Advanced Practice Toolkits for Emergency Preparedness

The Public Health – Seattle & King County Advanced Practice Center is a resource for local public health agencies throughout the nation as it develops plans and builds local and regional capacity for responding to an act of bioterrorism or other public health emergency. The following best practice tools are designed to help save time and enhance the planning efforts of public health.


Business Not As Usual: Preparing for Pandemic Flu

pandemic Help businesses, government agencies, and community-based organizations in your jurisdiction with their pandemic flu planning efforts. This 20-minute video profiles leaders from a variety of organizations as they prepare for the consequences of an influenza pandemic. The stories illustrate key elements of planning that apply to all of us, no matter where we work.

User Guide also available.

Other resources to support partners with pandemic influenza planning

Appendix A: Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist

Appendix B: It’s Not Flu As Usual brochure

Appendix C: Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Pandemic

Appendix D: Business Continuity Template

Click here to visit the Business Not As Usual website


Creating and Operating A Family Assistance Center

Family Assistance Center Transportation Accidents. Natural disasters. Terrorism. Pandemics. Our communities are faced with potential threats that could result in multiple casualties or fatalities every day. While the risk of threats may vary depending on the size and location of your city, county, or region, all of our communities face some type of threat that could render many individuals injured or deceased and many family members and friends in need of information and support.

This toolkit gives you a framework for you and your team to plan and operate a Family Assistance Center (FAC) during a mass-casualty or mass-fatality incident. It is intended to serve as a resource to help you develop a plan for family assistance services that can be applied to all hazards.

The goals of this toolkit are to help you:

  • Understand the context and rationale for operating FACs during mass-casualty or mass-fatality incidents,
  • Identify the principles that should guide the operations of a FAC
  • Develop a plan for a FAC, including strategies for addressing the behavioral health needs of families.

Every community is different, and the planning process may take different shapes and forms. This toolkit will give you a starting point to begin a dialogue within your organization and with your community and emergency response partners, while serving as a guide to outline the planning steps you should take so that you are better prepared to support victims’ families during times of crisis.


Developing Effective and Sustainable Medication Dispensing Strategies

Medication Dispensing The CDC has long established medication dispensing as a high priority for public health preparedness. Current planning being conducted across the country has primarily focused on utilizing existing health department staff and resources to manage these points of dispensing sites to provide medications to the general public during an emergency. However in this time of continually shrinking staff and resources it is important to look to our community partners to help augment our health departments own capacity to provide these services.

The goal of the Developing Effective and Sustainable Medication Dispensing Strategies web-based toolkit is to help your health department build effective partnerships with community pharmacists for emergency preparedness and response. The toolkit contains tools and resources you can use to develop collaborative drug therapy agreements and memoranda of understanding between your local health department and pharmacists to utilize pharmacies as medication dispensing and vaccination sites during emergencies.


Equity in Emergency Response: Public Health Planning for Vulnerable Populations

Vulnerable Populations Forging new and best practices to address public health preparedness, response and recovery information and services for all people is in the forefront of Public Health – Seattle & King County Advanced Practice Center’s work. This toolkit will provide time saving information about assessing, engaging and building relationships with key community based organizations that serve vulnerable populations. It will help local health jurisdictions embark in customizing their own coordinated planning efforts for all of the communities they serve.


Get Ready for Call Center Surge

Public Information Call Center The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic was literally a “wake-up call.” Chances are there were days when your health department phones rang off the hook with people wanting information and reassurance. Did you adequately meet callers’ needs? Were serious gaps identified in your operations? Was your technology an asset or a liability?

You undoubtedly learned a lot. So whether you’re planning for front desk staff or an entire call center, the Get Ready for Call Center Surge toolkit is designed to help you enhance your resources before the next emergency. Because ready or not, the public will call.

The goal of this toolkit is to help you develop and, or enhance existing resources and partnerships to increase call center capacity and improve the effectiveness of phone-based emergency communications with the public. This web toolkit consists of five sections that will guide you through call center planning elements, considerations for activating and operating a call center, demobilization triggers, and discuss tools and content for training your call center operators. Each section contains resources, tools and samples on topics such as staffing, logistics, activation triggers, developing content, and handling difficult calls.


Guide to High-Quality Health Translations Everyday and in Emergencies

health-translation Almost one in five people in the United States speaks a language other than English at home, and a significant number of these residents have limited proficiency in English. Quality translation of English materials into different languages is essential in order to provide equal access to culturally and linguistically appropriate health information.

Translations are a health equity issue. Limited-English proficient (LEP) populations are often underserved, more vulnerable and disproportionately impacted by every day diseases and during emergencies. In emergencies, populations who cannot access English-language media and information face significant barriers and challenges in access response and recovery services.


Managing Surge Response and Public Health Workforce Activation

Workforce Activation Public health departments are preparing for an array of potential events requiring large scale response. The success of any widespread mobilization will depend on a jurisdiction’s ability to rapidly and effectively redeploy human resources to staff emergency response teams and to maintain the continuity of essential health department functions.


No Ordinary Flu

NoOrdinaryFlu No Ordinary Flu is a comic that illustrates a compelling story through the eyes of a survivor of the 1918 pandemic and connects to the present-day threat, including crucial preparedness messages. It is designed to communicate pandemic flu preparedness messages to limited-English-proficient, non-English-proficient, and low-literacy groups. Developed by the Public Health-Seattle & King County APC No Ordinary Flu: Graphically depicts what a pandemic might look like (e.g., empty schoolyards, crowded hospitals, people spaced apart from one another) Makes the prospect of a pandemic more concrete by showing that it has happened in the past Demonstrates through illustration how individuals can prepare (e.g., illustrations of food and supplies in storage) Helps audiences visualize how everyday life will change in a pandemic so that they can “mentally rehearse” what an actual pandemic might entail.


Planning and Managing for Isolation & Quarantine

Isolation and QuarantineThere is a tremendous need for all health jurisdictions to develop a calculated and collaborative response plan for an event that would require a large-scale isolation and quarantine. Developing and practicing a community based plan should produce a coordinated and efficient response that could significantly minimize sickness and death in a serious outbreak.


Speak First: Communicating Effectively in Times of Crisis and Uncertainty

Speak First This multimedia tool is a proven, practical training for building the skills to delivering first messages in the early hours of a crisis. Learn what you need to know, to sharpen your skills and to teach others how to master these best practices.

Speak First Toolkit.

Scenario 1: The Anarchist – Anthrax

Scenario 2: Community Scourge - Methamphetamine Lab

Scenario 3: Easter Tale - Salmonella Poisoning

Scenario 4: Milk Mayhem - Agricultural Terrorism - Q-Fever

Scenario 5: Muddy Waters - Water Contamination

Scenario 6: Port in Peril – Plague

Scenario 7: Southbridge Scurry – Sarin

Scenario 8: Traveling Fever - Pandemic Flu

Core skills for communicating quickly


Strengthening Emergency Response Through a Healthcare Coalition

Healthcare Coalition In an emergency, an uncoordinated healthcare system will compromise the health and safety of the public and will have a major impact on the community’s ability to recover. Public Health Departments have been assigned as the lead to coordinate medical support during any event that threatens the public’s health across the nation. Each community illustrates a different picture for planning, but the role of Public Health is clear as a leader in coordinating community partners for emergency healthcare response.


Sustaining Critical Services Continuity of Operations

Business ContinuitySevere weather. Power outages. Earthquakes. Disease Outbreaks. Server failures. In the past twelve months, your organization has probably weathered an event like one of these. When emergencies strike, power failures, transportation impacts, employee absenteeism, or facility damage strains your agency’s ability to sustain your most critical business functions. How did you fare last time around? Can improvements be made?

Continuty of operations plans are designed to help your health department prepare for and respond to disruptive events and the Sustaining Critical Services: Continuity of Operations a Toolkit for Public Health can help you develop and implement your plan.

This toolkit consists of ten tools with themes like prioritizing essential functions, human capital management, supply chain resiliency, and incident management. Each tool is supplemented with links to helpful resources – blank templates, completed samples, and additional background materials. The ten planning exercises can be completed without these additional resources, but they are provided with the intent of helping agencies save time and serve to further clarify the strategies in this toolkit. Links can also assist planners who wish to delve deeper into continuity of operations planning. By completing the ten tools in this web toolkit, you are greatly improving your department’s readiness to activate its continuity of operations plan.