System-Level Planning, Coordination, and Communication: Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters: CHEST Consensus Statement

System-level planning involves uniting hospitals and health systems, local/regional government agencies, emergency medical services, and other health-care entities involved in coordinating and enabling care in a major disaster. We reviewed the literature and sought expert opinions concerning system-level planning and engagement for mass critical care due to disasters or pandemics and offer suggestions for system-planning, …

The Incorporation of GIS Technologies in Emergency Preparedness and Response

Public health agencies make decisions that have far reaching consequences, and geography impacts these decisions on a daily basis. Geographic information systems (GIS) are powerful computer software programs which can enable agency staff to visualize spatial information in new ways, so that they can become better planners and problem solvers, particularly in the areas of …

Teaching emergency preparedness to public health workers: use of blended learning in web-based training

This article presents the development of a program and results of a study to evaluate an online distancebased learning (DBL) program for competency-based, basic emergency preparedness training for employees of local health departments nationwide. The program was developed and implemented beginning in May 2003 by Columbia University’s Center for Public Health Preparedness (CU-CPHP), and was …

Comfort level of emergency medical service providers in responding to weapons of mass destruction events: impact of training and equipment

Background: Numerous studies have suggested that emergency medical services (EMS) providers are ill-prepared in the areas of training and equipment for response to events due to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and other public health emergencies (epidemics, etc.). Methods: A nationally representative sample of basic and paramedic EMS providers in the United States was surveyed …

Guide to Contracting Public Health Drills and Exercises

In the wake of September 11, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) made available hundreds of millions of dollars through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) to assist State, Local, and Territorial Health departments increase their capacity to respond to bioterrorism and …

Pediatric Preparedness for Disasters and Terrorism: A National Consensus Conference: Executive Summary

In a time of crisis, it is essential to ensure the needs of children are being met in planning and preparing for disasters and terrorist events. The current adult models and guidelines cannot be applied to the care of children. We convened experts from the multiple areas of expertise and disciplines involved in the planning …

First Steps: A Pilot Preparedness Program for Public Health Nurses

Public health will face major challenges in the coming decades. The 1999 West Nile outbreak in New York City and other recent incidents demonstrate how important public health is as a frontline defense against emerging infections, bioterrorism, and other unexpected emergencies. A well-prepared public health workforce is more critical than ever. The challenges are particularly …