Public Health Practices

Under the Weather Posters

Three posters ask the question "Under the weather?" and provide basic hygiene tips to prevent colds and influenza. The content is straightforward: Stay home when you are sick; Cover your mouth and nose; Clean your hands; and Get your shots. Although the messages are basic, one reviewer noted that hygiene and staying home may be some of the only effective interventions during a pandemic.

City Health Information Avian and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness for Primary Care Providers

The City Health Information document was developed by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as a primer for primary care physicians. It provides information on several key issues: 1) Screening and isolation protocols for contagious diseases (including H5N1 influenza); 2) Detection and reporting of suspect H5N1 cases; 3) Infection control precautions; 4) Surge capacity planning; and 5) Contingency planning for employee health.

Barron County Court System: Strategies for a Pandemic Influenza

A collaborative effort between public health and local courts resulted in a document that aims to prepare the court system for an influenza pandemic. The guidance provides a local judicial system with a thorough and succinct overview of guidelines, procedures, and specific directions to follow during a pandemic. Guidelines are built on the premise that a local court system must maintain its functional operations during an emergency to ensure justice for the people.

What If? Colorado

Colorado has taken online community engagement one step further than many states by creating a reality-type exercise with citizens, who will be selected to compete only after they submit a video through YouTube. Competitors can submit a simple video in which they describe five things without which they could not live. Winners will live in a house for a multi-day period and undergo televised challenges to acquaint them with potential situations they may face during a pandemic.

Alternate Care Sites

Part of Missouri's strategy for countering surge during a pandemic includes using Mass Casualty Incident Trailers as alternate care sites. The unique approach relies on recruiting hospitals to host the trailers and maintain essential resources for their communities. The supply manifests are detailed and concrete checklists that represent thorough operational planning.

Plan. Prepare. Prevail. Video

Grand Traverse Health Department in Michigan has produced an exemplary 10-minute video currently available online. This video motivates people to prepare for general emergencies and pandemic influenza through clear messaging and a catchy, simple theme (plan. prepare. prevail.). The tone is even-handed and reassuring, which heightens the message that people will be able to prepare with little difficulty.

Pandemic Influenza Planning Kit for Community Organizations

The Planning Kit provides a pandemic preparedness framework for community, social service, and faith-based organizations. The materials contain information on adult social distancing, home care, preventive behaviors, and organizational pandemic plan development. Since this draft was written fairly recently, it reflects the CDC's interim community disease mitigation guidelines and use of the pandemic severity index.

Pandemic Action Kit for Schools -- New York

The Pandemic Action Kit for Schools offers templates and tools that incorporate the CDC's interim guidance on community disease mitigation, which calls for a maximum 12-week closure of schools. The toolkit describes important step-by-step actions schools should take before, during, and after an influenza pandemic.

Pandemic Influenza Toolkit for Ohio Schools

The Pandemic Influenza Toolkit for Ohio Schools was designed by the Ohio Department of Health to assist schools in their pandemic preparedness efforts. The toolkit is a compilation of materials that represent current knowledge on planning considerations schools must take prior to a pandemic event. Materials include posters, mental health concerns, helpful sample letters that provide education on pandemic influenza and information about school closures, and sample news releases.

Risk Communications on Pandemic Influenza

Short newsletters from the North Central District Health Department in Idaho offer information and action steps to help individuals and families prepare for a pandemic influenza outbreak. The newsletters cover a variety of topics related to pandemic preparedness, and the issues move from discussing the background of pandemics and the mindset of preparedness to tangible recommendations for addressing food and water shortages.

Alternate Care Site Primer for Volunteers

An online educational tool from the University of Minnesota Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center provides comprehensive just-in-time training for volunteers working at an alternate care site during a major emergency.

Community Disease Containment Toolbox

The Toolbox addresses Kansas' approach to community disease containment. The first reviewer described this practice as complete and aligned with other state plans. Another reviewer said it provides thorough guidance from the state to community level on Pandemic Flu Mitigation measures, aside from pharmaceuticals. The second reviewer also noted this plan appropriately leaves some details to be determined at the community level.

Pandemic Influenza Mortuary Planning Guidelines

The Guidelines use the Incident Command System (ICS) to develop detailed and coherent plans for processing human remains during a pandemic. A Pandemic Mortuary Planning Committee assessed the county's current capacity for mortuary management and established the Unified Mortuary Preparation Facility (UMPF) and Family Assistance Center. The UMPF would enable other funeral homes to cease operations and conduct communications and remains processing through the UMPF.

Polk County Special Population Planning

Special Population Planning creates a method for providing emergency responders in a Wisconsin county with a medical registry for special populations that may require assistance during an emergency. Although the service is based on an all-hazards approach, it could be useful during a pandemic. The registry is voluntary, free, and based on an application process, and it appears to be a low-cost project that could prove highly beneficial to the community.

Stockpiling Solutions: North Carolina's Ethical Guidelines for an Influenza Pandemic

Stockpiling Solutions represents a thoughtful collaboration between public health and medicine around ethics of care during an influenza pandemic. The task force carefully and thoroughly addressed three significant ethical issues, including: 1) the responsibility of healthcare workers to provide care and to be protected while working; 2) the balance of individual rights and community needs; and 3) the prioritization of limited resources.

7 Weeks to Preparedness

Ready? Set? Good! is a communications campaign that encourages personal emergency preparedness through use and storage of a radio, flashlight, and water. Baltimore extended the campaign into a program titled "Caring about Preparing-7 Weeks to 72 Hour Kit," which offers step-by-step guidelines on preparedness activities and items to obtain over the course of 7 weeks. Both of these practices may be applicable to the all-hazards communications needs of state and local health departments.

Sample resort MOU for SNS

A Nevada health department established a potential Memorandum of Understanding with resorts in the Las Vegas region for distribution of Strategic National Stockpile medications in the event of a public health emergency. The MOU template provides an avenue of collaboration between local public health and private resorts or casinos in which resort employees and citizens needing treatment all benefit from this agreement.
Young person listens to another

Mental health guide educates responders about age-based reactions to trauma

A guide for responders with little training in behavioral health describes how to mitigate the psychological effects of disaster in children and teens.

Monroe County pandemic messaging

Monroe County, New York, has crafted a series of pre-pandemic messages aimed at encouraging people to understand the implications of a pandemic and become personally prepared. The county leveraged its resources by using many New York State materials, and their pandemic influenza web site is anchored by an excellent video made by the state to communicate and encourage personal preparedness.

Virginia Mass Fatalities Management

The Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has created two flowcharts for disposition of remains following death from pandemic influenza and a two-page pamphlet on managing fatalities during a pandemic. The flowcharts describe fatalities care pathways for two scenarios: 1) individuals who die in hospitals or are dead on arrival, and 2) individuals who die in out-of-hospital settings.


Narrow Results


Find Practices

Newsletter Sign-up

Get CIDRAP news and other free newsletters.

Sign up now»


Unrestricted financial support provided by

Bentson Foundation 3MGilead Become an underwriter»