Health Communication , , ,

Are you prepared?

By: Courtney Luecking MPH, MS, RD Doctoral candidate: Nutrition

Zika virus. Flooding. Hurricanes. Wildfires. Earthquakes. What do these have in common? They are all examples of public health emergencies that have impacted our nation and world in just the last few months. While not all emergencies can be predicted, we can take steps to have an emergency response plan in place.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is promoting National Preparedness Month this September.



Preparedness is important not only for the international, national, regional, and local agencies and organizations that help people overcome disasters, but also for individuals and the communities they are part of.

One simple step you can take is to create a preparedness kit. Basics of an emergency kit include:

  • At least a 3-day supply of food and water
  • Health supplies
  • Personal care items
  • Safety supplies
  • Electronics
  • Documents
  • Extra cash
  • Extra house and car keys



You can learn more about being prepared for all kinds of situations through a Twitter chat Tuesday, September 27th at 1pm EST with @CDCemergency. And by checking out the resources below.



ASPCA. General Pet Care.

Boehrer, Katherine. 10 Disaster Preparedness Tips You Can Really Use. Huffington Post.

Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed.


  • ariagray

    Thanks for this Courtney! This is a great reminder to be prepared. I move so much that I often forget to have all of these things ready. I also grew really lazy when I lived in a city with mostly underground power lines in my neighborhood! Living in a "real" neighborhood again has made me realize the importance of being prepared and your post was a helpful nudge for me to pull this together in my new apartment. I also think that oftentimes we feel stupid for getting prepared for a big storm when nothing happens, when being prepared is a good thing!

  • shaunalayres

    I agree that more Americans should be prepared for disasters; however, many households can't afford it. Sadly many families are struggling to keep a meal's worth of food in their house, let alone three days. I don't know a solution to this problem. If supplies where donated to needy families, they would likely use them in nonemergencies and still not be prepared. Yet, not providing assistance, waiting for disaster to strike, and then trying to distribute supplies is not the ideal situation either. This is a complex public health issue that is directly linked to health disparities and poverty. Thanks for bringing it to the forefront for discussion.