With the incidence of natural disasters on the rise, the threat of terrorism a modern-day reality and experts warning of an imminent influenza pandemic, the need to be prepared in the event of an emergency is all the more critical. What If? Colorado is a public information campaign designed to educate Colorado residents about the importance of emergency preparedness.

Q: Who sponsors What If? Colorado?
A: The What If? Colorado campaign is sponsored by the Emergency Preparedness and Response Division (EPRD) of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the lead state agency responsible for coordinating health and medical resources in response to a major disaster or emergency in Colorado.

Q: How is What If? Colorado funded?
A: The EPRD has received grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund the various initiatives of this statewide campaign. To learn more about our work, please visit the Programs page of our Web site

Q: Why is this campaign important?
A: Surveys in Colorado and nationwide have demonstrated that most residents have not created emergency preparedness kits for their homes. Having an emergency kit on hand is an important part of being prepared and ensuring you have the resources you need to stay healthy and safe. By preparing yourself and your loved ones, you will also allow first responders and other health professionals to prioritize their efforts and aid during an emergency – and possibly help save other lives.

Q: What is an emergency preparedness kit?
A: An emergency preparedness kit should contain the basic essentials for living, including food, bottled water, paper products, medical supplies (including prescriptions), batteries, flashlights, communication devices (such as cell phone and charger and/or radio), garbage bags, warm blankets, and copies of important personal documents. You may also want to consider additional items important to your particular family such as pet food, baby food and diapers.

Each kit should be created to last a minimum of 72 hours, or three days. However, a kit that provides for a two-week period or longer is ideal for longer emergencies like an influenza pandemic. If space limitations are an issue, families should work with neighbors or friends to develop and store emergency kit items.

To quickly generate a customized emergency kit checklist for your family, use our What If? Colorado online calculator.

For more checklists, please visit www.readycolorado.com.

Q: How much does an emergency preparedness kit cost?
A: The cost of an emergency preparedness kit will vary from family to family. For example, a single adult living in Denver could expect to pay approximately $200 to prepare for a three-day emergency kit. A great way to defer the cost of an emergency kit is to purchase items over time or purchase items in bulk to share with another person.

Q: Is this campaign a waste of tax-payer dollars?
A: Public health campaigns tend to save tax payers’ dollars because they aim to reduce overall healthcare costs and save lives. Think of the billions of dollars that have been saved in healthcare costs over the last several decades due to campaigns that encouraged people to quit smoking cigarettes or to wear their seat belts in the car. Such savings far outweigh the money it costs to run an effective campaign – not to mention the millions of lives it spares.

Q: How can I learn more about the What If? Colorado campaign?
A: Take a tour of our Web site – www.WhatIfColorado.com – and check the site often for updates. It offers a range of information about the campaign itself, and additional resources about emergency preparedness and pandemic influenza. You may also e-mail your questions to info@whatifcolorado.com or call the toll-free Colorado Help Line at 1-877-462-2911.

Q: How can I participate in the What If? Colorado campaign?
A: The home page on www.WhatIfColorado.com features our current events and programs. Please feel free to also e-mail us at info@whatifcolorado.com to learn more about how you can get involved.