Emergency Preparedness Planning
Being prepared in the event of a natural or man-made disaster, pandemic or other public health threat is a necessary part of today’s world.
On a national level, agencies such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vigilantly work to protect and secure the Unite States. Here in Tulsa County, local organizations including the Tulsa Health Department (THD), Tulsa-area hospitals, EMSA, law enforcement agencies, fire departments, Tulsa Area Chapter of the American Red Cross and others work with the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency to ensure community disaster preparedness and response plans are in place.
What is THD Doing?
As the agency charged with addressing public health concerns within Tulsa County, THD must be prepared to take immediate steps to ensure public safety from diseases and other health threats. Preparedness starts with having a plan. THD has developed comprehensive plans aimed at minimizing the impact of the disaster. The plans include identifying and securing resources and providing countermeasures essential for protecting the public. The plans are trained, exercised and evaluated to ensure they are operational. The training and exercise program provides basic, intermediate and advanced level training opportunities to THD personnel and Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) volunteers as well as discussion-based and operations-based exercise opportunities to test and improve the plans.
THD Emergency Preparedness and Response efforts fall within the following categories:
- THD Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) is an all hazards plan designed to provide guidance in preparing for and responding to naturally occurring and/or man-made incidents in Tulsa County. It provides the framework of the Tulsa Health Department’s response to an emergency or disaster. The EOP is intended to be scalable to a range of emergencies varying in cause and duration. The plan describes the methods the Tulsa Health Department will utilize to receive and issue notifications, coordinate resources, and communicate with Tulsa County residents. The overall goal of the plan is to minimize the public health impact caused by an emergency and to protect the residents of Tulsa County.
- Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) describes what the Tulsa Health Department (THD) would do if an emergency or disaster damaged the physical structures of THD. The purpose of the COOP is to ensure the essential services provided by the THD continue with minimal interruption. The plan identifies alternate facilities and staffing ratios to ensure services are continued to be provided to the public.
- Emergency Operations Command Center (EOCC) is a centralized location where Tulsa Health Department (THD) can communicate and coordinate response activities during an emergency. It consists of the command post, a call center which can be used as a phone bank to provide information to the public or as a back up to 211 and an alternate location for the Medical Emergency Response Center for coordination of medical responses in the community.
- Medical Countermeasure Distribution and Dispensing plan describes the procedures Tulsa Health Department (THD) would use to provide medical countermeasures to the residents and visitors of Tulsa County. This could include antibiotics, vaccines, antivirals, or other medication depending on a potential or actual exposure to an infectious agent.
- Pandemic: The purpose of the Tulsa Health Department Pandemic Plan is to be a resource for the information needed to prepare the greater Tulsa community for the effects of a pandemic in the Tulsa area. This plan provides a preparedness framework for taking necessary actions to slow the progression of an emerging infectious disease through the local population and to provide for the orderly and effective use of needed resources to mitigate a pandemic’s adverse effects on local public health, the healthcare system, and the local economy.
- First Responder: The Tulsa Health Department maintains a 24/7 Public Health First Responder Team to assist Tulsa County response agencies with sample collection, data analysis and technical support during incidents involving a suspicious powder or unknown substance. Capabilities include assistance with responder risk reduction and preliminary field testing for the presence of certain biological, chemical and radiological threats.
CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) suppliers and providers looking for information on coordinating with your local healthcare coalition should visit the Oklahoma Regional Medical Response System (RMRS) website at www.okrmrs.com for contact information specific to your service area.