District 4 Public Health’s Office of Emergency Preparedness is one of 18 Emergency Preparedness and Response programs located in health districts throughout the state. This program develops operational plans that enable the district health office and its twelve county health departments to effectively address community needs during naturally occurring public health emergencies. Public health professionals may be called upon for many tasks including diagnosing and containing the spread of disease, and responding to areas where people may have been exposed to infectious or harmful materials, providing medications or vaccinations to protect the general public.
To accomplish this purpose we prepare staff, partnering agencies and citizens to rapidly respond to acts of terrorism, natural disasters and other hazards through awareness, planning and training. We recognize that building inter-agency relationships is essential to effectively responding to an emergency. To aid the health district in disaster response the Office of Emergency Preparedness has established partnerships with several agencies at the local, state and federal levels.
Planning and Preparedness
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as making an emergency supply kit and developing a family communications plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency. However, there are important differences among natural disasters that will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take.
If you have not already done so, please develop an emergency plan for your family using the checklists and guides provided by the American Red Cross.
Preparing for Natural Disasters
Some natural disasters are easily predicted, others happen without warning. Planning what to do in advance is an important part of being prepared. Find out what natural disasters are most common in your area.
Click here for more information on natural disaster planning.
Click here for more information on planning while attending college.
Planning for Man-Made Disasters
The possibility of a terrorist attack is a scary thought and a very real danger. Here at District 4 we conduct emergency preparedness exercises with partner agencies to help us plan, prepare, and practice what to do in the event of an attack. Exercises may include distributing medication to a large percentage of the population or evaluating the time it takes to get medications delivered to multiple locations at the same time. Other exercises involve subject matter experts who work through an emergency scenario from start to finish, determining all the steps various agencies need to take. We also learn from real emergencies in our communities, such as the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. While the threat of a terrorist attack is frightening, it’s important to remember that CDC and other agencies are taking steps to protect our communities. Click here to learn more about the Strategic National Stockpile Program and how it impacts you.
The Medical Reserve Corps of West Georgia is locally-based groups of volunteers who use their education, training, and volunteer service to make their communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to threats of terrorism, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds. For more information or to volunteer click here.