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Emergency Preparedness & Response

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Emergency Preparedness & Response for Public Health Providers

When disaster strikes, public health and health care systems face a need to not only protect patients and ensure the continuity of ongoing services but also expand quickly to manage a surge in demand.

We work with public health and health care partners to prepare. Together, we develop and strengthen plans and procedures to be ready for any emergency, including floods, fires, terrorist attacks, and disease outbreaks.

We provide technical assistance on all aspects of public health and health care emergency preparedness and response. We help develop all-hazards plans and to implement health-focused jurisdictional risk assessments (JRAs) and hazard vulnerability assessments (HVAs) that reflect community needs and are based on national standards and guidelines.

We strengthen capacity in areas such as community preparedness, infectious disease surveillance, emergency public information and warning, medical surge, countermeasures dispensing, non-pharmaceutical interventions, and volunteer management.

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Emergency Preparedness & Response

Assessing Hazards, Risks & Vulnerabilities
We conduct assessments with local, regional, and state-level partners to examine risks to the health care, behavioral health, and public health systems. We work with clients to design and conduct risk assessments that meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) requirements for hazard vulnerability assessments.
While many risk assessment processes end at the assessment of hazards and preparedness, we work with clients and their partners to determine potential mitigation strategies to address identified gaps. As part of this work, we conduct background research into potential mitigation strategies to identify the best practices and resources available from other jurisdictions. Following the selection of mitigation strategies for implementation, we work with clients to identify the best way to implement them.

Public Health & Health Care Emergency Plan Development
We have extensive experience working at the multi-state, state, local, and institutional-levels to develop emergency preparedness and response plans, high-threat infectious disease plans, and continuity-of-operations plans.
We use a participatory approach to plan development and strengthening, drawing on the expertise and experience of multiple stakeholders to forge effective plans that reflect context and vulnerability while incorporating planning guidance and promising practices.
We work closely with state and local health department teams to develop emergency operations plans, annexes addressing functions such as medical countermeasures dispensing and medical surge, and recovery plans that are consistent with the National Incident Management System (NIMS), Incident Command System (ICS), and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Comprehensive Preparedness Guide methodologies and standards. We ensure that plans incorporate Incident Command System (ICS)-compliant command and control structures along with standard operating procedures that reflect organizational realities.

Emergency Preparedness Training
Working with a team of emergency preparedness, instructional design, and web design experts, we develop both online and classroom-based training programs that are geared to meet the needs of the adult learner. Topics include community preparedness, continuity of operations planning, social media in emergency preparedness and response, and epidemiological investigation.
We have extensive experience in the design and implementation of both classroom-based and online training programs that focus on the needs of the adult learner.

Exercise Design & Evaluation
We work with partners and clients to design, implement, and evaluate public health and health care-focused exercises that prepare participants to respond to a range of emergencies.
Prior to an exercise, we design and conduct a workshop to help health care partners understand the requirements and format of the exercise. We control and evaluate the exercise and develop an After Action Report and Improvement Plan to guide health care coalition improvement activities.

Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program
We work with our public health and health care coalition and system partners to develop and strengthen plans through the implementation of the Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program (HSEEP)-compliant exercises. We convene Exercise Planning Teams to design exercises that meet our clients’ objectives. These teams develop HSEEP-compliant exercise documents, conduct evaluator briefings, facilitate and control the exercise, and develop after action reports to support improvement planning.

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