The New York State Public Health Emergency Preparedness Project is designed to support and enhance Local Health Department (LHD) planning and response to public health emergencies. Having an effective emergency response and recovery plan is essential to making sure every county is ready for the unexpected. New York State is susceptible to all types of public health threats including natural disasters, and severe weather. These events pose big challenges to health emergency preparedness planning, and our state’s demographics.
- 13% of New Yorkers are age 65 and older.
- 15% live below the poverty level.
- 20% are foreign-born.
- 28% speak languages other than English at home; and
- Seven federally recognized and two state-recognized Indian tribes live on reservations within New York State. – “Department of Health.” Priority Area: Community Preparedness, health.ny.gov/prevention/prevention_agenda/community_preparedness/
NYSACHO works to:
- Facilitate communication between LHD leadership and New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) relative to policy issues and progress towards meeting State and Federal emergency preparedness deliverables.
- NYSACHO provides logistical and other support to maximize LHD participation in public health preparedness training and exercises in collaboration with NYSDOH.
Focus areas include:
- Pandemic preparedness and response.
- Mass fatality planning.
- Community engagement to improve local planning related to vulnerable populations.
- Public health preparedness informatics activities.
The New York State Department of Health Office of Health Emergency Preparedness (OHEP) is responsible for the coordination and management of all activities for public health. This includes ensuring that emergency plans work when tested and exercised in real time. To find indicators for tracking public health priority areas, visit health.ny.gov.
Since 2001, LHDs have collaborated with NYSDOH on local and state preparedness planning and response goals. LHDs have completed different aspects of comprehensive, all-hazards plans for each year and have made great strides in local planning and partnerships. LHDs, in partnership with their key partners, have exercised their plans in local and statewide drills. In 2008, 33 LHDs and 64 hospitals participated in the New York State Full Scale Logistics Exercise (NYFLEx). NYFLEx tested how well local partners requested and received NYSDOH medical assets needed to treat and care for people with pandemic influenza. Through NYFLEx, improvements were implemented, including expediting the appropriate medical assets request process at the local level.