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Disaster crewsThe Office of Public Health Preparedness (PHP) at Southwest District Health was developed in response to acts of terrorism within the United States.  PHP works in cooperation with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and six other Idaho Public Health Districts to develop local, regional and statewide strategies for response to any Idaho public health emergency.

Disaster crew Southwest District Health’s Office of Public Health Preparedness supports local emergency response organizations, including law enforcement agencies, fire departments, emergency medical services, news media, and health care facilities in planning for, training for, and responding to a variety of public health emergencies.

Communicable disease outbreaks, food and water-borne illnesses, natural disasters, or terrorist acts often require large scale community response.  In some cases large quantities of emergency lifesaving medication and supplies may be needed if local resources are exhausted.  If this occurs, it may be necessary to order additional resources through the reserve kept by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).  This reserve supply is referred to as the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) - What SNS means to you.

Disaster crewShould we need and receive these reserves, Southwest District Health will likely distribute medication to local populations at Points of Dispensing (PODs).  PODs have been used by Southwest District Health to provide medication in numerous communities in our area in the past several years.  In several past PODs, local populations were given flu shots, children were immunized before the start of the school year and special populations used drive-thru PODs to receive necessary immunizations without exiting their vehicles.  Medication Dispensing Fact Sheet

The Office of Public Health Preparedness has developed “Closed PODs” which are used by local employers, Universities, long term care facilities, government agencies, hospitals, or other entities involving larger groups of individuals to facilitate access to needed medication without leaving their facility.  This allows these entities to ensure their employees, employee’s families, students, patients, etc, have been provided necessary medication without disrupting their day to day activities.  In addition, a “Closed POD Workbook” was developed to assist in planning for Closed PODs.  This handbook provides step by step instructions in planning a Closed POD.  We encourage any entity such as those listed above to contact the Office of Public Health Preparedness at Southwest District Health to discuss Closed PODs and to plan ahead for public health emergencies. Please contact: 455-5377 for further information on our programs or should you have questions.

The Office of Public Health Preparedness has created community partnerships in the counties of Adams, Washington, Gem, Payette, Canyon and Owyhee to ensure we are all prepared to respond to any public health emergency.

The following links provide access to more information on public health preparedness, response to acts of terrorism, and general health related questions:

Earthquake Information
Network of Care Prepardness
CDC Emergency Preparedness & Response
CDC - Smallpox
Idaho Bureau of Disaster Services
Get Ready.org
Pandemic Flu
Red Cross Disaster Preparedness
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Volunteer for Medical Reserve Corps
Department of Health and Welfare SNS
Food Establishments: Suspicious Activity Poster
Disaster Distress Helpline Brochure
Anthrax Basics
Botulism, general information

SWDH Facebook Page - Provides current situational information and warnings in
Public Health Emergencies