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Volunteering Throughout the Disaster Cycle: Insights from the Medical Reserve Corps

Categories: General, Preparedness, Response

MRC volunteers reviewing supply lists

Volunteering with the Medical Reserve Corps
One of the strongest threads woven into the fabric of American culture is that of volunteer service. When someone is in need, we ask what can be done to help. This is never more evident than during a time of disaster. As we recognize September as National Preparedness Month, it is important to note that being involved in preparing your community for disaster puts you in the best position to help during a disaster as well as insure your county, city, or town is able to quickly recover and regain its footing.

Is Your Family Ready?

Categories: General, Natural Disasters

Mother, young son, and father smiling  We’re pleased to welcome Tala Hooban from the Administration on Children and Families to Public Health Matters. Tala works in ACF’s Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response and understands the importance of keeping families safe and together during a disaster.

I was in high school when 9/11 happened and all I remember was the chaos that ensued after.  I went to school in Northern Virginia, where many of the students’ parents worked in Washington D.C., including at the Pentagon.  It was really sad to see how many students could not get ahold of their parents because phone lines were down; this is even before cell phones were a big deal.  That was exactly the moment where a family emergency plan could have been helpful.  If you can’t get a hold of your family during and after an emergency what do you do?  Where do you meet if you are split up?  How do you reach each other?

Emergencies and the Elderly: taking care of older adults during a disaster

Categories: General, Natural Disasters, Preparedness

Younger adult holding older adult's hands

By Maggie Silver

When the Cedar River flood waters began to rise in Iowa most residents were able to see the impending danger and safely evacuate their homes. But Donna, an elderly woman living in a secluded section of town is blind, and couldn’t see when her basement began to fill with water. Since she doesn’t watch TV she didn’t see or hear the warnings on the local news. When the police and fire department came out to her flooded house to rescue her she was suspicious of the men knocking on the door telling her she needed to leave.

The Hidden Dangers of Getting Inked

Categories: Disease Investigation, General

Tatoo signThe practice of tattooing has been around for thousands of years.  These days, 21% of adults in the United States report having at least one piece of permanent artwork on their bodies.

  Many people who receive these lasting tributes – to loved ones, to pop culture, to religion, or to whatever they’re into – generally know what to look for when selecting a reputable tattoo parlor.  Does the artist wear gloves?  Does the tattoo shop sterilize their equipment?  Did the artist open a sterile needle in front of you?  Are things like inks and ointments portioned out for individual use?  If the artist can pass this mental checklist, most people feel pretty safe.

West Nile Virus: Recent Surge in Cases Sparks Concern in Texas

Categories: Disease Outbreak, General, Vectorborne

Texas state flagWest Nile virus season is off to an early start this year, which doesn’t bode well for what’s to come. Most West Nile virus exposures in the United States occur from July through October, with a peak during the first two weeks of August. Peak season in Texas is under way, and there are already 336 cases of West Nile illnesses, including 14 deaths reported as of August 13, making this the largest outbreak of West Nile virus in Texas since 2003. The virus has been appearing in many parts of the country, but almost half of the cases are in Texas and the numbers are rising.

Getting Prepared, the College Years

Categories: General, Preparedness

 College students sitting on steps

By Kathleen LaPorte

Twelve years of school, countless numbers of standardized test, a tassel, a diploma, and a college acceptance letter and you are fully prepared for college, or are you?  We’ve put together a few helpful tips on how to get ready for college.

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