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ReadyMoms Are Taking The Message National! Part 2

by: SusanC

Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 17:15:30 PM EST

( - promoted by SusanC)

This is a continuation of the adventures of ReadyMoms in DC, at the APHA Expo 2007.  Part 1 is here.  The text and charts on the posters can be found in this diary By Parents, for Families.

SusanC :: ReadyMoms Are Taking The Message National! Part 2
I'm starting a part 2 because the original diary is loading too slowly, also because I have a sense, by today, Tuesday Nov 6th, that many things that seemed impossible before may, WITH A LOT OF HARD WORK and PARTICIPATION FROM MANY MANY MANY MORE PEOPLE, become achievable within the coming months to the next year.

First an update on the Expo.

By today, the third day of the Expo, many things have settled down into a more predictable pattern.

People do walk by, regularly, on their way to and from the poster sessions and maybe the food court.  Which is good.

Today, we put the fliers on the top of 2 stacked boxes (covered by the red tablecloth INSIDE the booth from yesterday's pic), moved them out near the aisle, and put a 'PLEASE TAKE ONE' sign on them.  I did that just cos yesterday we really couldn't sit down because of people constantly walking by and us wanting to hand out fliers.  As a result, (and this is such a SIMPLE thing that never occurred to us before, among many I'm sure) there were a lot more people (percentage wise) who paused just because they needed to stop long enough to decide whether they WANTED to take one!!  (Which of course they did, overwhelmingly.)  THAT is an important lesson for future reference!

A couple of us tried to give out fliers to people out in the lobby, but soon thereafter got told that that was not allowed.  You are only allowed to give out fliers at your booth.  ;-(

However, it would appear that other more creative solutions are being used as I write.  I'm not completely in the loop, as the effort involved in writing up the ASPR stuff (which BTW are VERY IMPORTANT, please go read them, thanks!), and figuring out the definition of At-risk population, and how the heck the poll function works etc, took me away from doing the 'greeting and meeting'.  The word from RM (and also my observation) is that the response is very positive.  People are generally grateful we are doing this.  There are requests for further information (in the binders), also for ALL of the presentation material, ie posters, displays etc.  These latter requests often come from State and local health department people who want to bring this back to their department.  They all think this is such a good idea, to get moms doing this kind of thing with their communities.

So, yes, definitely I am getting a sense that we ARE achieving what we came for, that state and local PH people will find our ideas and approaches useful, and will work to adopt these practices!  Yes!

The important thing for me today, is the realization again early this morning, of how all different approaches can and do complement each other.  As I was trying to formulate a question for ASPR, I realized our recent experiences have become the perfect backdrop for discussions at the national level, as to how specifically the next phase of pandemic policy development should evolve. 

TPTB have been talking about public engagement and empowerment for so long, and we have been getting so much good feedback (both for FW over the past year and now ReadyMoms), that it is impossible to believe that they can continue to keep putting off ACTUALLY turning their words into reality.  In other words, we are getting near the 'day of reckoning', so to speak, for whether or not tptb mean what they say.

As I said, I always prefer to give people the benefit of doubt, and assume good intentions, so now I/we can go into these meetings with the Feds (and others) with even more to share, and at the same time more 'ammunition' to hold them accountable.

Which is why the upcoming ASPR meeting is so important.  Because not only is it an important meeting in itself (stakeholders' input on how to implement PAHPA from this point forwards), but I do hope and believe that we (ie grassroots initiatives) have gained sufficient credibility and acceptance, and have demonstrated sufficient value, to be a partner in reality as well as in name, that it is increasingly impossible to ignore our views. 

How we utilize that position, is IMHO going to be an important challenge for us as a community.  I have a feeling that, not immediately, but over time, there will be more and more opportunities and NEED for grassroots participation and contribution (aka WORK!!!).  My suggestion for everyone on flublogia at this point, is to start considering HOW you can be part of that process, of facilitating change, at your community and beyond, and maybe start taking steps in anticipation of more opportunities opening up.

Spoken as the eternal optimist, of course.  LOL

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Tuesday Update
I'm again very tired, so this will be very disjointed I am afraid.

Someone walked off with one of our chairs so there was a lot of standing today!  I don't usually talk to a lot of adults during the day (as an at-home mom) and certainly not about pandemic flu!  (-;

We had a friend of History Lover's come today to help out.  She lives nearby, and was willing to come in today and tomorrow morning for several hours.  She was wonderful help, and many many thanks to her for coming in.

I brought in a cooler full of nutritious food, and a Flu Wiki poster bought us all hot sandwiches, for lunch, which at these conference prices was quite a treat.  So food-wise, we were all set.  I know in the larger scheme of things, it is the intellectual stuff that matters.  But, every general (and mom!) knows that your troops won't accomplish much on an empty stomach!

Traffic was quite slow in the morning, and then came in larger numbers.  We put a lot of flyers out today in front of the meeting halls on those tables set up for the purpose; and many people mentioned coming to our booth because of seeing the flyers, so that was a good idea, I guess.  I can't remember all of the conversations I had.  Seems like today I had more people with questions about "basic prep" which I really enjoyed.  How to keep bugs out of flour; which kinds of shelf-stable milks kids will like; isn't it a pain to have to rotate your water every 6 months, stuff like that.

I got a few more "mildly confrontational" questioners today; the kind who walk up and kind of pick a fight.  All men, except one, and they kept backing down because I'm really bad at debate in person, and I think they felt bad about "harassing" me.  I kept looking to Susan and ReadyMom for help but Susan was always on the computer, and ReadyMom was always deeply engaged in conversation with someone!  (-;

Anyhow, I guess I mostly did OK.  My response basically boiled down to, "I'm not here to convince anyone that a severe pandemic is going to happen; just that there is a credible threat, and therefore we need to prepare, and we can, and here's how."  Which, no one could argue with.

Interestingly, I feel like we got very enthusiastic responses from people involved with pandemic planning at the state and federal levels -- the people who were questioning CFR and whether a pandemic was really something to be concerned about, etc. seemed to be more local level or even people from universities.

I'll let ReadyMom tell you more about the connections she made today, but they were very interesting!

I'm sure I'll remember more specifics later.  Oh, a number of people asked about pandemic planning specifically for infants -- are people thinking of their needs as a vulnerable group. 

GetPandemicReady.org - non commerical website with practical ways for families to prepare.

Sounds like you did a fine job, ACM.
Actually, it sounds to me like you did quite a good job of defining the rules of engagement.  Pretty good technique if you ask me.  ;)

Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute!

[ Parent ]
exactly what I did, yesterday
My response basically boiled down to, "I'm not here to convince anyone that a severe pandemic is going to happen; just that there is a credible threat, and therefore we need to prepare, and we can, and here's how."

Like 3 or 4 sentences into a conversation I would go "Well, my POV is we don't know if it's going to happen and I don't tell people how much they need to prepare, but THE POINT IS people need to KNOW this information."  And I would wave the 2 fliers at them - the white one, with our 'mission statement'  (it didn't start off as that, just what Fla_medic is calling it!) and the yellow - and say they need to get the why AND the how, and right now, if people don't understand the why they are not going to do anything to prepare.

One thing that really shook up some of the people that I talked to, was the Katrina slide.  I put it up but I haven't actually explained what the point was.  And it is this: that everybody including high officials even now, says Katrina was the worst natural disaster to hit the US, but well, IT WASN'T.  675,000 people died in 1918, and it was as if it never happened. 

And I could see it in their faces when I said it, and I am positive that THAT is what THEY have been thinking the whole time, right up to that moment.  And quite a few that I showed that slide to are professionals working on preparedness.  They didn't really go white, but almost, on that one thought alone!

I kept looking to Susan and ReadyMom for help but Susan was always on the computer, and ReadyMom was always deeply engaged in conversation with someone!  (-;

Well, it was more than that.  Like an hour or so after I got there, I started having burning pain in my eyes which gradually spread to my sinuses and then headache etc.  I didn't realize it, but when I left to go over to the Food court to work on writing the ASPR stuff, and got a lot better, and THEN when I went back to the booth, I REALLY noticed the stinging and the headache coming back almost immediately.  I am guessing they probably sprayed something overnight around the booth, cos we were right next to the trash area (yeah, nice!).  By now RM has become clued up enough to my reactions, we talked about it a bit, and she kinda shooed me out of there saying everything was under control, bless her, so I went back to the Food court to write some more.

I felt bad about it at first but the lesson for me, and RM and I talked about it tonight, was getting clearer how each of us bring different things to the table.  Even though I made some great connections yesterday, it was very trying for my stamina to be on my feet.  And 'meeting and greeting' was/is never my forte.  I'm more of the cerebral/intellectual type.  Give me a deep profound discussion, and I come alive, but ask me to start from Hi how are you and take it from there, is something that requires some conscious effort on my part, which of course, means it never comes out as naturally nor as effectively as I would like.  Anyhow, the lesson for me, was the realization that over this past year, in meetings and stuff, I have been doing things almost exclusively on my own, with no one to 'partner' with, that it was a new experience to remember that I can DEPEND on someone!  That I didn't have to check every every time, and so on. 

But it sure did feel good today, as it became clear to me that the positive reactions we got yesterday was not an outlier, but more of a consistent pattern, and that even the challenging ones were few and far between, and mostly pretty mild at that.

I've known a lot worse, and I was prepared for a lot worse.  That's how I know it's going down well, on the grand scheme of things.

Tomorrow, another 1/2 day to go, but packing up is going to present new and unknown challenges.  But that's tomorrow.

This evening, I had a major positive 'meltdown' (if that was possible!) when I suddenly realized this was the first time IN TWO WEEKS when I DIDN'T have some critically important thing that needed to be done or decision to be made, that I KNEW was going to mean another night of not just not enough sleep, but KNOWING I would go to bed exhausted and with the feeling of being behind!

And I had a glass of wine.  The first since all this started, as I've had to be so disciplined just to stay afloat!  It felt good.

Also, I'm NOT going to deliver on my promise of writing up another diary for questions for ASPR.  Cos the wine was good, and the ideas are not there.  I guess my brain is telling me to take a break.  So, tomorrow morning, then, maybe... 

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
ACM, my friend really enjoyed herself.
She said that all of you were very nice, and she had a good time helping.  She's also one of the first I convinced to start prepping, and she told me that you folks had a great booth. 

"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson

[ Parent ]
I hope you can follow the fluwikie thread, where there is quite a bit of info from Susan reagarding our experiences (as well as photos). I haven't had the chance to take a single photo yet! I'll make sure to tomorrow.
e end of the day. THis is when, normally, I would be reviewing the days events and recapping. Instead I'm finding that all I want to do is eat, take a shower and sleep. I think it's going to take days and days to process what has transpired this past week. The contacts that we are making, the responses that are being generated, the enthusiasm that we have garnered from some of the folks that have passed by and stayed for quite a lengthy visit. Photos, so many photos have been taken of the booth. CLose ups, even of the display areas!

We've actually had a reasearcher from a university stop by. They were so interested that they have offer to use the RMbooth display in a research project. They feel that through this research there could be enough attention drawn that there could be the potential to have the display 'boxed' and available in communities interested. There would be a comparison study done, with control groups to see what type of preparation is currently being done, hold the control group study, then reevaluate to see if preparation has increased and in what areas!!!! (Holy moly, I was so taken back by her offer and enthusiasm that I was having a hard time processing all she was saying!). She'll be getting in touch. So, I'll keep you posted! She also mentioned that I have a 'commercial product' at hand. (Too much info. that I'm not ready for, right now!!)

Anyway. Another successful day. More DOH folks interested. MORE DOH folks asking for all the files of signs, photos, handouts to take back to their communities for grass roots programs, or to begin small public presentations, or to be included in powerpoints!

Tonight, right, before the end of the day, I was standing at the edge of the booth, handing out fliers ( What FM has now dubbed as our 'Mission Statement') and pretty much literally corralled in a guy walking by. COme to find out he was a DOH from Calif. Totally took him by surprise! But as I was talking I had him! He ended up in our booth, asking if he could link the 'ReadyMoms.org' site (which is really the EHP.org site) to his county. Another business card in the bucket!! LOL!

Lots of interest in the booth. I have come right out and said to folks that I could see that we'd captured their interest. I know it's not the normal glossy booth that you see at these conferences, but it's a grassroots group of parents who are trying, in what could be our one and only opportunity, get the message out that there's a potential pandemic threat. I'd then go on to explain that we can offer a tried method of community awareness & education that the common citizen has been grateful to have offered. Usually the info. I've shared with the DOH, or whomever I'm talking to had responded with heads nodding and then business cards getting popped into our small "Are You Pandemic Ready?' bucket for further info. to be sent to them!!

I've been talking with folks from all over the country, as well as various parts of the world: Israel, Nigeria, England, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, to name a few. (Too tired to think of the rest!) Interest from DOH, students, Universities, Nursing, various PH areas. We've had various CDC members stop by, as well as HLS and UPMC Center for Biosecurity. Incredible opportunities that were all met with a positive response, not challenges or chastisement!

I think that we're in the process of chipping. Chipping here and there. Eventually, we'll get through. BUt it's going to take time. Some of the DOH folks are going to take this info back and want to do something with it. I hope some of the folks on the flu forums will be able to step up and take advantage of the moment and continue what we have hopefully started. It's going to take the folks in the know (us) to be at the ready, when they are ready to go with all this.

THANK YOU ALL for all the good thoughts and well wishes that have been extended. It's overwhelming for me to read at the end of a long day! SO not deserved but very much appreciated! Usually NOT the way that I look at this, as I'm going through the motions.
Till Tomorrow -k

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

this post was from ReadyMom ;-) n/t

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
Slight correction -
the above was posted by ReadyMom on Susan's laptop! Just can't for the life of me figure out how to post under my own name. Geeeze, It must be time for bed!! LOL! -k

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

I posted this to Fla_medic's blog
in response to his excellent comments on Update On The Readymoms At APHA Expo"

Thanks, Fla_medic, for your comments and insights. I absolutely agree with you about how tptb should utilize grassroots talent, and that was one of my major goals for taking the ReadyMoms project into the heart of public health 'establishment' at the APHA.

I was sharing this with RM this evening (she is staying with me), that the reason why I jumped at the chance when I found out about the Expo, even though we only had 2 weeks to achieve the seemingly impossible, was because observing the progress of pandemic decision making at various levels in the past year, especially since the AMA meeting in the summer, I KNEW that there are many officials who are really struggling with pandemic planning. A year ago, they would not have been ready to accept us as they have these past few days. Why? Because a year ago, they were still mostly oblivious to the complexities of planning. The AMA meeting (which I wrote about here http://www.newfluwik...) was the first time when I observed normally unflappable professionals confessing en mass to being overwhelmed and desperate for solutions.

I wanted to show them what uncredentialed non-traditional talent can bring to their portfolio of resources. I wanted 'partnership with the public' to happen as something tangible and substantive, and not just as soundbite. I wanted our footprints in the halls of policy debate, if not of power itself yet!

Did we achieve these goals? No, not yet. But I believe our foot is very firmly in the door. Which is cause for celebration, but we can only afford brief and small ones, right now. Because our foot in the door only means that more work needs to follow what happened this week - work that is likely to be many times more challenging than manning a booth, and much much more demanding of manpower.

RM keeps saying how I don't mince my words (or something to that effect) and I know that I can be a tough taskmaster, but she also knows that I tell it like it is much more frequently and much much more forcefully to tptb than to our own community. And what I want to say, as clearly as I can possibly say it, is this:

Having your voice heard gives you power, to influence, to do good. But along with power comes responsibility and duty too. And solid nose-to-the-grindstone hard work, most of which is unglamorous and unrewarding.

How flubies can or cannot rise to what is going to be demanded of them, is the real test of the caliber of our community, of what we are TRULY made of.

And of what we are likely to be able to bring forth for humanity, should a pandemic break out.

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

more pics
slightly different arrangement today.

The collection box - for business cards only!

click to enlarge

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

last pic
of exhibit hall, try again!

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
Wednesday update
I was there just 9:30 till closing at 12:30 today and had to rush home to get my toddler from the sitters so I don't know how the packing etc is going. Hope it is going OK.

Today started slow, I almost thought we'd get no traffic, but then it picked up considerably.  ReadyMom was always out there passing out flyers, and "luring in" people who had never thought about this much; and our other assistant (I hate to keep calling her HL's friend, perhaps she'll log on ang give us her feedback and choose a name!)  anyhow she continued passing out flyers right till the very end.  We got a lot of interested individuals and had some rewarding conversations. 
lotS more business cards, people wanting to know more.

I met a man who works with food supply issues in developing countries and has just received a grant to investigate pandemic prep and barriers to it in those countries.  I met a lot of other people but just can't remember all the conversations now.  No one who was picking a fight at all, which was great -- every interaction was very positive and enthusiastic.  I feel like today (my third and final day!) I got a LOT better at doing this type of booth interaction.

Overall this was a great learning experience, though exhausting.  In general I think a booth display has a lot of things going for it, but I think I would prefer a different format for conveying information -- more of a lecture or a talk, for gong over basic pandemic information and the need to prepare... and THEN maybe the display, the interaction one on one, or whatever.  I found myself getting frustrated when someone would ask a question and I'd feel like, "I just spent 10 minutes talking about that with someone else!"  (-;

The one-on-one approach seems very personable and inviting, but just not a very efficient use of labor.  On the other hand, for this format, it probably worked because we could tailor our message precisely to the interest level of the person walking by.

GetPandemicReady.org - non commerical website with practical ways for families to prepare.

It's all about "sales"
The one-on-one approach seems very personable and inviting, but just not a very efficient use of labor.  On the other hand, for this format, it probably worked because we could tailor our message precisely to the interest level of the person walking by.

Everything we all did and said constituted a "sales pitch". We're trying to convince the listener to "buy" what we're offering, which is information. Their price? An open mind, with the room to accept, store and use good ideas.
I'll agree that one-on-one is not very efficient, but it also shows the individual that we care about them, and aren't just rattling off some diatribe that we've memorized. Many people are afraid to ask the same questions we heard at the expo when they're in a large group presentation...they don't want their questions to be construed as "silly" by someone else in the audience.
I'm certainly no salesman, but I found the one-on-one interaction to very energizing, and I found myself pumped for the next conversation. Granted, I was exhausted each night after the expo, but I felt good about what I had done and said.

[ Parent ]
one to one instruction
Yup, you bet -- it is energizing and it is useful for that person.  But I find myself thinking ahead to next steps.

When I taught beginning reading, my favorite was to teach was one to one tutoring.  VERY personable and enjoyable.  The best way to teach reading is one one to (like mom to child!)

But if you are 1 teacher to 28 students, one to one instruction is not the most efficient way to teach.  It may be less enjoyable to teach reading in a large group and it may be less effective for an individual student than 1 on 1 tutoring... but...  that's all I'm thinking.

Just musing after a long morning!  (-;  Hope you had a good trip back BB and I sure enjoyed meeting you!!

GetPandemicReady.org - non commerical website with practical ways for families to prepare.

[ Parent ]
I believe if you go out into the community and have scheduled classes, speaking to a group is the way to go.

We set up our display with our props, handed out information packages which we developed and gave our talk. There are 4 of us who each talk about specific areas. Then we had questions and answers.

Maybe next year you all could have a scheduled talk in one of the rooms.


[ Parent ]
Thank you all for your efforts.
Congratulations to everyone that made this such a success!

Many of us on the forums have attempted to get our grassroots efforts off the ground. Your success is inspirational to all of us!

Thanks also for the interesting reports.  They really helped us all to share in the experience.

Let's hope the ReadyMoms experience will grow feet and continue to expand.

You have shown a very bright light onto the abysmal lack of individual preparation in this country.

May thousands of candles flicker in response to the path you have shown them. 


wow..and more wow
great job!

Could we get links to the materials again here.
To capitalize on the 'after-glow' could we get links to the various materials added on this diary?

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

here are the fliers


All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
#1 of 4
Pandemic 'gridlock'
By Parents, for Families
Wicked problems

#2 of 4
What do we have in 2007 that we did not have in 1918?

  • Globalization
  • Hindsight
  • Models
Why parents are worried
If H5N1 becomes 20 times weaker

#3 of 4
Community Mitigation Measures recommended by the CDC

  • Goals
  • measures
  • Pandemic severity Index
  • trigger
  • Remember: Fire extinguishers only work for SMALL fires in your kitchen!  Don't wait till your house burns down.  Use them EARLY!

Challenges and Benefits
  • Looking after the kids
  • and feeding them
  • flattening absenteeism
  • School buses and drivers made available

Are you pandemic ready - Heymann quote
The wisdom of crowds
Who will tell the people?

#4 of 4
Public engagement on CMG measures (Keystone & ASTHO)
Redefining Readiness
Katrina - the worst natural disaster in US history?
Community resilience and all hazards preparedness

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
update from ReadyMom
I just got a brief email from her that she packed up just fine and made her way back home well before DC rush hour traffic, I'm very thankful to hear that because I read in the exhibitor manual it could take up to 12 hours for the union guys to cart your stuff out to the lading dock with everyone trying to leave at the same time, so I was concerned leaving her all alone with all her stuff!

But, she's home just fine, just letting you all know!

GetPandemicReady.org - non commerical website with practical ways for families to prepare.

great news
and a great job!!

[ Parent ]
Yes, ACM is correct, I made it home in record time! Got twisted a couple of times in those darn loops and exits of DC (even with 'Betty' my GPS system -- who made friends with BronchoBill, in DC for a few days, as well!)But 'Betty' got me back on track and on the way home.

First thing I did, as soon as I hit the major highway and the outskirts of DC was to dive into a care package of sandwhiches, munchies and drinks provided by ACM! (You're the greatest!!)

Traffic wasn't too bad, and I got home around the same time as both of my kids. Hubby was already there waiting! Can I tell you -- all the display is STILL in the van! Not getting unpacked till tomorrow! I just didn't want to do it.

This was an exciting trip. As soon as my brain calms and my thoughts can be sorted, I'll post. I do notice I post in an entirely different perspective than Susan! She obviously has the more intellectual perspective while I have the 'people' perspective! And so the two shall meet!

We actually roomed together for the last couple of nights and who would have thought that two so different souls could find a connection and establish this friendship!! (Many thanks Susan for your pep talks and kindness!)

My hope is that the groundwork has begun and that some folks that are in significant places will be paying a little closer attention to the message that we presented: that there are local citizens that are 'out there' paying attention to this bad boy virus and we are worried enough that we want all our fellow citizens to know about it as well. We not only want them to know about it we want them to be given a fighting chance to prepare for it's coming.

I also hope that the enthusiasm that seems to have generated, the hope that seems to have grown within our own flubie communities can continue. Especially, if some of the folks that have taken back our message and information are in their backyards. It will be then that you'll be needed to reinforce this grassroots attempt.  You'll need to be ... 'READY'!!  -k

www.EmergencyHomePreparation.org -- A 'card-catalog' style of prepping information.   -

any way and every way
this can be packaged, from your own website to a 'good to go elsewhere' setup is great.

it's always interesting when you realize that you (Readymom) are covering ground they (Public health) are not expert in!

[ Parent ]
now each one here can go talk with PH people and say ...
Hi, maybe you were at the APHA Expo 2007, or maybe you had to take care of so many local things with no time or inclination to go?  Either way, please be aware I have this level of availability, and I'd like to help from within my powers as a (not so) common citizen ...  Oh, and btw have you had a chance to look at the Citizen's Guide?

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
Congrats guys, on a job well done!
You are an inspiration to us all!

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little- Edmund Burke

thank you
The next step, is to make this reproducible for everyone else.  We intend to write this out in more systematic ways, with suggestions etc.  I know that RM has already done some of that before, but I hope we can make it even better by including insights from this experience.

This is only the beginning, of many possibilities.  I hope others will find some of our experiences useful.

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
you're welcome, of course
I will be very interested to hear about how this was done and hopefully learn how to do it on a smaller scale. I may just do something similar to this on my own, locally.

I have felt a tremendous amount of frustration with the lack of planning at a local level here in Canada. I have had no luck talking to our RM thus far about their pandemic plan, they are not interested in engaging local business owners or the public in general at this point.

I keep reading the news from over the US border and hoping that some of the pan prep trend will drift north. We'll see what happens.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little- Edmund Burke

[ Parent ]
focus on community mitigation
Whereabouts in Canada are you located?  Ontario has adopted the CMG, so I would say the key thing is to keep highlighting that, and hope it will spread to the rest of the country.

Specifically, the specter of high fatality among children, and how early school closure will save many lives.  Keep repeating that.  It is easier to raise awareness with school closure then with preps, IMO, because the idea, of PROACTIVE school closure is so unusual, but the evidence (from 1918) is so powerful, that it may be easier to capture people's imagination.

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
I'm in rural Manitoba
I agree that early school closure is definitely an excellent thing to highlight. Nothing is scarier to most parents than the thought of anything bad happening to their kids. The current provincial plan (Manitoba Education) calls to keep the schools open, a couple quotes...

"Why should school divisions
prepare for a pandemic?

and "School Divisions and

(sorry about the dots, my firewall doesn't always let me open pdf's and I'm too tired to take all of the dots out of the html version:-)

This from the newest incarnation (October 2007)of guidance to school divisions on developing their own pan plan.


Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little- Edmund Burke

[ Parent ]
Contact Manitoba public health
and show them the North American Pandemic Plan:


(Page 22 of document, page 31 of pdf)

The Ontario plan has already been updated to reflect the North American plan:

read Chapter 6 of Ontario Plan


You want perspective. I want perspective. Let's talk. We don't have to agree on every thing. If we do, one of us is redundant.

[ Parent ]
do you have the pdf link?
It's time to take action.  I have been thinking about this for a while, just never got round to doing it.  If and when we find official documents that talk nonsense, like this, I propose that we write them a letter, post a copy here for discussion, and send them a link as well.

I don't care if they are incompetent, ignorant, or irresponsible.  It's time officials who hold the lives of kids in their hands, start hearing from us.

I'm going to put together a draft, tomorrow, based on published scientific information and official sources only.  The model I have in mind is for the letter to be jointly signed by someone who belong to that community or county or state or country (to make it impossible for them to ignore, at least in theory), as well as someone of professional background like myself (to make it impossible for them to say you don't know what you are talking about!)

If that's ok with you, let's get to work!

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
yes I have the link
it's here... http://www.gov.mb.ca...

It's more than ok with me SusanC. I can't say how great it is to not feel alone in trying to move forward with anything in this.

I'll find the demographic info.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little- Edmund Burke

[ Parent ]
ok, thanks
tomorrow, then.  I'm going to bed.

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
I'm just looking at it now
it always drives me up the wall, to read documents that seem to think the most important thing is to keep things running.

Perhaps most importantly, schools can lessen potential societal disruption by continuing their operations as normally as possible. If community members feel confident in sending their children to school, they will be able to carry on with their own work.

I don't understand these people.  For any other emergency, like a fire or a hurricane or earthquake, everybody understand and speak the same language, which is that the most important thing is to protect people's lives. 

Has anyone seen ANY OTHER DISASTER planning when the MOST important thing is portrayed as continuing as normally as possible?

Do people lose their common sense, their brains, soon as they encounter the word 'pandemic'??

If it is POSSIBLE to continue as normal, why are governments spending millions of dollars WRITING these (*&*&(*y documents in the first place??

Sorry, I can't calm down when I read such blatant stupidity.  Particularly since this is a RECENT document, dated October 2007. 

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
I don't get it either SusanC
it doesn't make any sense at all to expect 'business as usual' during a pandemic, particularly when the next one might very well be so devastating to our children.

I'm sorry I haven't got back to you yet with the info, my 2 girls have been sick since the middle of the night with some kind of stomach bug and I've been pretty much tied up with that all day. They're starting to fell a bit better though and that's great.

I have found some of the info , I'll get the rest together and will e-mail you tomorrow.

Thanks again.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little- Edmund Burke

[ Parent ]
don't worry
and don't rush.  I'm finding it slower going than I thought, simply because I need to understand all of what they are putting together, and not just the school bit.

Like the 0.5% CFR!!

I'll do more tomorrow.

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
SusanC, re the 0.5% CFR bit, there's some of that in some European assumption
along the line of "oh, it could be severe, as in 0.5% CFR" [which reminds me of the car safety engineers "can't bear to think of it" punchline] ... i'll point you to the right document when i re-dig it up ...

And then there's this European consultation about NPI (The document has been reviewed through ECDC procedures and is now being put out for public consultation until January 31st 2008) that I feel we'd need to look into when all this APHA/ASPR tumble-dryer stage has calmed down a bit, maybe?

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
(dis)continuity of operation
Peter Sandman talks about "DIScontinuity" planning.

Angus Nicols (European CDC) says "it won't be business as usual" (or something to that effect).

Yet people wake up for a very short while, and fall asleep again!


You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
It's the eternal problem of the coverall solution.
All hazards, all pandemics, all layers of society, government and business.

When you try to make one set of plans fit all situations you end up being unprepared for most of them.

It leads to long complicated documents that you'd never be able to follow in a crisis any way.

People are left unsure how or when to act.

Decision makers select their own scenarios and make judgements on them - would you call for all schools to close, if the worst you had in mind was a greater than normal seasonal flu outbreak?

I can't see a way round this without everone accepting that H5N1 is a unique case. We can't even afford to have the authorities wait to find out the CFR for pandemic H5N1. If they think it has started, they should assume the highest CFR until data tells them otherwise. You can re-open schools if you're wrong, you can't bring kids back to life.

[ Parent ]
there are always huge practical
and political problems to overcome, for the real message to get out.

On all hazards for example.  This notion to me is almost sort of a compromise, in order to get the cooperation of various parts of the US government, and in order to make the funding available for pandemic prep.

We don't have that in the UK, perhaps that is one reason why we are so far behind, the inability to find creative solutions round political and funding problems.

Think about what that means...

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
But we do have an all hazards approach, that's part of the problem
It's an average approach, don't go too far on anything.

If all you expect is an average pandemic, we're progressing amazingly well.

[ Parent ]
it depends on how you define all hazards
Different people define it in different ways.  You can say pandemic is just one of many hazards, therefore it should not have priority, or you can say, pandemic is such a huge hazard that preparing for it will get you prepared for all hazards.  The latter approach makes it possible to use ALL the resources for other hazards and put them all into pandemics, without the need to seek new money (although they DID put in new money as well).  The UK government has done neither, ie taken money from other hazards to put into pandemics, nor put in significant new money.

The degree of progress is therefore proportionately minuscule. 

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
An H5N1 threat based approach will fail,
because if H5N1 doesn't turn pandemic after a few years, and of course the threat hasn't gone away, any H5N1 specific funded plan will be phased out or de-emphasized. Individual preppers will start eating up the preps because emotionally it feels less and less likely to happen.

Even an All Threats approach in my opinion is wrong, it should be a Plug the Gap approach of making our economy more reliable, no matter what disruption.  Also take a look at this:


You want perspective. I want perspective. Let's talk. We don't have to agree on every thing. If we do, one of us is redundant.

[ Parent ]
it would help
if you can find me the links to population data, for Manitoba.  Age specific population plus death rates.  Need to work some numbers, to make the case credible.

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
also in Spain (which may be used in Spanish speaking countries and Europe)

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
I believe you are from Manitoba. I just checked the pandemic plan - it is still dated March 2006:


Ontario plan is much more up to date:


Looks like it is going to be hard for you as an individual to move the province.  My suggestion is for you to talk to the nurses union about workplace safety during a pandemic and quote the Ontario example


Once the nurses are interested, their union could put some pressure on the government to bring this forward onto the political agenda.

The other place to contact is Workplace Safety and ask them what their plans are to keep people working safely - that may get their attention.


You want perspective. I want perspective. Let's talk. We don't have to agree on every thing. If we do, one of us is redundant.

[ Parent ]
yep, Manitoba
and yes, I've read the provincial plan.

I'm not so much expecting to make a province-wide difference, though that would be great. My target has been more local. Unfortunately I haven't been terribly successful with that thus far.

The nurse's union and workplace safety are good ideas and I thank you for it anon-yyz. I hadn't thought of it.

I'm wondering if it might be possible to kind of go around the local goverment- print pamphlets and info, rent the conference room in our library or the local Elks Hall and have a 'community information' meeting on personal pandemic planning. Do it on my own (though it'll have to wait awhile as I won't be able to afford to do that for a few more months). I could invite local media- newspapers and such.

One person can't make much of a difference, when the RM is unwilling to listen but if 20 or 30 (or dare I hope 2 or 3 hundred? or more?) residents here start asking questions and expecting answers- well then maybe they won't have a choice.

I don't want to PO anybody too badly, that's suicide for a small-business person in a small community, but I just don't know what else might work.

If nothing else a few more families might be moved to personally prepare.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little- Edmund Burke

[ Parent ]
Looks to me like ReadyMoms.org just went 'INTERNATIONAL'!
It seems that the ReadyMoms are moving forward and have begun to organize! Welcome to 'ReadyMoms, MaMa! You're our first 'international' link! LOL!

www.EmergencyHomePreparation.org -- A 'card-catalog' style of prepping information.   -

what do you mean 'just went'
It was ALWAYS international.  I had to cross your borders, to do this with you guys.

As BB would say, what am I, roast beef?


All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
thanks for the welcome Readymom!
although, as SusanC says, you guys are already international:-)

I hope I can make a difference, with some luck and the excellent example you all have provided I think it's possible.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little- Edmund Burke

[ Parent ]
Geeze, Susan ... totally forgot that! I'm so used to you, I'm thinking that you're 'one of us'. LOL! (Actually, if you count my dual citizenship, we're totally covered! It just seems like you're always here!

So, can we work that into our 'Mission Statement' -- an 'INTERNATIONAL' group of concerned parents ....! (I'm liking the sound of that!) -k

www.EmergencyHomePreparation.org -- A 'card-catalog' style of prepping information.   -

Uhm...I'm from California
Wouldn't that make us "Inter-planetary"?!? ;-)

[ Parent ]
fixing fonts
I think...

[ Parent ]
well done! n/t

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
California font? n/t

[ Parent ]
California font? But, of course...
It's all flowery with a very liberal sprinkling of vowels... ;-) It only comes in two colors: blue, and more blue!

[ Parent ]
After meeting you ... yep ... inter-planetary would be a fit description! LOL! -k

www.EmergencyHomePreparation.org -- A 'card-catalog' style of prepping information.   -

chat tomorrow
I'm cross-posting this for Readymom

  Multi Forum Chat!
Where: PlanforPandemic forum. You may need to register, to participate.

Go here: http://planforpandemic.com/index.php

When: Tuesday Evening, 8pm

Scheduled Topic: ReadyMoms in Washington and Recent Indo events

Hope to 'see' you there!

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

Is that eastern standard time? n/t

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

[ Parent ]
yes n/t

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
Fab job!!!
You guys did a fab job!!! Pat yourselves on your backs.

My friend- who has a PhD in nursing-presented at the 2006 APHA and was well received. Her round table was on local politics and trying to prepare for a pandemic. She noted that the other roundtables got considerably fewer visitors and some refused to leave when the time was up! We plan to submit a followup abstract for the 2008 convention.

On Effect Measure today:

"WalMart isn't my favorite store but they have shown one effective way to increase awareness about preparing for a pandemic or any other catastrophe that would interrupt supply chains and routine services..."


It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

Do you trust WalMart?
WalMart sells only crap which is cheap... they just want to sell more. You should go on real stores which sell disaster protection items ( http://esurvival.net/ , https://www.usaemergencysupply... )

[ Parent ]

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