What’s New in Emergency Preparedness and Public Health?

Norfolk County 7 is awarded another TURI Grant!

Thanks to UMass Lowell’s Toxic Use Reduction Institute, we can build on our project from last year and take healthy nail salons to a new level!  (Read more about the award) While last year was mostly focused on education and promoting awareness, this year we hope to continue collaborating with Boston’s Safe Nail Salon Coalition to develop “Green and Clean” certificates for salons, run focus groups, and help pilot salons implement safer practices and changes to their business to make the salons in our region safer for employees and customers alike!  We also want to begin outreach to hair salons to include them in our campaign, as products like the “Brazilian Blowout” have caught a lot of attention recently.  More updates to come as the project unfolds!

It’s time for another Full-scale Exercise!

We are planning our next “real-life” disaster scenario to take place this fall!  In collaboration with the Harvard Center for Emergency Preparedness, we will be simulating a disaster affecting the surrounding areas and the immediate need for a functional emergency shelter, including support for those needing medical care, additional assistance, and those with pets or service animals.

Stay tuned for more information this summer on how you can get involved!  We will need volunteers (both medical and non-medical) to practice the plan as well as role-playing victims or shelter residents.  We are very excited to start working with everyone on the exercise!

Smartphones??

How many resources can you get in the palm of your hand?  The answer seems to continue growing, as more and more applications focused on integrating healthcare and technology flood the market.  Whether you’re a nurse or just like to stay up to date on cutting edge tools, these new apps are worth checking out on iTunes or the Android app store:

SHOTS by STFM— A mobile vaccine reference tool giving       immunization schedules for adults, children, catch up schedules, pregnant women and those with chronic diseases.  It’s interactive screens also let you quickly learn more about combo vaccines and details of different diseases.  All information is routinely updated and verified by the CDC. Cost: FREE

My Health Checklist 2012  An easy to navigate evidence-based checklist for non-healthcare professionals to learn about health prevention and maintenance for       themselves and loved-ones.  Gives tips on everything from recommended screenings and cholesterol levels to what    supplements one should take at a certain age.  Cost: $2.99

Living Medical Textbook through Projects in Knowledge Inc., offer several electronic texts discussing new and emerging treatments and resources on diseases from Diabetes to Multiple Sclerosis to Parkinsons.  CME credit is available and content and links are updated periodically so it will never be out of date!  Cost: FREE!

ELERTS app gives you the ability to be a “citizen responder” by taking pictures and reporting accidents or emergencies as soon as you see them. allowing first responders to have eyes and ears everywhere, to gain accurate information faster, and gets important statistics to those who need it.  www.elerts.com Cost: FREE

        NY Times writeup on the creation of ELERTS

Would you be ready to go in an emergency?  If there was no power and roads were closed for 3 days?  Here is an easy checklist to help you remember what to keep on hand!

1. Water – One gallon/person/day

2. Food – Non perishables

3. Clothes – One change of clothes/footwear

4. Medications – 3 days worth of prescription medications (also great to keep a list of current medications and doses nearby)

5. Flashlight – Extra batteries

6. Can Opener – Manual

7. Radio – Battery powered

8. Hygiene Items – Basics like soap, toilet paper and a toothbrush

9. First Aid – Antiseptic, bandaids and over the counter medications

 

Talk to your health department for more information about planning your family for emergencies, or check out www.ready.gov for lots of great tips!

 

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