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Servicing the towns of:
Enfield  |  Ellington  |  East Windsor  |  Windsor Locks Suffield  |  Vernon  |  Windham  |  Stafford

Man-Made Threats & Bio-Terrorism

 

After the events of September 11th, it became clear that our nation needed to be ready to respond in the event of another terrorist attack. Federal, state and local agencies immediately began planning response efforts for a potential threat. This does include the possibility of biological weapons such as smallpox and anthrax.  Local health departments are one of the lead agencies coordinating local preparedness and emergency response efforts.
 

The Department is responsible for the distribution of medicine to our population of 173,583 in an emergency. Besides our 7 town district, Somers is included in our Mass Dispensing Plan for Area 34. The Department receives and manages a Grant from the State that has been passed on down from the Federal Government for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Grant. This Grant provides funding to prepare an operational plan to set up Points of Dispensing (POD) for the distribution of medicine from the Strategic National Stockpile.

Real world events over the few years, Pandemic Influenza, H1N1., more recently Ebola and now "Bird Flu" have highlighted the need to be prepared.

Drills are required by the state for grant purposes and to keep staff prepared for large scale emergencies and real world events. The State is planning a state-wide drill in April 2016.


Emergency Operations Plan

North Central District Health Department's Emergency Operations Plan

In the event of a town-wide emergency, police, fire and other staff will be called to duty to help ensure public safety. Local public health, medical, hospital, transportation, school, and volunteer organizations will also be called upon to help.

The impact of Bio-Terrorism or a Pandemic Flu on our community

While a bio-terrorism or pandemic event may not start locally, local preparedness will be key to saving lives here and elsewhere throughout our country. For instance, a pandemic may come and go in waves with the possibility of each wave lasting for months. This increases the chances of a wave reaching locally and leading to high levels of illness and/or death. Daily activities throughout the country would be disrupted, especially if workers and residents all fall ill at the same time.

Locally, disruptions could include:

  • Business closings or reduced workforce hours.

  • Store inventory reductions, including food, clothing and supplies. School and childcare center closings.

  • Public transportation interruptions, including buses and trains.

  • Limited access to banks, stores and restaurants.

  • Cancellations of civic meetings, worship services and social events.

  • Reduced government services (post office, public utilities, electricity, phone) and some town services, including Dial-a-Ride.

  • Closing of area hospitals, including emergency rooms. Inability to provide services to special needs populations

TAKE ACTION

At Home: Plan for service disruptions; think about those in your care who have special needs. If you require life-support equipment, contact the Local Police Department. Prepare a plan for loved ones who are far away and keep adequate supplies of medicines, non-perishable food and drinking water.

At Work: Find out if you can work from home. Plan for a possible reduction or loss of income if your employer closes or you are unable to work from home.

At School: Plan home learning activities in case the schools are closed for an extended time. Keep computer batteries on hand. Plan recreational activities that can be done at home.

Travel: Consider what you will do if you are unable to travel long distances or to go out at all.

CREATING YOUR “DISASTER KIT” FOR A FLU PANDEMIC

It’s important that each family or individual have a "disaster kit" made up before an emergency arises, especially since you may not have electricity, water, heat, phone service, or public transportation. Items to include are:

  • Bottled water in plastic containers (estimate one gallon, or 128 ounces of water per person/day; you may need more if you are caring for pets).

  • Non-perishable foods that don’t require refrigeration or cooking like dried or canned fruit, meats and vegetables, boxed or canned juices, peanut butter, crackers, protein bars, trail mix, ready to eat soups with rice or noodles, powdered milk. Estimate a 14-day supply for each person or pet.

  • First-aid supplies (bandages, tweezers, disposable thermometers, safety pins, rubber gloves, waterless soap, moist towelettes, over-the-counter items like aspirins, cough syrups, antacids; at least a two-week supply of prescription medications).

  • Household supplies (non-electric can opener, bedding and blankets, toilet paper, plastic eating utensils, books, magazines, aluminum foil, extra car keys, garbage bags, batteries, battery-operated radio, pens, pencils, paper, candles).

  • Tools (hammer, scissors, non-electric saw, wrench, shovel, smoke detectors, fire extinguisher, pliers, extra cell-phone batteries, compass, water-proof matches, plastic storage containers, flares, plastic sheeting, whistle, duct tape, signal flares, local map).

  • Clean clothing for each person for up to two weeks.

  • Important papers - wills, advanced directives, insurance policies, passports, home-ownership records, immunization records, phone numbers, credit cards, social security cards - should be kept in the "disaster kit" in a water-tight container.

  • Store infant formula, diapers, plastic bottles, powdered milk, and medication.

  • If you have a pet, store dry or canned foods, water, an airline pet carrier for each animal with ID (if appropriate), photo, vaccination record, special needs list and a muzzle/leash. The Connecticut Humane Society at: 860-594-4502 has more information on emergency plans for pets.

  • If you use a motorized wheelchair or other battery-operated equipment, or require oxygen or equipment to assist with mobility or breathing, be sure to have additional batteries and medical supplies on hand or a manual wheelchair.

  • Personal data—health information, pictures, phone numbers, scanned copies of prescriptions and records, etc., can be saved on a “flash” drive that can be transported easily and plugged into a computer at any location (available at office or computer supply stores).

For more information on preparing for other natural or man made disasters visit the United States Department of Homeland Security's website Ready.Gov or The Capital Region's Get Ready

About NCDHD

The North Central District Health Department is a full-time Public Health Department with a full-time staff funded by its member towns and a annual per capita grant from the Connecticut State Department of Public Health

Our Mission is to prevent disease, injury, and disability by promoting and protecting the health and well-being of the public and our environment.

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