Large-scale emergencies such as 9/11 and, more recently, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have highlighted how crucial emergency planning is in arming communities with the skills they need to deal with potential public-health-related hazards.

Police, fire, and EMS are well-versed in emergency response; however, the role of public health in emergency situations is often overlooked. While many towns and cities are currently working on emergency plans, the public health component of these plans is often conspicuously absent. Given that many of the major threats facing our nation today are health related (bioterrorism, disease pandemics, natural disasters), this is a crucial missing piece. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) have directed grant money towards local Boards of Health throughout the state to engage in emergency planning to increase interoperability and preparedness.

Click here for more information on the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Grants.

Please contact BCBOHA if you have questions or would like more information.


BCBOHA’s Emergency Planners:

Laura Kittross, Director, email Laura

Allison Egan, Senior Public Health Planner, aegan@berkshireplanning.org

Sandra Martin, Senior Public Health Emergency Planner, email Sandra


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