General Information

There are many potential emergencies and disasters that could affect the health of the public. These include natural disasters (like tornados and floods), epidemics (like Ebola), pandemics (like H1N1), and terrorism (including the release of chemicals). These emergencies require a coordinated response at the local, regional, and national level.

As part of the local response, HCHD responds to emergencies and disasters to help keep our communities safe and healthy. The Emergency Preparedness program develops protocol, coordinates trainings and collaborates with community regional and State stakeholders to prepare for and protect the public in a disaster or emergency situation.

How HCHD Prepares for Emergencies

Emergency preparedness is a component of all public health’s 10 functions. The Huron County Health Department prepares the public for emergencies in many ways. As part of Region 3, the HCHD is constantly partnering with others in the area to evaluate resources and test plans.

  • Integrating a comprehensive local emergency preparedness plan for All-Hazards in collaboration with other county entities and existing plans in the county.

  • Coordinate the allocation of medications and medical services essential to the general public during a disaster or emergency event.

  • Collaboration and communication with other key players in the community.

  • Monitor the availability of resources outside the Health Department including hospitals, law enforcement, EMS, fire personnel and other First Responders.

  • Provide guidance and education to staff, private citizens, businesses, the medical community and other governmental units regarding bio-terrorism.

  • To investigate any threat or compliant in order to control and/or minimize the spread of disease related to a bio-terrorism agent.

  • To identify and establish key resources in the community that may be supportive in the event of an emergency, ( ie. chemical, biochemical or a natural disaster.)

  • To be prepared for a possible emergency by collaborating and communicating with local, regional and state stakeholders.

Individuals and Families: What You Can Do to Prepare for Emergencies

Emergencies and disasters alike have one thing in common, they usually come without warning. They can force you to evacuate your home, or make it so that you can’t leave for several days.

Although we have wonderful first responders, the recommendation is the public needs to be self-sustainable for 72 hours. Meaning food, water, heat, medications and other essential needs need to be met and sustained during that time. During an emergency, it helps if everyone can do their part! Some tips for being most prepared include:

  • Learn about what to do during emergencies such as fires, flooding, tornadoes, and earthquakes.

  • Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit that has a 3 day supply of water, food and other necessities.

  • Know escape routes from your home and evacuation routes from your community.

  • Create a Communication Plan that has contact information for family members and someone out of town.

  • Stay Tuned in to the radio, TV or internet for updates on weather or other emergency warnings.

  • Follow authority’s advice about whether to take shelter or evacuate.

Resources

To learn more about doing your part, and find great resources for you and your family use the following resources:

http://do1thing.com/

  • Do1Thing makes it easy for individuals to get prepared for disasters and emergencies. It lists one item that you can do each month to prepare yourself and has great information.

https://www.michigan.gov/michiganprepares/

  • Michigan Prepares has excellent information on common disasters and emergencies in Michigan and how to make the best plan and kit for our area. They also offer a great app that is free and can help your family create a basic emergency plan.

https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit

  • Ready.gov has detailed information on all different types of information and also has great specific information for kids, seniors, families, pets and disabled persons.

How to Get Involved

In the event of a large emergency, volunteers may be needed to respond and help a community recover. In Michigan, https://www.mivolunteerregistry.org/ is a place for Individuals with varying skills and experience can register to volunteer in case of an emergency.

The MI Volunteer Registry provides volunteers with a place to express their interest, skills and vital information to utilize our community members in the best way possible in case of an emergency.

More Information

For more information on Emergency Preparedness contact Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Katie Alexander at 989-269-3313 or Kalexander@hchd.us