I'm sure you've heard the very catchy summer jam "Call Me Maybe", well the members of the 'Get Ready' Team at APHA sure have and they've done a video cover with their own lyrics of course, urging Americans to get ready and prepare themselves, their families and their communities for unplanned disasters and/or hazards.
Click on this link to watch the video, it also contains the lyrics so you can sing along.
I’m sure you have set your clocks back already, but did you check your stores for emergency supplies? Are you missing anything? Are there any expired food items?
The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management encourages you to check your emergency stores, make sure they are fresh and also change the batteries of any battery-powered equipment you have such as flashlights, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, radios, etc.
Also take this time out to go over any household emergency plan you may have with your family (don’t forget to include the pets). You can also hold an emergency drill in order to better prepare yourselves for a potential disaster or hazard.
If you don’t have an emergency plan, Go-kit or stockpile, NOW would be the time to make one. Remember, Safety First is Safety Always!
For information on how develop a Household Emergency Plan, or lists of the recommended emergency supplies for a Go Bag or a Shelter-in-Place Kit, visit the What to Have: In Your Head, In Your Home, In Your Hand, For Pets, and For Special Needs pages on www.phila.gov/ready.
Do you think we are prepared for impending disasters? Yes? No? Maybe? Well, according to Scott Knowles, a professor at Drexel University who recently published a book titled “The Disaster Experts: Mastering Risk in Modern America”, when it comes to disaster preparedness, ‘we are screwed’. This can be attributed to the fact that since 9/11, federal policies have focused solely on issues regarding terrorism. As a result, preparation for other disasters has been put aside.
About 10-15% of the Homeland Security resources go to emergency management, while over 30% is allotted to security and terrorism measures. According to Knowles, we are not preparing for disasters we know WILL happen but rather we are getting prepared for disasters we think MAY happen. He cites the change from the Clinton to the Bush administration as being one of the reasons emergency management has not been given the kind of attention it deserves.
In his book he asks questions such as: is creating an elaborate set of fire codes for buildings, and then allowing structures like the Twin Towers—tall, impressive, and risky—to go up as design experiments logical? Why prepare for terrorist attacks above all else when floods, fires, and earthquakes pose far more consistent threats to American life and prosperity?
Knowles focuses on broader issues, such as poverty reduction, education, and land use restrictions, when discussing changes needed to make disaster mitigation successful. He states that a collaborative effort from insurance agents, journalists, scientist, civil engineers, and public officials is needed in order to effectively prepare for and respond to disasters.
Visit this link to read an interview he did with the Philadelphia City Paper.
The CDC health preparedness department has produced another graphic novel about a zombie pandemic, to help individuals prepare for disasters. The novel was released late last year and was a hit on New York’s ComicCon. The graphic novel is titled "Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic." It is entertaining, appropriate for all age groups, and it demonstrates the importance of being prepared in case of an emergency, all at the same time.
You might think “Zombies? Why zombies?” but the health preparedness team thought it would be an innovative and creative idea to use zombies to send their message due to the increased attention pop culture has given to zombies. Much to their surprise, the idea worked. The novel caught the attention of millions of Americans causing the CDC blog server to crash. A zombie apocalypse is an imaginative way to describe a tornado, earthquake, hurricane or a pandemic because zombies would take over the entire cities, countries, destroying anything and everything in their path. This graphic novel shows how to prepare for such disasters, what to do when the situation arises, and how to survive through it. Also as an added bonus, a preparedness checklist is included in the novel so families, schools, and workplaces can get ready before a disaster strikes.
Click on this link to read how Todd and Julie survive a zombie pandemic. You might learn a thing or two while being entertained.