As a result of the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, Congress has provided funding to better prepare the United States to respond to such threats. It was recognized that the United States Public Health System was not prepared to respond to potential terrorist threats, and as a result, embarked on a plan to modernize public health capabilities. Ohio has, for its part, developed a system of funding called Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Grants to achieve this modernization goal. Local health departments apply each year for funding from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to enact set goals for preparedness planning.
With this funding, the Ottawa County Health Department develops plans for not only potential terrorist attacks but natural disasters as well. The health department is required to have and maintain plans for the following:
- Biological event plans (anthrax or disease released by terrorists)
- Data recovery plans (security of information stored on computers)
- General emergency plans
- Mass prophylaxis (immunizations or medication dispensing)
- Pandemic flu plans
- Smallpox plans
In addition to the plans, health department personnel are required to obtain continuous training on:
- Exercising of plans on a regular basis so staff are prepared if an emergency arises
- Incident command structure (management method to handle disasters)
- MARCS radio system (statewide radio communication network)
Emergency preparedness requires a community effort for success, therefore the health department cooperates with our partners such as Magruder Hospital, Ottawa County Emergency Management Agency, and the Ottawa County Local Emergency Planning Committee. Such cooperation is to help achieve the overall goal of protecting the citizens of Ottawa County.
Emergency Response Plan
The Emergency Response Plan (PDF) is used by Ottawa County Health Department personnel as a guide for planning for, mitigating, responding to and recovering from public health emergencies. It is supported by specific appendices, annexes, and suggested operating guidelines.
The Ottawa County Health Department welcomes comments and suggestions regarding our plan. Please mail your feedback to the Ottawa County Health Department:
Attention: Emergency Preparedness
1856 E. Perry Street
Port Clinton, OH 43452.