September is Emergency Preparedness Month and while the TriCounty Health ‘Flu Shoot Out’ event has been postponed, Director Jordan Mathis didn’t miss the chance to present on public health preparedness at the Vernal Chamber luncheon this week. Using the Spanish Flu as an example, Mathis asked what would happen if there was a public health event now. He explained that among the impacts would be high absenteeism from work and school as well as shortages of supplies. TriCounty Health tracks all communicable diseases locally and continually trains and prepares for the possibility of a public health event. The annual ‘Flu Shoot Out’ is one example as they use it as an opportunity to practice a method of vaccinating large numbers of people. Citizens are urged to prepare their own families by practicing good health practices, getting all needed vaccinations including the flu shot, and having a family plan and supplies on hand in case of emergency. Households should have at least 72-hour portable kits that include water, food, medication, and other supplies. Families should establish a plan in the event of an emergency that includes setting up communication lines with family and friends, identifying a gathering place, and making arrangements for children and pets if caretakers are stuck at work during an emergency. Finally, it’s important for families to practice what they plan.

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