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Guide of the Week: Preparing for Public Health Emergencies

The Government Accountability Office recently identified Preparing for Public Health Emergencies as one of 13 urgent issues facing the next President and Congress. Today on Guide of the Week, we’ll talk about some librarian produced guides from the ALA GODORT Exchange Wiki that can help inform citizens, Congress and President-Elect Obama on this issue.

There appear to be two librarian produced guides that touch on public health emergencies:

Bert’s guide is to documents about health in general, but he points to resources like Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Reports, Public Health Reports, the Senate Homeland Security & Govt. Affairs Committee and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which all deal with public health emergencies. There is also the usual Chapman catalog instructions on how to seach for government health policy and reports.

Although Grace’s guide is titled “Chemical and Biological Disarmament”, the government’s response to a mass epidemic would be similar whether or not the disease was man made. Some of the resources Grace includes that policymakers might find helpful are:

On an unrelated note, Grace’s guide has a graphic illustration of boolean logic using Russians and Soviets that I think you’ll find very helpful in sharing with the uninitiated.

There is more in both guides. I hope you’ll read both and then share both if you find them useful.

I have to admit that I was somewhat surprised by what didn’t show up on the ALA GODORT Exchange Wiki. There was nothing about bird flu (pandemic influenza) or specifically about bioterrorism. I know some librarians somewhere must have produced SOMETHING on these topics and I encourage you to post your guides to the Handout Exchange.

Next week I’ll be dealing with librarian produced guides relating to “Food Safety” So if you have any guides relating to that topic, please try and post them to the Handout Exchange this week.

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