MA Department of Public Health All-Hazards Emergency Operations Plan

Dates: 2016-2017

State: Massachusetts

Client(s): MA Departnment of Public Health

Service: Health Care & Public Health Planning

Technical Expertise: Emergency Preparedness and Response, State and Local Public Health

One of the many roles of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) is to respond to public health and health care emergencies resulting from a variety of incidents or events including terrorist attacks, natural disasters, infectious disease outbreaks, and other emergencies that exceed the capacity or capabilities of any single entity.

The centerpiece of comprehensive emergency management is the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). An EOP defines the scope of preparedness activity necessary to make the EOP more than a paper plan. Training and exercises, in particular, depend on an EOP. Additionally an EOP facilitates response and recovery. Advance planning makes this easier as response actions are time-sensitive. A comprehensive and well-developed EOP that is flexible for use in all emergencies allows a jurisdiction or community to proceed from a positive of relative confidence and security.

To advance emergency planning in the state, JSI is assisting the MDPH to update and expand the MDPH All-Hazards Emergency Operations Plan developed in 2014. The work will be guided by a project management team, consisting of offices and bureaus from DPH, that will steer the planning initiatives and provide overall guidance in development of the plan. JSI will conduct background research to determine changes in emergency planning principles and methodology. Additionally, JSI will facilitate a group process with partners to gather information and identify gaps concerning current plans; document lessons learned and best practices as identified by MDPH from previous activations of the EOP; and identify and catalog other emergency plans and protocols that exist within MDPH. Collectively this information will be used by JSI to update and expand the EOP.