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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


HHS Response and Recovery Compendium: what HHS can do for you in a disaster

Author: Mark Wolken, DVM, Management Analyst, Office of Emergency Management, HHS, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 7/24/2015 2:38:00 PM
Category: Innovations; Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery;

When you’re trying to protect health in a disaster, knowing your options matters. For state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) agencies, the federal government offers some great resources that could improve situational awareness, supplement staffing, provide needed medical equipment, and more. Now, ASPR has a tool, the HHS Response and Recovery Resources Compendium, to help SLTT agencies identify and navigate these federal resources.

ASPR reached out across HHS, pulled together the details, and built the Compendium. It’s an easy-to-navigate, comprehensive, web-based repository of HHS products, services and capabilities available to SLTT agencies before, during, and after public health and medical incidents. By using the compendium, these SLTT officials know what resources they can count on when they need it most and, importantly, how to request them.

The information spans 24 categories, and each category showcases the relevant disaster resources available from HHS, a brief description of each resource and information on accessing each one. Resources span from technology to personnel.

The compendium showcases products like TRACIE, the National Library of Medicine’s PEOPLE LOCATOR Family Reunification, GeoHEALTH, and the HHS emPOWER Map. The collection also describes consultation services and technical assistance from ACF, ASPR, CDC, CMS, FDA, NIH, and SAMHSA, such as emergency planning, disease surveillance and tracking, and food, drug and device safety. The new tool also details the supplemental personnel available, such as medical or public health staff from U.S. Public Health Service and National Disaster Medical System, who can deploy to communities to augment local hospital, shelter or public health staff.

Already, there are about 100 resources described – including how to access or request use of the resources – and that number will continue to grow. We’ll keep the compendium updated continually, and expand it as federal agencies add products, capabilities and services to help communities prepare for, respond to and recover from the health impacts of disasters. We welcome new entries from other federal agencies, too.

We encourage our SLTT partners to check out the compendium. Did you find what you need or do you have questions? Please let us know in a comment to this blog or by contacting

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