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Public Health Preparedness


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Disaster rarely comes with a warning. Still, how off-guard a terrorist attack or a violent weather event or a life-threatening epidemic catches us and how well we recover depends on how prepared we are. That message became clear to the United States government after terrorist attacks in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, followed closely by anthrax attacks on the U.S. Postal Service


A federal commitment to help prepare Americans to respond to disasters included money to strengthen state and local efforts. Idaho used the money to create a Public Health Preparedness program that enlisted the state's seven public health districts to build public health and hospital preparedness at the local level. In 2002, Panhandle Health District opened its Public Health Preparedness section.



To minimize illness, loss of life and impact on the community due to a bioterrorism event, infectious disease outbreak or other significant health emergency that overwhelms routine public health and medical support services.


How does Preparedness work?

Preparedness is a collaborative venture that connects each community's emergency responders with regional, state and national resources, support, guidance and help. PHD works with Idaho's other public health districts, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, hospitals and emergency management on plans to prepare for and respond to bioterrorism attacks and other public health emergencies.


PHD's preparedness staff trains and exercises throughout the year with other emergency responders, county officials, emergency managers, health care providers, law enforcement, volunteers and more to take care of communities in the five northern counties before, during and after disaster hits.


For more on PHD's Preparedness program, visit:


Good Websites for more information:


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