Pandemic Influenza Information Tool Kit: Town Hall Meetings

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These documents are part of a detailed toolkit for planning and conducting local mini-Summits or Town Hall Meetings on introductory pandemic preparedness issues. The toolkit is noteworthy, because meetings were organized with community partners to produce materials that combine pandemic influenza issues with broader health topics, such as tobacco prevention. The slide show on individual preparedness has a simple, engaging style, and the fact sheets for special populations (e.g., homeless population, children, pregnant women, and the immunosuppressed) capture issues that may not be addressed elsewhere. The toolkit is intended to emphasize personal preparedness at the state and local level, although it may need adaptation to be certain that messages are in accordance with the state and applicable at specific stages of preparedness. Some of the school disease mitigation materials may need review or updating based on recent recommendations.

The Indiana Department of Health developed three surveys to evaluate the effect the toolkit had on preparedness among different audiences. Local health departments could distribute the surveys approximately two to three weeks after the meeting in order to measure whether the education resulted in preparedness activities.

Survey questions apply to the preparedness needs of families, schools, and businesses. The survey for families asks about household preparedness activities, such as stockpiling food and supplies, health hygiene education, social distancing. It also requests that families record motivations and barriers related to pandemic preparedness. The schools survey allows administrators to record their communication plans, education on respiratory hygiene, plans for special needs students, and plans to continue providing education during a pandemic. The business survey addresses critical resources and vendors, the possibility of telecommuting during a pandemic, education on respiratory etiquette, and the business' level of collaboration with the community and health department. The three surveys provide a brief mechanism to evaluate whether or not pandemic education results in meaningful preparedness activities for distinct audiences in the short term.

(Part of this practice (i.e., the three preparedness surveys) was reviewed as part of the At-Risk Populations Project (ARPP) to develop a national guidance for at-risk populations and pandemic influenza planning.)

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