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One of the interesting things about the Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog at HHS is that it exists at all. "Blogging as legitimate expression" still sticks in the craw of some of our journalist brethren, despite some superb examples of specialty blogs. And the idea of anyone in government accepting (even moderated) comments is, for them, rather innovative.

Pandemic preparedness is also one of the very few non-partisan efforts that brings people together from all over the political and professional spectrum. Housewives are making contributions every bit as important as HR specialists. And on the HHS blog, heads of alphabet organizations are coequal with flu bloggers and cabinet Secretaries.

For those of you interested in the evolution of the blogosphere from specialty service to everyday work tool, whether you're in politics, IT, library science or just an interested citizen, check out a genuine attempt to reach the public with a message about the need and benefits of disaster preparedness. Our own AlphaGeek did this some time ago. Now, he's joined by a .gov blog, with different perspectives on the same issue.

Go here for my take on Our Responsibility To Teach The Basics. And comment there, if you wish, on my post or on someone else's. Whether it's the American Red Cross, Flu Stories here at Daily Kos, or the HHS blog, preparedness is something to take more seriously than we have. After all, pandemic planning is coming to a school near you.

The HHS blog summit runs from May 22 - June 27. For the latest news, and prep tips, go here.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 12:57 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for this! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, feloneouscat, vets74

    We should stay aware.

  •  and if you're already familiar with the topic (4+ / 0-)

    just send the URL to someone else you know.

    in the meantime, there are two new H5N1 cases in Vietnam, a couple in China and news every day from around the worldcollected by volunteers.

    We've never tracked an inter-pandemic period before. this is going to be a rather interesting chronicle.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 01:01:26 PM PDT

  •  That Alphageek series (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74

    totally got my butt in gear on prep.  It was excellent--it wasn't a survivalist screed.  It was common sense planning.  And I made changes to my life and my home because of it.  

    I hope the same thing is true for your blog--that people do some common-sense planning.  The peace of mind that comes with some prep in your back pocket has got to be better when the time comes to put it into action.  It is already better for my mental health now when I hear about the big winter storm coming, or the hurricane threats for this season.

  •  Interesting, but don't expect too much (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tigana, vets74

    By all means, citizens should read and participate.  But, they should also look around to see what other information is available, and should make plans that don't rely on the government to fulfill its obligations under emergency plans and law.

    The HHS blog is helpful for raising awareness, but is unlikely to change a dysfunctional federal government culture.  Consider that the National Response Plan is not yet finished, thus the response to a pandemic, or any other kind of emergency, would suffer from an unclear vision by DHS, the people in charge of coordinating all other agencies.  Also consider that federal agencies are notorious for soliciting comments from citizens and employees, then ignoring their concerns.

    Under George Bush, agencies may have learned to use modern tools; but their priorities and mindset have not changed.  Rather, day by day, federal agencies are becoming more resistant to change as reform-minded experts are forced out and replaced with novices who possess the one qualification that matters: political allegiance.

    Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory. ~ Cervantes

    by Deep Harm on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 02:07:11 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, DemFromCT! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74

    You and your colleagues have done tremendous work on the Flu Wiki and Flu Wiki Forum. I hope that HHS's blog will convince more people to take advantage of those (and other) resources.

    I'll confess that I am nowhere near as prepared I should be. I finally got around to stocking up on food and water, but it was only after I'd read things about pandemic flu - and thought "I should get prepared" - on several dozen occasions. It will probably take several more such occasions before I take additional steps.

    A lot of people fall into this same category - good intentions, slow actions - and I think things like the HHS blog are good for prodding us along.

    •  thanks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74

      I hope so. maybe it'll be the next tornado or ice strom that you'll use this stuff.

      whatever you plan for, it's usually something else.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 05:34:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We do specific protection: high-tech MASK. (0+ / 0-)

    Our guys 'n gals have to fly. When the SARS thing blew out, we were able to get flu-safe breathers down at the local Home depot.

    Surprise, surprise.

    The brand name is "MSA." Mine safety Appliances Company, Pittsburgh, PA. Part # 815369 for the mini-canisters.

    Blue and gray plastic and twist-fit canisters. One small military tweak: put a little petroleum jelly on the contact surfaces for best fit and comfort.

    Cost was all of $30.

    The trick, here, is that these masks meet 42 CFR 84 P100. That means it stops SARS and other small particulates. The package says so.

    BTW: this is not the most expensive mask they sell. Painting masks at $40 fight off several poisonous gasses, but that's not exactly what you need.

    Check the packaging for details. At $30, we thought these "MSA" masks were a godsend.

    Jefferson and the Dixie Chicks. Imus and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

    by vets74 on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 05:47:23 AM PDT

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