Prepared Citizens

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

  • Previous Posts

  • Michael Osterholm Quotes:

    “What we need to be doing now is the basic planning of how we get our communities through 12 to 18 months of a pandemic.”

    “Ninety-five out of 100 will live. But with the nation in crisis, will we have food and water? Are we going to have police and security? Will people come to work at all?”

    “It's the perfect setup. Then you put air travel in and it could be around the world overnight.”

    “We can predict now 12 to 18 months of stress of watching loved ones die, of wondering if you are going to have food on the table the next day. Those are all things that are going to mean that we are going to have to plan -- unlike any other crisis that we have had in literally the last 80-some years in this country.”

  • US Health and Human Services

    Secretary Michael Leavitt

    "If there is one message on pandemic preparedness that I could leave today that you would remember, it would be this:

    Any community that fails to prepare with the expectation that the federal government or for that matter the state government will be able to step forward and come to their rescue at the final hour will be tragically wrong,

    not because government will lack a will, not because we lack a collective wallet, but because there is no way that you can respond to every hometown in America at the same time."
  • Joseph C. Napoli, MD of Resiliency LLC

    "I think a new meaning is evolving for resiliency and resilience.

    In some contexts the words are being used to mean the strength to resist being impacted by an adverse event rather than either the “capacity to rebound” or “act of rebounding” from adversity.

    Therefore, resiliency and resilience appear to be assuming the meaning of fortitude, that is, “the strength or firmness of mind that enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage or to bear pain or adversity without despondency” as defined in the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.

    If so, we are coming full circle with science accepting a religious moral virtue – fortitude – as written in the Bible’s Book of Wisdom"

  • Faith Based Resources

    John Piper
    Jonathan Edwards
    Pink-Saving Faith
    Pink-Christian Ethics

    "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves"
    (2 Corinthians 13:5).

    Why Faith Groups Must Care

    When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper


    Be Not Afraid
    Overcoming the fear of Death
    by Johann Christoph Arnold

    While I am not a professional journalist, I do embrace the code of ethics put forth by the Society of Professional Journalists and the statement of purpose by the Association of Health Care Journalists and above all else I strive to "do no harm".

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  • Definitions

    from Wikipedia

    Pandemic Influenza

    An influenza pandemic is an epidemic of the influenza virus that spreads on a worldwide scale and infects a large proportion of the human population.

    In contrast to the regular seasonal epidemics of influenza, these pandemics occur irregularly, with the 1918 Spanish flu the most serious pandemic in recent history.

    Pandemics can cause high levels of mortality, with the Spanish influenza being responsible for the deaths of over 50 million people.

    There have been about 3 influenza pandemics in each century for the last 300 years. The most recent ones were the Asian Flu in 1957 and the Hong Kong Flu in 1968.

    Seasonal Influenza

    Flu season is the portion of the year in which there is a regular outbreak in flu cases.

    It occurs during the cold half of the year in each hemisphere.

    Flu activity can sometimes be predicted and even tracked geographically. While the beginning of major flu activity in each season varies by location, in any specific location these minor epidemics usually take about 3 weeks to peak and another 3 weeks to significantly diminish.

    Individual cases of the flu however, usually only last a few days. In some countries such as Japan and China, infected persons sometimes wear a surgical mask out of respect for others.

    Avian (Bird) Flu
    Avian influenza,

    sometimes Avian flu, and commonly Bird flu refers to "influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds."

    "Bird flu" is a phrase similar to "Swine flu", "Dog flu", "Horse flu", or "Human flu" in that it refers to an illness caused by any of many different strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host.

    All known viruses that cause influenza in birds belong to the species: Influenza A virus.

    All subtypes (but not all strains of all subtypes) of Influenza A virus are adapted to birds, which is why for many purposes avian flu virus is the Influenza A virus (note that the "A" does not stand for "avian").
    Adaptation is non-exclusive.

    Being adapted towards a particular species does not preclude adaptations, or partial adaptations, towards infecting different species.

    In this way strains of influenza viruses are adapted to multiple species, though may be preferential towards a particular host.

    For example, viruses responsible for influenza pandemics are adapted to both humans and birds.

    Recent influenza research into the genes of the Spanish Flu virus shows it to have genes adapted to both birds and humans; with more of its genes from birds than less deadly later pandemic strains.

    H5N1 Strain

    Influenza A virus subtype H5N1, also known as A(H5N1) or simply H5N1, is a subtype of the Influenza A virus which can cause illness in humans and many other animal species.

    A bird-adapted strain of H5N1, called HPAI A(H5N1) for "highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of type A of subtype H5N1", is the causative agent of H5N1 flu, commonly known as "avian influenza" or "bird flu".

    It is enzootic in many bird populations, especially in Southeast Asia. One strain of HPAI A(H5N1) is spreading globally after first appearing in Asia.

    It is epizootic (an epidemic in nonhumans) and panzootic (affecting animals of many species, especially over a wide area), killing tens of millions of birds and spurring the culling of hundreds of millions of others to stem its spread.

    Most references to "bird flu" and H5N1 in the popular media refer to this strain.

    As of the July 25, 2008 FAO Avian Influenza Disease Emergency Situation Update, H5N1 pathogenicity is continuing to gradually rise in wild birds in endemic areas but the avian influenza disease situation in farmed birds is being held in check by vaccination.

    Eleven outbreaks of H5N1 were reported worldwide in June 2008 in five countries (China, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam) compared to 65 outbreaks in June 2006 and 55 in June 2007.

    The "global HPAI situation can be said to have improved markedly in the first half of 2008 [but] cases of HPAI are still underestimated and underreported in many countries because of limitations in country disease surveillance systems".

    Pandemic Severity Index

    The Pandemic Severity Index (PSI) is a proposed classification scale for reporting the severity of influenza pandemics in the United States.

    The PSI was accompanied by a set of guidelines intended to help communicate appropriate actions for communities to follow in potential pandemic situations. [1]

    Released by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on February 1, 2007, the PSI was designed to resemble the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

    From the Massachusetts Health and Human Services


    refers to separating people who are ill from other people to prevent the spread of a communicable disease.


    refers to separating and restricting the movement of people who have been exposed to a communicable disease and are not yet ill.
  • Additional Information

    Creative Commons License
    Prepared Citizens by Catherine "Jackie" Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
    Based on a work at

    The posts on this site are subject to change. Mostly due to errors in spelling or grammar. I never said I am a professional journalist. I have new appreciation for the job that they do. Also, not all comments made by others will make it onto this site. Comments that advertise a commercial product do not get posted most of the time.

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  • standingfirm

Archive for the ‘HHS’ Category

The Next PlanFirst Webcast Is Scheduled

Posted by preparedcitizens on January 20, 2009

Mark your calendars: Wednesday, January 28th at 2 PM


And this webcast on Pandemic Influenza is somewhat of a mystery. I am sure that it will be interesting and timely.

Previous PlanFirst Webcasts are located at the website located here as well.

Other videos and webcasts are located at the website.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has done an excellent job of keeping this citizen informed about avian flu and the preparedness that needs to get done in order to be ready for a pandemic.


I have said this before, I struggle with the preparation part of all of this. It takes a long time to get ready. Slowly but surely I am reaching some goals and I have to set new ones all of the time.

So if the budget is tight like mine please don’t hesitate to prepare.

I know that when you first hear about a pandemic what it truly means takes some getting used to but I have found that action is better than inaction. Truth be told, we have been preparing for over four years and if you were to look around my house you would never know it. We buy “twosies” of everything but lately we have been eating what we buy. So my goal now is to purchase “threesis” of essentials and cut back on non-essentials. There really is no room for failure here so I just keep plugging at this.

Sometimes I fear that if I delay, I will run out of time and my family won’t have what we need to endure. We do have some of the basic disaster essentials, it is the food that is a challenge (remember to rotate what you do purchase…at first I didn’t. I made that mistake so I will pass along the tip.

But I digress…..


There is a good deal of information at the Pandemic Flu website that helps to understand just what a pandemic is, stockpiling, workplace and individual preparation…and so much more.

For leaders in a community there is the “Take the Lead” page, also an excellent resource!

I hope that you make it to the PlanFirst Webinar!

Posted in HHS, Public Health | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Be Part of The Debate – A National Vaccine Plan

Posted by preparedcitizens on December 8, 2008

Public Input was Requested and according to Lisa Schnirring’s report from CIDRAP, “HHS releases draft of national vaccine plan

In a letter accompanying the draft, Joxel Garcia, MD, MBA, assistant secretary for health at HHS, wrote that the next step involves extensive input on the plan from the public, the vaccine industry, and other stakeholders. He added that HHS’s goal is to finalize the plan by late 2009.”

Unless the goal of having an engaged public changes under the Obama administration (and anything is possible when administrations change), concerned citizens are allowed to be a part of the policy process.


Some background…

from the HHS website:

National Vaccine Program Office
U.S. National Vaccine Plan

Download Documents

2008 Draft Strategic National Vaccine Plan Documents
The 2008 draft strategic National Vaccine Plan is the initial step in updating the 1994 National Vaccine Plan. The NVPO introduction describes the process the National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) and other federal agencies and Departments followed to create the 2008 draft Plan, as well as how we propose to gather input from non-federal stakeholders to revise this draft into a national Plan. Should you have comments or questions about the draft Plan or our planning process, please email NVPO at

1994 National Vaccine Documents


An event was held this month.

2nd National Stakeholder Meeting. Review of Priorities in the National Vaccine Plan

Event Date:
December 01, 2008

I am waiting for the meeting minutes to be released to the public. I hear that it is an audio feed.

I joined the LISTSERV.


Draft Strategic National Vaccine Plan

November 26, 2008


A check for 2009 events did not list anything having to do with the National Vaccine Plan yet. I will keep checking the site.

As a side note these events are listed on the agenda at Institute of Medicine website and may be of interest to pandemic planners.

Apr 22
Medical Preparedness Forum Lunch Seminars entitled, “Civil Defense for the 21st Century

Apr 7
Medical Preparedness Forum Lunch Seminars entitled, “Civil Defense for the 21st Century

Mar 23
Medical Preparedness Forum Lunch Seminars entitled, “Civil Defense for the 21st Century


Other Resources noted:

The Topics page at the Institute of Medicine is huge and worth reading.

As is the projects page.

Some things of interest that I noted.

Initial Guidance for an Update of the National Vaccine Plan: A Letter Report to the National Vaccine Program Office

The Impact of Globalization on Infectious Disease Emergence and Control: Exploring the Consequences and Opportunities. Workshop Summary

Ensuring an Infectious Disease Workforce: Education and Training Needs for the 21st Century – Workshop Summary


Now I have more reading to do….


Posted in flu shots, Health, HHS, Public Health, Vaccine | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Another PlanFirst Webcast Announced

Posted by preparedcitizens on December 6, 2008



December 17th

at 2 p.m. ET

Please note, you will need Flash ( installed on your computer in order to view the live video stream.

The focus of this Webcast will be a discussion of HHS guidance on antiviral drug use and stockpiling to be released later this month.

Antiviral drugs will be an important part of a multi-faceted response to an influenza pandemic. They will be used to contain an initial pandemic outbreak, slow the spread of infection, and treat those who have pandemic illness.

No registration is required. Email your questions for the Webcast panelists before and/or during the program to Please include your first name, state and town.


On March 13, 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched PlanFirst, a regular Webcast series on pandemic planning. The goal of the PlanFirst Webcasts is to help states, local communities, employers, faith-based and civic organizations, and families and individuals learn more about pandemic planning.

The pandemic influenza PlanFirst Webcasts are brought to you by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Links to Previous PlanFirst Webcasts:

Secretary Leavitt’s Discussion on Pandemic Planning and Preparedness

Secretary Leavitt’s Discussion on Pandemic Planning and Preparedness

(October 29, 2008) – 72 minutes

  • Secretary Mike Leavitt
  • Dr. Bill Raub, Science Advisor to Secretary Leavitt
  • Dr. Michael Osterholm, University of Minnesota
  • Maggie Fox, Reuters

Individual Preparedness 

(September 25, 2008) – 57 minutes

  • Admiral Joxel Garcia, HHS
  • Dr. Richard Benjamin, American Red Cross
  • Harlan Dolgin,
  • Tim Woerther,

Home Health Care Agencies Planning

(July 8, 2008) – 57 minutes

  • Alexis Silver, Home Care Association of New York State
  • Geraldine A. Coyle, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • James G. Hodge, Jr., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Workplace Preparation 

(June 4 2008) – 46 minutes

  • Andrew Levinson, Department of Labor

New Federal guidance for State Pandemic Planning Assessments

(April 30, 2008) – 65 minutes

  • Dr. Francisco Averhoff, CDC
  • Ms. Dana Carr, Department of Education
  • Ms. Barbara Bingham, Department of Labor

New Federal guidance for State Pandemic Planning Assessments

(April 2, 2008) – 76 minutes

  • Dr. Dan Jernigan, CDC
  • Colonel Dan Bochicchio, National Guard
  • Ms. Joan Harris,  Department of Transportation
  • Captain Ann Knebel, HHS

New Federal guidance for State Pandemic Planning Assessments

(March 13, 2008) 68 minutes

  • Dr. William F. Raub, HHS
  • Ms. Barbara Bingham, Department of Labor
  • Dr. Christa-Marie Singleton, CDC
  • Paul Strang, Department of Homeland Security 
  • Chris Logan, National Governors Association

Posted in Family, HHS, PlanFirst | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

HHS PlanFirst Webinar October 29, 2008

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 25, 2008

October Webcast

On October 29, 2008, at 1:00 pm ET, we will have a special edition of PlanFirst, featuring HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt and special guests Dr. Bill Raub, Science Advisor to Secretary Leavitt; Dr. Mike Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota; and Maggie Fox, Reuters.

Secretary Leavitt will provide formal remarks regarding the Nation’s pandemic planning effort. He will then join a roundtable discussion with our special guests to discuss the Nation’s level of pandemic preparedness and related issues.

As always, our guests, including Secretary Leavitt, will take questions from our viewing audience.

No registration is required. Email your questions for the Webcast panelists before and/or during the program to

Please include your first name, state and town. 

The pandemic influenza PlanFirst Webcasts are brought to you by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Posted in HHS, Life, PlanFirst, Public Health | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Rehearsals, Drilling, Preparedness and HHS Secretary Leavitt

Posted by preparedcitizens on January 23, 2008

“To think is easy.
 To act is hard.
 But the hardest thing in the world
 is to act in accordance with your thinking.”


If you play sports, act, or are a part of a team who is trained to respond, you understand the need to practice. We cannot know whether our thought out plans will actually work or where the “bugs” are that need to be worked out unless we set our plans into motion at some point BEFORE we need to rely upon them. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Health, HHS, pandemic, Public Health | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

HHS Blog

Posted by preparedcitizens on January 3, 2008

This is a bit off the topic of “pandemic” for me but….

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt updated his blog today with some very good news. I was quite impressed that so much was accomplished since late this summer as far as import safety is concerned. We all rely so heavily upon world trade, we should all feel safe with the products that we buy. Kudos to Secretary Leavitt.

Posted in HHS, Parenting, Public Health | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »