The Public Health Emergency Preparedness Clearinghouse is a central repository for emergency preparedness-related statutes, regulations, orders, reports, and legal tools. The Clearinghouse is intended to aid jurisdictions considering updates and clarifications to their public health emergency legal preparedness activities.
Training and Educational Resources
- Public Health Emergency Law Online Training
Training to help public health practitioners and emergency management professionals improve their understanding of the role of law in public health emergency response.
- Law and Epidemic Emergency Preparedness (LEEP) Online Training
Self-paced, e-learning course to help public health practitioners, lawyers, and emergency management professionals improve their understanding of the use of law during a large-scale communicable disease response.
- Hospital Legal Preparedness: Relevant Resources
List of resources to help hospitals identify and address legal issues in their emergency preparedness, response, and recovery efforts.
- The Public Health Emergency Law Competency Model Version 1.0
Model set of Minimum Competencies in Public Health Emergency Law for mid-tier public health professionals to advance the inclusion of law-based content in all public health emergency training, resources, and tools. Developed at the request of CDC’s Center for Preparedness and Response and the Association of Schools of Public Health as a companion document to the Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR) Core Competency Model[DOC – 245KB] (Dec 2010) for mid-level public health workers and the supporting Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes for the PHPR Core Competencies[PDF – 1MB] (Sept 2012).
- Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers (PERLC)
The PERLC develop and deliver competency-based preparedness and response learning products for the US public health workforce, including training on legal aspects of emergency response. The program is funded through CDC’s Center for Preparedness and Response.
- Administrative Preparedness Legal Guidebook
Guidebook developed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to help public health professionals improve their departments’ administrative preparedness capabilities and to encourage collaborative preparatory work among preparedness, legal, human resources, procurement, and other staff.
- Forensic Epidemiology 3.0
Training package designed to help public health and law enforcement agencies strengthen their coordinated response to pandemic influenza and similar disease outbreaks.
- Suggested Communicable Disease Vignettes (California Department of Health Services)[PDF-44KB]
Intended to train users to describe communicable disease scenarios that are disruptive to safe court operations, identify health benefits of various precaution methods, and define factors that result in infectious disease transmission.
- Introduction to Public Health Law [PPT – 18 MB]
Training developed by CDC’s Public Health Law Program that introduces high school students to the role of law in public health, the legal authority for public health activity, and key legal issues associated with high-visibility public health functions.
- Instructor’s Guide: Introduction to Public Health Law [PDF – 389 KB]
The instructor’s guide provides the materials and necessary steps needed to deliver “Introduction to Public Health Law” to students.
- Instructor’s Guide: Introduction to Public Health Law [PDF – 389 KB]
Zika Activities and Updates
- Zika Resources
Resources and information developed by the Public Health Law Program to address potential questions from responders and the public about Zika-related legal issues.
Ebola Activities and Updates
- Ebola Resources
Resources and trainings developed by the Public Health Law Program to address potential questions from responders and the public about Ebola-related legal issues.
Model Memoranda of Understanding
- Selected Model Memoranda of Understanding
Selected examples are provided to enhance coordination of preparedness across sectors.
Public Health Law Bench Books
- Bench Books
Commonly used by judges as functional practice guides to accelerate their understanding of an area of law. States have public health law bench books for the judiciary; public health officials; state and local public health attorneys; and the public.
Toolkits, Handbooks, and Other Publications
- LawAtlas State Emergency Suspension Powers Laws Map
This LawAtlas map covers state laws that explicitly grant governors the power to suspend, amend, or create laws during emergencies. Emergencies might involve dangers to public health, such as an outbreak of the flu; natural disasters, such as floods or earthquakes; or threats to security, such as acts of terror.
- Radiological Emergency Preparedness and Response: Educational Facilities Preparedness and Legal Study[PDF – 596KB]
Assesses the development and implementation of radiological emergency planning in kindergarten through university-level schools. Identifies best practices, gaps, and barriers in educational facility planning and key legal, emergency planning, and partnership considerations—from before a radiological incident occurs to six hours after.
- Emergency Declarations and Tribes: Mechanisms Under Tribal and Federal Law
Tribes have inherent authority as sovereign nations to undertake measures to prepare for and manage public health emergencies in the manner most appropriate for their communities. Coupled with existing federal statutes, there are multiple mechanisms for tribes, either directly or through a state or the US federal government, to declare an emergency or receive the benefits of a federal declaration. This article summarizes several types of emergency declarations, including tribal declarations, Stafford Act declarations, and federal public health emergency declarations, and their implications for tribes. Sunshine G, Hoss A. Emergency declarations and tribes: mechanisms under tribal and federal law. Michigan State International Law Review 2015;24:33–44.
- Legal Preparedness: Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters: CHEST Consensus Statement
Discusses legal suggestions developed by the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) Task Force for Mass Critical Care to support planning and response efforts for mass casualty incidents involving critically ill or injured patients. Published in CHEST Journal, v. 146, 4 Supp. (Oct. 2014).
- Public Health Preparedness: Examination of Legal Language Authorizing Responses to Radiological Incidents[PDF 669KB]
Assesses state and local laws that authorize restriction of movement and decontamination of people during a radiological event. Offers radiation legal preparedness guided questions for stakeholders. The assessment is a the result of a partnership between the CDC’s Public Health Law Program, CDC’s National Center Environmental Health, Radiation Studies Branch, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials.
- Legal Barriers Toolkits
Toolkits to help public health officials understand and use legal authorities to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies. They cover emergency authorities and immunities, emergency use authorizations, public health and schools, and scope of practice issues. Developed by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the Public Health Law Program.
- Selected Federal Legal Authorities Pertinent to Public Health Emergencies[PDF – 150KB]
Lists federal laws that address preparing for and responding to a range of natural and man-made disasters and emergencies. The list includes a brief description of the law and a citation.
- Social Distancing Law Assessment Template
A standardized template for assessing legal authorities, hypothetical scenario and instructions for conducting a Legal Consultation Meeting, and examples of completed documents.
- Court House Preparedness for Public Health Emergencies (Univ. of Pittsburgh)[PDF-852KB]
A case study demonstrating how Pennsylvania counties have conducted emergency planning that includes a planning template and planning resources.
- The Tribal Legal Preparedness Project
Public health emergencies are issues that every community faces. Therefore, it is critical for all jurisdictions to understand how law can be used to enhance public health preparedness as well as improve coordination and collaboration across jurisdictions. As sovereign entities, tribal governments have the authority to create their own laws and take steps to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies. The Tribal Legal Preparedness Project has been established to assist tribal nations interested in expanding their legal preparedness capacity.
- Older Adult Emergency Preparedness Web Portal
A web portal that serves as a one-stop source for further resources, tools, and information related to all-hazards preparedness for older adults. Focus areas include developing plans, collecting and using data, registries, training and competency, law-based solutions, caregiver preparedness, and sheltering older adults.
- Disaster Preparedness & Response: Here, There & Everywhere
This presentation, cosponsored by the American Bar Association, discusses legal preparedness at the intersection of public health and healthcare, including the importance of legal preparedness for healthcare providers, public health investigations, implications for healthcare, and liability protection for countermeasure distribution. (5/2/2017)
- Webinar: Ebola and Beyond: Legal Preparedness for Outbreaks – National Governors Association (nga.org)
This webinar, from the National Governors Association, examined challenges public health professionals and responders faced during the Ebola response, as well as legal provisions and concepts and how to apply them to future infectious disease emergency response planning. In addition, this webinar highlights protection of vulnerable populations for the next communicable disease outbreak of public health concern. (11/26/2019)
- One Year of Ebola—Legal Issues and Considerations
This webinar, sponsored by the American Health Lawyers Association and PHLP, examines the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, legal considerations implicated in the U.S. response to the outbreak, state Ebola screening and monitoring policies and their evolution during the past year, and how healthcare settings are legally preparing for the next threat. (11/20/2015)
- Zika Preparedness and Response: A Public Health and Legal Perspective
This webinar, co-sponsored by the Partnership for Public Health Law, the American Public Health Association, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, and the National Association of Local Boards of Health, provides an overview of the public health problem posed by Zika, discusses the domestic legal framework for addressing the virus, and highlights ways to coordinate health care and public health legal preparedness. (03/18/2016)
- Tribal Emergency Preparedness Law and Practice
Both tribal laws and federal laws can affect emergency preparedness practice. This webinar, hosted by the Network for Public Health Law, describes how law can affect tribal emergency preparedness practice and discusses legal mechanisms for emergency declarations. (Sept. 24, 2015)
- Hospital Legal Preparedness: Understanding the Role of the Law When Hospitals Face Emergencies
This webinar, hosted by the Association of Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Professionals, outlines general principles of effective quality assurance and performance improvement for legal preparedness for hospitals and illustrates the necessary components of a defensible hospital emergency management program. (12/8/2015)
Disclaimer: Information available on this website that was not developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not necessarily represent any CDC policy, position, or endorsement of that information or of its sources. The information contained on this website is not legal advice; if you have questions about a specific law or its application you should consult your legal counsel.