Team Verified: How are you… really?

How are you… really?  

For many of us, the pandemic has created higher levels of anxiety and new stressors that can be hard to cope with. Talking about our feelings with people we trust can be a good first step to dealing with these types of emotions, and can help us all feel less alone with negative feelings we are experiencing.

Sometimes starting the conversation is the hardest part. Today, on #MentalHealthAction day, you could offer support to a friend by asking them – how are you… really? Asking that simple question can help our friends and family open up about how they are feeling.

And if you want to talk to someone you trust about your feelings, here are a few ways you could start the conversation.

You can find more information and resources on how to look after your mental well-being on the WHO website here. And if you have children or young people in your life, they might want to check out these helpful resources from UNICEF.

We all need someone to talk to sometimes. 

Team Verified

Team Verified: How you can help protect healthcare workers

The World Health Organization estimates that 115,000 healthcare workers have died treating COVID-19 patients. Right now, health and care practitioners around the world continue to risk their lives to care for those suffering from the virus.

At last week’s World Health Assembly, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres paid tribute to these health workers, whom he described as the “heroes of this pandemic.” And he once again called for the urgent need for vaccines to be made available to everyone, everywhere.

Until that happens, we must continue to take the steps we can to help stop the spread of the virus. Following COVID safe behaviours such as wearing a mask and washing hands does help save lives. And when we can, taking the COVID-19 vaccine will protect not just us, but our communities too – lessening the strain on our healthcare workers.

We each have the power to help save lives. 

Stay safe.

Team Verified

Team Verified: Why should I take the COVID vaccine?

In some countries where COVID-19 vaccinations are widely available, the rate of vaccination has slowed. This means that some people are choosing not to get the COVID vaccine when it’s offered. Why does this matter? Because the more people who take the vaccine around the world, the more chance we have of stopping the spread of COVID-19 and ending the pandemic.

Today we are sharing our top three reasons why we should all take the vaccine when it’s offered:

1. You’ll protect the people you love

Getting vaccinated doesn’t only protect us – it protects the people around us. COVID-19 is highly contagious – meaning it passes easily between people. Someone who is fully vaccinated is less likely to carry the virus and pass it on, which means we are less likely to infect those around us. 

2. You’ll help end the pandemic

The more of us that get vaccinated, the less COVID-19 can spread. This reduces the number of new infections and means the virus has less chance to mutate and create new variants. 

3. Approved COVID vaccines are safe

Before a new vaccine is approved, it goes through four stages of testing from pre-clinical tests through to human trials. At each stage, scientists measure its effectiveness and safety. If a vaccine causes harmful side effects, the trial is cancelled. The COVID vaccines that pass these tests are then assessed by international regulators such as the WHO, and / or national health bodies before they are approved for public use. All the approved COVID vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective. You can read more about the COVID-19 vaccines on the WHO website.

Today’s video has more information about why we should get vaccinated against COVID-19. Share it with your friends and family so they understand why it’s important to get the vaccine too.

#OnlyTogether can we end the pandemic.

Stay safe,

Team Verified

Team Verified: Join us and Pause today

Today we invite you to join us in the fight against misinformation and post a Pause symbol on your social accounts.

We are asking our network and the whole world to Pause to spread awareness and encourage a new action of pausing before sharing online. Below you will find a pause symbol you can download and share on your social media alongside the hashtag: #PledgetoPause

Right now, misinformation is spreading faster than the virus itself, prolonging the pandemic, disrupting public health efforts and ultimately costing lives. 

Verified’s Pause campaign asks people to stop and think for a moment before sharing online. Research shows that this simple action can reduce the spread of harmful misinformation.

Today we ask you to share the Pause symbol across your social platforms and #PledgetoPause before you share online.

Thank you for your support and efforts,

Team Verified

Team Verified: You are making a difference

Last week, many of you shared our important message to Pause before sharing online. Thank you.

Now, a study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that sharing the Pause message can bring about the change needed to stop the spread of harmful misinformation. 

The study, conducted in the UK and the US, found that the simple act of pausing to question the origin, credibility, relevance and accuracy of any information significantly reduced people’s likelihood of sharing misinformation. You can read more about the study here.

But there is a long way to go. Misinformation about the virus and about the COVID vaccines is threatening our ability to end the pandemic. Share the Pause message today with your friends and family and encourage them to #PledgetoPause

Thank you for being part of Pause. Together, we are helping stop the spread of misinformation online.

Team Verified

Team Verified: You can help get vaccines to countries in need

At a recent summit, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told the world “COVID-19 cannot be beaten one country at a time.”

But some nations are still awaiting their first vaccines. And just 0.4% of doses given so far have been administered in lower-income countries. 

Cases are surging. Africa has recorded a 43% week-on-week rise in COVID-19 deaths. A worrying and deeply unfair situation which we can all help to change.

What can you do to help? 

  • If you can, make a contribution to the WHO’s Go Give One campaign, funding vaccines for lower-income countries.
  • Use your social media platforms to share #OnlyTogether messages, such as today’s video, and tell world leaders the pandemic is only over when everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 vaccines.

We can all play our part in achieving fair access to vaccines. Your voice, your support and your donations make a huge difference. 

We are in a race against the clock and nobody can be left behind.

#OnlyTogether can we end the pandemic

With thanks,

Team Verified

FEMA begins development of the 2022-2026 strategic plan

FEMA is excited to announce that the agency is kicking-off the development of the agency’s 2022-2026 strategic plan. The nation is expecting more than it ever has from FEMA and its partners and these expectations will only grow in the coming years. In FEMA Administrator Criswell’s words, this is a testament to our strengths as emergency managers and a responsibility that we do not bear lightly. As FEMA begins the development of the 2022-2026 FEMA Strategic Plan, the diverse voices and perspectives of the nation are important to help set a path to meet these expectations and build the FEMA our nation needs and deserves. FEMA will be conducting a series of internal and external engagements over the coming months. In the next few weeks, FEMA will share information about how you can join workshops and other engagement opportunities to hear directly from the public. For questions or concerns, contact Fema-StratPlan@fema.dhs.gov.

FEMA releases continuity guide for non-federal governments

FEMA has released the “Guide to Continuity of Government for State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Governments.” The new guide is a companion document to the “Continuity Guidance Circular.” Continuity ensures that the whole community has a plan for sustaining critical services and functions when routine operations are disrupted during a crisis. The “Guide to Continuity of Government for State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Governments” describes the relationship between continuity of operations, continuity of government, and enduring constitutional government. Providing guidance in the form of planning factors to assist non-federal governments assists achieving the goal of viable continuity capability to ensure the resilience and preservation of government in the event of an emergency.

Addressing Disaster Vulnerability among Homeless Populations During COVID-19

This Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) rapid expert consultation explores homelessness at the intersection of pandemics and disasters. It examines the challenges that have resulted from homelessness during COVID-19 and provides recommendations to address these issues with population-specific needs in mind.

Complete details are at: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/26220/addressing-disaster-vulnerability-among-homeless-populations-during-covid-19

Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management HERricane Camp Program

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management is hosting the HERricane Camp program from August 23-27.  This camp is open to girls 13-17 years old in Philadelphia.  It is designed to empower young women to pursue careers in emergency management, and includes professional development opportunities.

Complete details are available at: https://i-diem.org/herricane/