Public Health Emergency Preparedness

Public Health emergencies can arise anywhere.

The threat of infectious diseases, natural disasters and terrorism can happen at anytime; no community is exempt.

In Montana, wild land fires are a summertime hazard; natural disasters like drought, flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes and avalanche are not unusual. Other public health emergencies come with vector-borne disease, such as West Nile Virus, food borne illness like E. Coli, and vaccine-resistant illness such as Tuberculosis, or an extremely virulent flu strain. There is added risk potential from terrorism, bioterrorism and agroterrorism. Such acts may seem unlikely in Montana, but what Public Health does in preparation for terrorism also prepares the state to meet any large-scale health threat. Public Health has always been concerned with emergency planning, but it is increasingly apparent that we must be prepared to respond quickly to a variety of threats, on a potentially large scale, and in partnership with other agencies. The DPHHS Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Training works to help local and tribal health jurisdictions respond to health emergencies, coordinating a surveillance and response system that is essential to the security and well-being of the state and it’s citizens. Federal grant funds strengthen public health and hospital preparedness on a state, regional, and local level throughout Montana, with the majority of funds distributed to local partners.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funds help in:

  • Planning and Assessment
  • Surveillance and Epidemiology
  • Laboratory Capacity
  • Health Alert network (HAN)
  • Emergency Risk Communication
  • Education and Training

Resources and Links

American Red Cross of Montana
Centers for Disease Control
National Weather Service
Montana Health Alert Network
State of Montana