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You Can “Be a Hero” During National Preparedness Month

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

September 03, 2013

~ Free Events throughout the State to Help You Be Prepared for Emergencies ~

Now that Florida is moving into the height of hurricane season, this is the perfect time to: Be Prepared. Make a Plan. Stay Informed.

September 1st marked the beginning of the ninth annual National Preparedness Month, hosted by the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps. This month is about encouraging households, businesses and communities across the nation to prepare and plan for emergencies.

People can prepare by being aware of the emergencies that could happen in their community. Identify official sources of information, i.e. TV, radio, print, Internet, etc., that may be helpful throughout any emergency.

Floridians are encouraged to make a plan to be self-reliant for at least three days should there be no electricity, water service, access to supermarkets or other local services, or even response services like police, fire or rescue.

Build an emergency supply kit that includes basic items such as healthy, non-perishable food, water and medications. Don’t forget to make a plan for pets!

In addition, get involved in the community. Learn who neighbors are and how you can help each other before, during and after an emergency. It will make all the difference when an emergency happens, for people to have a plan in place ahead of time.

As part of National Preparedness Month activities in Florida, the Department of Health has asked public and private partners throughout the state to “Be a Hero” and join local health departments in educating communities about being prepared, and how they can exercise their individual and collective capabilities to respond to an emergency.

The following activities are scheduled across the state:

Broward County

  • September 8, 11 AM–4 PM
    Florida Department of Health in Broward County staff will provide public health and preparedness information at Nova Southeastern University’s annual “A Day for Children” event in the Alvin Sherman Library, located in Davie.
    For more information, contact Michael Calderin at 954-467-4700, ext. 5813.
  • September 14, 10 AM–3 PM
    Florida Department of Health in Broward County staff will provide information, answer questions during Florida Blue’s “Healthy Aging” event at the Florida Blue Sawgrass Mill, located in Sunrise.
    For more information, contact Michael Calderin at 954-467-4700, ext. 5813.
  • September 21, 9 AM–2 PM
    Florida Department of Health in Broward County staff will provide public health and preparedness information at New Life Church’s Health Fair, located at 411 NE 31ST Court, Pompano Beach.
    For more information, contact Michael Calderin at 954-467-4700, ext. 5813.

Columbia County

  • September 5, 1 PM–4 PM
    The Florida Department of Health in Columbia County will host a Preparedness Planning Event in the FDOH-Columbia conference room, located at 217 NE Franklin Street, Lake City. The event is being held to encourage all staff, clients and the community as a whole to develop family preparedness plans. Staff will be present to provide literature to assist with planning needs for use during emergencies.
    Contact Mark Lander at 386-758-1037 for more information

Escambia County

  • September 1
    The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County’s Public Health Preparedness Program will send an informational letter to all Special Needs Shelter registrants during National Preparedness Month. General information about the shelter, eligibility and items to bring will be included.
    Contact Molly Payne-Hardin at 850-595-6683, ext. 206 or Molly_Payne-Hardin@doh.state.fl.us
  • September 14, 10 AM–2 PM
    The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County Health Education Program and Medical Reserve Corps of Escambia County will participate in the annual Youth Emergency Preparedness (YEP) event, put on by Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) at Booker T. Washington High School, located at 6000 College Parkway in Pensacola. Booths will have activities, emergency preparedness materials for kids and adults. Additional activities include crafts, scavenger hunts, races, face painting, and much more! Participants will also honor our local heroes, collect food for the Manna food bank, and learn how to prepare for disasters. The event is free and open to the public.
    Contact Erica Holland at 850-595-6273 or by email at Erica_Holland@doh.state.fl.us

Franklin County

  • September 12
    Contents of an emergency supply kit will be displayed in the waiting rooms of both the Department of Health in Franklin County’s clinics in Carrabelle and Apalachicola, to help educate people about what should be included in an emergency supply kit.
    Contact David Walker at 850-653-2111 for more information.

Gulf County

  • September 12
    Contents of an emergency supply kit will be displayed in the waiting rooms of both the Department of Health in Gulf County’s clinics in Wewahitchka and Port St. Joe, to help educate people about what should be included in an emergency supply kit.
    Contact David Walker at 850-653-2111 for more information.

Hamilton County

  • September 5, 9 AM–Noon.
    The Florida Department of Health in Hamilton County will host a Preparedness Planning Event in the FDOH-Hamilton conference room located at 209 SE Central Avenue, Jasper. The event is being held to encourage all staff, clients and the community as a whole to develop family preparedness plans. Staff will be present to provide literature to assist with planning needs for use during emergencies. Need more information?
    Contact Mark Lander at 386-792-1414 ext. 227.

Hernando County

  • September 3 and 5, 6 PM
    Florida Department of Health in Hernando County will provide a presentation on the Day Care Disaster Guide at its Spring Hill location, 7551 Forest Oaks Boulevard.
    For more information, contact Nina Mattei at 352-540-6822.
  • September 24
    Hernando County Health Department and Emergency Management will co-host the Hernando County Emergency Support Function 8 (ESF 8) Working Group’s Sinkhole Tabletop Exercise with long-term care and congregate living facilities. The goal is to encourage local partners to plan, assess, evacuate, and recover from a sinkhole affecting the facility. The exercise will highlight lessons learned from the Joplin, Missouri Tornadoes, Hurricane Sandy and Tropical Storm Debby. The exercise scenario is provided by Florida’s Tampa Bay Region 4 Regional Domestic Security Task Force (RDSTF) Health and Medical Vulnerable Populations Coordinator Denise Heady.
    For more information, contact Nina Mattei at 352-540-6822.

Miami-Dade County

  • September 9, 11, 13, 10 AM–2 PM
    Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County will offer preparedness resources in the Miami International Commerce Center (MICC) lobby, located at 8175 NW 12 Street, Miami for interested area residents. Department of Health public health preparedness staff will answer questions, and provide guidance and information (brochures, flyers, pamphlets) on all hazards. In addition, those interested can start the process to become a volunteer Medical Reserve Corp member. Register for the raffle, which includes the chance to win multiple emergency supply kit items. Drawing will be held September 27 after ‘Lunch Time Presentation on Preparedness’. See September 27 listing below for more details.
  • September 16–20
    Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County employees will participate in the Introduction to Emergency Management Course, being offered by the Florida Foundations Basic Emergency Management Academy. The course is designed for emergency management practitioners with one year or less experience.
    Contact Olga Connor, Office of Communication and Legislative Affairs, 786-336-1276.
  • September 17, 1PM–3 PM
    Closed Point of Dispensing (POD) exercise with University of Miami Students at the Coral Gables Campus. Medical Reserve Corps volunteers will participate.
  • September 13
    The Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners will present a proclamation to the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade during Public Health Preparedness Month, recognizing their work in the area of preparedness and partnership with Miami-Dade County Emergency Management.
  • September 27, 11:30 AM–12:30 PM
    3rd floor lobby of Miami International Commerce Center (MICC), located at 8175 NW 12 Street, Miami. A “Lunch Time Presentation on Preparedness” will be presented by a Public Health Expert with the Department of Health in Miami-Dade. The raffle winner will be announced and will receive emergency supply kit items.
    For more information on all activities listed above, contact Olga Connor, Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade’s Office of Communication and Legislative Affairs, 786-336-1276.

Okaloosa County

  • September 1–30:
    During National Preparedness Month, The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County’s Fort Walton Beach location will display tips to prepare for and respond to all hazards on the bulletin board located in the main entrance. Also, a family emergency supply kit will be displayed to educate visitors on the necessary contents of the kit.
    For information, contact Elaine Bieber at 850 833-9240 ext. 2304.
  • September 13, 6 PM–8 PM
    The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County’s Emergency Preparedness and Response staff will host a Hurricane Huddle for the Okaloosa-Walton Medical Reserve Corps, Okaloosa Community Emergency Response Team, and Florida Region I State Medical Response Team members at the Okaloosa County Emergency Operations Center, located at 90 College Boulevard in Niceville, FL 32578.
    For information, contact Elaine Bieber at 850 833-9240 ext. 2304.

Palm Beach County

  • September 12, 10 AM–2 PM
    The Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County’s Office of Public Health Preparedness will participate in Florida Atlantic University’s Annual Health & Safety Fair and staff a booth at FAU’s Boca Raton Campus. The Fair attracts thousands of students, faculty, and visitors. Several personal/family preparedness initiatives will be highlighted; staff will provide brochures, DVDs, and other educational items, and display/demonstrate the CHD’s emergency preparedness equipment and supplies (redundant communications systems, Automated External Defibrillators, emergency notification systems, personal protective equipment, etc).
    Contact: Al Grasso, EPC, Office of Public Health Preparedness FDOH-Palm Beach Co. 561-671-4016.

Polk County

  • September 7, 9 AM–2 PM
    The Florida Department of Health in Polk County’s preparedness staff will participate in the Servapaloosa Volunteer Festival being held at the Sun ‘n’ Fun grounds in Lakeland. The community event is being sponsored by Volunteer Polk to help residents find volunteer opportunities within the county. In addition, 10 volunteers from the Medical Reserve Corps in Polk County will partner with Polk Fire / EMS to staff a first aid station as well as a recruitment booth.
    Contact Pamela Crain at 863-519-7900 ext. 11063

For additional information about how you and your family can be prepared, get your copy of the Florida Department of Health Emergency Preparedness Guide.