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National Public Health Week

Monday, April 7th, 2014

National Public HealthThe CDC announced that the week of April 7, 2014 is National Public Health Week. During the first full week of April each year since 1995, the American Public Health Association (APHA) brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week (NPHW), which is a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues important to improving our nation.

This year, during the annual campaign, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are hoping to inspire everyone to be a: “Public Health Nerds,” who focus on bringing communities together to promote good health.

Each day of the weeklong promotion, the CDC will release a relevant image to represent the daily theme. Monday’s image pays homage to the theme, “Be healthy from the start,” supporting the health benefits of breastfeeding. From maternal health and school nutrition to emergency preparedness, the message is that public health starts at home. Other daily messages will include:

Tuesday: Don’t panic. Disaster preparedness starts with community-wide commitment and action.

Wednesday: Get out ahead. Prevention is now a nationwide priority.

Thursday: Eat well. The system that keeps our nation’s food safe and healthy is complex.

Friday: Be the healthiest nation in one generation. Best practices for community health come from around the globe.

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The CDC hopes they’ll strike a chord with what they are referring to as their “nerd” campaign, encouraging people to track and participate in the conversation using the hashtag #PHNerd.

“Those of us who work in public health have the shared responsibility of communicating information to save and improve lives of Americans,” said CDC Deputy Director Judith A. Monroe, MD. “CDC’s Public Health Nerd campaign and APHA’s National Public Health Week achieve this objective by increasing awareness about health issues, which helps Americans make informed health care choices.”

Despite the dramatic progress achieved through a century of public health advancements — the elimination of polio, fluoridation of drinking water and seat belt laws — our nation’s health falls far short of its potential:

  • The U.S. life expectancy has reached a record-high of 78, but still ranks 46th behind Japan and most of Europe.
  • A baby born in the U.S. is more likely to die before its first birthday than a child born in almost any other developed country.
  • The U.S. is among the top 10 countries that have the most people with HIV/AIDS, and it is estimated that one in 20 residents in the nation’s capital are HIV-positive.
  • Disparities persist with ethnic minority populations having nearly eight times the death rate for key health conditions, such as diabetes, than that of non-minority populations.

Next year’s public health week will be April 6-12, 2015. But you don’t have to wait for an official marketing campaign to take care of yourself. The good news is that we have the potential to greatly improve our population’s health in the future by adopting these 10 good health habits:

  1. Eat right and drink plenty of water.
  2. Get plenty of sleep.
  3. Move.
  4. Manage stress.
  5. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  6. If you’re sick, stay home.
  7. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  8. Keep your hands clean.
  9. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  10. Keep your home and workplace safe. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, especially when someone is ill.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. The best way to prepare for disasters of any kind is to be aware. Our system is a convenient and affordable solution to all of the training needs of your building(s). Choosing our service cuts property management training-related costs by 90% and saves you over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES.

The United States of Emergency

Monday, March 8th, 2010
How is a State of Emergency Declared?

How is a State of Emergency Declared?

You’ve certainly heard about how the government declares “States of Emergency.” But have you ever wondered how exactly they go about making such declarations? Disasters of this scale involve substantial allocations of resources in terms of equipment, personnel and, of course, money.

With 59 FEMA major disaster declarations in 2009 and 12 already declared in 2010 (three, related to wild winter storms, have already been made in March), it is timely to look at how individual states declare emergencies and the role FEMA plays in reviewing and/or approving the allocation of federal funds.

Overall, how state and federal governments deal with emergencies is similar to how you, as a building owner or property manager, would handle any emergency. First, you assess the situation, ensuring that individual safety is the primary concern. Then, you look at the amount of damage that has been suffered and evaluate the anticipated costs for rebuilding and replacing, relative to money and labor.

Governors who are faced with large disasters go through several steps before requesting federal disaster assistance. The first step that FEMA takes is called a Preliminary Damage Assessment.

  • Personnel from FEMA and the affected state’s emergency management agency work together with local officials to survey the overall disaster and write an assessment.
  • This assessment helps the governor support a declaration request, as it gives an overall look at response effort costs including labor and related overtime. It also gives a thorough review of the state of emergency services’ capacity and the damage to citizen resources so the governor can show that the damage exceeds allocated state and local resources.
  • After the formal request is submitted to the regional FEMA office, FEMA considers the following when looking at any significant natural or manmade disaster to see if federal assistance is warranted:

For example, how many structures have been damaged? 10 homes or 1,000?  What about business? Was a large office park or manufacturing site affected which would reduce incomes of a large portion of the general population?

Can the public still use roadways or other transportation? Are basic services such as water and electricity working or are they likely to be quickly restored?

Are public health considerations necessary? Are local hospitals or other care centers affected?

  • What are the potential impacts to essential government services and functions?
    • Can the federal government better handle the work?
    • Does the overall scale of the disaster require assistance on a large scale?
    • How concentrated or disperse is the emergency? FEMA officials will work with State agencies to assess if there are enough state personnel available to manage the disaster.
  • What are the implications of insurance coverage for homeowners and public facilities?
    • If the area is one that lacks proper insurance coverage, then losses will be more severe and rebuilding effort timeframes will be lengthy.
    • State and local resource commitments from other prior disasters might stretch resources.
    • FEMA submits findings to the Office of the President.
    • The President decides if a Presidential Disaster Declaration should be made. If such a declaration is made, FEMA’s share of disaster expenses will be at least 75% of the total cost.

There are lessons about collaboration and preparation to be learned in the methodical approach that FEMA officials take to reviewing a disaster. We encourage building owners to engage tenants as valuable partners in safety and disaster planning.

For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal. Our e-based system offers the best emergency training available, with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

Swine Flu Facts

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Part 1 of a 4-part seriesB00528_H1N1_flu_blue_sml

Though H1N1 (also known as the Swine Flu) is, ultimately, just another flu bug, it’s hard to avoid panic when bombarded with forecasts that the entire population may fall victim to a global pandemic.

Fortunately, getting the swine flu is not a sudden death sentence. In fact, a very small percentage of people who contract it die from it. Nevertheless, there remain several legitimate reasons that it is better to avoid contracting it at all, the least of which is that dealing with any flu virus is uncomfortable and inconvenient. More importantly, more people die from the swine flu than from any other known strain.

H1N1 was first discovered in La Gloria, a small town in Southern Mexico in March of 2009. Soon thereafter, more cases were reported in the United States and Europe, inspiring people to wear masks and gloves in public. Fear spread, as thousands worried about contracting the “deadly virus.” Surprisingly enough, the much-feared swine flu has a mortality rate of just 0.01%. This is, admittedly, a much larger percentage than the seasonal flu, which claims only %0.001 of its victims. So, it’s important to recognize the symptoms associated with every strain of the flu.

Unlike a common cold, Influenza usually starts suddenly and may include the following:

  • High Fever
  • Headache
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or congested nose
  • Body aches
  • Diarrhea and vomiting

Having these symptoms does not always mean that you have the flu. Many illnesses, including the common cold, can cause similar symptoms. Although most of the symptoms of the seasonal flu and the swine flu are similar, the swine flu almost always includes vomiting and diarrhea, in every age group. And while a common cold can knock you out for a few days, a flu bug will usually persist for up to a week or more. If your symptoms seem more intense than a typical cold, seek medical attention.

Though people usually recover completely from the swine flu, the mortality rate seems to be the highest in people under age 25. Young children and babies also need to be careful when going out in public, where they could possibly contract H1N1. And while, oddly enough, elderly people seem to be more immune to swine flu than younger folks, they need to take special precautions, because the swine flu can cause respiratory problems, which can also lead to death.

Allied Universal, Inc. is dedicated to safety, and preparedness. If you are armed with information about the flu, it may be easier to avoid catching it in the first place. For more more information about the H1N1 virus, visit WebMD or the CDC website.

Next week in our special series about the swine flu, we’ll look at what you should do to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the Influenza.

In the meantime, BE SAFE!!!

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/flu-cold-symptoms

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/health/01plague.html

http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2009/04/swine_flu_what_do_cfr_virulenc.php

http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/URI/colds.html