Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Essay

Total Length: 765 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 3

Page 1 of 3

Public health emergency preparedness and response.

Public health: Emergency preparedness and responses

While all areas of the nation should periodically engage in risk assessment, not all locations are equally vulnerable to different types of attacks. Public health emergencies can originate in natural causes, such as hurricanes or pandemics. Emergencies also include disasters caused by human error and emergencies due to conscious, malicious intent, such as terrorism. New York City is vulnerable to such emergencies because of its high population density as well as its political, economic, and symbolic significance.

In general, two departments coordinate emergency responses. The New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene deals with health-related issues such as the H1N1 pandemic; the Office of Emergency Management deals with catastrophic disasters such as terrorist attacks and tornadoes. The NYC Medical Reserve Corps, a trained group of health professionals schooled in emergency responses in a wide variety of disciplines can also respond during an emergency. Preparedness exercises will vary by agency, depending upon its specific mission (Johnson 2011).

However, some health risks, such as smallpox, span the duties of a variety of organizations. For example, in recent years there has been widespread fear that a smallpox outbreak might arise, if a terrorist group released the pox into the environment.
To deal with such a disaster would require coordination between both the Department of Health and the Office of Emergency Management. New York also coordinates its activities with federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This kind of teamwork demands that different agencies respect one another's specific missions and expertise, to avoid unproductive interagency conflicts. The proposed National Response Plan for New York City uses cellphone alerts to warn New Yorkers of coming disasters, such as tornadoes. (NYC will launch national emergency response system, 2011, The Washington Post).

Before a disaster occurs, it is essential that emergency personnel are prepared to deal with what might ensue. According to Qureshi (et al. 2005) a survey of response workers indicated that while "employees' ability and willingness to report to duty varied by event type… the most frequently cited reasons for not being able to report to work during a catastrophic event were transportation issues, childcare and eldercare responsibilities, personal health concerns, and pet care obligations, whereas the most frequently cited reasons….....

Have Any Questions? Our Expert Writers Can Answer!

Need Help Writing Your Essay?