Emergency Preparedness and Response Program

Hampton Health District EP&R Program

Email:  kevin.pearce@vdh.virginia.gov
Phone:  (757) 727-1172, ext. 53770

The Emergency Preparedness & Response Program prepares the health department to respond rapidly and effectively to natural and made disasters, including terrorism. It works closely with the City’s Emergency Planner. The EP&R program plans for the worst, exercises these plans to see if they can be carried out and makes adjustments and updates as necessary. EP&R us a comprehensive planning, and intelligence analyzation and monitoring program that works in concert with the Epidemiologist and communicable disease team, along with the Homeland Security Department, the Emergency Manager for the City of Hampton, Virginia, and other State and Federal agencies.

EP&R is constantly monitoring reports and situations from all over the local area, State of Virginia, and, in fact, the entire world, that may be of concern to the public’s health.

The EP&R program also works closely with State and local agencies to develop response plans for both natural (flooding and hurricanes) and manmade threats such as chemical spills or intentional attacks as well as the intentional release of a biological agent. Plans have been made, or are in the process of being completed, to provide a rapid response with healthcare, including the following:

Pre and post hurricane
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
Influenza (Flu)

Plans are also in place to request enough medical supplies for the entire City of Hampton and outlying cities, to be in place within 12 hours, more than enough time to ensure timely and proper treatment.

EP&R is currently working on and testing plans to open Points of Dispensing or (PODs) which in an emergency would be opened to examine patients and distribute proper antibiotics or vaccinations. The POD would be used for both natural and man-made outbreaks. Locations will be made public after they have received the equipment and medications and are ready to start serving the public.

EP&R also works with “shelter operations” should they be opened by the City. It must be remembered that shelters are for temporary housing during an emergency, usually weather related (hurricanes and flooding). These shelters are sparse, you must bring your own blankets or sleeping bags/pads – there are NO beds. You will be sharing this space with as many as 600 other people. Food will be very basic. If you have strict dietary requirements, you should try to bring food to ensure that you can continue those requirements. If you have an infant or small child that still requires to be bottle fed, you must bring the dry formula. If you bring liquid formula, you must bring a cooler and ice to keep the formula at the proper temperature. These shelters are NOT emergency rooms or even assisted living centers. If a recommendation has been made to evacuate the area where you live, go outside the area if you can. You are welcome to come to the shelters, but again, remember living conditions will be very basic.

If you come to a shelter and require nursing care you will be asked to bring your provider with you (your family member, home health aid or nurse). If you require any medications, you must bring that medication with you. There are NO medications at the shelter. If you require care beyond what can be given at the shelter, you will be redirected to a hospital. Shelters also have limited electrical power through generators and are NOT able to provide power for medical equipment, including oxygen concentrators. Bottled oxygen may be in short supply, bring your oxygen bottles with you. If you require any of this type of treatment, talk with your primary care provider and see if they will work out an emergency order for one of the local nursing homes for the time of the emergency. Or make arrangements to be admitted to a hospital outside the danger area.

EP&R is also available for any questions you may have regarding Bioterrorism events.

**EP&R is developing a Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) within the City of Hampton. The MRC will be utilized to augment POD staff. We are looking for medical (MD, DO, RN, LPN and any other medically trained person) along with non-medical staff. Training will be provided in the near future. MRC staff would assist in the dispensing of medications or vaccinations, escorting patients to the proper location at the POD, assisting with paper work, and data entry just to name a few jobs. If you are interested please contact Kevin Pearce at (757) 727-1172, ext.53770 or by e-mail: kevin.pearce@vdh.virginia.gov.

EP&R is also available for any questions you may have regarding bioterrorism events, at the two links directly below in the image:

Emergency Preparedness & Response

Other questions you may have:

What is the Strategic National Stock Pile (SNS) or the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile?

They are both the same thing and is now called the SNS. In the event of a bioterrorism event or a natural outbreak the SNS will be requested through the Virginia Department of Health. This is a supply of medications and medical supplies for the general public, at no cost.

Can I get a Smallpox vaccination?

No, at this time, it is not necessary. In the event of a release of Smallpox the vaccination will be requested through the SNS program, once received vaccinations will be made through the Virginia Department of Health.

Can I get a Anthrax Vaccination?

No, at this time, it is not necessary. In the event you are exposed to anthrax the vaccine or treatment will be made available to you through the Virginia Department of Health.

What happens in the event that the City of Hampton is attacked with a biological agent?

The Hampton District Epidemiologist and the Communicable Disease team are constantly monitoring hospitals and doctors offices looking for disease outbreaks. In the event of an outbreak a response team will alert the Director who will confirm the outbreak and request the SNS. Once the SNS is received several “distribution or vaccination” sites through out the City will be opened once they are ready to receive people. Their locations will be announced through the City TV Channel 47 and other local stations, local radio stations, the 311 Call Center, City of Hampton Website, and any other means available. The word will be put out in time for you to receive the proper treatment. Proper treatment will be provided as soon as possible to Hampton Citizens. Note-you do not have to be from Hampton to receive treatment. Everyone that shows up will receive treatment. So if relatives or friends are visiting they can also receive proper preventative treatment, they will NOT have to go back to their home city to receive the medications. We WILL have enough for everyone.

Who can I contact for more information?

You can contact Kevin Pearce the District Emergency Preparedness and Response Coordinator at (757) 315-3770 or e-mail kevin.pearce@vdh.virginia.gov