CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program: Every Response is Local

Today, state and local health departments must be ready to handle many different types of emergencies that threaten the health and safety of families, communities, and the nation. CDC’s public health preparedness and response expertise is essential to supporting the nation’s ability to respond to expected, unexpected, and unimaginable threats.

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Why it Matters

Since 9/11, CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program has partnered with states, local jurisdictions, and territories to prepare and plan for emergencies, resulting in marked and measurable improvements.

Improvements in Public Health Emergency Preparedness Since September 11, 2001
PHEP JURISDICTIONS WHO: Then Now
Table Illustration of Improvements in PHEP Since 9/11/2001
Can mobilize staff during an emergency 19% 100%
Have an Incident Command System with pre-assigned roles in place 5% 100%
Have identified point-of-dispensing (POD) sites 2% 98%
Have sufficient storage and distribution capacity for critical medicines and supplies 0% 100%
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The PHEP program supports 62 state, local, and territorial public health departments across the nation to protect Americans and save lives.

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Between 2017-2019, CDC and the 50 state health departments conducted approximately 475 operational readiness reviews nationwide, including in the 72 largest metropolitan areas, to make sure life-saving medicines and supplies can reach the right people at the right time.

Why CDC?

CDC’s experience and expertise helps U.S. communities prepare for, withstand, and recover from emergencies. We are committed to training and growing a strong public health workforce by providing technical assistance, funding, and partnerships to rapidly identify and respond to public health threats.

The PHEP program provides:
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Guidance: Annual evidence-based guidance to ensure state, local, and territorial jurisdictions have the most current information to better protect their communities

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Technical Assistance: Operational know-how to ensure public health departments are ready to respond

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Evaluation: Measurement and evaluation of state, local, and territorial jurisdictions’ capabilities to prepare for any public

Six Domains of Preparedness:

CDC’s PHEP Program works to advance six main areas of preparedness so state and local public health systems are better prepared for emergencies that impact the public’s health.

  • Community Resilience: Preparing for and recovering from emergencies
  • Incident management: Coordinating an effective response
  • Information Management: Making sure people have information to take action
  • Countermeasures and Mitigation: Getting medicines and supplies where they are needed
  • Surge Management: Expanding medical services to handle large events
  • Biosurveillance: Investigating and identifying health threats
Page last reviewed: October 7, 2021, 10:00 AM