Public Health Emergencies

The possibility of public health emergencies concerns many people in the wake of recent natural disasters, acts of terrorism and the threat of pandemic influenza. Though some feel it is impossible to be prepared for unexpected events, the truth is that taking preparedness actions helps people deal with disasters more effectively.

What steps can you take to prepare?

Step 1: Get A Kit

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days. In addition, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer.

Step 2: Make A Plan

Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back in together and what you will do in case of emergency.

You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.

Step 3: Be Informed

You should listen to your weather radio, watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.

Businesses can take an extra step and plan on protecting their business and employees from the devastating affects of a Public Health Emergency by signing up for the St. Louis County Health Department's Bio-Defense Network. To learn more about this NEW Life Saving FREE service, check out the Bio-Defense Network page