Health Department Preparedness

The Preparedness Division is a team of public health professionals tasked with:

  • Identifying potential and/or emerging public health threats. These threats can be biological in nature such as Ebola, pandemic influenza or zika or they could be bio-terror related such as weaponized anthrax. Public health threats also include intentional or accidental chemical and/or nuclear releases and can be a byproduct of a natural (hurricane/flood) or industrial accident.
  • Developing plans and procedures to mitigate and/or respond when necessary to any public health threat. Mitigation and response plans must be tailored to the specific threat that the plans are written for. Different threats require different resources as well.
  • Drilling and exercising the public health emergency preparedness plans to ensure viability and to identify any gaps in resources and/or training. If the plan hasn't been exercised there is no assurance that it will be effective during an actual response operation. Exercises are the primary way of testing our plans.
  • Establishing relationships with public health stakeholders and community partners to enhance the mitigation and response capabilities of the Rensselaer County Department of Health (RCDOH). The Preparedness Division chairs the Rensselaer County Healthcare Coalition (RCHC), an organization that meets quarterly to collaborate on public emergency preparedness related issues.
  • Coordinating and administering the Medical Reserve Corp (MRC) in Rensselaer County. The MRC is an organization of medical and non-medical volunteers dedicated to supporting the RCDOH during public health emergency operations. For more information regarding the Rensselaer County MRC visit the MRC page.
  • Providing education to the residents of Rensselaer County with regard to personal preparedness for public health and other emergency events. The Preparedness Division is available to attend community partner health fairs, community events, and other mass gatherings. The Preparedness Division also provides outreach through educational materials. For more information on the Preparedness Division's personal preparedness activities visit the Get Prepared in 3 Simple Steps page.