It’s time to return to the outdoors

With temperatures (finally) warming up, let’s take this opportunity to spend some time outside enjoying the lovely North Carolina spring. Sun, breeze, flowers, and warmth… it’s tough to beat! In addition to sitting in a rocking chair and marveling at the beauty around us, it’s a great time to be active. In our community health survey last year, many Chatham residents mentioned that not having a group to exercise with was a barrier to them being more physically active. And the evidence shows there is a strong basis for getting by with a little help from our friends. Social support can have many health benefits, from helping with stress management to literally saving lives. It can also help us and our children to be physically active. Luckily, there are some great opportunities coming up to meet fellow Chathamites and be active. See the list below and sign up today!

We look forward to seeing you in the great outdoors!


2014 Chatham County Community Health Report now Available!

It’s been over a year since we started the 2014 Community Health Assessment, and we are excited to announce that the final report has been completed! The report, which was approved by the Board of Health last month, has been submitted to the NC Division of Public Health for review. For the first time, the Chatham County Public Health Department and Chatham Hospital conducted the CHA as a collaborative effort.

Click the image above for the full report

Click the image above for the full report

The full report and the executive summary (English and Spanish) can be downloaded at Printed copies of these documents will also be available at the health department’s Siler City and Pittsboro sites, Chatham Hospital, local libraries, and other locations around the county.

The purpose of the Community Health Assessment, or CHA, is to foster a better understanding of the health needs of Chatham County residents. The CHA process is used to establish health priorities for the next three years and culminates in an action plan to address these priorities. The CHA helps local agencies and organizations working on health issues to plan and coordinate their efforts, and to ensure that the most pressing health concerns are being addressed.

So, what are the health priorities for the next three years? After months of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data, the Steering Committee established these three health priorities for the county:

  • Obesity
  • Access to Mental Health Services
  • Access to Healthcare

For more information about these, and other, health issues in Chatham, check out the report and/or executive summaries.

While this is the end of the assessment phase of the process, the work is no where near complete. The newly formed Chatham Health Alliance will determine strategies to address these issues locally, and then work collectively to enact those strategies. If you would like to learn more about the Alliance, contact Mike Zelek at

We would also like to thank the many volunteers who made the process a success, including Steering Committee members, data collection volunteers, and the hundreds of county residents who shared their perspectives through surveys and focus groups. We could not have done it without you!


El clima cálido puede traer cambios en la temperatura: Planifique, prepárese y manténgase informado de Tiempo Severo

La primavera es un tiempo de renovación – un momento para acabar con la tristeza del invierno y darle la bienvenida al clima cálido. Con el fin del invierno readyncviene la incertidumbre del clima primaveral… tormentas, rayos, tornados. Por eso, la semana del 1-7 de marzo es la Semana nacional de preparación para clima severo; para asegurar que los residentes de Carolina del Norte tengan listos sus planes de seguridad para el hogar, el trabajo y la escuela.

En el condado de Chatham, la seguridad es primero cuando crea sus planes de emergencia, para que lo que los residentes y el personal de emergencia re rápidamente respondan cuando los tornados o tormentas severas amenazan.

Los organismos gubernamentales, las empresas y las escuelas participarán en el simulacro anual de tornado en todo el estado el miércoles 4 de marzo a las 9:30 am. Todas las agencias locales y las escuelas del condado podrán practicar técnicas de seguridad que recuerdan a la gente y a los estudiantes a dónde ir y qué hacer en caso de clima severo.

Es de suma importancia saber qué hacer en el trabajo, la escuela y la casa. Use los siguientes consejos para estar preparado en caso de clima severo.

  1. Comunique los planes de emergencia a su familia y sepa dónde ir si ocurren tornados o hay una amenaza de tormenta eléctrica. (Un sótano es la mejor opción. O bien, vaya al piso más bajo de la casa a una habitación interior sin ventanas, como un pasillo, despensa o armario.)
  2. Prepare un equipo de emergencia y manténgalo en un lugar que es fácil de encontrar en caso de emergencia.
  3. Practique ejercicios de tornado. Si bien la temporada alta de tornados es en la primavera, Carolina del Norte ha tenido tornados en enero y tan tarde como noviembre.
  4. Escuche la radio meteoróloga NOAA cuando hay amenaza de clima severo en su área.

Para obtener más información sobre los tornados o la preparación durante una emergencia, visite  o (en español). Las autoridades de emergencia también instan a los residentes a que descarguen la aplicación gratuita móvil ReadyNC (en inglés), para tener información sobre el clima y las condiciones del tráfico en tiempo real en todo el estado de Carolina del Norte.

Ahora es el momento para prepararse. Aquellas personas que tienen planes y suministros listos están mucho más preparadas durante una emergencia.


Warm Temps Usher in Uncertain Weather: Plan, Prepare and Stay Informed for Severe Weather

I know we have all been dealing with snow and ice for the last few weeks, but spring is just around the corner.  Spring is a time for renewal – a time to end the winter blues and usher in warm weather. With the end of winter comes the uncertainty of spring weather…storms, lightning, tornadoes. That’s why March 1-7 is Severe Weather Preparedness Week; to ensure North Carolinians have safety plans for home, work and school.

readyncChatham County puts safety first when it creates its emergency plans, so residents and emergency personnel can respond quickly when tornadoes or severe storms threaten.

Government agencies, businesses and schools will participate in the annual statewide tornado drill Wednesday, March 4, at 9:30 a.m. All local agencies and county schools are encouraged to practice safety techniques that remind people and students to know where to go and what to do when severe weather strikes.

It is critical to know what to do at work, school and home. Use the tips below to be ready at home for severe weather.

  1. More information on tornadoes and overall emergency preparedness can be found at  or Chatham County emergency officials also urge residents to get the free ReadyNC mobile app, which provides real-time weather and traffic conditions for all parts of North Carolina.Discuss family emergency plans and where to go if tornadoes or severe thunderstorms threaten. (A basement is the best option. Or, go to the lowest floor of the house to an interior room with no windows, such as a hallway, pantry or closet.)
  2. Put together an emergency supply kit and keep it in a location that is easy to access during an emergency.
  3. Have tornado drills at home. While peak tornado season is in the spring, North Carolina has had tornadoes as early as January and as late as November.
  4. Keep NOAA weather radios turned on when there are threats of severe weather in your area.

Take time now to get ready. Those residents who have plans and supplies in place fare far better during any emergency than those who do not.


The Weather is Here…

Looks like the forecasts weren’t off! Although the snow has given us a beautiful winter wonderland, slick roads and power outages are a major cause for concern. Please stay safe and warm!

A message from Animal Services about potential scheduling changes due to the weather is below. Remember: Your pets may love playing in the snow (like Macro), but they get cold too!

Due to the forecasts for the impending heavy snowfall Thursday,

Macro loving the snow

Macro’s loving the snow

February 26th, which may lead to hazardous driving conditions, we want to prepare everyone for the possibility that the shelter may cancel the rabies clinic scheduled for Saturday February 28th from 9am to 12pm at the Chatham County Animal Shelter. We will closely monitor the weather and will communicate any schedule changes accordingly. Please stay safe and warm! Remember your pets want to be warm too!   

If anyone is in urgent need of low cost rabies vaccines for their pets, Jordan Lake Animal Hospital, in conjunction with the county sponsored clinic, is holding a $5 rabies clinic from March 2nd-7th. You may contact them directly to schedule the vaccination at 919-542-5424.

If there are any questions, please contact the shelter 919-542-7203.

Who needs tennis balls when there’s snow to fetch?

Who needs tennis balls?FullSizeRender