Here in Massachusetts we’re no strangers to emergencies – just in the past few years we’ve experienced everything from flooding and blizzards to hazardous materials incidents and water supply disruptions. Through it all, one thing we know for certain is that individuals, families and communities that come together to prepare and plan for the unexpected are more resilient and better able to recover from these events, no matter what they are.
That’s why it’s so important for each of us to be ready for emergencies of all types, and why this month we’re launching a major public awareness campaign called “Together We’re Ready – Massachusetts Prepared.” This effort coincides with the annual observation of National Preparedness Month in September, and encourages Massachusetts residents, families and communities to make plans and prepare for public health emergencies of all types.
Over the course of the four weeks of the month, Together We’re Ready will highlight four different aspects of preparedness at the personal, family and community level:
• Week 1: Get Ready – Individual and Family Preparedness
This week’s message underscores the importance of not only preparing an emergency kit for home or evacuating but also staying informed throughout an emergency and creating a family communications plan to help ensure that everyone in a family is okay.
• Week 2: Get Involved – Join the Response
This week’s message highlights various volunteer organizations and opportunities in Massachusetts, including how you can sign up and pre-register with the state to respond as a volunteer during a public health emergency.
• Week 3: We’re All in this Together – Considerations for Individuals with Access and Functional Needs
Everybody’s unique, and this week’s message focuses on how essential it is to plan for any special medical, communication, or daily living needs which would require special attention during an emergency.
• Week 4: Get Vaccinated – Fight the Flu
This final week’s message is centered on the importance of getting a flu shot every year. We may not think of seasonal flu as an emergency, but the fact is that the flu can cause widespread illness and even death. When we get our annual flu vaccine, we’re protecting ourselves, our families and our communities from getting or spreading the flu
Throughout the campaign we’ll be working with our partners in local public health, public safety, healthcare, and other community organizations to provide information, materials and resources to improve emergency preparedness and resiliency.
Campaign messages will appear in a variety of media, including online and print newspapers, local public transit, and electronic billboards on highways. The campaign will also feature a 30-minute video panel discussion about emergency preparedness which will air on over 140 local cable access TV stations across the state, and a series of four online videos that will highlight a different theme from each week of the campaign.
For more information and to view the campaign materials and videos please visit: www.mass.gov/dph/ready.