Threat Preparedness

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Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department (MOVHD) is responsible for preparing and responding to Public Health Threats which include new and emerging diseases, natural disasters, and/or acts of terrorism (biological, chemical, and/or radio-logical weapons of mass destruction). All public health threats begin and end locally, so it is essential for MOVHD to be prepared to respond and recover from public health events.

Planning:

MOVHD works with law enforcement, fire, EMS, local emergency planning committees, and other community partners to develop, implement, test, evaluate, and modify all hazard plans so that natural and/or man-made disasters can be responded to more effectively.  Some areas that the planning process covers includes, but is not limited to:

  • Fatality Management
  • Medical Surge
  • Mass Care

Detection:

MOVHD works with physicians, hospitals, and laboratories to monitor the health of the general public so that an outbreak of an infectious disease can be detected.

Communication:

MOVHD has enhanced communication with our community partners and the general public by participating in Health Alert Network (HAN) and designating a Public Information Officer (PIO).

Health Alert Network (HAN) Notifications are announcements released by local, state, and/or federal health authorities.  Rapid dissemination of these urgent public health announcements will be provided as necessary to physicians, hospitals, first responder agencies, laboratories, etc. to raise awareness of current health incidents or situations.

MOVHD’s Public Information Officer routinely participates in training and exercises so that MOVHD can be prepared to communicate important public health messages to the public and community partners rapidly and effectively.

Response:

MOVHD works with community partners to develop and improve systems or methods to respond to possible public health emergencies, whether natural in occurrence (i.e. floods, power outages, etc.) or the result of acts of terrorism.  While there are numerous ways in which public health supports the overall response to these situations, the most significant one involves responding according to MOVHD’s Medical Countermeasure Plan.

MOVHD’s Medical Countermeasure Plan provides a standardized way to distribute medications or vaccines to the public in the event of a declared public health emergency which potentially impacts many people.  It is hoped that if the medication or vaccine is distributed in a timely manner, the effects of a disease outbreak, either accidental or intentional, can be eliminated or significantly reduced.

How Can You Get Involved?

  • Personal Preparation!
    • Educate yourself on the common threats for the area you live in
    • Assemble a disaster kit to support your basic needs for at least 72 hours
    • Develop an evacuation and communication plan
  • Become a volunteer for MOVHD – medical and non-medical volunteers are needed!

For more information, contact MOVHD’s Threat Preparedness unit:

Additional Resources: