Emergency Public Health Preparedness
Are You Ready?
Emergencies in Louisville can take many forms—winter storms, extreme heat, flooding, even disease outbreaks. In addition to the physical threat to our safety, these incidents frequently have serious public health consequences. Safe drinking water could be difficult to locate. Keeping and preparing food safely could be challenging. Disease could spread more quickly and easily. Now is the best time to prepare yourself and your loved ones for any type of emergency that may occur, and we are here to help you get ready!
The mission of Public Health Preparedness (PHP) is to plan and prepare for; coordinate the response to; and recover from public health threats or emergencies in coordination with local, state, and federal agencies. This may include planning how to staff and supply emergency shelters during a flood, or how to deliver life-saving medications after a bioterrorism attack. We are dedicated to preparing and leading the public health response to disasters and emergencies that affect Louisville Metro families, first responders, healthcare facilities, and our community as a whole.
Learn about the potential emergencies that can happen in our community, and how best to respond to them. When you know what to do, you can prepare your home and loved ones in advance, and be ready for anything.
- Natural Disasters & Severe Weather
- Chemical Emergencies
- Pandemic Influenza
- Radiation Emergencies
- Recent Outbreaks & Incidents
- Coping with Disaster
- Sign up for Local Alerts
Create a plan for what you and your family will do during an emergency, including how you will get to a safe place, how you will contact each other, and how you will get back together. Then, practice your plan on a regular basis, at least twice a year. Visit Ready.gov to learn more about emergency plans for families, businesses, and faith-based organizations.
Be sure to stock enough food, water, and other supplies to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Now sure where to start? Begin collecting the items on this supply list to assemble your emergency kit. Store a kit at home, at work, and in your car—you never know when you might need it.
Once you and your loved ones are ready for emergencies, help others in your community prepare, too! Volunteer as part of the Louisville Metro Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) as a medical or non-medical member, and support your community in the event of a public health emergency. YOU can help others in Louisville Metro be ready!
Planning & Exercises
Public Health Preparedness has developed a variety of emergency operations plans to guide response to all types of public health emergencies and hazards within Louisville Metro. Our plans reflect the particular needs of our citizens and community, and include insight and collaboration with a number of area partners and organizations. We don’t just write plans—we also coordinate ground operations, educate responders, and assist with the practice of emergency plans. In addition, we are actively involved in the CDC's Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI), a federal program designed to enhance preparedness in our nation’s largest population centers.
We are available to coordinate resources, and assist in developing and implementing emergency operations plans for Louisville Metro healthcare facilities, alongside our healthcare coalition, HERA. We also participate in and facilitate city and state drills, which allow us to test our emergency operations plans and build a stronger public health response capability. For more information or resources surround our planning capabilities, please contact Paul Kern, Public Health Planner.
Training & Logistics
We also regularly provide public health emergency preparedness training and education to various groups throughout the community. Training can be tailored to families, neighborhood associations, faith-based organizations, and businesses, covering a wide range of topics from active shooter training to hazard vulnerability assessments. For more information regarding training and how to best equip yourself and your loved ones in the event of an emergency, please contact Tim Churchill, Training & Logistics Coordinator.
Disasters do not only affect citizens within our community—healthcare facilities like hospitals, long term care, and urgent care clinics can be impacted as well, and create complications in receiving timely medical care. LMPHW and Public Health Preparedness as Emergency Support Function (ESF) 8 (Health & Medical) are key supporting elements in this effort. Although local management of the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) has moved from LMPHW to the Kentucky Department for Public Health we remain in close partnership with the Healthcare Emergency Response Association (HERA), a healthcare coalition made of physicians and executive hospital staff dedicated to the promotion of preparedness in our region. We regularly monitor hospital resource status including bed counts ensuring that in the event of an emergency, our healthcare centers are prepared to care for surges of additional patients, or cope with facility damage. For more information about HERA, please contact Amanda Hunter, Regional HCC Readiness & Response Coordinator, HERA Coalition (KY Region 3).
Regional Disease Surveillance
Beyond preparing the region for natural disasters, we also maintain a strong partnership with our Office of Communicable Disease, to monitor for potential infectious disease outbreaks. Our epidemiologists and nurses work tirelessly to prevent, detect, manage, and mitigate infectious disease, and frequently conduct investigations to ensure that diseases don’t spread further within our community. They also work to educate physicians, school administrators, daycare operators, parents, and a variety of others on the best ways to prevent and treat infectious disease outbreaks. For more information on the efforts of our Office of Communicable Disease, please visit their website.
Public Health Preparedness is actively involved in community events held throughout the city, including health fairs, farmers’ markets, the Kentucky Derby Festival, and a great number of other gatherings to provide public health preparedness information and expertise.
We also coordinate a local unit of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), a national network of volunteers organized locally to improve the health and safety of our great Louisville Metro community. Our volunteers are highly engaged in strengthening public health response, preparing for and responding to natural disasters, and contributing to community health activities that promote healthy habits. For more information about our and how YOU can join, please visit our webpage, or contact Paul Kern, MRC Unit Coordinator.
A variety of other helpful resources for preparing for and responding to public health emergencies can be found on the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) websites, linked below.