Emergency Preparedness and Response

The district emergency planners serve as their health district coordinators for all-hazards Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R) activities. These include ensuring that all jurisdictions and offices in the Fifth Planning District develop and maintain up to date, adequate plans for responding to acts of bioterrorism, infectious disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies and threats. The planners ensure that their district develops and maintains up to date, adequate plan for distributing the Strategic National Stockpile. They lead EP&R activities and participate in EP&R planning activities in their district. The planners ensure that a local emergency communications plan is developed and maintained and that clear, consistent messages about EP&R are developed and provided to the public and other targeted groups within the Fifth Planning District. They serve as a liaison to regional EP&R team and ensure that their district participates in coordinated regional planning for EP&R, infectious disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies and threats and for the receipt and distribution of the Strategic National Stockpile.

The emergency planners maintain and foster relationships with Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC), the Near Southwest Regional Hospital Task Force, federal, state, and local law enforcement, fire/EMS, emergency management community, and other response entities. They are tasked with formalizing health district response roles. As members of the EP&R team, the planners are required to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The planners coordinate ongoing processes to maintain useful strategic plans for the health districts in detection, response, and remediation of health and community emergencies. Through the Emergency Operations Plan, they are in the process of defining response roles for local health departments as regards public health emergencies.

The emergency planners work with the regional EP&R team to develop emergency communications strategies and to develop clear, consistent public health messages about topics related to EP&R and all public health hazards. They are developing local public awareness campaigns about emergency preparedness and planning. They work with the EP&R team to provide information and education about EP&R and all public health hazards to targeted groups in the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, including health department personnel, first responders, medical community, local government and local hospitals.

For more information, visit the EP&R website: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/emergency-preparedness/

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