December 8th is Employee Health Day

Every year influenza, or “flu,” affects employers and businesses. Flu costs businesses approximately $10.4 billion* in direct costs for hospitalizations and outpatient visits for adults. To help guide you, CDC has produced a Business and Employer’s Toolkit (PDF, 2.72 MB) entitled “Make it Your Business to Fight the Flu.”

Flu Protection Kits and Information

CMC also offers many products to help prevent the spread of the flu in the workplace. CLICK HERE for more information.

CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. This high-value, relatively low-cost prevention method creates savings in at least two ways: 1) reduced absenteeism; and 2) reduced health care expenditures.

Ultimately, a vaccinated workforce means healthier and more productive employees – now, that makes good business sense.

Tune-in to CDC’s “Make it Your Business to Fight the Flu” podcast (Time: 5:16, 4.8 MB) to learn more about the Toolkit and tips for organizing a flu vaccination clinic in your workplace and community. CDC encourages you to use the strategies and free resources in the Business and Employer’s Toolkit to protect the health and productivity of your workforce this flu season and beyond.

This is a special day during National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 5–11) dedicated to the health and well-being of individuals in the workforce. Many adults spend the majority of their waking hours at work, and flu can spread rapidly through an office or workplace causing illness and lost productivity. People working in health care settings are among those at greatest risk of getting and spreading flu, often to vulnerable populations. Employee Health Day will remind employers that protecting employee health protects the bottom line.

To learn more, visit CDC’s website http://www.cdc.gov/flu and http://www.flu.gov or call 1-800-CDC-INFO. For more information about NIVW and how you can get involved, visit the NIVW website.

Seniors And People With Special Needs Must Prepare For Winter

The onset of winter-like weather requires a resetting of the preparedness refresh button for millions of elderly Americans and those with physical, medical, sensory or cognitive disabilities.  Extreme cold and harsh winter storms can dramatically increase the daily hardships and day to day survival challenges for this population.

With temperatures dropping and snowflakes beginning to fall, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says that now is the time to take a few easy steps to prepare for emergencies.

FEMA officials urge seniors and people with disabilities to:

  • Make prior arrangements with your physician or check with your oxygen supplier about emergency plans for those on respirators or other electric powered medical equipment.
  • Plan now to have electrical backup for medical equipment.
  • Develop a back-up communications plan in case land lines are disrupted by having a charged cell phone or a pager.
  • Maintain a two-week supply of medications, both prescription and non-prescription.
  • Have copies of your medical records, prescriptions and medical needs readily available.
  • Plan now to have accessible transportation in case of evacuation.
  • Have contact lenses, extra eyeglasses and batteries for hearing aids ready to go.
  • Include your service animals and pets in your plans.
  • Think ahead about neighborhood shelters that can accommodate the needs of seniors and the disabled.

FEMA also recommends that people with special needs develop and stay in touch with a nearby network of assistance before winter storms or record cold move in. It’s important for neighbors, relatives, care attendants, friends and coworkers to be part of your care and communications circle. Never depend on one person alone.

Severe winter weather including snow, subfreezing temperatures, strong winds, ice or even heavy rain requires planning ahead.

FEMA recommends an emergency supply kit that includes:

Finally, it’s important to understand the terms of declining weather and pending winter storms.

  • A winter weather advisory means that cold, ice and snow are expected.
  • A winter storm watch means severe weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.
  • A winter storm warning means that severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.

Remember that planning ahead, assembling an emergency supply kit,  staying informed and keeping those in your circle informed about you are the best ways to stay safe through the uncertain days of winter.