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Saheli - Preparing For An Emergency


A Prepared Community is a Healthy Community

By: Czarina Biton and Meena Sonea Hewett


When it comes to overall health, Massachusetts leads the nation with its innovative practices and mentality.  The Commonwealth was the first in the nation to have a public health department, with Paul Revere being the first Health Officer.  The South Asian community is growing in New England and we are a new generation of innovators. We have taken on roles such as educators, social service and healthcare providers, and business owners because we are committed to see the next generation and our communities succeed.


The Bay State continues to maintain its competitive spirit by having one of the highest H1N1 vaccination rate this past flu season.  At the state and local level, health departments were persistent and prepared to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus by offering vaccines at local clinics and educating the public about the importance of hand washing.  All of these actions are what is known as preparedness and we all have a part to play and an obligation to make sure that the South Asian community is ready for any emergency.


As a Massachusetts resident, you too can be a part of this movement by preparing now so that you, your family and neighbors know what to do during an emergency.  September is National Preparedness month and communities can celebrate National Preparedness month by doing 5 things to ensure that they and their communities are prepared for an emergency:



  • Help others in need: When emergencies happen, make sure to remember people in your community who might need additional assistance. Whether it’s your next door neighbor who might be homebound due to a disability or your grandmother who lives by herself, give them a call or a visit to make sure they are safe.



  • Become a community leader: Be on the front lines of public health emergencies and volunteer with your local Medical Reserve Corp. To learn more and to become a volunteer, contact 617.665.3702 or visit the Medical Reserve Corp website at www.region4bvolunteer.org/


A prepared community is a healthy community. We urge you to follow these 5 tips to be prepared, to stay informed and to be ready in any emergency.

Czarina Biton is the Coordinator for Emergency Preparedness Region 4b, which is made up of 27 local health departments in the Greater Boston area. To learn more about Region 4b, visit www.region4b.org. Meena Hewett is the Executive Director of Saheli, a non-profit organization ensuring a safe and health environment for all South Asian Women and Families in the United States. To learn more about Saheli, visit www.saheliboston.org.   

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