Seasonal “flu” occurs between October and May and typically peaks in January and February. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report widespread influenza activity across the United States. It is anticipated that Influenza activity will peak in MA within the next few weeks. Recently, CDC issued a health advisory saying that the vaccine developed for 2014-2015 is less effective than usual; however, CDC continues to encourage everyone to get vaccinated.
Tips to prevent the spread of the Flu:
· Wash hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth;
· Avoid close contact with those who are already sick;
· Get plenty of sleep;
· Eat healthy food and drink plenty of fluids;
· Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or the crook of your arm;
· Stay home if ill for at least 24 hours after fever is gone, without the use of Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
What is the Enterovirus D68?
Click here for more information
MEMA~OFFERS TIPS FOR FAMILY HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS
“The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is offering personal hurricane preparedness tips to all of the citizens of the Commonwealth,” stated~MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz.~ “The three key tips for preparing for hurricanes, as well any potential emergencies or disasters are to build a kit, create a plan and stay informed.”~
Build an Emergency Kit
Every home and business should have a stocked basic emergency kit that could be used for any emergency, regardless of the time of year. Everyone should keep certain items around the house and workplace in the event you are isolated for three to five days without power or unable to go to a store. While some items, such as bottled water, food, flashlight, radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit, sanitation items and clothing should be in everyone’s kit, it is important to customize the kit for the needs of you and your family.~ Consider adding medications, extra eyeglasses, contact lenses, dentures, extra batteries for hearing aids or wheelchairs, or other medical equipment such as an oxygen tank.~ A list of allergies, medications and dosages, medical insurance information, medical records and serial numbers
of medical devices will provide additional information during an emergency.~ Do not forget your pets and animals in emergencies.~ Your kit should include pet supplies such as food, pet carriers and other supplies, as well as vaccinations and medical records for pets and service animals as well any other specialized items your family might need.
See attached emergency kit for a more complete list.
You may also consider making a mobile “go-bag” version of your emergency kit in case you need to evacuate to a shelter or other location, as an emergency shelter may not have all the items you need. At least annually, check your kit for any food, water, batteries, or other items that may need to be replaced or have expired.
Create a Family Emergency Communications Plan
Develop a Family Emergency Communications Plan in case family members are separated from one another during an emergency (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school, camp or at a friend’s house). This plan should also address how your family plans to reunite after the immediate crisis passes.
Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the Family Emergency Communications Plan contact person.~ During and immediately after a disaster, it is often easier to access a long distance telephone number than a local one. Also, it is important to remember that if telephone service is disrupted due to high volume, text messages and the internet often can be a viable alternative for communicating with family.~~
As part of a Communication Plan, you should create a personal support network and a list of contacts that include caregivers, friends, neighbors, service/care providers, and others who might be able to assist during an emergency. It is important keep a list of contact phone numbers in a safe, accessible place (particularly if your cell phone is lost or dead). Make sure everyone within your family knows the name, address and telephone number of the Family Emergency Communications Plan contact person.
To ensure you will be able to reunite after a disaster, it can be helpful to designate two meeting areas for family members – one within your community (your primary location), and one outside of your community (your alternate location). Sometimes an emergency could impact your neighborhood or small section of the community, so a second location outside of your community would be more accessible to all family members.
A Family Emergency Communications Plan can help reassure everyone’s safety and minimize the stress associated with emergencies.
It is important to identify ways to obtain information before, during and after a hurricane.~ MEMA encourages people who live or work in a coastal community to ‘Know Your Zone. The Know Your Evacuation Zone section of the~MEMA website enables you to use the interactive Hurricane Evacuation Zone finder to learn if your home or place of work is in one of the three hurricane evacuation zones.
The Know Your Risk section of the~MEMA website will help you better understand the hazards associated with hurricanes and their risks, such as Storm Surge, Heavy Rain and Inland Flooding and High Winds.
It is also important to learn how local authorities will warn you of a pending or current disaster situation and how they will provide information to you before, during and after a disaster.~ Remember that if their plan is not perfect then your personal plan will need to fill those gaps. You should closely monitor the media and promptly follow instructions from public safety officials as a storm approaches.
Severe weather warnings and watches, which can be obtained from media sources, the National Weather Service, a NOAA all-hazards radio, and on your cell phone can provide valuable and timely information.~ Some communities have local tools to alert residents. Also, consider utilizing Massachusetts Alerts, which is a communication tool used by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to disseminate critical information to smartphones. Massachusetts
Alerts is powered by a free downloadable application that is available for Android and~iPhone devices.~ For more information, go to www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp.
Mass 2-1-1 is the Commonwealth’s primary telephone call center during times of an emergency and is able to provide information on emergency resources. This system is free to the public, available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week, confidential, multilingual, and TTY compatible. Consider all the ways you might get information during an incident (radio, TV, internet, cell phone, landline, etc) in case one or more of those systems stops working.
SUGGESTED ALL-HAZARDS EMERGENCY KIT
~ Bottled water (1 gallon per person/per day for 3 days)
~ Canned goods and nonperishable foods, particularly those that do not need cooking:
·~~~~~~ Canned meats and fish
·~~~~~~ Canned fruits and vegetables
·~~~~~~ Canned soups and puddings
·~~~~~~ Canned fruit juices
·~~~~~~ Dried fruit and nuts
·~~~~~~ Bread, cookies and crackers
·~~~~~~ Peanut butter and jelly
·~~~~~~ Coffee and tea
~ Manual can opener
~ Radio (battery-powered or hand crank), NOAA Weather Radio and extra batteries
~ Flashlight or lantern, with extra batteries
~ First aid kit
~ Diapers, wipes, baby food, formula, if needed
~ Pet food, supplies, tag, crates, if needed
~ Prescription medications (2-week supply)
~ Extra eyeglasses, contact lenses, and dentures
~ Extra batteries for hearing aids, wheelchairs, or other medical equipment,
~ Medical oxygen tanks
~ Whistle to signal for help
~ Moist towelettes, garbage bags, soap, sanitizer, and other personal hygiene items
~ Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
~ Watch or battery operated clock
~ Copies of important documents and IDs
~ Cell phone and charger (also an auto, solar, or crank charger in case power is out)
~ Water purification tablets and household chlorine bleach
~ Camp stove or grill (outdoor use only) with fuel or~Sterno and waterproof matches or lighter
~ Change of clothes and sturdy shoes
~ Sleeping bags or blankets
~ Disposable plates, cups, and utensils
~ Seasonal items such as warm clothes, hat and gloves for winter and sunscreen for summer
~ Books, games, puzzles and other comfort items
~ Duct tape
~ Plastic sheeting or tarp
MEMA~is the state agency charged with ensuring the state is prepared to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters, including natural hazards, accidents, deliberate attacks, and technological and infrastructure failures.~MEMA's staff of professional planners, communications specialists and operations and support personnel is committed to an all hazards approach to emergency management. By building and sustaining effective partnerships with federal, state and local government agencies, and with the private sector - individuals, families, non-profits and businesses -~MEMA ensures the Commonwealth's ability to rapidly recover from large and small disasters by assessing and mitigating threats and hazards, enhancing preparedness, ensuring effective response, and strengthening our
capacity to rebuild and recover. For additional information about MEMA, go to www.mass.gov/mema. Continue to follow~MEMA updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MassEMA and~Facebook at www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA. Also, sign up for Massachusetts Alerts to receive emergency information on your smartphone, including severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and emergency information from MEMA, download the Massachusetts Alerts free app. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone, visit: www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp.
Local Health Departments Encourage Flu Immunizations
September is National Preparedness Month; federal, state, and local emergency preparedness officials have been suggesting various ways to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth are ready for any emergency, manmade or natural.
One issue that consistently has local health officials worried continues to be the possibility of another Flu pandemic. An outbreak of Influenza has the potential for making many people ill, resulting in many deaths, and having a negative impact on the economy.
The health departments throughout the region are in the process of scheduling Flu Clinics within their communities. Residents are encouraged to contact their local health department to find out when clinics have been scheduled. Many clinics throughout the state are also posted on a centralized bulletin board at this website: https://www.mylocalclinic.com/fcss/.
Regardless of where you get your vaccine from, residents are encouraged to seek it out. Becoming immunized is easy, and will help protect not only you, but also those around you.
Remember to practice good cough and hand hygiene; always cough or sneeze into your sleeve instead of your hands, and wash your hands frequently. Use a hand sanitizer, especially when soap and water may not be available. Finally, when you are sick, stay home from work or school to help your body recover, and to prevent further spread to others.
Information on Our Mosquito and Tick Program
Emergencies can happen at any time. Take a few simple steps now to prepare yourself, your family and your community.
Mass2-1-1 New Information and Referral Resource for Families and Children Requiring Assistance
Mass 2-1-1 is a new information and referral service for children, youth and families offered by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. EOHHS has contracted with MASS 2-1-1 Inc. to provide enhanced information and referral services to families and children who are dealing with these challenging issues.
This program supports all families, including families who are involved with Chapter 240 of the Acts of 2012, also known "Families and Children Engaged in Services" legislation. The legislation, which became effective in November of 2012, provides services for children who are runaways or truants, or children who are having serious problems at home and in school; the law also helps children who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
Families can dial 211 from any phone and be connected to a trained information and referral specialist, anytime of the day or night.~
Special thanks to the Community Health Network Alliance!!
The CHNA 15 grant committee kindly provided grant funds for 6 Salem State University nursing students and their clinical instructor to attend the Massachusetts Public Health Nursing Conference in Woburn on April 25th. Some of the guest speakers included the Medical Director for the Bureau of Infectious Disease of the MDPH, Dr. DeMaria, Associate Director of Healthcare Emergency Management from the Boston University School of Medicine, J.J. Burke and Loretta laRoche. Kitty Mahoney the MAPHN President for the past 4 years was passing the gavel to the new president Mary Mckenzie.
Featured in the photo is the past MAPHN President, Kitty Mahoney RN, Clinical Instructor, Traci Mello RN, nursing students, Maria Lopez, Christina Aloisi, Monica Bento, Tania Gelsomini, Reynald Horat and Andrew Yau.
We are no longer accepting Needles or Sharps Containers at the Board of Health.
You can drop off sharps containers and expired/unused medications at
The Public Safety Building
1 Adelaide St
There is no charge and no questions will be asked.
What is collected?
· Prescription Medicines
· Over the counter medicines
· Pet medications
· Sample medications
· Pills, capsules, ointments, and/or patches
· Needles (Must be in an approved Sharps container including new and unused needles)
*NO Epi-pens will be accepted
Bring in the medicine in the original container (blackout your name and the prescription number)
OR bring in the medicine in a clear plastic recloseable bag
What is NOT collected?
• Bloody or infectious waste
• Medication from businesses or clinics
Are You Ready For an Emergency?
Click here for an emergency supply list
Planning on attending a farmers market this year?