emergency preparedness activities at all levels, from individual safety practices to worldwide health systems. They also highlighted the importance of the five preparedness themes discussed during the month. 


America’s PrepareAthon!

On Friday, September 30, all federal agencies will come together for National PrepareAthon! Day. This fall, PrepareAthon messages will focus on specific hazards: winter weather, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, and flooding.

For more information, visit

Prepare Globally

Bill Gates  

Ted Talk with Bill Gates: The Next Outbreak? We're not ready

Strong health systems are essential for fighting infectious diseases. Advanced science and technology continues to improve and strengthen current health systems around the world. Learn more about Bill Gates' thoughts on how to improve health systems in this Ted Talk.


Health Map  

Track infectious diseases on the health map!

Click here to see the Health Map and track infectious diseases around the world in real-time!

Prepare to Respond



CDC Emergency Operations Center

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is composed of highly trained personnel and advanced technology that strengthens CDC's response to public health emergencies and threats.

Click here to learn more about the EOC and its importance in emergency preparedness.

Prepare Locally


Medical Reserve Corps as local response resource

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), under the Citizen Corps, provides a great opportunity for local volunteers to partner with their communities and states to improve emergency preparedness and public health efforts.

Click here to learn more about the MRC and how to help with the public health needs in your community! 


Prepare Together


The Importance of Communities

Communities are better prepared for emergency situations when they work together. Children, disabled residents, older adults, pets, and others with unique needs may require extra assistance during emergencies.

Click here to learn about Nickole Cheron's early preparation and training for the potentially life-threatening 2008 winter storm in Portland, Oregon.

Prepare Yourself


How to be Smart About Preparedness

Emergency preparedness extends beyond preparing for natural disasters and infectious diseases. Basic precautions such as wearing a seatbelt or getting a flu shot are also ways to prevent possible emergency situations. Learn more about how to be both smart and proactive in your preparations for potential emergencies.

Learn more about how to shelter in place during emergencies and how to handle emergencies while traveling.

Zika Resources

Updated Case Count Maps for the United States: Zika Cases Reported in the United States

New MMWR: "Characteristics of Children Aged <18 Years with Zika Virus Disease Acquired Postnatally — U.S. States, January 2015–July 2016"; "Update: Interim Guidance for Preconception Counseling and Prevention of Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus for Persons with Possible Zika Virus Exposure — United States, September 2016"

Press Release: "CDC awards $13 million to establish the first Vector Control Unit in Puerto Rico"

Updated Guidance: "CDC adds St. Kitts and Nevis to interim travel guidance related to Zika virus"; "CDC Zika Interim Response Plan"

Zika Topic of the Week

September 26–30: Personal Preparedness



Prepare Yourself for Zika



You can take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from Zika.






October 3–7: Guillain-Barré Syndrome



Learn about Guillain-Barré Syndrome


Guillain-Barré syndrome, an uncommon illness of the nervous system, is strongly associated with Zika.



Upcoming Zika Topics of the Week:

  • October 10: After travel
  • October 17: Pregnancy
  • October 24: Year-round mosquito season




Pregnant women or families who would like to speak to someone about a possible Zika virus infection or diagnosis during pregnancy and potential risks to the baby can contact MotherToBaby. MotherToBaby is a service of the non-profit Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) and is not affiliated with CDC.


MotherToBaby experts are available during business hours to answer questions in English or Spanish by phone or chat:



Communication Tips: "Learning to Listen"


Learning to Listen




Experienced emergency communicators bring a wealth of knowledge to each new crisis. However, every situation and population has specific needs. Responders who learn to listen to affected communities are able to more effectively communicate.

Active listening during a public meeting or community forum can help facilitate understanding of a community’s need and provide various viewpoints. Asking questions can demonstrate interest and prompt the audience to give you useful feedback. Although active listening is a skill that requires practice, public input can be critical in informing message development.


Media monitoring offers another way to recognize community concerns. News headlines and social media chatter can provide insight into what people understand and how they are reacting to an emergency. Responders can then respond to the information gaps they identify. Scanning these resources may also isolate rumors that need to be addressed with crisis communication.


Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) principles offer tools for understanding and responding to public concerns. Communicators who actively listen to community input are better equipped to develop effective public health messages.


For more resources and information on CERC, please see Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication, 2014 Edition or Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication Pandemic Influenza, 2007.


Have you used CERC in your work? To share your CERC stories, e-mail Your stories may appear in future CERC Corners.


CERC Train-the-Trainer Course: Register Now




From Wednesday, Nov. 2 through Friday, Nov. 4, CDC is hosting a Train-the-Trainer course for leaders and communicators who respond to crises and emergencies. This 3-day training will strengthen participants’ knowledge and execution of the core principles of CERC and prepare participants to conduct their own CERC trainings for others in their organization or jurisdiction. To learn more about CERC visit the CERC webpage


For any additional questions or to register, email or call 404-639-3229.


Registration closes Friday, October 14, 2016.



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