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The National Disaster Medical System and U.S. Public Health Service have been activated in anticipation of the need for medical teams and hospital evacuation support.

       

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response

Public Health Emergency - Public Health and Medical Emergency Support for a Nation Prepared

Hurricane Irene 2011

August 27, 2011:  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is poised to provide public health and medical support to states along the east coast as Hurricane Irene makes landfall.

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration is working with state behavioral disaster coordinators in the impacted states, all of which are well integrated in the response efforts.  SAMHSA has made resources available to states for assistance.  People experiencing distress from the storm can call 877-SAMHSA7 to receive materials and referrals to local crisis lines. 
  • The National Disaster Medical System and U.S. Public Health Service were activated in anticipation of the need for medical teams and hospital evacuation support.
  • HHS has pre-positioned personnel in each region to support states impacted by the storm.
    • In Region 1, HHS established in Incident Response Coordination Team (IRCT) in NE which has assumed operational control of our forces within Regions 1 and 2. A Public Health Service Rapid Deployed Force team and Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) from Ohio and Kentucky are in CT ready to provide support wherever needed. A DMAT Strike Team from MN-1 is deployed in support of a potential Federal Medical Station. The FMS with its equipment and supplies were transported to NE ahead of the storm. HHS personnel are also staffing the RRCC, the IMAT-CT, IMAT-MA, and the IMAT-RI, and VA personnel are staffing the IMAT-ME, IMAT-NH, and IMAT-VT.
    • In Region 2, HHS is staffing the RRCC and worked with the State to activate the FEMA ambulance contract to bring more than 175 ground ambulances to NYC to support hospital evacuations which are now complete. HHS pharmacists/COTRS are prepared to respond as needed.
    • In Region 3, HHS established an Incident Response Coordination Team in MD and staffing the RRCC, the IMATs in MD, VA, and DE. A DMAT from Florida is on alert to respond in Region 3.
    • In Region 4, HHS established an Incident Response Coordination Team in Charlotte, NC, and is staffing the RRCC, and IMATs in SC and NC, as well as the NC Dept of Health and NC EOC. A DMAT from Arkansas deployed to Charlotte, and DMAT caches and other medical equipment and supply caches are deployed to NC. 
    • HHS divisions continue to provide public affairs support for each HHS Incident Response Coordination Team.
  • Today CDC activated the public health radio network which provides CDC, state, territorial, and local health departments with non-infrastructure dependent redundant communications capability – a back up method of communication when all else fails.
  • CDC has distributed a media advisory today with tips on staying healthy before, during and after a hurricane and earlier this week FDA issued a news release for hurricane preparedness describing how to ensure safety of food, water, medical supplies, and pets.
  • Public service announcements and a series of prepared text messages are available to states for distribution to the public on how to protect health during and after a hurricane. The PSAs can be found at http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/psa.asp and the prepared text messages can be found at http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/psa/textmessages.asp.
  • HHS agency websites for hurricane preparedness and response material are being continually updated and link to state and federal partners including Ready.gov.

August 26, 2011:  The National Disaster Medical System and U.S. Public Health Service have been activated in anticipation of the need for medical teams and hospital evacuation support.

  • HHS is pre-positioning personnel in each region to support states impacted by the storm.

    • In Region 1, HHS has established in Incident Response Coordination Team in New England which has assumed operational control of our forces within Regions 1 and 2. HHS personnel are staffing the Regional Response Coordination Center, the FEMA incident management teams in Conn., Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
    • A U.S. Public Health Service Rapid Deployed Force team and Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) from Ohio and Kentucky are traveling to New England. A DMAT Strike Team from Minnesota is being deployed in support of a potential Federal Medical Station in New England. The FMS with its equipment and supplies is being transported to the region. HHS is responding to requests for a liaison officer from CDC and staffing on FEMA incident management teams in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
    • In Region 2, HHS is staffing the Regional Response Coordination Center and activating the FEMA ambulance contract to bring 175 ground ambulances to NYC at the state’s request. HHS pharmacists/COTRS are prepared to respond as needed. 
    • In Region 3, HHS is establishing an Incident Response Coordination Team in Frederick, Maryland, and staffing the Regional Response Coordination Center, the FEMA incident management team in Virginia, and is preparing to staff incident management teams in Maryland and Delaware. A DMAT from Florida is on alert to respond in Region 3.
    • In Region 4, HHS is establishing an Incident Response Coordination Team in Charlotte, N.C., and is staffing the Regional Response Coordination Center and FEMA incident management teams in South Carolina and North Carolina, as well as the North Carolina Dept. of Health and North Carolina Emergency Operations Center. A DMAT from Arkansas travels to Charlotte today, along with caches of equipment and supplies.
  • HHS divisions are providing public affairs support for each HHS Incident Response Coordination Team.
  • FDA issued a news release for hurricane preparedness describing how to ensure safety of food, water, medical supplies, and pets. (http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm269766.htm)
  • CDC is distributing a media advisory today with tips on staying healthy before, during and after a hurricane.
  • CDC is using CDC’s Emergency Twitter Profile (http://twitter.com/#!/cdcemergency) to distribute targeted instructional information, reinforcing the government-wide message to heed local emergency management and public health instructions particularly regarding evacuation.
  • Public service announcements and a series of prepared text messages have been made available to states for distribution to the public on how to protect health during and after a hurricane. The PSAs can be found at http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/psa.asp and the prepared text messages can be found at http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/psa/textmessages.asp.
  • HHS agency websites for hurricane preparedness and response material have been updated. FDA now has material available in English, Spanish and French on what consumers need to know about on food and water safety during hurricanes, power outages and floods. These websites link to Ready.gov. HHS continues to update the PHE.gov site which incorporates public health information from throughout the federal family. The site uses a three-feature format to allow messaging on the Southeast, Mid Atlantic and New England. The newsroom (www.phe.gov/newsroom) hosts a number of news feeds and links to social media sites in a one-stop-shop format to assist the public with accessing a complete picture in as close to real-time as possible.  The site is also accessible from smart devices.

Situation Reports (in link below)

http://www.phe.gov/emergency/news/sitreps/Pages/irene-2011.aspx

Hurricane Irene: Northeast

http://www.phe.gov/emergency/events/irene/Pages/northeast.aspx

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