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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Public Health Providers

The role of public health providers is to promote, protect, and improve the health of individuals and communities. After a major disaster, public health workers are often called upon to participate in a coordinated response to save lives and prevent unfavorable outcomes to vulnerable populations. To help public health professionals and agencies prepare for a disaster or public health emergency, ASPR coordinates regional, state, and local trainings and exercises. Many of these activities are coordinated through ASPR's Hospital Preparedness Program. Others, such as the 2018 Tranquil Terminus, are national level exercises.

Role of Public Health in Emergency Preparedness

  • Public Health Emergency Response Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Public Health Directors: This guide is for public health professionals who are responsible for initiating the public health response during the first 24 hours of an emergency or disaster and coordinating with the existing emergency response structures in specific types of incidents, such as floods, earthquakes, and acts of terrorism. Information in the guide is consistent with the doctrine, concepts, principles, terminology, and organizational processes in the National Response Framework and the National Incident Management System.

  • Keeping Your Community's Health Safe: A Health Security Activity Guide: Many people turn to public health professionals, agencies, and organizations for information and resources on threats to their community’s health and ways to stay safe. This guide serves to present ways that a public health professional can improve health security in their communities while at the same time advancing the National Health Security Strategy.

  • CMS Emergency Preparedeness Rule Resources

  • Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers: This ASPR TRACIE created product provides links to resources that can help provider and suppliers comply with the recently released Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) Emergency Preparedness Rule.

  • ASPR TRACIE Summary of Technical Assistance Requests: ASPR TRACIE provides personalized support and responses to requests for information and technical assistance (TA). We answer a broad range of questions from all stakeholders – at the federal, state, regional, local, tribal, territory, non-profit, and for-profit levels. Responses for these requests are provided in this document, including responses for TA regarding the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule.

  • Technical Resources for an All-Hazards Response

  • Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP): HPP is the only source of federal funding for health care system readiness. HPP prepares the health care system to save lives through the development of regional health care coalitions (HCCs). HCCs are groups of health care and response organizations that collaborate to prepare for and respond to medical surge events. HCCs incentivize diverse and often competitive health care organizations to work together. Make sure your public health agency is involved in an HCC.

  • HHS emPOWER Map: The HHS emPOWER Map is an interactive online tool to help health care and emergency management organizations as they plan to meet the emergency needs of community residents who rely on electrically-powered medical and assistive equipment to live independently at home. The integrated data accessible through the HHS emPOWER Map helps health care entities, first responders, electric utility officials, and community organizations to work with health officials to prevent prolonged power outages from negatively affecting the health of vulnerable residents.

  • CDC Science Seminar: Partnering for Emergency Medical Countermeasure Distribution: This one-hour “CDC Science Seminar” describes a toolkit developed to help public health agencies work with key stakeholders, such as pharmacies and healthcare facilities, to develop methods for the dispensing of medical countermeasures (e.g., antibiotics, antivirals, vaccines, and supplies) during public health emergencies.

  • This page last reviewed: September 04, 2018