District Health Department 4

Serving Alpena, Cheboygan, Montmorency
and Presque Isle counties.
Emergency Preparedness
DHD4 formed the Emergency Preparedness Program in response to the Anthrax attacks of 2002. At that time the CDC and MDCH realized that Public Health Departments across the country had no plans in place for Chemical, Biological or Nuclear attacks. The Office of Public Health Preparedness was formed as a division of the MDCH. Funding for the Emergency Preparedness Program comes through the CDC then to OPHP and then out to the local health departments.

In 2002 local health departments began receiving and spending monies from the CDC on many infrastructure improvements that would allow it to respond to Public Health Emergencies. Some of these infrastructure purchases included 800 MHz radios for all four offices, generators, vaccine refrigerators and other essential emergency response items. Along with purchasing equipment, the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator has been tasked with creating All Hazard Plans that are focused on public health response in the four counties served by DHD4. The Emergency Preparedness program also assists in training health department employees and other agencies in the NIMS compliant Incident Command Management systems. A very important aspect of the Emergency Preparedness program is the Strategic National Stockpile or SNS which is a federal asset that would be sent to the local health department in the event of a public health emergency.

The Emergency Preparedness Coordinator program also interfaces with the Michigan State Police Emergency Management Homeland Security program. In addition to these duties the Emergency Preparedness program works closely with Region 7 Hospital Bio-terrorism Emergency Preparedness programs and exercises. All agencies in Region 7 collaborate on various equipment and training projects to make sure that monies are being spent wisely for the various preparedness projects.

DHD4 Emergency Preparedness Program also supports positions at the health department such as the Public Information Officer, Public Health Nursing, Sanitarian, and IT services. Training an exercises are coordinated with many of the groups mentioned above so when and if the need arises all agencies can respond rapidly to any event.

Most recently DHD4 was heavily involved in the planning and implementation of the H1N1 mass vaccination program. As this program ends planning for other public health responses continue.