South Carolina Department of Health Emergency Response Plan

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SouthCarolina Department of Health Emergency Response Plan

SouthCarolina Department of Health Emergency Response Plan

  1. A Brief Description of South Carolina Emergency Response Plan

Theguidelines for the South Carolina health department emergencypreparedness are found under the South Carolina Emergency ResponsePlan (SCERP) (Veenema,2012).The state has a policy of being ready for any form of disaster andemergency responses, whether manmade or natural. The department ofhealth is an important party in coordinating any disaster responseefforts. The department of health establishes procedures andpolicies, which provide a framework for the state to coordinate stateand federal responses to emergencies in the health sector (Veenema,2012).It gives a detailed description of how the state will bring togetherresources and carry out activities to support and guide the emergencyefforts of local health departments through adequate preparedness,effective response, recovery and prevention planning. The plan isintended to be used by tribal, state and local health departments andofficials in South Carolina.

Thedisaster response plan starts by highlighting various assumptions inemergency response. It also highlights preparedness requirementsamong disaster response officials in the health department. First,the plan requires disaster response teams to develop close workingrelationships as well as establish mutual-aid agreements withagencies such as emergency medical services, emergency managementagencies, medical care providers, local emergency planning committeesand humanitarian and non-governmental authorities (CARRIERet al., 2013).Additionally, disaster response teams should participate indetermining the vulnerability of respective areas during riskassessments. The other requirement for health departments is thatthey should conduct comprehensive capacity assessments with the aimof determining the resources available and surge capacity that isrequired in performing basic emergency response. Moreover, the healthdepartments should develop emergency response plans that areconsistent with plans used by other response agencies andorganizations in the respective communities (CARRIERet al., 2013).The health department emergency response plan provides clearguidelines on communication, command and management systems,emergency continuity operations, incident specific annexes andvolunteer coordination.

Thehealth department is required to engage in the credentialing ofhealth personnel as well as assets and participate in resourcetyping. Moreover, health personnel in the department should betrained and obtain certification in health and safety procedures(Svendsenet al., 2014).Again, the health department should provide training and orientationregarding various public health responses to public health providers,volunteers and management systems coordinators. The health departmentis required to respond to emergencies as part of the overall SouthCarolina emergency plan. (Svendsenet al., 2014).The immediate response includes situational assessment, contacts tokey health personnel, development of initial emergency responseobjectives, the participation in the emergency response center andestablishing communication with healthcare providers.

  1. Available resources

Theresources listed on the South Carolina emergency response website areadequate. They highlight various precautionary procedures that thepublic need to take in times of disaster. Additionally, the websiteprovides resources necessary for self-evaluation and preparednessplanning among the public. The website has crucial information fromthe Centers for Disease control, which provides important publicinformation on disaster preparedness in natural disasters as well assevere weather conditions. Additionally, the CDC resource elaboratesthe emergency preparedness in recent outbreaks and incidents ofhealth concern, bioterrorism, radiation emergencies, mass casualtiesand chemical accidents. Therefore, the information allows thecoordination of state and federal emergency response plans acrossSouth Carolina.

Thewebsite has publications and news briefs providing important updateson disaster planning, expected disasters and emergency awarenessacross the state. The publications provide health care providers withimportant updates regarding emergency response procedures and anychanges that might have taken place in the current emergency responseprocedures. Additionally, it has a section dedicated to familydisaster planning. This resource provides families with importantframeworks for securing themselves during health emergencies. Theresource provides guidelines for developing disaster response planswithin the family, which augments the state plans. The other resourceavailable is the emergency alert steam. This system alerts the SouthCarolina residents about any health emergencies in the states. Theseemergencies include disease outbreaks, natural disasters such astornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, and flooding as well as chemicaland biological accidents.

Apartfrom these resources, the health department emergency responsewebsite should have other resources for coordinating responses withinthe state. It should have an emergency response manual that is easilyaccessible to the public. This resource will help both the public andhealth officials to follow the stipulated plans. Moreover, it shouldhave a resource request form. With this form, any person can requestadditional resources to mitigate and respond to emergencies. Finally,the website should have an open channel to receive donations aimed atimproving the preparedness of the department of health in emergencyresponse.

  1. My Role as a Health Educator

Asa health educator, I play a noble role in emergency response andpreparedness in South Carolina. First, I can assess community andindividual needs in disaster planning. Health educators have a uniqueunderstanding of the prevailing local conditions, and therefore I candetermine the resource needs (Veenema,2012).I can also develop education programs aimed at providing publicinformation regarding the emergency response plan in the departmentof health. Additionally, I can coordinate public education programsin line with the department of health mandate to promote awarenessamong the residents of South Carolina. As a health educator, I amalso in a unique position to foster coalition building between thedepartment of health and other disaster response agencies within andoutside the state. Finally, I can identify resources and makereferrals while conducting research aimed at assessing the emergencyresponse preparedness in the state. This role is important because itprovides the necessary coordination between the department of healthand the public (Scottet al., 2012).If this role is not filled, the public will have very littleknowledge about the emergency response plan in the state. Moreover,there will be little public participation in emergency preparednessactivities, thus making all efforts ineffective.


CARRIER,E., YEE, T., CROSS, D., SAMUEL, D., &amp LTHPOLICY, P. C. (2013).Emergency preparedness and community coalitions: opportunities andchallenges. Centerfor Studying Health System Change Research Brief No.

Savoia,E., Agboola, F., &amp Biddinger, P. D. (2012). Use of after actionreports (AARs) to promote organizational and systems learning inemergency preparedness. Internationaljournal of environmental research and public health,9(8),2949-2963.

Scott,L. A., Maddux, P. T., Schnellmann, J., Hayes, L., Tolley, J., &ampWahlquist, A. (2012). High fidelity multi-actor emergencypreparedness training for patient care providers. Americanjournal of disaster medicine,7(3),175.

Svendsen,E. R., Runkle, J. R., Dhara, V. R., Lin, S., Naboka, M., Mousseau, T.A., &amp Bennett, C. L. (2014). Epidemiologic methods lessonslearned from environmental public health disasters: Chernobyl, theWorld Trade Center, Bhopal, and Graniteville, South Carolina.Internationaljournal of environmental research and public health,9(8),2894-2909.

Veenema,T. G. (2012). Disasternursing and emergency preparedness: for chemical, biological, andradiological terrorism and other hazards, for chemical, biological,and radiological terrorism and other hazards.Springer Publishing Company.

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