The role of public health in an emergency, whether natural or man-made is an extension of the general mission of public health – “to promote physical and mental health and prevent disease, injury, and disability” (Public Health in America). Key responsibilities in an event may include management of environmental threats, management of food, water and waste, disaster epidemiology and assessments, mass vaccination clinics and much more.
The Freehold Health Department responds to disasters as part of an emergency management team which includes police, fire, EMS, public works and others. In situations where public health resources may be tapped, the Health Department has mutual aide agreements with the other seven health departments in Monmouth County. Staff members have completed a 40-Hour Bioterrorism and Emergency Preparedness Training Program and continually attend educational seminars to keep current with emerging diseases and threats such as avian and pandemic influenza.
For more information on Public Health Emergency Response & Preparedness: