Skip to content
Public Health Preparedness

Preparedness Planning: A Capabilities Approach

SCDHEC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP) is funded in part by two grants, the Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Hospital Preparedness cooperative agreements.  These two grants are funded by CDC and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) respectively; and these two agencies are working to align the capabilities for both grants. To advance all-hazards preparedness and national health security, promote responsible stewardship of federal funds, and reduce administrative burden, ASPR and CDC have aligned the administrative and programmatic aspects of the ASPR Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) and the CDC Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreements.

The Office of Public Health Preparedness has certain federally-required preparedness grant activities that must be conducted, such as exercises and training.  These activities also help prepare the agency to better respond to emergencies.  Many of the capabilities and activities promote planning and preparedness with community partners. 

Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP)

In an effort to prioritize and streamline preparedness planning across the nation, the CDC has implemented 15 Preparedness capabilities.  These capabilities allow each state to prioritize and implement improvements and changes to preparedness programs that will achieve strategic planning goals.  The 15 capabilities allow for consistency of preparedness across the nation.  This approach ensures that there is a standard for preparedness, while certain regions may focus on preparedness for their unique risks.  Each of the public health and healthcare preparedness capabilities includes a definition of the capability and a list of the associated functions, tasks, and resource element considerations. A full copy of the Public Health Preparedness Capabilities: National Standards for State and local planning is available for download.

15 Public Health Preparedness Capabilities

CDC identified the following 15 public health preparedness capabilities (shown in their corresponding domains) as the basis for states and local public health preparedness:


  • Public Health Laboratory Testing
  • Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation

Community Resilience

  • Community Preparedness
  • Community Recovery

Countermeasures and Mitigation

  • Medical Countermeasures Dispensing
  • Medical Material Management and Distribution
  • Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions
  • Responder Safety and Health

Incident Management

  • Emergency Operations Coordination

Information Management

  • Emergency Public Information and Warning
  • Information Sharing

Surge Management

  • Fatality Management
  • Mass Care
  • Medical Surge
  • Volunteer Management

Hospital Preparedness Program

The Hospital Preparedness Program‘s (HPP) mission is to prepare the healthcare systems for disasters.  The program aims to enhance planning, increase integration, and improve infrastructure.  Each year hospitals, healthcare systems, and associations are encouraged to apply for funds to increase preparedness.  These funds are utilized to ensure 8 hospital preparedness capabilities are implemented.  A full copy of the Healthcare Preparedness Capabilities: National Guidance for Healthcare System Preparedness is available for download (pdf).

8 Hospital Preparedness Capabilities

  • Healthcare System Preparedness
  • Healthcare System Recovery
  • Emergency Operations Coordination
  • Fatality Management
  • Information Sharing
  • Medical Surge
  • Responder Safety and Health
  • Volunteer Management

Healthcare Coalitions

Definition:  A collaborative network of healthcare organizations and their respective public and private sector response partners which serve as a multi-agency coordinating group that assists emergency management and Emergency Support Function (ESF) #8 with preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities related to healthcare organization disaster operations

Healthcare Coalition Partnerships

  • Hospitals and other healthcare providers
  • Emergency management
  • Public health
  • Emergency medical services
  • Public safety
  • Long-term care providers
  • Mental/behavioral health providers
  • Private entities associated with healthcare (e.g., Hospital associations)
  • Private/public labs
  • Specialty service providers (e.g., dialysis, pediatrics, woman’s health, stand alone surgery, urgent care)
  • Support service providers (e.g., laboratories, pharmacies, blood banks, poison control)
  • Community health centers
  • Primary care providers
  • Tribal healthcare
  • Federal entities (e.g., NDMS, VA hospitals, IHS facilities, Department of Defense facilities)

Healthcare Coalitions Functions

  • Coordinate healthcare system emergency preparedness activities involving the member organizations.
  • Coordinate with emergency management to develop local and state emergency operations plans.
  • Identify and prioritize healthcare assets and essential services within a healthcare delivery area or region
  • Perform resource assessments
  • Coordinate training for healthcare responders
  • Coordinate an exercise,
  • Participate with planning to address at-risk individuals

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