Preparation & Planning
NOTE: the preparedness resources on this website are too numerous to list on one page. For more resources on specific topics, see the list of specific types of emergencies below.
Preparedness for Specific Types of Emergencies
- Bioterrorism Emergencies
- Chemical Emergencies
- Mass Casualties
- Natural Disasters
- Radiation Emergencies
- Emergency Preparedness and You
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Red Cross have teamed up to answer common questions and provide step by step guidance you can take now to protect you and your loved ones.
- Chemical Emergencies: Facts About Sheltering in Place
How to find temporary shelter in a chemical emergency
- Chemical Emergencies: Facts About Evacuation
Knowing when & how to evacuate an area in a chemical emergency
- Chemical Emergencies: Facts About Personal Cleaning & Disposal of Contaminated Clothing
What to do if you come in physical contact with dangerous chemicals
- Radiation Emergencies: Sheltering in Place
How to find temporary shelter in a radiation emergency
Preparedness for Businesses
- Emergency Preparedness for Business
Instructions to building occupants, actions to be taken by facility management, & first responder notification procedures. From the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH)
- Guidance for Protecting Building Environments from Airborne Chemical, Biological, or Radiological Attacks
May 2002. From the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, CDC
Preparedness for Healthcare Facilities
- Adapting Standards of Care under Extreme Conditions: Guidance for Professionals During Disasters, Pandemics, and Other Extreme Emergencies (2 MB/26 pages)
This policy paper can be used a basis for protocol development and refinement, especially in regard to ethics and standards that apply to decisions about care made during unusual or extreme circumstances such as those resulting from emergencies, disasters, or pandemics. Prepared for the American Nurses Association by the Center for Health Policy, Columbia University School of Nursing.
- Bioterrorism Readiness Plan: A Template for Healthcare Facilities (1.5 MB/34 pages)
- OSHA Best Practices for Hospital-Based First Receivers of Victims
Information to assist hospitals in developing & implementing emergency management plans for protecting hospital-based emergency department personnel during the receipt of contaminated victims from mass casualty incidents occurring at locations other than the hospital. Provided by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
- MMWR QuickStats: Percentage of Hospitals with Staff Members Trained to Respond to Selected Terrorism-Related Diseases or Exposures
National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, United States, 2003--2004
MMWR 2007 Apr 27;56(16):401.
State & Local Preparedness
- Considerations for Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA) Post-Exposure Prioritization (237 KB/19 pages)
- Preparedness Planning Tools: Spreadsheet-based software models designed to assist state, regional, and federal level preparedness planners.
- Public Health Preparedness: Mobilizing State by State
Inaugural CDC report on public health emergency preparedness. Provided by the CDC Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response (COTPER).
- Public Health Emergency Response Guide for State, Local, & Tribal Public Health Directors
All-hazards reference tool for health professionals who are responsible for initiating the public health response during the first 24 hours (i.e., the acute phase) of an emergency or disaster. Version 2 now available!
- Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers
- Cooperative Agreement Guidance for Public Health Emergency Preparedness
Guidance for CDC emergency preparedness funding for states. CDC has announced the availability of FY 2008 funding for continuation of the cooperative agreements to upgrade state & local public health jurisdictions’ preparedness for & response to bioterrorism, other outbreaks of infectious disease, & other public health threats & emergencies.
- CDC Support for the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC)
Information about EMAC, the interstate mutual aid agreement that provides a mechanism for sharing personnel, resources, equipment & assets among states during emergencies & disasters.
- MMWR: Brief Report: Terrorism & Emergency Preparedness in State & Territorial Public Health Departments — United States, 2004
MMWR 2005 May 13;54(18):459-460.
- MMWR: Assessment of Epidemiologic Capacity in State & Territorial Health Departments — United States, 2004
MMWR 2005 May 13;54(18):457-459.
- MMWR: Improvement in Local Public Health Preparedness & Response Capacity — Kansas, 2002–2003
MMWR 2005 May 13;54(18):461-462.
- Guidance on Initial Responses to a Suspicious Letter/Container With a Potential Biological Threat [PDF
- 247 KB]
Guidelines for local responders, based on existing procedures, on the initial response to letters, packages, or containers containing suspicious powders, liquids, or other materials. Developed by HHS/CDC, FBI, & DHS.
- Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI)
Pilot program to aid cities in increasing their capacity to deliver medicines and medical supplies during a large-scale public health emergency
- CDC Resources for Pandemic Flu
- Strategic National Stockpile
National repository of pharmaceuticals & medical supplies.
- Epi-X: The Epidemic Information Exchange
Secure, Web-based communications network connecting CDC with state & local health departments, poison control centers, & other public health professionals.
- MMWR: Biological & Chemical Terrorism: Strategic Plan for Preparedness & Response
Recommendations of the CDC Strategic Planning Workgroup.
MMWR Recommendations & Reports 2000 Apr 21;49(RR-4);1-14.
- Emergency & Environmental Health Services
From the National Center for Environmental Health. Description of NCEH involvement in providing national & international leadership for the coordination, delivery, & evaluation of emergency & environmental health services.
- CDC Plane Decreases Response Time, Increases Readiness
- Regulations to control communicable diseases [PDF
- 8 KB]
42 U.S.C. 264 (From United States Code Annotated; Title 42; The Public Health & Welfare; Chapter 6a--Public Health Service; Subchapter Ii--General Powers & Duties.; Part G--Quarantine & Inspection).
- EID Journal: Collaboration Between Public Health & Law Enforcement: The Constitutional Challenge
Emerging Infectious Diseases 2002 Oct;8(10):1157-1159.
- Public Health Emergency Preparedness Clearinghouse
The Public Health Emergency Preparedness Clearinghouse is a central repository for emergency preparedness-related statutes, regulations, orders, reports, and legal tools. The Clearinghouse is intended to aid jurisdictions considering updates and clarifications to their public health emergency legal preparedness activities.
- Page last reviewed: November 15, 2013
- Page last updated: September 30, 2014
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