In addition to the JRA assessment requirements, PHEP awardees must work with HCCs to meet the needs of those in the community with unique healthcare needs or those that have electricity-dependent medical devices. PHEP awardees should have processes in place for identifying individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs that might require special assistance from the emergency management system. PHEP awardees must address the unique need of these at-risk populations in their plans, exercises, and responses.
CDC will provide PHEP awardees with specific tools, resources, and guidance documents for addressing the unique need of at risk populations. One planning resource is CDC's Public Health Workbook to Define, Locate, and Reach Special, Vulnerable, and At-risk Populations in an Emergency. This workbook identifies five categories that should be considered in planning:
- Economic Disadvantage (using poverty as a criteria may help reach a large number of people)
- Language and Literacy (includes people who have limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English or their native language)
- Medical Issues and/or Disability (persons with any impairment that substantially limits a major life activity or physical, mental, cognitive, or sensory issues)
- Isolation (cultural, geographic, or social)
- Older adults (with chronic health issues or other impeding factors)
- Infants and children 18 years or younger can also be at risk, particularly if they are separated from their parents or guardians
To address the needs of infants and children, awardees should collaborate with child-serving institutions such as schools and daycare centers to assure crisis preparedness plans are in place. In addition, CDC recommends awardees consider family reunification plans for schools and day care centers, either as part of crisis preparedness plans or separate plans for reunification. CDC also strongly recommends that PHEP awardees use the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)'s Social Vulnerability Index, which helps identify risk factors and at-risk populations by geographic area.
Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER)
The Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) is a rapid needs assessment methodology designed to quickly gather household-based information from a community./p>
Although originally developed for disaster response, CASPER is now used by health departments for preparedness activities such as assessments of chronic respiratory conditions, determining perceived impact of proposed coal gasification plants, knowledge of mosquito prevention, and projected vaccination behaviors. As all jurisdictions area at risk for environmental emergencies, PHEP funding can be used for CASPER training and for conducting CASPER assessments. Subject to jurisdictional priorities and training availability, CDC recommends that PHEP awardees should either attend in-person CASPER trainings conducted by CDC subject matter experts (SME) or conduct a CASPER with technical assistance from CDC SMEs. Awardees can find more detailed information and resources at https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hsb/disaster/casper/training.htm and in the 2017-2022 HPP-PHEP Supplemental Guidelines.
Environmental Public Health Tracking
PHEP awardees may use PHEP funds to collaborate with the state and local environmental tracking programs to support activities related to environmental public health tracking./p>
Potential areas for collaboration between the PHEP program and environmental health programs include:
- Identifying and providing essential data (health and environmental), information, and tools and methodologies to help conduct environmental health surveillance, spatial temporal analysis, and data visualization to help key state and local emergency response partners facilitate situational awareness and mitigate negative environmental health effects before, during, and after an emergency response.
- Improving awareness of local environmental impacts on health among community members and responders before, during, and after an event.
- Identifying population groups at highest risk for natural, chemical, and radiological events to target preparedness strategies and monitor response and recovery impacts.
More information is available at http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/tracking. Awardees can also find more detailed information and resources in the 2017-2022 HPP-PHEP Supplemental Guidelines.
Response Plans for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive Threats
PHEP awardees must develop response plans for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) threats.
This includes conducting biosurveillance activities to develop or update response plans as necessary to meet preparedness goals with respect to CBRNE threats, whether naturally occurring, unintentional, or deliberate. Awardees should also consider active shooter and other threats. CDC encourages awardees to design response plans that focus on assessing medical surge need and to work with HPP awardees and health care systems to coordinate activities and to provide surge support as needed. Plans should highlight the importance of using a "systems" approach to manage scarce resources, including limited medical countermeasures, decontamination and contamination control, staff, and medical resources.