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Emergency Preparedness & Response

Emergency Preparedness and Response is a program designed to strengthen the overall capacity and capability of the Lee County community. The purpose of the program is to manage efficiently all types of emergencies and bring about an orderly transition from relief through recovery, and back to sustained development. It requires that emergency plans be developed, personnel at all levels and in all sectors be trained, that communities at risk are educated, and that these measures are monitored and evaluated regularly. The Lee County Health Department’s primary role in EPR is medical distribution, but the department also plays a support role in many other emergency situations.

Medical distribution: is the ability to acquire, maintain , transport, distribute, and track medical materiel (e.g., pharmaceuticals, gloves, masks, and ventilators) during an incident and to recover and account for unused medical materiel, as necessary, after an incident. These materials are supplied by the government, through the strategic national stockpile (SNS) in an event that requires mass prophylaxis. Prophylaxis refers to medicating an unusually large number of people in a short period of time. The Lee County Health Department will provide training to individuals to ensure they are capable of responding to such events.

I. General Preparedness

• Personal /home preparedness kit checklist
• Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days
• 3 day food supply of non-perishable food
• Flash light and extra batteries
• Battery powered radio and extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Whistle to signal for help
• Filter mask or cotton t-shirt to help filter air
• Moist disposable napkins for sanitation
• Manual can opener (if food kit contains canned food)
• Plastic sheeting and duct tape
• Garbage bags and plastic ties
• Local maps
• Cell phone/charger
• Unique family needs (prescription medication, infant formula, diapers, and important documents)

II. Emergency Plan

Emergency planning can be a critical part of surviving a disaster, therefore when developing your plan it is important to consider the needs of each individual in your family. Since all families are different your family emergency plan should be customized to fit the needs of your family. Your plan should include strategies surrounding places that are a part of your and other family members’ everyday life, such as school, work, church, or day care. Making sure all family members are knowledgeable of the plan is extremely important since you may not be with them in a time of crisis

III. Communication plan

A communication plan should be developed between family members so that each member understands how to get valuable information in a time of crisis. A designated contact person should be part of your plan. Other things to remember about communication in a time of crisis include:

1. Avoid making non-emergency calls.
2. Make sure your entire household knows necessary emergency contact information.
3. Designate an out-of-area contact person. Family members should call this person to report their locations if they cannot reach each other. Provide your contact person with important names and numbers so he or she can assist in keeping others posted on your situation, and let your friends and family know whom they can contact to check on you in case of an emergency.
4. Long distance lines often work even if local phone lines do not.
5. Cell phone networks are often overwhelmed during an emergency; do not rely on using your cell phone for calls.
6. Text messaging on cell phones sometimes works even when the network is overwhelmed.
7. Make sure you have at least one phone in your house that does not require electricity to work. Cordless phones and most business phone systems do require electricity.
8. Program an I.C.E. (In-Case-of-Emergency) point of contact into your cell phone in case you are incapacitated. This should be a family member or close friend.

The Lee County Volunteer Corps is organized into teams to respond to county emergencies. To become a Volunteer Corps member, you must live in Lee County or have prior authorization to join; have a valid driver’s license and proof of car insurance; be at least 18 years old and a high school graduate (or have your GED); agree to a background check; and sign an application and the EMA/EDSA oath.

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