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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Helping State and Local Communities

The ASPR Office of Emergency Management (OEM) provides resources and expertise to prepare communities for public health and medical emergencies through engaging health care system partners and volunteers from local communities. OEM also coordinates health and social service recovery efforts for communities who have been affected by a disaster.

Preparing Communities

OEM’s Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) provides leadership and funding through grants and cooperative agreements to States, territories, and eligible municipalities to improve overall hospital response and recovery.

Engaging Volunteers

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. The MRC network comprises 997 community-based units and over 200,000 volunteers located throughout the United States and its territories. MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals, as well as other community members without healthcare backgrounds. MRC units work to strengthen public health, improve emergency response capabilities and build community resilience.

The Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP) is a federal program created to support states and territories in establishing standardized volunteer registration programs for disasters and public health emergencies. The program, administered on the state level, verifies health professionals' identification and credentials so that they can respond more quickly when disaster strikes. By registering through ESAR-VHP, volunteers' identities, licenses, credentials, accreditations, and hospital privileges are all verified in advance, saving valuable time in emergency situations.

Helping Communities Recover

OEM’s Division of Recovery coordinates the proper resources to help restore health and social services to an afflicted community after an emergency or disaster.

  • This page last reviewed: January 18, 2019