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Local Preparedness
The Public Health Emergency Preparedness program at the Washington County Health Department is funded by the  the Center for Disease Control and Prevention through the Ohio Department of Health .  The goal of the Preparedness program is to address bio-terrorism, infectious disease outbreak, and other public health threats at the county and regional public health levels.  The goals of the Washington County Health Department are:
  • Ensure that all emergency response plans addressing natural and man-made disasters including terrorists events, are reviewed, exercised and updated in such a manner that they are consistent with local, regional, state, and federal regulations, standards and policies and comply with the National Response Plan, National Incident Management System (NIMS) and National Infrastructure Protection Plan, contributing to the National Response Goal.
  • Maintain communications procedures and equipment with redundancy by using more than one form of communication across entities and jurisdictions.
  • Maintain the capacity to rapidly identify diseases and initiate prevention and control activities for response to bio-terrorism, terrorism, or naturally occurring events that result in public health threats or emergencies.
  • Develop and coordinate the release of accurate and timely information to the public including alerts, warnings, and emergency response and recovery processes.
  • Maintain capacity to rapidly dispense needed medical countermeasures for response to bio-terrorism, terrorism, or naturally occurring events that result in public health threats or emergencies.
Planning
Washington County Health Department maintains local and regional All-Hazards Emergency Response plans focused on protecting the public's health.  The plans address, Medical Countermeasure Dispensing, Public Education/Information, and Continuity of Operations (maintaining services during a disaster). Health Department plans are modeled after the National Response Framework authored by the United States Department of Homeland Security.
 
Our All-Hazards Emergency Response plan structure is based on the National Incident Management System (NIMS), a command structure that provides a consistent framework for incident management at all jurisdictional levels, regardless of the cause, size, or complexity of the incident.
Guidance from CDC, the Ohio Department of Health, and Ohio EMA is used in preparing these plans. The Basic Plan is availible for review and comment please contact our local planner Angela Lowry at 740-374-2782 x 1030 or alowry@washco-ohhealth.org For the Regional plan contact Betty King 740-374-2782 x 1013 or bking@washco-ohhealth.org
 
Practice
To assure readiness, the Health Department also maintains a local and regional training plan. Once trained, staff and community volunteers are required to participate in the Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program. The Health Department participates with other county health departments, the Ohio Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies to test their systems during an event.
 
Training
Health Department operations will be altered during an emergency or disaster. The scope of change will depend upon the type of emergency. Specific training has been developed and utilized to teach staff and volunteers the roles they may need to fulfill during an emergency. The Health Department is continually working to train staff, Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) volunteers with the most up to date information on how to respond during a emergency.  

Recruiting
In a large-scale emergency, volunteers may be needed to assist the health department in keeping Washington County residents safe and healthy. The Medical Reserve Corps is enrolling those willing to help. Medical and non-medical volunteers are needed.
Contact Anglea Lowry &40-374-2782 if you are interested in the Medical Reserve Corps, CERT or volunteer training.