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Public Health Week
Health advice
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National Public Health Week, April 2-8, is an excellent time to assess our personal health, and the health and safety of our country.
By definition, public health is the art and science of safeguarding and improving community health through efforts involving prevention of disease, control of communicable disease, application of sanitary measures, health education and monitoring of environmental hazards. It is not just limited to services you access at your local health department.
The 2007 theme for the week is “Take the First Step! Preparedness and Public Health Threats” and was chosen as an encouragement for agencies to address the unique needs of the nation’s vulnerable populations and to encourage preparedness efforts by all Americans.
In the past eight years, American’s have experienced and had to deal with all manner of natural and manmade disaster. Earthquakes, hurricanes, large fires, tornadoes and terrorism are no longer an infrequent occurrence or happening to someone in another country.
No one can predict everything that could occur to their family but most of us know the potential risks in our business and community and we have learned through experience that many disasters require the same pre-planning. As a result, the American Red Cross and Public Health Department suggest an “all-hazard approach” which covers three basic things we all need to do. These steps are simple and can apply to any disaster.
Assemble three days worth of supplies in an emergency preparedness kit that is composed of the items that are necessary for family members and your pets.
Create a family communication and evaluation plan, which includes a location outside the house where everyone can meet, a family contact person in another state or city where everyone would meet if there were a disaster in their community. The plan should include provisions to survive if you were stuck at home or needed to evacuate to a shelter.
Stay informed of disaster routes, weather alerts or disaster instructions. If directed to evacuate, do so immediately and when instructed to stay inside, follow directions until authorities say it is safe.
Public health is taking this opportunity to encouraging Americans to “Take the First Step!” toward preparing effectively for emergencies. Some events are so threatening and devastating that it takes everyone working together to implement preparedness plans and those without plans are often challenged beyond their capabilities.
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