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phep capabilities: recommended strategies

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Karl schmitt

Karl SchmittFounder & CEO

phep cooperative agreement v the phep capabilities Image

phep capabilities

national standards for public health preparedness capability-based planning

HPP Capabilities Pre-Decisional Release Cover Image

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of State and Local Readiness (DSLR) published the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Capabilities in March of 2011. Formally titled the Public Health Preparedness Capabilities: National Standards for State and Local Planning, the capabilities remain in effect today.

The PHEP Capabilities represent a national public health standard for state and local preparedness that better prepares state and local health departments for responding to public health emergencies and incidents and supports the accomplishment of the10 Essential Public Health Services. Each of the public health preparedness capabilities identifies priority resource elements that are relevant to both routine public health activities and essential public health services.

The Capabilities create national standards for public health preparedness capability-based planning and will assist state and local planners in identifying gaps in preparedness, determining the specific jurisdictional priorities, and developing plans for building and sustaining capabilities. These standards are designed to accelerate state and local preparedness planning, provide guidance and recommendations for preparedness planning, and, ultimately, assure safer, more resilient, and better prepared communities.

The CDC identified the following 15 capabilities as the basis for state and local public health preparedness:



public health laboratory testing

Health care organizations—including hospitals, EMS, and out of hospital providers—deliver timely and efficient care to their patients even when the demand for health care services exceeds available supply. The HCC coordinates information and all available resources for its members to maintain conventional surge response. When an emergency overwhelms the HCC’s collective resources, the HCC facilitates the health care system transition to contingency and crisis surge response and its return to conventional standards of care.


public health surveillance and epidemiological investigation

Public health surveillance and epidemiological investigation is the ability to create, maintain, support, and strengthen routine surveillance and detection systems and epidemiological investigation processes, as well as to expand these systems and processes in response to incidents of public health significance.

community resilience


community preparedness

Community preparedness is the ability of communities to prepare for, withstand, and recover — in both the short and long terms — from public health incidents. By engaging and coordinating with emergency management, healthcare organizations (private and community-based), mental/behavioral health providers, community and faith-based partners, state, local, and territorial, public health’s role in community preparedness is to do...


community recovery

Community recovery is the ability to collaborate with community partners, (e.g., healthcare organizations, business, education, and emergency management) to plan and advocate for the rebuilding of public health, medical, and mental/ behavioral health systems to at least a level of functioning comparable to pre-incident levels, and improved levels where possible.

countermeasures and mitigation


Medical Countermeasure Dispensing

Medical countermeasure dispensing is the ability to provide medical countermeasures (including vaccines, antiviral drugs, antibiotics, antitoxin, etc.) in support of treatment or prophylaxis (oral or vaccination) to the identi ed population in accordance with public health guidelines and/or recommendations 


Medical Materiel Management and Distribution 

Medical materiel management and distribution is the ability to acquire, maintain (e.g., cold chain storage or other storage protocol), transport, distribute, and track medical materiel (e.g., pharmaceuticals, gloves, masks, and ventilators) during an incident and to recover and account for unused medical materiel, as necessary, after an incident .


Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Non-pharmaceutical interventions are the ability to recommend to the applicable lead agency (if not public health) and implement, if applicable, strategies for disease, injury, and exposure control.


Responder Safety and Health  

The responder safety and health capability describes the ability to protect public health agency sta responding to an incident and the ability to support the health and safety needs of hospital and medical facility personnel, if requested .

incident management


Emergency Operations Coordination 

Emergency operations coordination is the ability to direct and support an event or incident with public health or medical implications by establishing a standardized, scalable system of oversight, organization, and supervision consistent with jurisdictional standards and practices and with the National Incident Management System. 

information management


Emergency Public Information and Warning

Emergency public information and warning is the ability to develop, coordinate, and disseminate information, alerts, warnings, and noti cations to the public and incident management responders.

surge management


Fatality Management

Fatality management is the ability to coordinate with other organizations (e.g., law enforcement, healthcare, emergency management, and medical examiner/coroner) to ensure the proper recovery, handling, identi cation, transportation, tracking, storage, and disposal of human remains and personal e ects; certify cause of death; and facilitate access to mental/ behavioral health services to the family members, responders, and survivors of an incident. 


Mass Care

Mass care is the ability to coordinate with partner agencies to address the public health, medical, and mental/ behavioral health needs of those impacted by an incident at a congregate location. This capability includes the coordination of ongoing surveillance and assessment to ensure that health needs continue to be met as the incident evolves.


Medical Surge

Medical surge is the ability to provide adequate medical evaluation and care during events that exceed the limits of the normal medical infrastructure of an a ected community. It encompasses the ability of the healthcare system to survive a hazard impact and maintain or rapidly recover operations that were compromised.


Volunteer Management

Volunteer management is the ability to coordinate the identi cation, recruitment, registration, credential veri cation, training, and engagement of volunteers to support the jurisdictional public health agency’s response to incidents of public health signi cance.

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