What If? Colorado Campaign Overview

Since the terrible events of September 11, 2001, and with the increasing and widespread concern for pandemic influenza worldwide, Coloradans have been deluged with constant warnings about their ongoing safety. As a result, citizens need real solutions to their questions concerning influenza prevention and emergency preparedness. Surveys both in Colorado and nationally demonstrate that the vast majority of citizens have not created an emergency preparedness kit for their homes, cars or offices – and many citizens avoid influenza vaccinations for reasons that simply aren’t justifiable. The Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response (OEPR) of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is taking steps to empower citizens to take charge and respond to such challenges. The goals of the OEPR “What If? Colorado” campaign are as follows:

  • Partnering with the Colorado Influenza and Pneumococcal Alert Coalition (CIPAC) to increase the number of Colorado citizens who receive seasonal influenza vaccinations
  • Increasing the number of Colorado citizens who develop emergency kits for their homes, offices and automobiles
  • Empowering Colorado citizens on measures they can take to prepare for emergencies and prevent the spread of illness during an influenza pandemic
  • Informing Colorado citizens on what pandemic influenza is and how it differs from seasonal influenza

Through a statewide “What If? Colorado” campaign, funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the OEPR will work to inform Coloradans of measures they can take to prepare for emergency situations, what pandemic influenza is and how to prepare for it, as well as specific actions they can take to promote the health and safety of themselves and their families. Questions the campaign will address include:

  • What if pandemic influenza strikes Colorado again?
  • What if an emergency forces you and your family to “shelter in place” for an extended period of time?
  • What if a natural disaster strikes your hometown?

The “What If? Colorado” House and “Reality” Competition
In order to engage citizens in an enlightening and educational activity, Colorado residents over the age of 18 will be encouraged to submit video “auditions” for consideration to be included in the “What If? Colorado” House, where residents will live together this fall for a multi-day period and face a variety of challenges designed to engage and inform them on a multitude of emergency preparedness and influenza issues. Auditions will be accepted online, at special events and through standard “snail” mail submissions. The web site www.WhatIfColorado.com will direct residents to the OEPR campaign Web pages, where they can view posted audition videos and learn about emergency preparedness, pandemic influenza and influenza prevention. Toward the final stages of the audition period in August, the public will be invited to vote online for which of their fellow Coloradans they feel should become residents of the “What If? Colorado” House. Video compilations of activities in the house will be featured on television broadcasts and streaming video will be available on the Internet at www.WhatIfColorado.com.

Through a generous donation from HealthONE, a total of 10 prizes will be awarded in the competition – one prize to each of the nine regional finalists, an Apple 30 gigabyte iPod, and one grand prize of $2,500 cash prize to the overall What If? Colorado winner.

Local Events Statewide
During the campaign, OEPR local public health agency partners will be encouraged to conduct or participate in special events in their communities to inform residents about pandemic influenza, emergency preparedness and to solicit and accept auditions for the “What If? Colorado ”House.

Eldorado Natural Spring Water Partnership
As a partner in the “What If? Colorado” campaign, Colorado-based Eldorado Natural Spring Water and the OEPR will team up to create special “What If? Colorado”-branded bottles of water that will be distributed free of charge at events throughout the state by local public health agency partners that participate.

During the campaign, local public health agencies are invited and encouraged to participate in special events in their communities to inform residents about pandemic influenza, emergency preparedness and to solicit auditions for the “What If? Colorado” reality competition.

King Soopers/City Market Partnership
As an exclusive grocery partner of the “What If? Colorado” campaign, King Soopers and City Market will conduct ongoing promotional activities during the campaign, highlighting items throughout their 300+ Colorado-based stores that residents can purchase to complete their home, office and/or automobile emergency preparedness kits. Specially priced items will be on sale each week during the promotion, with the idea that if residents purchase the sale items each week, they will end up with a nearly complete emergency preparedness kit by the end of the promotion. King Soopers/City Market will include these items in their weekly sales circulars, in- store advertising and weekly specials.

Mass Immunization Events
In order to test the state’s ability to mobilize and conduct mass immunizations in the event of a pandemic influenza outbreak, OEPR and local public health agencies will conduct several “mass immunization” events in November across the state in targeted communities, including participation by local celebrities and government officials.

# # #

This competition is subject in all respects to the complete Official Rules available online at www.WhatIfColorado.com, or by sending a S.A.S.E. to "What If? Colorado Competition – Rules Request," P.O. Box 13919, Denver, Colorado, 80201.