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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

HHS Response and Recovery Resources Compendium

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides products, services, technical assistance, and capabilities to support state, local, tribal and territorial authorities in 23 key areas of the public health and medical response. These services are provided as part of HHS’s responsibilities under the National Response Framework (NRF). Under the NRF, HHS leads the public health and medical response to disasters and emergencies.

Situational Awareness

Information and tools related to public health and medical issues, including the status of the healthcare system and facility infrastructure.

Public Health Surveillance

Monitoring and technical assistance programs related to the health of the general public, response workers, and special medical needs populations.

Medical Care Personnel

Public health and medical care professionals from the National Disaster Medical Service and the U.S. Public Health Service for short-term medical care, typically to decompress overwhelmed hospital emergency departments.

Medical Equipment and Supplies

Procurement and movement of equipment and supplies such as diagnostic tests, radiation detecting devices, and medical countermeasures.

Patient Movement       

Transportation for seriously ill or injured patients, including patients with special medical needs, from patient collection points to designated reception facilities, typically from hospitals in disasters zones to hospitals in unaffected areas.

Hospital Care 

Pre-hospital triage and treatment for disaster survivors, including those who suffer from chronic conditions.

Outpatient Services

Outpatient services, including support from medical teams and prescription assistance, for survivors.


Expert resources to assist with patient decontamination following chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear events.

Drug, Biologic and Device Safety

Support to private industry to promote the safety and efficacy of drugs, biologics, medical devices and other products.

Blood Products and Services    

Assistance monitoring and ensuring the safety and availability of blood and tissue products, including support for logistical requirements.

Food Safety and Security

Ensuring the safety and security of federally regulated foods.

Agriculture Feed Safety and Security

Supporting the health, safety, and security of food-producing animals as well as the food and veterinary medicine required for their care.

Worker Health and Safety

Subject matter expertise and resources including training to support worker safety and health.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Services and technical assistance tools to support behavioral health care including the Disaster Distress Helpline staffed by behavioral health professionals.

Public Health and Medical Information

Public health, behavioral health, disease, and injury prevention information for the general public as well as responders.

Vector Control    

Support assessing the threat of vector-borne diseases, conducting field investigations, and providing technical assistance.

Environmental Health

Help with assessing potable water, wastewater, solid waste disposal, and other environmental public health issues.

Mortuary Services

Assist in identifying, tracking and the documentation of human remains and establishing temporary morgue facilities.

Veterinary Services

Provide veterinary support and treatment of ill or injured service/working animals, and technical assistance with zoonotic diseases.


Provide services and technical assistance to help communities’ health and social services systems recover from disasters and emergencies.

External Communications

Technical assistance and training in effective risk communication.

All Hazard Consultation

Assistance with other disaster-related medical and behavioral health needs through direct services and/or referrals.

  • This page last reviewed: March 09, 2020