The Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Division works with other public health programs, including Communicable Disease Control and Environmental Health, to develop strategies to better protect the public in the event of a public health threat or emergency. The PHEP Division's mission is to prepare and respond to public health threats and emergencies from various sources, such as:
- Communicable Disease Outbreaks
- Natural Disasters (floods, earthquakes, extreme heat)
- Bioterrorism Events - Use of Biological agents such as smallpox or anthrax
- WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction)
Yuma County PHEP develops response plans that will help Yuma County Public Health Services District (YCPHSD) and our healthcare partners in the community detect, respond to, and recover from health emergencies.
• We exercise, test and update our plans, protocols and strategies regularly to ensure their timeliness, operability and effectiveness.
• We collaborate with local and regional partners through the Yuma County Healthcare Preparedness Coalition.
• We house the Medical Reserve Corps Unit for Yuma County.
• We coordinate and operate sites that will serve as emergency points of distribution (PODs) where we will dispense medicine or vaccine in an emergency.
• We partner with community based organizations who provide services to community members and work to keep them informed about preparedness. We also recruit and train volunteers to help in a health emergency and serve as communication conduit to the media as well.
The PHEP Division also facilitates communications between local health providers, the State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These communications are maintained via a Health Alert Network (HAN or AZHAN in Arizona) which is an infrastructure of secure Internet connections and fax machines. The AZHAN makes rapid dissemination of important public health information and alerts possible.
Public health professionals continually assess the general health of the community through various surveillance methods. By tracking certain diseases and syndromes (groups of symptoms) within the community, local surveillance provides the information needed for public health decision-making and establishing public health priorities. The PHEP Division works closely with the YCPHSD Epidemiologist and operates a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week communication infrastructure utilizing AZHAN and local HAN to send and receive urgent disease and public threat information.
Public Information and Risk Communication
YCPHSD strives to be the community’s source for reliable and trustworthy health and disease prevention information. Information is regularly distributed to the media, health professionals, and the public through news releases, public service announcements, email, fax, and Internet.
Education and Training
The PHEP Division is continuously updating training resources that can be used to educate YCPHSD employees, medical professionals and the public. Education programs are also supplied by the State and CDC via webcast and satellite broadcasts. These educational materials play a critical role in preparing for public health emergencies. Actions to support this include:
- Creation of various training materials including disaster tabletop exercises
- Public Health Training Network (PHTN)
- Creation of a training library for emergency preparedness and response materials
Family and Business Emergency Preparedness Downloads and Links
Earthquake Preparedness Information
Flu Prevention Information
Your Family Disaster Plan [PDF]
"Do 1 Thing" Monthly Preparedness Planning
Ready.Gov - 1. Get a kit 2. Make a plan 3. Be informed
- Michelle Smith, RN - Program Coordinator Michelle.Smith@yumacountyaz.gov
Yuma County Public Health Services District
Emergency Preparedness Program
2200 W. 28th Street
Yuma, AZ 85364
Phone: (928) 317-4624
Fax: (928) 317-4620
After hours: (928) 317-4624 (Communicable Disease Reporting 24/7)