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Red Cross Offers Public Information Series on Pandemic Flu

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  • Red Cross Offers Public Information Series on Pandemic Flu

    Red Cross Offers Public Information Series on Pandemic Flu

    In the United States, flu season begins every fall and ends in the spring. Influenza, often called the flu, is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. This type of flu is called seasonal flu.

    Rarely, a new type of flu virus may appear that people have not been exposed to before, so they have no natural resistance to it. This type of flu virus could cause a flu more serious than seasonal flu.

    This flu is called Pandemic Flu. This flu spreads easily from person to person around the world in a very short time and causes serious illness and deaths.

    In 2003 scientists recognized a new type of flu virus called H5N1 that has infected and killed many birds.

    This virus causes a flu called Avian or Bird Flu. In Central Asia and Turkey, infected, domesticated birds have transmitted the bird flu to humans causing illness and sometimes death. Although there has been no sustained human-to-human transmission, there is a growing concern that a flu pandemic could occur. Unlike the seasonal flu, pandemic flu infects large numbers of people of all ages, causing serious illness and death as in 1918 where 675,000 in the United States died, 1957 with 70,000 deaths and 1968 with 34,000 deaths.

    ?It is difficult to predict when the next influenza pandemic will occur or how severe it will be. Wherever and whenever a pandemic starts, everyone around the world is at risk,? said Gloria Loftin, LPN and Board Member of the Heart of Tennessee Chapter. ?Education and prior planning are the keys to our communities? ability to respond to a pandemic. The Heart of Tennessee Chapter has scheduled its first Pandemic Flu Public Education Seminar on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 6:30 p.m. at our chapter office located at 836 Commercial Court in Murfreesboro,? said Loftin. This event is free and open to the public.

    The seminar will describe how influenza is spread, prevention strategies, developing a preparedness plan, preventing the spread of infection and staying informed. The seminar is open to the first 60 people who reserve a place by calling the chapter at 893-4272. ?We hope people will be moved to share the information they learn with their churches, businesses and neighbors, as well as, take advantage of the resources available from the Red Cross to present this information to people at other venues,? said Greg King, Executive Director of the American Red Cross.

    Pandemic and other preparedness brochures can be viewed and downloaded from the chapter?s website at:

    The Heart of Tennessee American Red Cross Chapter provides vital emergency assistance to help victims of local disasters in Rutherford, Bedford and Cannon counties. Over the past year the Chapter trained nearly 8,460 people in CPR and First Aid and transmitted 191 emergency messages for military families. Over 16,000 pints of life-saving blood were collected from the community last year. All of these services are made possible by over 600 dedicated local Red Cross volunteers as well as through generous gifts from the local community. To get more information or to find out how to make a financial contribution to the local chapter please call (615) 893-4272 or log on to
    "We are in this breathing space before it happens. We do not know how long that breathing space is going to be. But, if we are not all organizing ourselves to get ready and to take action to prepare for a pandemic, then we are squandering an opportunity for our human security"- Dr. David Nabarro

  • #2
    Re: Red Cross Offers Public Information Series on Pandemic Flu

    Thanks for the link.

    Any links to seminars are much appreciated.


    • #3
      Re: Red Cross Offers Public Information Series on Pandemic Flu

      Our local Red Cross is doing a Disaster Resistant Neighborhoods program, and I've lined them up to come out and talk to my neighborhood along with Dept. of Health and and local EMS about the pandemic, preparing, etc. My neighbors and I have blanketed the neighborhood with one of their pamphlets titled, "Home Care for Pandemic Flu" which lists recipe for oral rehydration solutions and recommended meds to have on hand.

      I'll let you know how the presentation goes next Tuesday, 1/9.
      "I've no time to plead and pine. I've no time to wheedle. Kiss me quick and then I'm gone. POP! Goes the Weasel."


      • #4
        Re: Red Cross Offers Public Information Series on Pandemic Flu

        Disaster Resistant Neighborhood Description for Bloomington Indiana area:

        Disaster Resistant Neighborhood

        A disaster mitigation project of the American Red Cross.
        Pilot Project 2001 Monroe County, Indiana
        The Disaster Resistant Neighborhood program promotes disaster safety for individuals and families through an organized effort at the neighborhood level led by neighborhood volunteers. The program emphasizes individual responsibility for disaster preparedness and mitigation. It encourages neighborhood residents to share responsibility for their disaster safety, thereby making the neighborhood more resilient and resistant to natural and man made hazards. It provides information and training to neighborhood leaders who organize activities that are tailored to the uniqueness of their neighborhood and accesses resources from the broader community through an American Red Cross Disaster Resistant Neighborhood Team. The program accommodates the uniqueness of neighborhoods as well as the American Red Cross by offering a menu of activities and a variety of products that can be customized to match neighborhood needs in education, structural and non-structural mitigation activities and advocacy.
        The Disaster Resistant Neighborhood program complements community wide disaster resistant initiatives developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Institute for Business and Home Safety. Those initiatives, including Project Impact which usually target large geo-political areas, attend to a full range of issues associated with creating disaster resistant communities such as infrastructure improvements, prudent land use management, historical preservation, environmental integrity, critical public facility retrofits, etc. The American Red Cross brings a unique contribution to these initiatives by focusing its efforts in mitigation and preparedness on individuals and families in the context of the neighborhood. It also allows the American Red Cross to expand on and integrate the Disaster Resistant Neighborhood program into other effective existing American Red Cross and community programs and systems such as Community Disaster Education activities, Disaster Action Teams, Health and Safety Services activities or Citizens Emergency Response Team activities.
        In short, The American Red Cross Disaster Resistant Neighborhood program is an excellent way to build community and neighborhood spirit while making the neighborhood safer from disasters.
        • To make individuals and families safer from disaster through proactive preparedness and mitigation as well as an effective neighborhood disaster response program.
        • To promote individual and neighborhood responsibility for disaster safety.
        • To build or strengthen the neighborhood by developing disaster safety leaders identity, spirit and relationships.
        • To increase the effectiveness of American Red Cross disaster preparedness and mitigation services by customizing American Red Cross disaster safety activities in ways that are appropriate for the neighborhoods and entire communities they serve.
        1. Neighborhood Leadership Development in Disaster SafetyThe American Red Cross is the initiator and facilitator of the Disaster Resistant Neighborhood program, however, to be effective, it is absolutely essential that the neighborhood take ownership of the program (i.e. led by neighborhood volunteers and designed and implemented by volunteers within the neighborhood). Activities appropriate for the neighborhood are selected from a menu of activities available through an American Red Cross Disaster Resistant Neighborhood Team along with other community partners.
          The program encourages neighborhoods to accept responsibility for disaster preparedness, mitigation and response by working in a coordinated way with the individual residents.
        2. Hazard Identification and Vulnerability Assessment for Neighborhoods and Residences The Disaster Resistant Neighborhood Team conducts a Hazard Identification and Vulnerability Assessment for the neighborhood. Based on the neighborhood's vulnerabilities, the Disaster Resistant Neighborhood Team will then promote and coordinate total neighborhood and individual resident self-assessments to determine how well prepared the neighborhood is when disasters occur.
        3. Neighborhood Activities Designed to Accommodate Neighborhood UniquenessBased on the neighborhood's Hazard Identification and Assessment, the Disaster Resistant Neighborhood Team will sponsor activities in awareness and education, direct mitigation and advocacy appropriate for the neighborhood.
        4. Disaster Resistant Neighborhood RecognitionBased on pre-identified criteria, a neighborhood is designated as a Disaster Resistant Neighborhood for a period of two years. Neighborhoods that achieve the Disaster Resistant Neighborhood designation are recognized through media releases, Disaster Resistant Neighborhood signage and an annual community-wide celebratory event.
          To order a Disaster Resistant Neighborhood Leaders Kit please e-mail your request for the kit along with your name and address to Maria Carrasquillo or Monroe County Redcross and one will be sent to you.