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EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS: Emergency Preparedness Summary

Cooper County Public Health Center
Emergency Preparedness & Planning March 2007

Information and update


Planning Process


The Cooper County Public Health Center has a list of needs to help improve the planning process. I would like to share this list and invite all citizens and agencies to help participate in completing the activities list.

  1. Agencies and organizations to host educational sessions to their members on the Ready and Three and the Pandemic Influenza Planning Guides. Citizen cooperation and buy in is critical.
  2. Upon evaluation of the comments, provided after the Feb 2007 exercise, we believe that we need continuous daily disease surveillance from the following agencies. Daycares, all schools (public and private), nursing homes, and physicians’ offices. We would welcome surveillance from other business or service agencies. (We would like to thank Cooper Co. Memorial Hospital and Pilot Grove School for providing disease surveillance).
  3. Daily submission of disease surveillance to the Health Center is our only hope of tracking the progress of any developing disease. We need agencies to learn how to perform daily (real time) surveillance in non-emergency times. By building it within our daily routines it will not be such an overwhelming burden during a time of crisis. Remember, disease surveillance is not a diagnosis of an illness. It is the tallying of disease symptoms being reported by individuals.
  4. We need local cooperation and assistance to help finalize planning in the following areas.
    • Signed agreements from volunteer agencies or businesses to provide specific services during a disaster. By having pre-signed contracts for expectations, it will save time and prevent duplication of resources during a disaster. We strongly recommend all other tax-supported agencies responsible for planning follow suit.
    • The same tax supported agencies to take steps to initiate planning within their agencies and come to the community planning table with open hearts and minds. What the Cooper County Citizens deserve is tax-supported agencies that lead by example. It is those examples that can help encourage planning all the way down to the individual level. Agencies and citizens who have knowledge and experience have the opportunity to set an example, to become leaders, and full partners in the planning process.

Exercises in Review

On February 29, 2007 the CCPHC hosted a Pandemic Influenza exercise in the rural Boonville area. One hundred and forty seven different individuals and organizations were invited to participate. Thirty-two individuals participated. With each exercise we learn about more local agencies or citizens that should be included in future planning.

Exercise Goals and Objectives

  1. Facilitate the understanding of the magnitude of the impact a pandemic outbreak would be to our country.
  2. Discuss requirements and actions that should be considered in response to the pandemic scenario.
  3. Raise awareness about impact of pandemic influenza on a rural community.
  4. Increase understanding regarding the responsibilities of all participating agencies.
  5. Determine whether current plans adequately address-anticipated events.
  6. Identify gaps in coordination between agencies.
  7. Promote advance planning between health departments, healthcare, and other agencies.

REGION F Department Situation Room /State Emergency Operation Center EXERCISE
March 21, 2007

Specific Goals and Objectives

  1. Establish and maintain communications and coordination with SEOC, DSR, and Region F local public health agencies, and test the unified command. Establish and maintain communications through existing communications, land and cell phones, email, the EMS system and the LPHA Emergency Web Page.
  2. Determine and document the extent, magnitude and public health significance of each event.
  3. Discuss and evaluate disease containment strategies and proper infection control. Determine, locate, allocate and document public health and medical responses to simulated emergency events, including guidance from the state to local jurisdictions and hospitals. Discussion of interventions should include non-medical strategies such as quarantines.
  4. Identify strategies for continuation of public health operations.
  5. The DSR and SEOC will perform briefings during shift changes.
  6. Develop public information messages including health alerts, advisories, news releases, etc.
  7. To deal adequately with public needs and maintain public confidence, and to assure coordination of state and local messages.
  8. THIS EXERCISE IS NOT A TEST OF INDIVIDUALS. Varying viewpoints, even disagreements are expected. However, the DSR Commander is expected to seek input from each DSR member concerning his/her area of responsibility as it relates to the situation or event.
  9. All responses should be based on current plans and available resources.
  10. If a situation appears to be the responsibility of another state or federal agency or local agency, the DSR Commander shall take appropriate timely action to direct the issue back to the SEOC to assure the responsible agency receives the information.

The Cooper County Public Health Center views both exercises as positive learning experiences.

Classes- National Incident Management System

In 2006 front line staff members Melanie Hein, Kim Wiemholt and Diane Albin completed ICS training in 700 & 800.

In 2007 Melanie & Kim completed ICS 300 during the month of April. We anticipate the completion of 400 during the month of September.