Public Health Practices

Program for veterans with dementia increases disaster preparedness in home-based care setting

A multidisciplinary group developed a disaster preparedness program for veterans with dementia and their caregivers.

Real-time information network provides emergency education and warnings to refugees

Utah agencies worked with refugee community leaders to develop a person-to-person emergency information network.

Florida uses dark site templates to prepare for internal and public communication during disasters

Florida created offline, customizable Web pages that allow communications staff to distribute fast, accurate information during an emergency.

Florida's virtual JIC creates a safe and effective work environment for communications responders

A virtual Joint Information Center (JIC) helps Florida keep agency staff safe as they keep the public informed of emergency events and precautions.

Social media training program builds responders' comfort with, ability to use Facebook, Twitter for emergency communications

A social media training program walks responders through a flood scenario and the step-by-step process of emergency communication on popular social media sites.

Rumor investigation process helped Florida prioritize communication response, conserve resources during Deepwater Horizon disaster

Florida developed a process to plan communications based on their monitoring of circulating information about the Deepwater Horizon oil spil.

Media monitoring process informs recommendations for public communications during H1N1

Florida developed a targeted process to monitor H1N1-related news and opinion, a practice that informed the direction of their communication plan.

Guide for emergency responders provides tools for communicating with specific vulnerable groups

A Florida work group developed guidance on effective ways to communicate with people on dialysis, people with disabilities, migrant workers, and others during a disaster.

Multi-format communications program readies Spanish-speakers for emergencies

The Immigrant Emergency Communications Program uses community health workers and translated materials to promote awareness of carbon monoxide dangers during ice storms/power outages and other emergencies.

Online mapping site allows residents to search and prepare for local natural hazards

The "My Hazards" Web site empowers California residents to search and plan for natural hazards specific to their locality.

Regional group prepares first responders, businesses, and residents for chemical emergencies

First responders and community members in an Ohio industrial community worked to create a response plan for potential chemical emergencies.

Health Department Operations Center

Per the National Incident Management System (NIMS), Department Operations Centers (DOC) are established and activated by individual departments to coordinate and control actions specific to that department during an emergency event. A DOC is a physical facility or location similar to the campus Emergency Operations Center (EOC). However, the purpose of a DOC is to manage and coordinate events specific to that department.

Organizing the Emergency Operations Center

Although the University of Illinois did not need to stand up its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) or Incident Command Post (ICP) for the H1N1 pandemic, the school had a plan in place that would have allowed that to happen quickly.

Weekly Reports Provide User-Friendly H1N1 Information to the Public

During Spring 2009, preparedness staff at the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) received many questions about H1N1 from the public and media. Advances in knowledge about H1N1 and a deeper understanding of what people wanted to know about the virus contributed to NYSDOH's communication strategies for Fall 2009.

Dark site stores emergency communications until crisis occurs

Santa Clara County created a toolkit for developing a “dark site” - a non-visible site that can be activated during a disaster.

Videoconferencing Technology to Disseminate Timely Messages

The H1N1 pandemic created a tremendous need to pass critical and timely information throughout the public health system and to partner with response agencies and entities. To accomplish this goal, NC Division of Public Health used a video-conferencing system that allowed for studio-quality video conferencing with call-in and e-mail question capacity, remote presentations, and the ability to project slides with written information and graphics

Respiratory Protection Training for School Health Personnel

CDC's October 14, 2009,"Guidance on Infection Control Measures for 2009 H1N1 Influenza in Healthcare Settings, including Protection of Healthcare Personnel" determined that school health personnel need to use respiratory protection and comply with the OSHA respiratory protection standards when the hierarchy of controls cannot prevent employee exposure to a patient with influenza-like illness (ILI).

Respiratory protection training for long-term care homes

New York developed tools to help long-term care facilities comply with respiratory protection standards around training, evaluation, and fit-testing.

Efforts to Provide H1N1 Outreach and Situational Awareness

Planning and response activities related to H1N1 must be cognizant of and reflect stakeholder needs and expectations. Collaboration is essential as many different stakeholders have important roles to play in making decisions, implementing strategies, and ensuring their effectiveness. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) recognizes that collaboration is critical and must be coordinated at the state level. Thus, the following activities were orchestrated by NYSDOH:

Contagious Illness Precautions for the Transportation Industry

A brief, informational poster describes hand and cough hygiene and surface precautions that transportation departments can take against the spread of infectious disease. The poster uses a simple message that is easy to understand. One reviewer found the clear, easy-to-follow layout of the poster particularly noteworthy.

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