Healthy people, families, and communities.


NSWPW Poster IconNational Severe Weather Preparedness Week is March 2 - 8. NOAA’s National Weather Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are teaming up for a third year to lead a public education effort aimed at improving the way people prepare for and respond to severe weather.

The goal of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is to inform the public about severe weather hazards and provide knowledge which can be used to prepare and take action. These actions can be used to save lives anywhere - at home, in schools, and in the workplace before tornadoes and severe thunderstorms and extreme weather strikes.

Help loved ones, friends and associates prepare for severe weather by using this great toolkit:

      March Is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Take Charge of Your Life. Get Screened.

Dalton, GAEvery 10 minutes, someone in this country dies from colorectal cancer, a cancer that can be prevented. The North Georgia Health District and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) want all Georgians to know that colorectal cancer screening can mean the difference between life and death. Colon cancer is highly treatable if detected early, yet one in three Georgians between the ages of 50 and 75 is not being screened. Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers and most common causes of death from cancer in Georgia.

People should start getting screened for colorectal cancer at age 50, but anyone with a family history or other high risk factors may need to be tested earlier. Men and women are both at risk for colorectal cancer, but African American and Asian men in Georgia are at a higher risk.

“Screening for colorectal cancer may keep you or a loved one from dying from a cancer that is preventable,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., commissioner, Georgia Department of Public Health. “What’s the best test for colon cancer? It’s the one you are willing to have done.”

There are several screening tests for colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy can detect cancer early and it can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. From the time the first abnormal cells start to grow into polyps, it usually takes about 10 to 15 years for them to develop into cancer. If the thought of a colonoscopy is frightening, an FOBT/FIT is a simple at-home test that can detect cancer early by identifying blood in the stool, a possible sign of cancer. Patients should speak to their health care provider about the best colorectal cancer test for them, but studies show that people who are able to choose the test they prefer are more likely to get the test done.

Jasper (GA) - A Talking Rock (Pickens County) resident is now undergoing post-rabies exposure treatments after breaking up a fight between the resident’s two dogs and a raccoon that has now tested positive for rabies. The dogs were not vaccinated; therefore, the owner decided they would be euthanized.

The positive rabies test result for the raccoon was returned by the Georgia Department of Public Health Laboratory on January 22.

According to Jan Stephens, manager of Pickens County Environmental Health, the fight between the dogs and the raccoon occurred early in the morning of Saturday, January 18 at a residence off of Talking Rock Road about two miles from where two previous rabies cases were found within the past three years - one was a raccoon and the other was a fox.

"In this incident, the dogs were bitten on their noses while fighting the raccoon," Stephens said. "Both dogs had to be put down because they’d had a definite exposure and had never been vaccinated for rabies."

Buckle Up Right, Every Trip, Every Time 

Dalton (GA)County health departments in North Georgia Health District 1-2, based in Dalton, were awarded the 2014 Car Seat Mini-Grant by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Office of Injury Prevention. Through the Mini-Grant, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield County Health Departments will educate parents and caregivers on how to properly install and use car seats, offer car seat inspections and provide car seats and booster seats to financially eligible families.

happybabyseatThe Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Maternal and Child Health Program fund the Car Seat Mini-Grant to help ensure Georgia’s children are safe while riding in motor vehicles. 

As a result, since 2007, at least 262 children in Georgia who were involved in crashes were saved from serious injury or death by car seats, booster seats, and education provided through the Mini-Grant. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car seats reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent among infants and by 54 percent among children ages 1 to 4 years in passenger cars. Car seats offer the best protection for children in the event of a crash, and they are most effective when installed and used correctly. Nearly three out of every four car seats are not used properly, placing children at unnecessary risk. 

Keeping children safe is paramount and the Car Seat Mini-Grant is a great opportunity to work with communities in protecting children from serious injuries or death in motor vehicle crashes. 

Through the Car Seat Mini-Grant, agencies supporting more than 130 counties are working to keep Georgia’s children safe. These programs help families get their children buckled up right, every trip, every time. 

For more information about the 2014 Car Seat Mini-Grant in Georgia, please contact the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Child Occupant Safety Project via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (404) 679-0500.