Progress for tomorrow: Preparing for the next disaster
HEALY: Right, but I think what we were hearing today, even from Dr. Ben was that you just can't wait and hope that someone's going to come rescue you. I mean, there has to be some sense, and if everybody sees their part of this effort. And so, I don't think it's either/or, right? It's both. But, would you yes or no I mean, do you think that? It sounds like the government is talking a lot about this. Certainly, communities that have been hit are talking a lot about this, but is your next-door neighbor talking about it? I mean that's the issue. Are was as individuals falling down, or is that too harsh on we as individuals?
KELLERMAN: I think it's too harsh on we as individuals. I think the measure that we can take may help slow things down. The more we slow things down, the more time we have for effective counter-measures. But as Georges said, the best way to have a system to meet an extraordinary event, whether it's pandemic flu or an attack of smallpox, is to have a system that is functional, adaptive, and responsive on a day-to-day basis. Call me naïve, but I don't think government is some thing out there that we sort of hope it figures it out. We're government if we communicate and engage it, or we're not if we leave it alone. I think we can expect more out of our government at the local level, at the state level, and at the federal level. And we need to expect more from our institutions and organizations. Emory University is lucky. We have some of the best ex-CDCers in the country on our faculty. We've done an enormous amount of planning and organizational strategizing around pandemic flu over the last four or five months and plan to share that with every other health system in the country. That's a private enterprise-oriented effort. But it matches up with what you can do at the family level, and what we should be doing at the governmental level.
HEALY: Okay, let's go and look at the list of what family preparedness is all about. I mean, there are a number of things that we've heard about. And see what you we hear about phone trees, having communication systems. In a time of pandemic, you would presumably have Internet you know, we're talking about having supply of food and water and personal items for three weeks at least for 72 hours. Are those things that people should be thinking about? Do you think that's being overstated?
BENJAMIN: No, it absolutely makes sense to do.
HEALY: But what percentage of the population do you think is
BENJAMIN: Well, I think everybody should try to do it. I would think a very small percentage of the population has done it. And I think that one has to think about those preparedness kits in the context of where you live as well. So if you live in a flood area or a tornado area, your kits might be different; your needs might be different. If you live in a place that has huge snowstorms, your kit's going to be different. So you've got to put it in context of where you are.