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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

  1. Help Spread Ovarian Cancer Awareness in September

  2. Month Dedicated to Promote Disaster Preparedness

  3. App Helps Visually Impaired Identify US Currency

Indiana Geographic Information Council

IGIC Receive National Honor from Library Journal

Congratulations are in order for the Indiana Geographic Information Council. Its service,, was honored nationally in June as a 2012 ALA Notable Government Document by the Library Journal and the American Library Association’s Government Documents Round Table. For more information, see the Indiana GIS news.

Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Kim Brown-Harden
Federal Documents Coordinator

Andrea Glenn
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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Help Spread Ovarian Cancer Awareness in September

Indiana Anti-Smurfing CampaignSeptember has been named National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month by Presidential Proclamation.    This month, we recognize those who have died and give support to women who are fighting for their lives.   Ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly of women’s cancers. Each year, approximately 22,000 women will be diagnosed with the illness. It is the fifth leading cause of cancer death for women. About half of the women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 63 years or older.  It is more common in white women than African-American women. Symptoms include:  bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency).

About 20% of ovarian cancers are found at an early stage. When ovarian cancer is found early at a localized stage, about 94% of patients live longer than five years after diagnosis. Some large studies are in progress to learn the best ways to find ovarian cancer in its earliest stage. There are a few ways to find ovarian cancer early: regular women’s health exams; seeing a doctor if you have symptoms; and screening tests for ovarian cancer. The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance has valuable information about ovarian cancer. The American Cancer Society also has resources to help with diagnosis and treatment and information about families and caregivers, insurance, and financial issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has information and a fact sheet that can be printed and given to family, friends, and patrons to help spread the word about this disease. Reliable information can be your greatest ally in this fight to win ovarian cancer. 

Statistics in this article came from:, the American Cancer Society, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Month Dedicated to Promote Disaster Preparedness

BOAH: Ready Pet GoHoosiers can take some simple and inexpensive steps now to be more prepared, according to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS).September is National Preparedness Month and officials from IDHS recommend Hoosiers turn awareness into action and adopt the goal of being self-reliant for at least three days, in the event of a disaster or other type of emergency.

A disaster or emergency -- such as a winter storm, tornado or flooding -- may leave households without electricity, heat, or even clean running water, and cut off from local groceries and services or even from immediate response from police, fire or rescue personnel.

“Being ready for a major disaster or emergency is very important. The basics of a kit can be put together without a lot of effort or money,” said IDHS Senior Public Information Officer John Erickson.

Getting prepared doesn’t have to cost a lot of money if you incorporate some of these easy emergency preparedness tips:

  • Make a Plan: Work with family and neighbors to make an emergency plan –such as where to go, how and where to meet and what to do in case of an emergency. Go to for free downloadable Family Emergency Plan templates.
  • Make a Ready List: All the items in a ready-made preparedness kit may not be the right fit for all families. Each person should choose the essentials that fit the household's needs and budget. Sample Ready Lists can be found at 
  • Plan Purchases: Getting ready doesn't have to be done in one day. Think ahead and try to accumulate extra items, with coupons and sales. Buying supplies right before a storm can be quite expensive. Buy supplies at the end of a season when there are good deals. 
  • Request a Gift: Suggest preparedness supplies as gifts from family and friends. 
  • Make Sure it Keeps: Water can be stored in safe containers, with no need to buy expensive bottled water. Just make sure water containers are disinfected and airtight. 
  • Start Now: By taking small steps now toward preparedness, it's less expensive to get ready!

Don’t Forget About Pets

Pets are important members of most households so, while preparing for possible emergencies, don’t overlook the needs of pets. That means having certain things available for the well-being of pets.

“If an emergency or disaster dictates people must evacuate their homes, it’s important they do not leave pets behind if at all possible,” said Denise Derrer with BOAH. “Pets most likely cannot survive alone, so we suggest keeping in mind that what’s best for a person is typically what’s best for pets.”

During a disaster, sometimes staying put is the safest place for families and their pets. Sometimes evacuation is necessary.

Here are three simple tips to prepare:

  • Identify a list of places that will accept people and pets: Some public shelters may not allow animals. Have a back-up location like a hotel or even friends or family who may be able to accommodate people and pets in an emergency.
  • Prepare a portable disaster kit for pets: Have packed at all times things like a leash or harness with collar, pet carrier or cage for each pet, two-weeks’ supply of food and water, can opener, towels or blankets for bedding, pet toys, cat litter and small litter pan for cats, plastic bags for waste clean-up, current photos of each pet, medications, vaccination records and medical records.
  • Familiarize pets with their carriers or cage: Emergencies are stressful times for everyone and not the time to try to get pets comfortable with a carrier or cage.

If families must leave pets behind, it’s imperative to bring them inside and place them in areas that are easy to clean and preferably are without windows. Keep dogs and cats separated, even if they normally get along. Never leave pets tied outdoors. Leave only dry food and put the food and fresh water in non-spill containers. If possible, leave a faucet dripping into a container or partially fill a bathtub. And try to set up a buddy system to check on each other’s pets. Leave a note on the outside of the room(s) where pets are to warn responders who may be doing welfare checks or searching for people who need help.

Go to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health’s Natural and Man-Made Disasters webpage for more information. Links to the original press releases are here: September 13 and September 18.

App Helps Visually Impaired Identify US Currency

EyeNoteThe United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing has an app to help the visually impaired identify denominations of Federal Reserve Notes. The EyeNote app was developed for the blind and visually impaired to increase accessibility to Federal Reserve Notes. The application contains some of the following features: one touch, hand-held operation; face or back of note to camera; partial note recognition (note can be handheld); any circular orientation; no equipment modification, special background materials or special lighting required; and camera flash is not required. One word of caution… EyeNote does not authenticate a note as being either genuine or counterfeit. For more information or to download this free app, please visit the Apple App Store

Healthy Aging Your Way

Every generation puts its own spin on the aging process, and how you approach your 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond is different than the way your parents did. This September during Healthy Aging Month, find the latest government information from to help you improve your physical, mental and financial health:

Staying in the pink
Get a group of friends together, and the subject eventually turns to health, from managing medications to getting more physically active. Use the Go4Life website from the National Institute on Aging for helpful tips, encouraging success stories and modern, realistic fitness plans to build your strength, flexibility and endurance. And visit’s Healthy Aging section for suggestions on handling age-related health challenges, from treating osteoporosis and caring for aging skin to preventing falls and understanding drug labels.

More than just “the blues”
Depression can take away your enthusiasm for the things and people you care about. It can creep in if you live with constant physical pain, are grieving a loved one or are facing the loss of your independence. And it can be conquered. Learn how getting evaluated and treated by your doctor can help you get back to feeling like yourself again.

Chasing the pot of gold
Scammers never seem to run out of tricks. They offer fake health cures for arthritis or try to talk you into medical equipment you don’t need. You might get high pressure phone calls urging you to give to a questionable charity or to try to get you to agree to a reverse mortgage or investment scheme. But you don’t have to be anybody’s victim. With the FBI’s extensive list of scams that target seniors, you can empower yourself to recognize and steer clear of con artists.
For tips on managing your money, getting government benefits and services, volunteering in your community, grandparenting and more, visit’s special Senior Citizens’ Resources section.

This information is brought to you by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) via the blog.

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