Prince George's County Health Department Brings Awareness to National Preparedness Month

Prince George's County Dept. of Health | 9/18/2010, 9:25 a.m.

Prince George 's County Health Department celebrates National Preparedness Month by encouraging county residents to prepare effectively for public health emergencies.

"The Health Department wants all Prince George 's County residents to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, workplaces, and communities." said Donald Shell, MD, Health Officer. "Minimizing the impact of the loss of electricity or water requires each individual or family to determine what critical items, supplies, and medications they will need during an emergency."
According to a national poll conducted by the American Public Health Association (APHA) almost 90 percent of the general public say they have not taken enough steps to prepare for a public health crisis.

An additional 40 percent of the public has taken steps in the past to prepare for emergencies, however they have not maintained their preparedness plans.

Some simple steps the public may take to ensure preparedness in the event of a public health emergency include:

Storing a 5 day supply of drinking water, one gallon of drinking water per day, per person in the household

Storing a minimum of a 3-5 day supply of non-perishable foods that takes into consideration any special dietary needs (i.e. canned goods, fruit and protein bars, dried cereal and nuts)

Having pet food and extra water

Maintaining an extra supply of formula, diapers, bottles and infant medications

Stocking a first aid kit and manual

Creating an emergency response kit that includes a local map, flashlight, can opener, battery-operated radio, batteries, matches, utility knife, blanket, latex gloves, hand sanitizer and extra clothing

Storing eating utensils and personal hygiene items such as paper goods, garbage bags, towelettes, toilet paper and feminine supplies

Keeping a 10 day supply of prescription drugs and medical supplies such as insulin and blood-pressure monitoring equipment on hand

Set aside non-prescription medication such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and anti-diarrheal medications

Learn about the potential hazards and emergencies in their area (i.e. hurricanes, chemical threats, extreme heat and heavy snowfalls)

Designate an emergency contact person and meeting place outside of the household in the event you cannot return home during an emergency

An established plan for how to evacuate your home

Ask local officials about your community's emergency response plans and where to get up-to-date information

Have a reserve of extra cash, traveler's checks and coins

Locate and update important documents such as personal identification, medical and financial records, and emergency contact numbers

Ask your child's school about emergency plans including evacuation locations and how they will communicate with families

Ask your employer about emergency plans and drills

For information specific to Prince George 's County, Please visit the Health Department webpage at: http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/Government/AgencyIndex/Health/index.asp

For additional information please visit the following websites: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://www.bt.cdc.gov/

or the READY campaign at http://www.ready.gov/america/npm10/index.html