Emergency Preparedness & Response

The Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (PHEPR) Section was created to prepare and respond to public health threats and emergencies from various sources, such as:

  • Natural Disasters: Floods, Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Severe weather conditions, and Wildfires
  • Disease Outbreaks: Communicable diseases - such as severe flu epidemics; Environmental diseases - such as food-borne illness outbreaks (Salmonella, etc.) and zoonotic disease outbreaks (Rabies, West Nile virus, etc.)
  • Bioterrorism Events: Use of biological agents such as smallpox or anthrax.
  • Chemical Terrorism Events: Use of chemical agents such as sarin, cyanide, VX, or mustard gas.

The PHEPR Program has several focus areas including but not limited to:

  • Planning and Readiness Activities

Risk Communications

  • The PHEPR Program is also developing a risk communication plan that will keep the public informed during a public health emergency such as a bioterrorism event. The plan includes various ways to provide consistent information to the media and public in order to share valuable information and address concerns. Activities include:
  • Development and Distribution of Public Service Announcements
  • Development of a risk communication plan
  • Establishing relationships with various media outlet contacts
  • Education and Training

If you are an employer, make sure your workplace has a building evacuation plan that is regularly practiced.

  • Prepare your business for the unthinkable, and create an emergency plan.
  • Take a critical look at your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system to determine if it is secure or if it could feasibly be upgraded to better filter potential contaminants, and be sure you know how to turn it off if you need to.
  • Think about what to do if your employees can't go home.
  • Make sure you have appropriate supplies on hand.
  • Create a Supply Kit
  • Depending on the situation, you could be asked to evacuate or to shelter in place. It is best to be prepared for either occurrence.


Supply Kit
Prepare Your Business
CDC: Shelter-in-Place