Kentucky Department for Public Health's Disaster Response and Recovery Plan
The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is the primary point of contact in the event of a public health emergency. The DPH Disaster Response and Recovery Plan is organized around three phases of disaster response and communicating with the public during a disaster.
1. The pre-disaster phase involves preparation and planning through education, exercises and staff training.
2. During the disaster/event phase, emergency services geared to the needs of the community experiencing the disaster are deployed, including every service necessary to protect public health.
3. The disaster recovery and clean up phase is dedicated to providing sanitation, food supply, environmental monitoring and other disease and health controls that may be needed.
Since 2001, statewide collaborative efforts aimed at community leaders and local governments have been under way. DPH physicians have been making presentations on bioterrorism and emerging public health issues in meetings across the state. Mock disaster drills aimed at better integration of personnel and planning efforts are also under way as officials explore ways to reduce overlap of services and increase inter-agency collaboration.
• New people are on board at local health departments – regional training coordinators, epidemiologists and public health preparedness planners. Each department works in tandem with local emergency management personnel.
• CHFS has made significant additions to its emergency communications network, as well. A comprehensive new database – the Health Alert Network – links all health professionals statewide; the Poison Control Network can be activated as a primary contact for the public in a dire emergency; the ProAct video conference network can bring local, state and national experts face to face with clinicians and public health officials in the event of an incident of national significance; and a major disaster response training program, Train Kentucky(Ky.Train.Org), is under way for public health and other emergency responders.
• A media crisis response plan for communicating with the media is designed to go into effect upon notification from the CHFS secretary, the DPH commissioner or the designated member of the Cabinet communications staff.
From the state level to the most rural community, Kentucky’s public health officials and emergency management personnel – along with the new regional training coordinators, epidemiologists and public health preparedness planners – are dedicated to collaborating across agency lines with one goal in mind: To prevent disasters every day.
Kentucky Emergency Management Plan
This plan is mandated by law to be Kentucky’s governing strategy for state response in the event of a declared state of emergency. It runs more than 300 pages and contains detailed information organized into a series of annexes that focus on specific subjects such as search and rescue services and earthquake.
The entire plan is located on the KyEM Web site.