HAT1 Task 4
Western Governors University
HAT1 Task 4
A. Role of Public Health Personnel
The County Public Health Director (CPHD) may be called on to report to the media during a disaster. It is important that the CPHD reassures the public and avoids speculation when speaking directly to the media or the public. The CPHD will also attend an incident command briefing, where she will report her observations and concerns to the entire Disaster Response Team. The CPHD will focus the public health department’s efforts on identifying the needs of special populations, and addressing food and water safety and sanitation concerns. She will also call a meeting to establish a public health incident command system, and will appoint officers based on the special skills and talents of the individuals in the department. The Public Health Nurse will play an instrumental part in getting out into the community and finding out what the citizens’ needs are, as well as providing education and referrals where needed. She may also be needed to communicate with the media concerning public service announcements about sanitation and safety. In the community, she will be trying to identify people with acute medical issues, and making sure everyone has the medications and equipment they need, as well as sanitary food and water. When she encounters someone that needs something outside her scope of practice, like mental health assistance or hazardous waste disposal, she makes the appropriate referrals and then follows up to make sure the needs were met. She will also be available to displaced people as they move back into their homes to help them deal with any health problems or issues that might arise.
The Environmental Health Specialist will conduct inspections of emergency shelters to ensure safety of the food and water supply there, ensure sanitary conditions, as well as inspections of restaurants and other commercial kitchen...