Center for Preparedness and Response

Are You Prepared

There are literally 100 reasons to prepare for an emergency , such as a natural disaster, a power outage, and pandemic influenza. Most Americans do not have supplies set aside or plans in place to protect their own or their family’s health and safety.

Learn how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies then share what you’ve learned with others to help build more resilient communities.

Volunteers speaking with an older woman

CDC is committed to strengthening the nation’s health security by protecting against public health threats, whether they begin at home or abroad, or if they are natural or man-made. We know that when we don’t respond quickly and to scale, outbreaks become epidemics, natural disasters become crucibles for illness, and the human toll of terrorist attacks can mount.

State and local health departments must stand ready to handle many different types of emergencies that threaten the health and resilience of families, communities, and the nation. Having people who know what to do, and having the resources in place to allow them to do their jobs, saves lives.

As one of the nation’s most critical public health investmentspdf icon, we have an obligation to capture our work through stories from the field and share lessons that inform our strategy over time for CDC’s preparedness and response investments.

An emergency can happen at any moment, and every community in the U.S. must be ready to respond. A pandemic, natural disaster, or chemical or radiological release often strikes without warning. No matter what the cause, the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response works with partners across the U.S. and the world to protect health 24/7.

The CDC Emergency Operations Center (EOC) can be activated in response to natural or manmade disasters, disease outbreaks, and other public health emergencies. Since its inception in September 2001, the EOC has responded to more than 62 public health threats, including hurricanes, foodborne disease outbreaks, the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, and the Haiti cholera outbreak.

COCA prepares clinicians to respond to emerging health threats and public health emergencies by communicating relevant, timely information related to disease outbreaks, disasters, terrorism events, and other health alerts.

CDC’s Health Alert Network (HAN) is CDC’s primary method of sharing cleared information about urgent public health incidents with public information officers; federal, state, territorial, and local public health practitioners; clinicians; and public health laboratories.

Preparedness Month 2018

Every September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with 3,000 global, national, regional, and local governments, as well as private and public health institutions, supports emergency preparedness efforts and encourages Americans to take action before, during, and after an emergency. Every community in the United States should be ready to respond to an infectious disease outbreak, chemical or radiological release, or natural disaster.


Page last reviewed: June 7, 2019, 08:20 AM