Public Health Practices

Toolkit paves the way for hospitals to meet children's needs during a disaster

A Washington healthcare coalition created a toolkit for managing neonatal and pediatric medical needs and evacuation during an emergency.

Resources about winter weather and carbon monoxide address preparedness needs of new immigrants

Health planners worked with community groups and translators to convey the dangers of carbon monoxide exposure to new immigrants experiencing winter power outages.

Interactive, educational materials provide guidance for staying safe following a volcanic eruption

Interactive volcano preparedness materials for adults and children describe ways to prepare for ashfall and evacuation, with particular attention to people living near Mount Rainier.

Partnerships, tools, and tabletop exercise tackle preparedness, continuity of opioid treatment programs during a disaster

Stakeholders expanded the Seattle region's capacity to ensure continuity of care for opioid treatment patients during a disaster.

Collaborative drug therapy agreement toolkit for pharmacies and public health

The Seattle-King County Advanced Practice Center created a toolkit for health agencies partnering with community and retail pharmacists during a disaster.

Vancouver 2010 Olympics stamp with snowboarder

Cross-border collaborations enhance preparedness at an international event

Washington worked with British Columbia to prepare for chemical emergencies during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Home With Flu - comic strip with tips for parents

When disease incidence peaked last fall, and before vaccine was available, Public Health – Seattle & King County employees noticed that it was experiencing some messaging challenges. Although public health staff had been communicating the importance of staying home with flu-like symptoms, it became apparent that people were not following the guidance. For example, school officials reported that many students were coming to school sick.

Public-private partnership increased H1N1 vaccinations

Staff at a health district hotline provided vaccine information to more than 2,000 people interested in attending mass vaccination clinics.

Comic book teaches pandemic preparedness and resilience

"No Ordinary Flu," available in 20 languages, features a child learning how his ancestors experienced the 1918 influenza pandemic and teaching his family about preparedness

'Equity in Emergency Response' communications toolkit

A toolkit provides resources for assessing risk in vulnerable communities and creating partnerships to promote health equity during disasters.

Vulnerable Populations Action Team

Public Health-Seattle and King County (WA) developed the Vulnerable Populations Action Team (VPAT) to ensure that vulnerable populations have access to public health information and services about preparedness, response, and recovery. The team includes a diverse cross section of staff with public health expertise in vulnerable populations, preparedness and infectious diseases. The team's goals are:

Emergency communications toolkit

A Washington toolkit provides training and materials for public spokespeople to use before and during an emergency.

Health System Surge and Resource Management

An after-action report from Seattle and King County covers the objectives, tools, and results from a tabletop exercise on healthcare surge capacity during an influenza pandemic. The appendices include slides on the tabletop scenario, pre- and post-exercise evaluation surveys, and questions posed to participants.

Alternate Care Facilities Project

A concept paper and site assessment tool from Seattle-King County provide specific and concrete information on establishing alternate care facilities (ACF). The concept paper focuses on useful issues for public health agencies and their healthcare partners to consider when developing initial plans for ACFs in a community.

Medical Coordination and Care Delivery Process

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department developed a concept of operations for integrating community care providers into a Medical Reserve Corps as a means of reaching specific triage and treatment objectives during a disaster.

Pandemic planning guide for homeless shelters

The guide for homeless shelters and housing service providers presents a basic, pragmatic, and concise approach to addressing the needs of a vulnerable and often forgotten segment of the population. It contains appropriate assumptions and planning elements to assist homeless and housing service providers in preparing and continuing to care for the homeless during a pandemic.

Options for Initiating Quarantine or Isolation

Washington's web site provides health agencies and providers specific information on issues related to implementing voluntary and involuntary isolation or quarantine. It is a concise, well-constructed guide to issues such as initiation of quarantine, communication with individuals who require quarantine, and processes for extending or removing individuals from quarantine. The site includes accessible links to simple forms and letter templates intended for use by a local health officer.

Information Overload Media Ads

This media campaign includes public service announcements that communicate personal risk for pandemic influenza and encourage personal preparedness. It is a nice example of a locally-produced campaign, and the announcements use an interesting opening angle. Please see the campaign use document for copyright restrictions pertaining to this practice. Contact Samantha Kenner at the Washington State Department of Health ( or 360-236-4078) with questions.

Healthcare Coalition Council of King County

A coalition was formed between healthcare facilities in King County, Washington, and relevant results arose from the partnership. The general descriptions of the coalition and its sub-committees describe the identification and sharing of resources, communication and collaboration across hospitals, and proposed management of patient surge.

Emergency risk communication for public health professionals

An online course presents fundamental training concepts for communicating with the media and community during a public health emergency.


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