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What If? Colorado

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  • What If? Colorado

    'What If?' State Encourages Coloradans To Be Ready

    Michelle Griego

    (CBS4) DENVER State officials have launched a new campaign to encourage Coloradans to prepare for a disaster.

    It's called "What If? Colorado" and has Web components as well as a contest to put three people into a house together to see how they would cope with disasters such as pandemic flus and blizzards.

    Since the terrible events of September 11, 2001, and with the increasing and widespread concern for pandemic influenza worldwide, Coloradoans have been deluged with constant warnings about their ongoing safety. As a result, citizens need real solutions to their questions concerning influenza prevention and emergency preparedness. Surveys both in Colorado and nationally demonstrate that the vast majority of citizens have not created an emergency preparedness kit for their homes, cars or offices ? and many citizens avoid influenza vaccinations for reasons that simply aren?t justifiable. The Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response (OEPR) of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is taking steps to empower citizens to take charge and respond to such challenges. The goals of the OEPR ?What If? Colorado? campaign are as follows:
    • Partnering with the Colorado Influenza and Pneumococcal Alert Coalition (CIPAC) to increase the number of Colorado citizens who receive seasonal influenza vaccinations
    • Increasing the number of Colorado citizens who develop emergency kits for their homes, offices and automobiles
    • Empowering Colorado citizens on measures they can take to prepare for emergencies and prevent the spread of illness during an influenza pandemic
    • Informing Colorado citizens on what pandemic influenza is and how it differs from seasonal influenza
    Through a statewide ?What If? Colorado? campaign, funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the OEPR will work to inform Coloradoans of measures they can take to prepare for emergency situations, what pandemic influenza is and how to prepare for it, as well as specific actions they can take to promote the health and safety of themselves and their families. Questions the campaign will address include:
    • What if pandemic influenza strikes Colorado again?
    • What if an emergency forces you and your family to ?shelter in place? for an extended period of time?
    • What if a natural disaster strikes your hometown?
    The ?What If? Colorado? House and ?Reality? Competition
    In order to engage citizens in an enlightening and educational activity, Colorado residents over the age of 18 will be encouraged to submit video ?auditions? for consideration to be included in the ?What If? Colorado? House, where residents will live together this fall for a multi-day period and face a variety of challenges designed to engage and inform them on a multitude of emergency preparedness and influenza issues. Auditions will be accepted online, at special events and through standard ?snail? mail submissions. The web site will direct residents to the OEPR campaign Web pages, where they can view posted audition videos and learn about emergency preparedness, pandemic influenza and influenza prevention. Toward the final stages of the audition period in August, the public will be invited to vote online for which of their fellow Coloradoans they feel should become residents of the ?What If? Colorado? House. After the event, one resident will be selected as the ?winner? and will receive a grand prize. Video compilations of activities in the house will be featured on television broadcasts and streaming video will be available on the Internet at
    "In the beginning of change, the patriot is a scarce man (or woman, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for it then costs nothing to be a patriot."- Mark TwainReason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Thomas Paine