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What we are doing   

DCHD is the primary agency responsible for protecting the public’s health in a widespread public health emergency.  In order to meet this critical role, the Department maintains an Emergency Preparedness Section (EPS) staffed by Emergency Response Coordinators.

The EPS works in cooperation with other DCHD divisions, federal, state and local governmental agencies and community partners to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies.

 

What we are doing

The Emergency Preparedness Section (EPS) engages in collaborative, community focused public health emergency planning. The EPS develops plans that will help DCHD detect, respond to and recover from health emergencies. These plans work in cooperation with the activities that DCHD performs routinely such as disease surveillance, health education and environmental health services.

The EPS performs the following activities to enhance the ability of DHCD to respond efficiently and effectively to public health emergencies:

  • Exercise, test and update our plans, protocols and strategies regularly to ensure their timeliness, operability and effectiveness.
  • Maintain a training and exercise schedule that aids us in evaluating what works and does not work in our response planning for anticipated and unexpected emergencies.
  • Plan and coordinate the operation of sites that will serve as emergency points of distribution (PODs) where we will dispense medicine or vaccine in an emergency.
  • Assure access to volunteers who are able to quickly assist the department in needed response efforts.
  • Partner with community based organizations who service community members and work to keep them informed about preparedness.
  • Provide training to DCHD staff, partners and community volunteers who may be requested to help in a public health emergency.
  • Provide public health emergency coordination as requested by the Douglas County Emergency Operations Center at the time of an event.

Health Risks in Douglas County

Examples of some of the public health threats the Emergency Planning Section is planning for include:

 emergency preparedness section two Bioterrorism is the planned, unlawful use, or threat of use, of biological weapons made from living organisms with the intent of causing death or disease in humans, animals, or plants. 
 emergency preparedness section four Natural Disasters and Severe Weather such as floods and tornados could cause public health emergencies.
 communicable Communicable diseases outbreaks such as measles, influenza and … are spread from one person to another and could cause public health emergencies.
 Mass Mass Casualties can occur when an explosion, blast, or fire happens. Whether the event is caused by an act of terrorism or is unintentional, numerous people could suffer life threatening injuries.
 chemical Chemical emergencies occur when a hazardous chemical has been released and the release has the potential for harming people's health. Chemical releases can be unintentional, as in the case of an industrial accident, or intentional, as in the case of a terrorist attack.
 caution Radiologic emergencies include accidental exposure to or the intentional release of radioactive material. Radiologic emergencies include accidental exposure to or the intentional release of radioactive material.
 how we respond

How we respond Public Health Response in Douglas County

 

 

Events Involving Public Health in Douglas County:

Tuberculosis Testing at a High School – 2016 
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza – 2015
Ebola Response – 2014 
Industrial Accident – 2014 
Winter Storm – 2012 
Missouri River Flood – 2011 
Elkhorn River Flood – 2010
H1N1 Influenza – 2009
Wind Storm – 2008
Katrina Evacuee Shelter – 2005

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