Chuck Vale, Sue Birch, Jim Johnsen: Be prepared


— On July 10, 2008, our region was fortunate to have Dr. Mike Osterholm speak during a Seminars at Steamboat lecture in the Strings Pavilion. To an audience of nearly 350 people, he highlighted a significant amount of data surrounding past pandemic influenza events and the potential impacts of future scenarios. He examined the planning efforts here in the U.S. and discussed global successes and failures related to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), pandemic flu and others.

While his opinion of impending scenarios and devastating impacts related to pandemic were shocking, it is noteworthy as a community to follow up with a few local points. As the key leaders involved with emergency preparedness and response and public health, we thank Michael for his information and willingness to make people aware of these potentially catastrophic events.

We feel it is important to inform the residents of the valley of our roles and responsibilities in the community:

- Routt County government has Chuck Vale as Emergency Manager

- Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association serves as the local public health provider and employs a regional emergency preparedness planner/trainer, Jim Johnsen

- The statewide Health Alert Network is used to notify providers and first responders of potential emergencies

- Partners regularly participate in Northwest Colorado All Hazards emergency drills with emergency response agencies, law enforcement, local businesses, local and statewide government, and health care providers.

We invite you to participate with us in the following ways:

- Have surplus supplies on hand. You should be prepared to be in your home without utilities and water for a minimum of 72 hours.

- Have a family discussion and an emergency plan. If you were to get separated from your family, how would you get in contact in case of an emergency?

- Urge your local government elected officials to continue to support the overall planning, mitigation and response efforts so we are prepared to support the citizens of the county.

- Join the Northwest Medical Reserve Corps - a team of volunteers trained to assist in case of an emergency.

For more information, contact Jim Johnsen, regional emergency preparedness and response coordinator, at 871-7632.

Chuck Vale

Routt County emergency manager

Sue Birch

CEO of Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association

Jim Johnsen

Regional emergency preparedness and response coordinator


nigelthomas 8 years, 9 months ago

Good article. We need to keep Bird Flu at the forefront of every business manager's mind. It won't go away so better start preparing.

Nigel Thomas consider Bird Flu Manual Online- -for free references and tools, or the Bird Flu D-I-Y eManual- -for a complete preparedness solution.


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