While planning for a vacation, certain resources come to mind. Some of those, particularly in the private sector, are evident. As for the public sector, the US State Department is known for offering sound advice. I covered some of that in an earlier blog post.
Another resource to consider, interestingly enough, is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Well known for its regular announcements regarding public health issues, the CDC still offers some relevant information for vacationers. Here are just a few of the topics discussed on their site:
Travelers’ health: Choose your destination from the drop-down menu, then check particular condition(s) that apply. For this exercise, I selected Aruba as my destination and “Cruise Ship” and “Immune-Compromised Travelers” as my conditions. CDC’s site came back with a list of recommendations, including immunizations for hepatitis A and B. (Medical professionals can search through their own section, which provides more detailed information.)
Hurricanes: Yes, hurricanes. The page isn’t as much forecasting as it is how to prepare and what to do if you’re caught in a hurricane. Topics include Emergency Supplies You Will Need, Make A Plan, Prepare To Evacuate, and Protecting Older Adults, among others. The Emergency Supplies page covers a host of items you need for disaster preparedness. The gear they suggest for your car applies to anyone who lives or works in a hurricane-prone area.
Another page in this section provides travel alerts regarding disease outbreaks around the world. The MERS issue is addressed, along with many other health warnings. You can find that page here.
Foodborne disease outbreaks: Summary information for outbreaks of food poisoning in the United States. Check out the free online course, “Protect Yourself While Eating Out.” While you may not be interested in becoming involved in evaluating establishments professionally, what you learn in this course could help minimize your risks for you and your family, both inside and outside the home.
Although you may not want to think about disaster preparedness, it’s helpful to study some of this material while planning your vacation. You never know when an emergency will strike. For some related reading, see these columns I wrote for a client: “Pocket Survival Kit” and “Take A Wilderness First Aid Course.”
If you’ve been involved in or experienced an emergency while traveling, please share your experience (good or bad). Less-experienced travelers will be curious about the incident. Feel free to comment below. And please share this column so others may benefit from what you and I have written. Thanks!
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