Public Health's Role | Community Preparedness | Home & Family

Emergency Preparedness involves making sure you, your family and your community is prepared to deal with a disaster – whether it is natural or man-made, accidental or intentional.


During a public health emergency, preparation and response will be critical. The mission of the Emergency Preparedness and Response program is to assure the health and well being of the individuals and communities in the State of Georgia by preparing for, responding to and recovering from events of public health significance.

We work with local community partners (i.e., EMA, hospitals) to coordinate response during public health emergencies. We prepare, train and collaborate with local, state, and federal partners to respond appropriately to public health emergencies. During natural disasters, epidemics, or other public health threats the Emergency Preparedness program coordinates essential responder efforts to ensure our community receives necessary information, medication, support and resources.

We provide emergency preparedness and response training and education for partners and community members to ensure that our community is ready for the unexpected. We work with local, state and federal partners to be prepared to dispense medications to our communities in the event of a disaster through the Strategic National Stockpile.

If you would like more information about Southeast Health District’s Emergency Preparedness program, call 912.338.5231, or visit the Georgia Department of Public Health’s site at  

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Emergency Management
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and each county Emergency Management Agency (EMA) are involved in local emergency preparedness. Public Health works very closely with these agencies in all types of disasters. Please contact your local EMA director for more information on activities in your community. Another resource on the web is

Exercises and Drills
Each community in our area has been involved in a variety of drills and exercises to prepare for the types of disaster their community might face. The practice exercises involve everything from train derailments to nuclear disasters to mass dispensing of medications. Contact your local health department or EMA director for more information on the exercises coming up in your community.

Many volunteers are needed to deal with any type of disaster. Different types of volunteers are needed for different events. Medical, public safety (fire, law enforcement), and general volunteers are needed in each community. Watch this site for future local volunteer training opportunities. Want to help? Check out these resources: Citizen Corps and Medical Reserve Corps.

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What can I do to prepare for an emergency?

  • Put together an emergency kit for entire family
  • Develop an emergency plan that includes evacuation
  • Know what to do during an emergency

My Emergency Kit
Your kit should contain everything you and the members of your household may need for at least 3 days. If you are forced to leave your home or if you cannot leave your home, your kit will provide essential needs to help protect you and your family’s health.

My Emergency Plan
Emergencies can result in two different situations. You are forced to evacuate your home or you must “shelter in place.” “Shelter in place” means to take refuge in our home and do not leave in the case of environmental contaminants. Have an emergency evacuation plan such as for a fire. Also have a place to meet in case your neighborhood is evacuated during the school or workday.

Have an emergency contact plan. Many times local phone systems will be overloaded in an emergency. You may be able to reach family members or friends in other parts of the state or out of state when you cannot call across town. Have a common person all household members can check in with and relay information for you. Print this card, complete, and give a copy to each household member.

During an Emergency
The best thing you can do is to be prepared to check for instructions on local television and radio and in newspapers. In the event of a bioterrorism emergency, it might take time to determine exactly what the illness is, how it should be treated, and who is in danger. Officials will give you information about what to do as quickly as possible.

Learn more about how you can prepare for an emergency at or

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Check out these links...


Southeast Health District
1101 Church Street
Waycross, GA 31501
P: 912-285-6002
F: 912-284-2980


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