GREENE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
WHAT IS A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY?
The Greene County Health Department will be the lead community agency for all public health emergencies. Public health emergencies can include man-made disasters such as bioterrorism attacks or naturally occurring large-scale outbreaks such as pandemic influenza, severe winter storms, flooding, tornadoes, and/or earthquakes. It is our goal to sustain basic public health standards when Greene County is impacted by public health emergencies.
HOW WILL GREENE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT RESPOND?
During a declared public health emergency it may be necessary for Greene County Health Department to dispense medications or supplies to the entire Greene County population. During these events, you will be provided instructions regarding how you will be expected to respond. Instructions will be provided via our website www.greenecountyhealth.com or disseminated through WJBM Jerseyville Radio (AM 1480), WLDS Jacksonville Radio
(FM 107.1), Carrollton Shopper, Greene Prairie Press, Carrollton, North Greene and Greenfield School Districts, County churches, and/or St. Louis television stations.
BASIC DISASTER KIT SUPPLIES
It is essential that Greene County residents prepare their homes prior to a disaster. Pre-disaster preparedness will allow quicker and more effective response during a disaster. Personal disaster kits should be maintained in every home. Kits should include all supplies to sustain a home or person for at least 72 hours. Items to include: food, water, flashlights, batteries, weather radio, and medications. Also include any items needed by individual members of your household such as diapers, formula, pet food, etc. For more information to assist you with developing your own personal disaster kit, go to:
A HANDBOOK FOR CITIZENS
The Illinois Department of Public Health has published a handbook entitled “Surviving Disasters: A Citizen’s Emergency Handbook.” It is available at http://www.idph.state.il.us/pdf/SurvivingDisasters.pdf
Family Emergency Plan
Learn what possible emergency events could take place and discuss the dangers with family members.
Take steps to prepare your family for disaster such as:
- Posting emergency phone numbers
- Selecting local and out-of-state family contacts
- Assembling emergency supply kits for each member of your household
- Having a family meeting to discuss what each member would do, and how you would connect if separated
- Keeping important records in a safe place
Practice your Family Emergency Plan so that everyone will remember what to do when a disaster does occur.
Make sure everyone knows how and where to shut off gas, water, and electric.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends this Family Emergency Kit Checklist.
In the Event of an Attack
- Remain calm
- If objects begin to fall, take cover under a desk or sturdy table
- Exit the building as quickly as possible
Trapped in debris
- Tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are
- If possible, use a flashlight or whistle to signal rescuers regarding your location
- Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing
- Stay in your area so that you don’t kick up dust
- Stay low to the floor at all times and exit the building as quickly as possible
- Use a wet cloth to cover your nose and mouth
- Use the back of your hand to feel closed doors. If the door is not hot, brace yourself against the door and open it slowly. Do not open the door if it is hot. Seek another escape route.
- Use appropriate fire exits and stairs, not elevators
Preparedness for Persons with Special Needs
Contact your local emergency information management office. Many local emergency management offices maintain registers of people with disabilities so they can be located and assisted quickly in a disaster.
Consider getting a medical alert system.
Team up with a family member, friend, neighbor, or other available person who can assist you, and be sure they are familiar with your special needs.
Determine the locations of wheelchair accessible emergency shelters, if necessary.
Find out the locations of emergency shelters that do or do not accept service animals.
Prepare a kit (in addition to emergency kit) that includes a 14-day supply of all medications. Include medical information (e.g. detailed information about the specifications of your medication regime, a list of the style and serial numbers of medical devices such as pacemakers, names and locations of doctors, diagnosis if relevant, special food requirements or allergies, etc.).
Have oxygen, catheters, and other medical or special equipment on hand.
Store back-up equipment, such as manual wheelchair, at a neighbor’s home, school, or workplace.
Prepare for the requirements of your working service animal, and be aware they may become disoriented in an emergency.
Within reach of your bed, have a flashlight, shoes, wheelchair or cane – whatever you need (including any mobility devices) to get out of bed and move around.
Have a whistle attached to a flashlight, and one also in your emergency kit. This will help attract attention to your location.
If you require respirators or other electricity dependant medical equipment, make prior medical arrangements with your physician. Also, register in advance with your local power company.
If you require oxygen, check with your supplier about emergency plans.
If you have a severe speech, language, or hearing disability, store a writing pad and pencils to communicate with others. Remind people that you cannot hear and ask them to be your source of emergency information as it comes over their radio or TV.
Preparing ahead of time and acting quickly are the best ways to keep your animals out of danger. They depend on you to be prepared in the event of a disaster situation. Check with your veterinarian for specific information on disaster preparedness
Your pet emergency kit should include a bowl, food, pet medication, travel cage, kennel, leash, blanket for bedding, plastic bags and papertowels for disposing of waste, immunization records, pet medical history, and a favorite toy.
Prior to an Attack
- Prepare for the possibility of a terrorist incident in your area, stay informed
- Adapt, as appropriate, the same techniques used to prepare for tornadoes, fires, and other emergencies
- Be prepared and observe your environment. Terrorists most often strike with little or no warning
- Use caution when you travel
- Locate stairways and emergency exits and develop plans for evacuating buildings, subways, and crowded public areas
- Develop a Family Emergency Plan
- Assemble and maintain an Emergency Supply Kit
Examples of Common Terrorist Targets
- Government buildings
- Tourist attractions
- Transit systems
- Military bases
- Arenas, stadiums
- Educational institutions
- Communications networks
- Utilities, power plants
Highest-risk areas are those in which buildings are likely to be destroyed by blast or fire, or where a person would be in the open for the first 2 weeks.
- Place the most heavy dense materials available between you and the source of the radiation
- The more distance between you and the source of the radiation, the less radiation you will receive
- Most radioactivity loses its strength fairly quickly. Limiting the time spent near the source of radiation reduces the amount of radiation exposure you will receive
Emergency Supply Kit
- Battery-powered radio and flashlights, extra batteries for each
- Whistle and signal flare
- Fire extinguisher
- Writing materials to take notes from radio or TV
- Cell phone and charger (including car charger)
- Copies of documents (medical cards, passport, bank account numbers, insurance policies, birth and marriage certificates and names, addresses and telephone numbers of doctors)
- Large plastic bags for trash, waste, water protection
- Blankets or sleeping bags for each person
- First aid kit and manual
- Pocket knife
- Household laundry bleach, unscentedHammer, pliers, and a wrench
- Extra set of keys
- Cash and debit/credit cards, traveler’s checks
- Water (plan for at least 3 days – 1 gallon of water per day per person)
- Food (Canned or sealed packaged foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking, packaged snacks)
- Manual can opener
- Prescription and non-prescription drugs, vitamins
- Extra pair of glasses
- Change of clothing, rain gear, and sturdy shoes
- Toilet paper and paper towels
- Personal Items
Other items may prove to be helpful:
- Plastic bags
- Baking soda
- Hand lotion
- Splinting material
- Sanitary napkins
- Medicine dropper
- Cooler and freezer packs
- Paper cups
- Pre-moistened towelettes
- Contact lens and supplies
- Needles and thread
- Cotton balls
- Disposable diapers
Do not store family prescriptions for long periods of time. Ideally you should prepare three kits and store each in watertight containers. Keep the first kit in your house, the second in the trunk of your car, and the third at your workplace. Having a family evacuation plan and a family supply kit will help your family survive any emergency.
Common Emergency Protective Actions – Shelter-in-Place or Evacuation
Shelter-in-Place means to stay indoors. If shelter-in-place is recommended, move all people and pets inside. Local officials will provide instructions on necessary actions. These can include:
- Closing all windows and doors
- Taking emergency supply kit with you
- Turning off air-conditioning, ventilation systems
- Closing fireplace damper
- Taping around doors, windows, exhaust fans, or vents
- Wetting towels and place in crack under door
- Staying away from windows
- Stay inside and listen to emergency broadcasts on radio and TV until told to evacuate.
Evacuation means to leave the area of actual or potential hazard.
- If an evacuation is ordered, follow the instructions of local officials regarding evacuation routes and the location of shelters
- Take emergency supply kit with you
- Close car windows and air vents and turn off heater or air conditioner