Emergency preparedness and response is the capability of the public health and health care systems, communities, and individuals, to prevent, protect against, quickly respond to, and recover from health emergencies, particularly those whose scale, timing, or unpredictability threatens to overwhelm routine capabilities. Preparedness involves a coordinated and continuous process of planning and implementation that relies on measuring performance and taking corrective action.
Emergency planning has become increasingly important in the United States due to changing and often unpredictable weather patterns, new disease threats, and the rise of global terrorism.
The responsibility for the preparedness of the nation’s communities lies in all of us. From governmental agencies to community residents, to local businesses, emergency preparedness and response is a coordinated effort and requires cooperation and participation from all sectors.