Public Health Preparedness and Response

Beginning in 2002, funds have been set aside by the Federal government to enhance the national Public Health Preparedness & Response system. These funds are utilized to build, promote, and support local public health capacity to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies in coordination with local, regional, state, and federal resources.

Public Health has always been involved in the health and safety of our communities. However, following the terrorist attacks of 2001, the Federal Government determined that higher level of involvement by Public Health in response efforts was necessary.

Communities across the nation must be able to withstand adversity such as an influenza pandemic, natural disaster, or a terrorist attack.  It could take 48 hours or more for federal resources to arrive once requested, and we may be on our own until aid arrives. Along with local emergency management partners and other response agencies, our Public Health Preparedness & Response program, we aim to work with our communities to keep everyone safe and prepared for any disaster.

The Richmond County Health Department has developed plans and guidelines for how we should protect residents during emergencies and disasters that could occur within Richmond County.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Health and Human Services, and NC Preparedness and Response help guide our planning.

The focus of Richmond County Health Department’s Preparedness and Response Program include public health emergencies such as communicable disease outbreaks, bioterrorism, chemical emergencies, radiation emergencies, pandemic influenza (like H1N1), and natural disasters.

Richmond County Health Department must be ready to minimize death and suffering and tend to the public health threats in our communities. When the worst has passed, our goals will be to rapidly restore Richmond County to a state of self-sufficiency, health, and social functioning after an event.

Now, more than ever before, preparedness has become increasingly important. Naturally occurring and man-made emergencies can have devastating effects on you and your family if you don't take steps to be prepared.

Are you ready to help yourself, your family, and your business in an emergency?  Only after you’ve assembled an emergency supply kit and made your emergency plans will you be able to focus and act when disaster strikes. 

To help you better understand and plan for public health emergencies, we have provided the following links for further information.