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

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

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.

Why It Matters

Communities must be ready to respond to emergencies – both those they expect and those that come without warning. The terrorist and anthrax attacks of 2001 showed us clearly that states need expertise and resources in place before disaster strikes. Since then, CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program has partnered with states to prepare and plan for emergencies, resulting in measurable improvement.

9/11: Then and Now
Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Program awardees who: Then 9/11 Now 9/11
Can mobilize staff during an emergency 20% 98%
Have an Incident Command System with pre-assigned roles in place 5% 100%
Include collaboration with health care agencies in their preparedness plans 8% 92%
Have sufficient storage and distribution capacity for critical medicines and supplies 0% 98%

Why CDC?

CDC’s experience and expertise helps U.S. communities prepare for, withstand, and recover from emergencies. We remain committed to training and growing a strong public health workforce by putting resources, funding, and partnerships in place to rapidly identify and respond to public health threats.

The Public Health Emergency Preparedness program provides: 

  • Guidance: Annual evidence-based guidance and performance metrics to help state and local jurisdictions better protect their communities 
  • Technical Assistance: Operational know-how to help state and local public health departments get ready to respond
  • Evaluation: Measurement and evaluation of states’ capabilities to prepare for any public health emergency
Preparedness in Action
  • Since 2002, the PHEP program has provided support to 62 state, local, and territorial public health departments across the nation to protect Americans and save lives 
  • CDC and the states completed 487 operational readiness reviews in the nation’s 72 largest population centers to make sure life-saving medicines and supplies reach the right people at the right time in an emergency
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
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