National Preparedness Month

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September 6, 2017

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CDC's Emergency Partners newsletter provides updates, resources, and useful tips to subscribers interested in emergency preparedness and CDC's emergency responses.

Don't keep this great resource to yourself! Please share it with your colleagues and networks. If you would like more information on Emergency Preparedness and Response, visit CDC's Emergency Preparedness & Response website.

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    CDC in the News

    The health dangers from Hurricane Harvey's floods- The Washington Post

    As Texas flooding recedes, health hazards likely to emerge- VOA

    Hurricane Harvey: The hidden health dangers of floods - CNN

    Teenagers Are Using Less Drugs, but Overdosing More on Heroin and Fentanyl - Newsweek

    Most contact lens wearers put themselves at risk of infection – CBS News

    Zika has all but disappeared in the Americas. Why? – Science Magazine

    September is National Preparedness Month

    National Preparedness Month Graphic

    Join CDC in observing National Preparedness Month this September. Check the CDC Emergency Facebook page all month for activities, tools, and information! Each week will feature a new topic.

    Week one: READY. Build a kit. Make a plan. Be informed. Now is the time to take steps to prepare for an emergency. Make an emergency kit for your home, work, or car.  Begin developing an emergency plan with your family.

    Week two: STEADY. Review, and renew emergency kits; practice your plans and fire drills. Already have an emergency kit at home? Check your supplies. Quiz family members on your emergency plan.

    Week three: SHOW. Inspire others to prepare by being a role model. Share photos of yourself and your family at an emergency meeting place using #SafeAndWellSelfie. Spread the word.

    Week four: GO! Take immediate action to save lives.  CDC Emergency Facebook followers are invited to play a linear puzzle game entitled Evacuate the Room. The goal is to write, produce and broadcast in 360 degrees this interactive experience.

    Hurricane Preparedness

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    Recently, you received special editions of the CDC Emergency Partners Newsletter with timely updates and information to prepare for and respond to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  We are carefully monitoring Hurricane Irma. We will continue to provide updates.

    To learn about Hurricane Harvey and what CDC is doing, click here.

    For previous editions of the newsletter, please check here.  

    Click here for information on what to do to prepare for a hurricane.

    PSAs are a good way to send out information over the radio when people are evacuating and other communication systems are down.  Here are emergency PSAs in English and Spanish.


    Partner Spotlight: National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD)


    National VOAD, an association of organizations that mitigate and alleviate the impact of disasters, provides a forum promoting cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration; and fosters more effective delivery of services to communities affected by disaster. We spoke with Greg Forrester, the president and CEO of National VOAD to learn more about them. 

    Greg Forrester

    Questions and Answers about NVOAD

    1. What is NVOAD and how did it get started?

     National VOAD was started in 1970 by seven faith-based organizations in response to Hurricane Camille.  To avoid duplication of services, enable better communication among responding organizations, and explore areas for collaboration, the seven organizations formed National VOAD, laying the foundation for how their organizations would work together in future responses. More information can be found on our site:

    2. How many organizations are part of NVOAD and how does your organization help keep the activities of so many organizations coordinated?

    Today National VOAD has 118 members: 62 national organizations (faith-based, community-based, and other non-governmental organizations) and 56 state and territory VOAD members. National VOAD is intentional about creating relationships among member organizations so that leaders have a personal knowledge of each other and the capabilities of other member organizations.

    We constantly communicate by conducting bi-weekly update through conference calls for agencies responding to disasters and during the long-term recovery phases. All of our members are engaged in at least one of our thirteen National VOAD committees to better understand and communicate leading practices within their venue.  These committees have created documents called “Points of Consensus” to guide operations in the field. The National VOAD convenes a national conference in May each year for all interested persons and agencies as well as facilitates regional gatherings of community organizations active in disasters (COADs), VOADs, and partner agencies.


    3. How does NVOAD plan for and respond to the physical health impact of disasters?

    National VOAD members ensure that responders are in good health and have received necessary immunizations prior to deployment.

    Most Early Response Team (ERT) members receive training in basic first aid and CPR and many are accompanied by a team member who is a nurse, emergency medical technician, or nurse practitioner. Responding groups receive maps of regional operational health facilities for personal and referral needs. A number of our member agencies have members who can augment or support healthcare providers in the disaster zone and can provide additional medical supplies in an emergency.


    4. How does NVOAD respond to the mental health impact of disasters?

    National VOAD has an Emotional and Spiritual Care (ESC) Committee with the mission to foster emotional and spiritual care to people affected by disaster in cooperation with national, state and local response organizations and VOADs. NVAOD members respond to the mental health impact of disasters by providing Emotional and Spiritual Care trained personnel to the disaster zone. Their presence is guided by the ESC Points of Consensus that provides the backbone of appropriate expressions of care and referral. On each Early Response Team there is at least one person trained in disaster chaplaincy or ESC protocols. Long-term recovery teams also include providers on their teams for the community and for the teams’ mental health needs.


    5. How can organizations that work in disaster response also respond to other public health emergencies, like disease outbreaks?

    Disaster response organizations can assist in public health emergencies by utilizing their organizational methodologies to coordinate volunteers, distribute donations, goods, and services, and train on the use of personal protective equipment.

    Faith-based groups are the foundation of disaster response and they have brick and mortar presence in most communities that allow for centralized distribution points for information and services.

    Disaster organizations know how to register and assign volunteers, use community assessment software, do community disaster mapping, handle donations, and provide crowd control—all of which are necessary for response to disease outbreaks.   



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