Emergency Planning, Training, and Response
In some cases, emergency situations can be anticipated and planned for accordingly. Other times, professionals can only respond to emergencies after they have happened.
This section provides resources for professionals to plan for, train for, and respond to WASH-related emergencies.
Emergency Planning, Training, and Response
Preparedness and Response
- CDC. Environmental Health Training and Response. Training to help environmental health professionals and other emergency response personnel address the environmental health impacts of emergencies and disasters.
- NACCHO. Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene Preparedness Resource Library Anticipating, preventing, and responding to WASH emergencies are critical functions carried out by local health departments. This toolkit contains background information on common drinking water contaminants, templates and examples for public notification, educational materials, and more.
- The Twin Cities Metro Advanced Practice Center. Environmental Health Emergency Response Guide [PDF – 72 pages] Guide for responding to environmental health issues associated with disasters. Water, sanitation, and hygiene information can be found in Chapters 1, 2, 4, 5, 13.
- World Health Organization (WHO). Environment, Climate Change, and Health
- WHO. Environmental Health in Emergencies and Disasters: A Practical Guide. 2002.
- National Environmental Health Association. Preparedness
- NACCHO. Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene Emergency Preparedness resources
- NACCHO. What Makes a Water-Prepared Local Health Department? [PDF – 2 pages] Local health departments can use this checklist to make sure they are ready for WASH emergencies.
- CDC TRAIN. Public Health Response to Large Scale Water Contamination Training on how to identify major water contamination incidents in the US, how to describe potential water contamination–related risks, and how to evaluate the public health response to large–scale water contamination.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Emergency Response for Drinking Water and Wastewater Utilities EPA Emergency/Incident Planning enables responders from a variety of jurisdictions to work together effectively when responding to an emergency.
- Vulnerability Assessments Tools and training to aid water utilities in assessing their vulnerabilities to adversarial actions.
- Emergency Response Plan Guidance for Small and Medium Community Water Systems [PDF – 45 pages]
- Water Contaminant Information Tool Information about chemical, biological and radiological contaminants of concern for water security.
- Develop and Conduct a Water Resilience Tabletop Exercise with Water Utilities Resources to plan, conduct and evaluate tabletop exercises that focus on water sector–related incidents and challenges.
- CDC. Community Drinking Water Systems. Guidance for how community drinking water systems can prepare for an emergency situation.
- CDC. Drinking Water Advisory Communication Toolbox
- CDC TRAIN. Water Treatment Solutions Training on using water testing results, identifying different filter devices and treatments, and understanding the importance of water treatment maintenance.
- CDC TRAIN. Groundwater and Well Contamination Training on how groundwater and well water contaminants occur both naturally and anthropogenically.
- CDC. When Every Drop Counts: Protecting Public Health During Drought Conditions. Guide to assist public health officials, practitioners, and other stakeholders in their efforts first to understand and then to prepare for drought in their communities.
- CDC TRAIN. Environmental Health Issues in Disasters Training on how to address issues with water quality, wastewater and sewage treatment, food safety, insects, debris, hazardous waste, and indoor and outdoor air quality during environmental health emergencies.
- CDC TRAIN. Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response (Online Version) Training on response actions like assessing food, water, wastewater, building environments, shelters, and vector control in response to emergency events.
- CDC TRAIN. Natural Disasters: Hurricanes Guidelines for emergency response workers related to personal protective equipment (PPE), hurricane hazards, and public health–related issues during and after a hurricane.
Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)
- CDC TRAIN. Public Health Live – New York State Harmful Blue- Green Algae Blooms (HABs) and Health: They Know It! Avoid It! Report It! Response Training on recognizing potential HABs and HAB exposure, locating resources for consistent HAB risks and exposures, and taking community actions to minimize HABs.
- CDC. Emergency Water Supply Planning Guide for Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities [PDF – 68 pages] Guide to help health care facilities develop an Emergency Water Supply Plan (EWSP) to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a total or partial interruption of the normal water supply for facilities.
- EPA. A Critical Connection: The Water and Healthcare / Public Health Sectors [PDF – 4 pages] A Guide on how to prepare for water–related emergencies in a health care setting.
Responding to a WASH-related Emergency
Drinking Water and Drinking Water Advisories
Hauled Water or Bulk Water Delivery
- Connecticut Department of Public Health. Bulk Water Hauling
- WHO. Cleaning and Disinfecting Water Storage Tanks and Tankers [PDF – 4 pages]
Hygiene, Handwashing, Diapering, and Clean-up
- CDC. Hygiene in Emergency Settings. Information on good hygiene, handwashing, and diapering practices after an emergency.
- CDC. Cleaning and Sanitizing with Bleach After an Emergency. Information on cleaning and sanitizing containers and surfaces after an emergency.
- CDC. Floods. Information on cleaning up flood water inside and outside the home.
Sanitation and Wastewater
- CDC. Potential Sanitation Solutions During an Emergency Response. Information on how to handle sanitation issues to minimize the spread of disease in emergency response situations.
- CDC. Septic and Onsite Wastewater Systems. Information on septic systems before, during, and after emergencies.
- FEMA. Water and Wastewater Treatment Systems Considerations Training on policy and guidance related to water and wastewater treatment systems.
- CDC. Handling Human Waste or Sewage. Information on how first responders and others can protect themselves from human waste after an emergency.
- CDC. Response Worker Health and Safety. A list of emergency response resources for workers at natural disaster sites.
- CDC. Interim Guidance for Protecting Workers from Livestock and Poultry Wastewater and Sludge During and After Floods. Guidance on protecting workers from illnesses and injuries associated with livestock and poultry wastewater and sludge from animal feeding operations during and after floods.
Community Shelters or Mass Care
- CDC. Infection Control Guidance for Community Evacuation Centers Following Disasters. Recommendations for basic infection control to prevent exposure to or transmission of infectious diseases in temporary community evacuation centers.
- CDC. Disaster Shelter Assessment. Environmental health assessment form to help environmental health practitioners conduct a rapid assessment of shelter conditions during emergencies and disasters.