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Sharing our stories on preparing for and responding to public health events

Emergency Planning for All Abilities

Categories: General, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Preparedness Month, Public Health

Photo of a Push to Open button on a door for accessibility.

By Georgina Peacock

Nickole Cheron was stuck in her home for eight days after a rare winter storm buried Portland, Oregon, under more than a foot of snow in 2008. Fortunately for Nickole, whose muscles are too weak to support her body, she signed up for “Ready Now!,” an emergency preparedness training program developed through the CDC-supported Oregon Office of Disability and Health. Nickole said the training was empowering, and reinforced her ability to live independently with a disability.

Children Are Not Little Adults

Categories: General, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Preparedness Month

Kids listening to a story

By Steven E. Krug, MD, FAAP

Imagine it. An earthquake shakes a California community, waking people whose homes have caught fire; responders must treat multiple children whose brief inhalation of smoke has rendered severe airway injuries. Or imagine a tornado rips through a town during the school day, and dozens of children need medical attention, but they’ve been separated from their identification and medical records. These are just two of the many disaster scenarios that pediatricians can help respond to—and also to plan for – so that the distinct medical needs of children are met.

3 Simple Steps to Protect Your Family

Categories: General, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Public Health

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A brutal snowstorm strikes at mid-day. Roads grow increasingly congested as commuters across the city scramble to get home before conditions worsen. Ice begins to jam roads, and resulting accidents turn interstates into parking lots and neighborhood roads into skating rinks. Some parents grow increasingly desperate to reach their children as roads become impassable, leaving students stranded on buses and at school. Other parents pick up their children only to become stuck in their cars.

On the Ground in Nigeria: Ebola Response

Categories: Disease Outbreak, Response

Nigeria volunteers

By Lisa Esapa, CDC-Nigeria

For the last few months, there has been a constant buzz about Ebola among my friends and colleagues in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. Everyone had a theory about if, when, or how Ebola would come to Nigeria. When we heard about a probable case in Lagos, my heart sank. Lagos is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, with a population of 15 to 20 million people. Lagos is crowded and loud, with sprawling slum areas that occupy the spaces between the river banks, markets, and developed areas. The stakes for stopping this outbreak from spreading are incredibly high.

5 Days at Memorial: Q&A with author Sheri Fink

Categories: Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Public Health

 

Blurred figures of people with medical uniforms in hospital corridor

By Sonja Rasmussen, MD, MS

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital is a non-fiction book written by journalist Dr. Sheri Fink. The book chronicles the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when thousands of people were trapped, without power, inside Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans in August 2005. 

After reading Dr. Fink’s book I had the opportunity to talk to her about and her thoughts on emergency preparedness. Below we talk about her experience:

Your experiences at Memorial are haunting for me as a public health professional, physician, and acting director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response at CDC.  When I read Five Days at Memorial, it was really a reality check as to how critical it is that we ensure that public health departments and hospitals can adequately respond to threats as well as maintain an infrastructure to function during an emergency.

Ready CDC

Categories: General, Preparedness, Public Health

Ready CDC logo

By Victoria Harp

CDC leads the nation in responding to public health emergencies, such as outbreaks and natural disasters. While the agency encourages the public to be aware of personal and family preparedness, not all CDC staff  follow those guidelines. In an effort to increase personal preparedness as part of workforce culture, CDC created the Ready CDC initiative. Targeting the CDC workforce living in metropolitan Atlanta, this program recently completed a pilot within the organization and is currently being evaluated for measurable improvements in recommended personal preparedness actions.

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