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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

American Public Health Association Asking Citizens To Make Online Promise To Prepare Their Family, Friends & Community

August 2nd, 2010 · 2 Comments

The American Public Health Asssociation (APHA) is asking citizens to make an online promise “to prepare my family, friends and community”. The pledge initiative is part of the APHA’s Get Ready campaign.

It asks the public to do five things: get a flu vaccination and other recommended immunizations, create a family communications and evacuation plan, have an emergency preparedness kit, protect their pets, and encourage their community to get ready. APHA is encouraging citizens to organize preparedness events on Get Ready Day, September 21st, as part of National Preparedness Month.

The APHA’s Audrey Pernik told me that the “promise” concept has worked before for other Association campaigns so it decided to use the idea for preparedness this year. The hope is that by getting individuals to take the first step online it will encourage them to take family readiness stepss. Asking more and getting more is similar to the philosophy of Orange County READYOC’s “Promise To Prepare” campaign that I wrote about last month. Pernik said that 1600 people have already made the pledge in the first week it has been on the web.

An interesting aspect of the APHA preparedness initiative is that it includes immunization as a part of preparedness, which is central to the group’s work but is not normally part of emergency management’s standard outreach message (other than last year when the H1N1 flu was a major focus). Though it is an extra step, I see how including immunization in public preparedness recommendations might be useful because it is a more pedestrian, non-disaster action which could be a good way to get citizens into emergency preparedness in a less threatening way.

You can make your preparedness promise here.

The APHA’s Get Ready campaign video, “Ant & Grasshopper”

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Tags: Preparedness Ideas · Public Health Preparedness

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