Due to natural disasters, accidents or the destructive goals of terrorists, there are thousands of incidents each year in the United States that have the potential to become public health emergencies. These incidents are unpredictable and can happen anywhere, at anytime. Whether manmade or naturally occurring, a public health emergency poses many challenges for the local public health, healthcare, and law enforcement systems. During such an event, it is expected that these systems will respond in a coordinated, efficient, and timely manner to protect the public from harm. Depending on the situation, law enforcement may need to enforce public health orders, secure the perimeter of a contaminated area, control crowds, and protect stockpiles of vaccines or other medicines. However, in many instances, these systems remain in their respective silos and do not plan, work, or train together.
The On the Safe Side Toolkit will help local public health, healthcare and law enforcement become true partners as they work through the process of planning for security and traffic management during public health emergencies. It provides a security-planning toolkit that will assist public health agencies, healthcare facilities, and law enforcement agencies in planning for and responding to public health emergencies. Working through public health emergencies requires a team drawn from local organizations that will be most involved in security and patient care during these events. Hospitals, public health and law enforcement need to address the security of their facilities, patients and staff. They also need to organize traffic management. Preparing for these issues takes a collaborative effort from all involved in the response. Using the tools in the toolkit will help you develop a plan and be better prepared to implement it efficiently.
This toolkit was produced by the S.C. DHEC Region 7 Advanced Practice Center and was supported by Award Number 5H75TP000309-02 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the S.C. DHEC Region 7 Advanced Practice Center and do not necessarily represent the official view of the CDC or NACCHO.