(Released 16 July 2015) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today launched the first online collection of the federal resources and capabilities available to mitigate the health impacts of emergencies.
The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) sponsored the HHS Response and Recovery Resources Compendium to aid state, tribal, territorial, local officials in health and emergency management as they guide communities in responding to and recovering from disasters.
“HHS and our federal partners offer an array of products and services to support communities in emergency situations, but sometimes finding what’s available and how to access those resources can be challenging,” explained Dr. Nicole Lurie, HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response. “With the compendium our partners know what resources they can count on when they need it most and, importantly, how to request them.”
The compendium offers an easy-to-navigate, comprehensive, web-based repository of HHS products, services and capabilities available to state, state, tribal, territorial, and local agencies before, during, and after public health and medical incidents. The information spans 24 categories, and each category showcases the relevant disaster resources available from HHS and partner agencies, a brief description of each resource and information on accessing each one.
Categories range from patient movement to hospital care and from situational awareness to decontamination. Resources include platforms such as GeoHEALTH and the HHS emPOWER Map that use Geographic Information System capabilities to support health response as well as consultation services, such as emergency planning, disease surveillance and tracking, and food, drug and device safety.
Resources also include personnel, such as medical staff from the U.S. Public Health Service and National Disaster Medical System who can deploy to communities to augment local hospital, shelter or public health staff.
The compendium will be updated regularly and expanded as federal agencies add products, capabilities and services to help communities prepare for, respond to and recover from the health impacts of disasters.
ASPR leads HHS in preparing the nation to respond to and recover from adverse health effects of emergencies, supporting communities’ ability to withstand adversity, strengthening health and response systems, and enhancing national health security. HHS is the principal federal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.