Emergency Preparedness & Response

Cities are on the front lines of preventing and responding to public health emergencies, including natural disasters such as fires, floods and earthquakes, terrorist attacks, and pandemics. Local health departments help to build resilient communities by preparing for, responding to, and supporting residents who are recovering from public health emergencies. 

Over the past decade, Congress has provided local health departments with dramatically different funding levels for different emergencies, and these funds are often not provided until long after the response is underway. This uncertainty in funding makes it very difficult for those on the ground to respond to emergencies like infectious disease outbreaks or severe weather events, and local health departments are often left to rely on “emergency” funds.