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News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2014
Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

Take action to be ready and resilient

A statement by Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Nicole Lurie, M.D.

America’s first PrepareAthon! National Day of Action is April 30. I encourage organizations and people across the country to participate.  America’s PrepareAthon is a new campaign to increase every community’s ability to withstand disasters.

In 2012, natural disasters caused more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries. Every disaster holds the potential to impact health, but most people are still unprepared for emergencies. In the 2012 Federal Emergency Management Agency National Survey, only 39 percent of people reported having a household emergency plan, which included instructions for household members on where to go and what to do in an emergency.

This spring, America’s PrepareAthon! will focus on learning how to protect yourself and your family, how to help your co-workers, and how to participate in community plans for emergencies such as tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and wildfires. This targeted national call to action highlights simple, specific steps individuals and organizations should take to increase their preparedness for a potential local disaster.

When we prepare and practice for an emergency in advance of the event, it makes a real difference in the whole community’s ability to take immediate and informed action. In turn, this enables everyone impacted to recover more quickly. In addition, participating in drills, exercises, and trainings help establish brain patterns that support quick and effective action during an emergency.

America’s PrepareAthon! provides instructions for educational discussions and simple drills for a range of disasters. The instructions will help employees, students, and organization members understand which disasters could happen in the community, what to do to stay safe, and how to take action to prepare and participate in making one’s community more resilient.

In addition, the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has developed a video game and a video to help health care providers with disaster preparedness.

Building and sustaining resilience is a shared responsibility. It takes a whole community working together to prepare for, respond to, and recover effectively from the destructive forces of nature and other emergencies.

Your organization can find preparedness guides and resources to help your workplace, school, house of worship, community-based organization, and the whole community practice specific preparedness activities necessary to stay safe before, during, and after an emergency.

Learn more about how your organization can play a role in your community’s readiness and resilience. Visit www.ready.gov/prepare. Plan an event for the national day of action and register it today.


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Last revised: April 11, 2014