*This is a drill.* Local health departments across the Bay Area are participating in a regional drill this week to better prepare their communities in the event of a large scale health emergency. As part of the exercise, public health departments will practice activities such as the delivery of emergency supplies and mock “point-of-dispensing” (POD) sites where life-saving medication would be distributed to the public on Thursday. Participants include health departments from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Benito, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Francisco and Sonoma counties, and the City of Berkeley. For more information click here. *This is a drill.*
Contact: Kate Fowlie, CCHS, 925-250-2371
Notice to Editors: The media is invited to come to the drill medication dispensing site in El Cerrito, 9 am to 11:15 a.m. Thursday, November 20, El Cerrito Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane, El Cerrito. Parking is available on 900 block of Pomona Avenue. Please check in on arrival.
Following the 2001 anthrax attacks, the federal government requested that all health departments in the United States develop plans to rapidly and safely provide medication to the public in the event of a public health emergency. The primary goal of such plans is to save lives and prevent illness. The process of providing medicine (such as pills or vaccines) to many people during a short period of time is called mass prophylaxis. During a health emergency, medications are dispensed to people at Points of Dispensing, or PODs.
Around 8.2 million people live in the Bay Area, which includes 101 cities and spans 7,000 square miles. Bay Area Emergency Planners have been planning together since 2004 to make sure that we are ready. The faster we safely get medicine to people, the more lives can be saved.
The Bay Area Mass Prophylaxis Working Group (BAMPWG) has recognized that the Bay Area is comprised of a diverse group of inhabitants, such as those who live and work in different parts of the Bay. This includes people with access and functional needs, or people who do not speak English as a first language. In planning for emergencies, local health departments take every component of the population into consideration. This website is one of many steps emergency planners have taken to ensure that information can be quickly and easily accessible to the public.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
If a health emergency occurs, your local health department will work as quickly as possible to provide everyone with the medicine they need. You can help speed up the process by completing and keeping a copy of the Screening Form.This will ensure that when it is time to receive your medications, disaster service workers know what type of medication you will need. For further information on mass prophylaxis, please contact your local health department.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
An emergency can take place at any time. Getting trained or joining as a volunteer will help us move forward in responding to any kind of emergency. You can prepare yourself for a health emergency by completing the four basic training modules. You can also sign up as a medical or non-medical volunteer for your county through Disaster Healthcare Volunteers.