Public Health Emergency Preparedness


Our Focus

The Gila County Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program focuses on planning and preparation for response to public health threats from all hazards by interfacing with public health and public safety stakeholders, providing public preparedness education and organizing community volunteers. This program interfaces with Gila County hospitals and physicians to ensure that the infectious disease surveillance system is operable 24/7. 

How It's Done  

We create guides, plans and templates. We also collaborate on multiple preparedness and response activities, such as trainings, drills, and exercises for the public, health care providers and facilities, community-based organizations, and local governments to coordinate public health emergency preparedness activities.

PHEP works to:

Prepare and plan for public health emergencies with community partners and agencies with whom we respond.

Coordinate with epidemiology regarding surveillance of disease within the county to ensure early detection of outbreaks.

Plan for social distancing measures such as isolation, quarantine, and the closing of venues to decrease the spread of disease.

Plan for dissemination of health information during public health emergencies to ensure residents and visitors have the most accurate and updated information.

Plan for mass countermeasure dispensing/vaccination to residents and visitors in the event of an emergency where medications/vaccines are available.

Exercise with community partners and agencies to ensure a timely and well-coordinated response

The primary sources of funding for these activities are the state agency, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


PHEP works in partnership with other public health departments, local governments, schools, community-based organizations, professional associations, and a range of healthcare providers and facilities including hospitals, primary care clinics, long term care facilities, and emergency medical service providers.

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This information and trainings are designed to assist local organizations in preparing and planning for emergencies. Opportunities to practice emergency preparedness and planning skills are also identified.

Are You Prepared? You can take steps now to help you prepare for an emergency and cope if a public health emergency, such as a  natural disaster, act of terrorism, or disease outbreaks happens. Learn more here.


Public Health Preparedness Capabilities (CDC)

The CDC has identified 15 public health preparedness capabilities (PHC):

Community Preparedness

Community Recovery

Emergency Operations Coordination

Emergency Public Information and Warning

Fatality Management

Information Sharing

Mass Care

Medical Countermeasure Dispensing

Medical Material Management and Distribution

Medical Surge

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Public Health Laboratory Testing

Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation

Responder Safety and Health

Volunteer Management

Download the 15 Public Health Preparedness Capabilities → [PDF]

Six Domains of Preparedness (CDC)

Community Resilience: Preparing for and recovering from emergencies

Incident management: Coordinating an effective response

Information Management: Making sure people have information to take action

Countermeasures and Mitigation: Getting medicines and supplies where they are needed

Surge Management: Expanding medical services to handle large events

Biosurveillance: Investigating and identifying health threats

 Download the Six Domains of Preparedness → [PDF]

Community Resilience Begins With YOU!

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Make it Personal!

A person’s “resilience” is their ability to bounce back from a difficult or life-changing event—like the diagnosis of chronic disease or the impacts of a natural disaster. People are more resilient and better able to withstand, adapt to, and recover from adversity when they make healthy choices, including the decision to prepare for emergencies. Communities are more resilient when their citizens are prepared.

  - Personal needs
  - Prescriptions
  - Paperwork
  - Power Sources
  - Practical Skills


Family Preparedness

Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to  know which types of disasters could affect your area.  Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find. Click here to learn more.

CDC: Prepare for Everywhere - [HTML]

Download your Family Emergency Plan today → [PDF]
The Community Around Us!

  - Care for each other
  - School Resources
  - Ready Kids 
  - Business Continuity Planning
  - Humane Society Disaster Plan for Pets 

Seasonal Preparedness:  Winter is Coming!

Preparedness Training Resources

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Independent Study Program

DEMA (Department of Emergency and Military Affairs — Arizona) Emergency Management Training Branch

Emergency Operations Center (EOC) 101

The video below is provided by the CDC. It describes what an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is, how it fits within the framework of Incident Management Systems, how it functions and the benefits of establishing one and the importance of routine use in maintaining it.