Alabama

Hunstville, AL skyline
At a Glance
  • Population: 4,887,871
  • Local Health Departments: 66
  • Frequent Public Health Emergencies: Tornadoes, Flooding, Tropical Storms/Hurricanes
  • Key Emergency Operations Center Activations: 2020: COVID-19; 2018: Hurricane Michael; 2017: Hurricane Irma
  • CDC PHEP Funding:
    FY 2021: $8,892,198
    FY 2020: $8,740,894
  • CDC Crisis Response Funding: COVID-19
    FY 2021: $29,676,838
    FY 2020: $8,148,799
PHEP-funded staff (rounded)
  • Epidemiologists: 2
  • Laboratorian: 5
  • Health Professionals: 21
  • CDC Preparedness Field Staff: 1
  • Other*: 32

*Includes IT specialists, administrative staff, statisticians, and other positions

Top 5 Preparedness Investments
  1. Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiologic Investigation
  2. Public Health Laboratory Testing
  3. Community Preparedness
  4. Emergency Operations Coordination
  5. Medical Countermeasure Dispensing and Distribution
Stories from the Field
U.S. Customs Border Protection document
PHEP Prepares Alabama to Stop Spread of Deadly Diseases at the Border

In 2018, Alabama used PHEP funding and PHEP-supported staff to hold four workshops with partners on how to stop communicable diseases from entering the state. Participants included representatives from airport emergency medical services, cruise lines, and customs and border protection. At the workshops, participants developed a comprehensive response plan for identifying and mitigating potential travel-associated outbreaks. In an outbreak scenario, having trained, coordinated staff across agencies will reduce the threat of communicable diseases entering Alabama.

Synthetic Marijuana
Detecting Adverse Reactions to Synthetic Drug

A PHEP-funded epidemiologist in Alabama investigated an increase in severe adverse reactions to synthetic cannabinoids using the state’s existing emergency medical services data collection system. She tracked reports of these adverse reactions, which included difficulty breathing, elevated blood pressure, and seizures. Her investigation identified nearly six times more calls for synthetic cannabinoid exposure in April and May than in the previous three months. Because of this tracking method, the state could alert providers to consider synthetic cannabinoid exposure as a diagnosis, and provide health information to the public. The number of emergency calls returned to pre-event levels by June.

Wooded area with down trees after a tornado
Severe Tornados in Alabama

In 2011, Alabama responded to the largest emergency in state history—a severe weather outbreak with 62 confirmed tornadoes. Two hundred forty-seven people died, hundreds were injured, and thousands were left homeless in this disaster. The Alabama Department of Public Health used PHEP funds to open two medical needs shelters, provided public health nurses to support a local hospital, established a mobile pharmacy, and collaborated with partners to process more than 200 human remains.

Page last reviewed: January 10, 2022, 03:07 PM