Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
Disasters and other public health emergencies impact more than homes, roads and buildings. Such emergencies can affect the community’s health infrastructure and ability to access medical care, can disrupt child care and schools, and can adversely affect the behavioral health and social well-being of community members. These issues can create challenges for individuals, families, and communities that persist for months or even years. These issues impact individuals, families and communities in ways that persist for months and often years.
Distinct from the problems common in emergency response, challenges to disaster recovery often are more subtle, pervasive, and more likely to grow out of control if not addressed systematically. Just as every disaster is different, every community is also different. Our teams must be aware that we’re guests of the communities we serve. By listening and taking the lead from states, tribes, territories, and local communities to set priorities, HHS can provide a more effective and targeted level of support.
HHS, with its partner agencies across the Health and Social Services Recovery Support Function (HSS RSF), use their expertise, legislative authorities, and resources to help support the recovery priorities of communities struck by disasters. The goal is to reduce human suffering and loss of life, improve readiness for future disasters, and increase resilience.
HHS teams never forget that we are guests of the communities we serve. Whether a natural disaster, industrial accident, act of terrorism, or public health emergency, the HSS RSF disaster recovery team provides a structured approach for impacted states, tribes, territories, and local governments to address the complex and interconnected recovery issues.
Ultimately, through the HSS RSF, the ASPR Disaster Recovery Division shortens the distance between resource need and resource provider – whether that resource is information and data to improve decision-making or knowledge about how to plan, strategize, and allocate scarce resources.
We focus on problem-solving to help restore and build capacity of health and social services networks impacted by disasters. Based on the issues and barriers determined, the recovery team works with partners to identify funding opportunities, offers technical expertise to fill critical gaps in recovery capabilities, and provides data to support community decision making and future planning.
Through these actions, we strive to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of recovery operations across the entire country to make for a more resilient nation.
*A printable factsheet is available.
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