April 2-8, 2007
NHM Health Focus: National Public Health Week
Each year the American Public Health Association (APHA) joins with local and national public health groups to celebrate the first week in April as National Public Health Week.
This year's National Public Health Week theme is Preparedness and Public Health Threats: Addressing the Unique Needs of the Nation's Vulnerable Populations. This is a good time for families, schools, businesses, and communities to work together to create a preparedness plan in the case of a public health emergency, such as a pandemic flu outbreak.
Facts for National Public Health Week from the American Public Health Association Toolkit:
Schools Serving Children in Kindergarten through 12th Grade
- While 94% of school districts have emergency preparedness plans in place, only half have a plan in place for an infectious disease emergency.
- 91% of school administrators rated preparing for a public health emergency as a priority. However, only 6% reported having the monetary resources to adequately plan for a public health emergency.
- Only 18% of schools have enough drinking water available to shelter students and staff for three days.
Individuals with Chronic Health Care Needs
- While 90% of adults with chronic health care needs take medication at least a few times a week, only 19% reported having a one-month supply on hand in the case of an emergency that left them unable to immediately get more.
- 38% of adults with chronic health care needs reported that they would run out of medication in less than one week in the event of a public health emergency.
- 82% stated that they do not wear any sort of identification that would alert emergency response personnel to their unique health care needs in the event of a public health emergency.
Mothers with Children in the Household
- While 61% of mothers with small children report they have done some emergency planning, less than half have enough food and supplies to shelter in place for three days to a week.
- 14% of mothers have a planned meeting place in the case of an evacuation.
Local Food Banks
- Regional Food Banks are well prepared for public health disasters, with plans in place to provide services to those in need.
- Local Food Banks are not as well prepared and may not have the supplies necessary to continue providing food to the communities they serve.
Hourly Wage Workers
As a National Partner, the National Health Museum joins APHA along with the Sponsors and other National, State/County, and Community Partners of National Public Health Week in saluting all the good work that is being done across the country to address the issue of emergency preparation for all, especially those with unique needs.
- While 71% of employers state they would encourage workers to stay home in the event of a public health crisis, only 18% would continue to pay all workers if the disruption lasted for 2 months.
- Only 15% of low-hourly wage workers have any money set aside in case of a work stoppage due to a public health or other disaster.
- 77% of low-hourly wage workers have made no preparations such as stocking food and supplies for a public health disaster in their homes.
Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum resources related to preparedness and public health threats: