September is National Preparedness Month! We want to encourage you to take action so that you can be better prepared before, during, and after an emergency. Every community and every community member should be prepared to respond to emergencies, including infectious disease outbreaks, chemical or radiological releases, and natural disasters.
Actions you can take
Ask yourself the following questions:
❶ How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
❷ What is my shelter plan?
❸ What is my evacuation route?
❹ Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?
Actions to help prepare the community
In addition to securing your personal preparedness, it’s also important to increase the preparedness of your students, residents, patients, clients, neighbors, and other community members. Creating opportunities for everyone to prepare and respond to emergencies means acknowledging that preparedness recommendations and protective actions have limitations. Recommendations such as, setting aside enough food and water to last at least 72 hours, may not consider a person’s access to food.
The CDC has identified the following five Social determinants of health (SDOH) domains that contribute to health disparities and inequities.
❷ Education access and quality
❸ Health care access and quality
❹ Neighborhood and built environment
❺ Social and community context
The CDC’s Prepare Your Health website and toolkit provides recommendations and examples for communities to reduce the risks associated with their SDOH. For more information please contact the regional DSHS Emergency Preparedness and Response Program at PublicHealthDisasterPreparedness@dshs.texas.gov.