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Public Health Preparedness

National Preparedness Standards and Guidance

DHEC plans for and responds to emergencies in a nationally established framework of response that specifically outlines the responsibilities of federal, state and local governments, as well as nongovernmental agencies, businesses and citizens.  The National Response Framework enables the agency to effectively work with other state and local agencies in a manner that ensures an organized response, with each agency understanding the role of the other and knowing how each agency fits into the complexities of a disaster response.

DHEC does not plan for emergencies in a vacuum.  There are federal and state government guidelines that direct our planning efforts and ensure a coordinated response between local, state, federal and non-governmental organizations.

Homeland Security Presidential Policy Directives

There are presidential directives that all government agencies must follow.  A summary (pdf) is available from the US Department of Health and Human services.  Since 2001,  Homeland Security Presidential Directives have been implemented to guide emergency planning.  These directives provided guidance on terrorist preparedness and response actions, development of a warning system to describe threat conditions, a national strategy to combat weapons of mass destruction, the integration and use of screening information, critical infrastructure identification, prioritization and protection.  Other presidential directives support protection of the agriculture and food systems, increased preparedness for biological weapons attack, including establishing the Biowatch program and expansion of the Strategic National Stockpile, and strengthened actions for domestic nuclear detection.

Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5) (pdf) established guidelines for the management of domestic incidents. This directive outlined the role of federal, state and local governments and promoted partnerships with government entities and private and nongovernmental sectors to ensure adequate planning, equipment, training and exercising.  This directive also established the National Incident Management System (NIMS) which established a core set of concepts, principles, terminology and technologies for training, identification, resource management, and reports.

Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD8) establishes national policies to strengthen all-hazards preparedness capabilities for threatened or actual domestic terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies.  This directive provided a new framework for national emergency management that direct DHEC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement and Hospital Preparedness grant funded planning activities.

Federal Plans and Guidance

From the Homeland Security Presidential Directives come national guiding documents:

To read more see, Preparedness Planning: A Capabilities Approach.


For additional information, contact:  (803) 898-3708