Shep Englander — Strategic Initiatives
Preparing for the Coronavirus Part of SAFE Cincinnati’s Emergency Planning Role
As you may know, SAFE Cincinnati is a community-wide initiative, administered by the Jewish Federation, to improve Jewish Cincinnati’s readiness to deal with security threats and emergencies of all kinds by providing our local Jewish nonprofits, congregations, and schools with tools to manage threats, violence, emergencies, and natural disasters. When most people think of SAFE Cincinnati, they think it is the initiative that keeps Jewish Cincinnati safe by reducing the risk of security threats. They are right. SAFE Cincinnati improves emergency planning and emergency response, monitors potential threats, and reduces physical and cyber vulnerabilities.
However, SAFE Cincinnati’s work is broader. It includes helping Jewish organizations and congregations maintain “business continuity,” continuing their vital work despite various dangers or disasters. The coronavirus is certainly one example.
Our community benefits because we not only have a strong SAFE Cincinnati team of professionals, but also a SAFE Cincinnati Advisory Committee, which includes community members with expertise in fields essential to our safety and security. Dr. Hamilton Lempert is the chair of SAFE Cincinnati’s Emergency Planning Committee and has been working with Jewish organizations across our region to develop customized, comprehensive emergency plans that prepare them to manage through every emergency. Dr. Lempert is an emergency medicine physician and has more than 20 years of service in EMS and disaster preparedness, serving as Medical Director for several Hamilton County Fire/EMS departments and on the American Red Cross Medical Assistance Team.
We asked Dr. Lempert to share with our community an overview of the coronavirus and safety considerations for individuals and families. In brief, he says it is not time to overreact, or panic, but it is time to prepare, take appropriate precautions, and stay updated with the most reliable information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Watch his remarks here or read below.
He reiterated that we have similar epidemics every year, including the flu. All the normal precautions you take for the flu, you should be taking for COVID-19.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water, particularly after going to the bathroom and before eating.
- Minimize touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Dr. Lempert urges our community to be prepared to work from home in case the virus becomes more widespread. Be prepared by getting your regular medications filled in advance and having some extra food in your house. And watch for potential travel restrictions.
SAFE Cincinnati will continue to monitor the situation and work with our agencies and congregations on prevention and contingency plans. Thank you for partnering with us to keep our community safe and active.
CEO, Jewish Federation of Cincinnati
Director of Community Security, SAFE Cincinnati
Thanks for caring about our community and what we do.
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