Programs

Rural Emergency Preparedness and Response

When disaster strikes

NRHA understands that rural communities face unique challenges in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disaster. If you are looking for guidance in dealing with a rural disaster or emergency scenario, the following links provide useful resources and contact information from federal, state and local organizations. You may also contact NRHA directly for further assistance.

Preparing for an emergency:

For information about how to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. This site provides detailed, up-to-date information about how to respond to specific hazards, as well as educational materials and related resources.
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The CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response offers assistance to state and local health departments before, during and after emergencies
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The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates local community members on disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations.

For more information, including how to start a team in your community, search the CERT directory by state

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Responding to an emergency:
For information about past community responses to specific emergencies and natural disasters, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s Lessons Learned Information Sharing (LLIS) website. The LLIS team identifies lessons from real-world experiences and documents these lessons in a public database for emergency managers and first-responders to consider when planning for and responding to disaster. The site also offers webinars and networking tools.

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The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) facilitates resource sharing during governor-declared states of emergency through a responsive, straightforward system that allows states to send personnel, equipment and commodities to aid disaster relief efforts in other states.
You can also access contact information for state EMAC offices.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program provides assistance to state, tribal and local governments and certain types of private nonprofit organizations. The funding is provided so communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies declared by the president.

RHIhub-logo.jpgThe Rural Health Information Hub provides an up-to-date list of emergency preparedness and response funding opportunities for rural communities based on location and type of emergency.

We also recommend connecting with your state rural health association for further disaster assistance. Access a list of all state rural health associations here.

NRHA has covered several disaster preparedness and response stories in Rural Roads magazine, a quarterly publication:

Fall 2013 – After the floods, rural Colorado hospital, EMS brace for winter
Summer 2013 – Oklahoma hospitals respond when tornadoes hit
Spring 2013 – Rural hospital plays vital role when disaster strikes
Spring 2012 – School shooting forever changes young doctor
Winter 2010 – Hospitals prepare for pandemic
Spring 2009 – Weathering the storm: Small hospitals resilient to natural disaster

Ebola preparedness
Zika preparedness