Public Health Emergencies and Safety

Emergency Management

Federal Emergency Management

From the FEMA website:

DISASTER. It strikes anytime, anywhere. It takes many forms — a hurricane, an earthquake, a tornado, a flood, a fire or a hazardous spill, an act of nature or an act of terrorism. It builds over days or weeks, or hits suddenly, without warning. Every year, millions of Americans face disaster, and its terrifying consequences.

Cowley County Emergency Management

The mission of Cowley County Emergency Management is to serve the citizens of the County through effective planning for natural and man-made disasters. Our goal is to save lives and to protect property through coordination of an integrated emergency management system with all emergency response organizations, support services and volunteers. We will be an advocate for greater community efforts to mitigate and prepare for potential emergencies. We will support efforts to train and exercise emergency responders in both the public and private sectors. We will manage and coordinate efforts toward a rapid recovery from disasters with an effective disaster assistance program.

This agency is committed to effective actions to prevent some disasters and to reduce the impact of those over which we have no control.

Public Health Emergency Preparedness

The Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement is a critical source of funding for state, local, and territorial public health departments. Since 2002, the PHEP cooperative agreement has provided assistance to public health departments across the nation. This helps health departments build and strengthen their abilities to effectively respond to a range of public health threats, including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. Preparedness activities funded by the PHEP cooperative agreement specifically targeted the development of emergency-ready public health departments that are flexible and adaptable.

 

Public Health Safety

Part of our commitment at the CCCHD is to not only promote healthy practices, but also to prevent injury and illness.  Weather related illness is a big concern in Cowley County as we have dangerous high and low temperatures throughout the year.  But there are steps you can take to prevent illness as a result of the extremes that come with living in Kansas.

 

 

Heat illnesses:

 

  • Groups at greatest risk:
    • Infants and young children
    • People 65 years of age and older
    • People who are overweight
    • People who are physically ill or have chronic health conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Heat Safety Best Practices:
    • Job site:  Stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade as often as possible
    • Indoors:  Check up on the elderly, the sick, and those without air conditioning
    • Vehicles:
      • Never leave kids or pets unattended
      • Look before you lock
      • Make sure vehicle fluids are at recommended levels
    • Outdoors:
      • Limit strenuous activities to early morning or late evening
      • Find shade
      • Stay hydrated
      • Use sunscreen to avoid burns
      • Wear a hat
    • Know the warning signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and when to seek medical attention
  • Practice heat safety for your pets
    • Provide shade and water when your pet is outdoors
    • Never leave a pet in the car, even with the windows cracked
    • Keep pets off asphalt as it will burn their paws
    • Limit exercise to early morning and late evening when temperatures are lower
    • Know the signs of heat stroke in your pet and when to contact your vet

Cold weather illness:

 

  • Wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing including sweaters, boots, hats, gloves, and a scarf
    • Make sure your outermost layer is tightly woven and windproof
    • Cover you mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs
  • Dress children in warm, bright colors and set limits on outdoor play time
  • Check on elderly family and neighbors
  • Help pets stay warm by keeping them indoors
  • Don’t ski, ice skate, snowboard, or sled alone and don’t forget helmets
  • If you must be outside for long periods of time, take breaks in warm places
    • Try to avoid getting wet and change clothes immediately to avoid hypothermia
    • Stay hydrated – dehydration occurs more quickly in cold, dry weather
  • Never use your oven for heat and never bring a charcoal or gas grill indoors
  • Keep dryer vents clear of snow and ice
  • Keep electric space heaters away from curtains and other flammable objects
  • Know the symptoms of cold-related illness and when to get help

Fireworks Safety

Every year adults and children are injured or killed in fireworks related accidents.   The good news is that these are preventable.  Below are some tips for having a safe and fun fireworks experience for everyone.

 

  • The easiest way to avoid fireworks related injuries is to leave fireworks to the pros!  Attend a public fireworks show and enjoy all the excitement with none of the danger.
  • Find a substitute for sparklers, especially for small children.
    • Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1200 degrees (that’s hot enough to melt glass)
    • Consider using glow sticks instead.  They don’t get hot and are loads of fun in the dark!
  • Take necessary precautions.  If you decide to light fireworks yourself, be extra careful.
    • Make sure you aren’t wearing loose or flowing clothing while handling matches or fireworks.
    • Never use fireworks indoors
    • Outside, point them away from homes and people
    • Steer clear of brush, leaves, dry grass, or flammable objects
    • Keep your distance – if a device does not go off, don’t stand over it to investigate
    • Keep fire extinguishers and water nearby just in case
  • Don’t let children ‘help’ light fireworks
  • Consider earplugs for children if using loud fireworks
  • Only use fireworks that are legal in the area you are shooting them off at
  • Be aware of the wind – especially in Kansas – embers can carry and start fires
  • Keep pets indoors as fireworks will likely terrify them

 

 

 

 

Jodi Pew has been with the City-Cowley County Health Department since 2013.  Part of her current position includes being the Public Health Emergency Preparednes co-coordinator.  Jodi works alongside her counter parts to help in all aspects of emergency preparedness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tanner Langer has been with the City-Cowley County Health Department since 2017.  One of his roles withing the department is being the Public Health Emergency Preparedness co-coordinator alongside Jodi.  They work together in all aspects of emergency preparedness.

 

 

 

Planning, Preparedness, & Recovery

Individual and Family Emergency Preparedness

What can you do to make your family better prepared for an emergency? Follow the three basic steps, “Make a Kit, Make a Plan and Stay Informed,” and you will be more ready for almost any disaster affecting your community. Visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for tips on Family and Individual Preparedness.

Home Prep Kit

Be prepared for an emergency by putting together a Home Prep Kit.

Bioterrorism and Public Health Emergency Preparedness

Download the All Hazards Preparedness Guide to learn more about how your family can be prepared in the event of a bioterrorist attack.

Volunteer

Community Emergency Response Team

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept was developed and implemented by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. They recognized that citizens would very likely be on their own during the early stages of a catastrophic disaster. The LAFD decided that some basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills would improve the ability of citizens to survive until first responders or other assistance could arrive.

The training program that the LAFD initiated proved to be so beneficial that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) felt that the concept and the program should be available to communities nationwide. In 1994, the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) expanded the CERT materials to make them applicable to all hazards.

Visit Cowley County Emergency Management for more information and to fill out an application.

Volunteer Registry

Become a Public Health Emergency volunteer with the State of Kansas Volunteer Registry.

Bio Threat Fact Sheets

Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs

For the millions of Americans who have physical, medical, sensory or cognitive disabilities, emergencies such as fires, floods and acts of terrorism present a real challenge. The same challenge also applies to the elderly and other special needs populations. Protecting yourself and your family when disaster strikes requires planning ahead. The Red Cross has prepared an informational packet about preparing for disaster when dealing with people that have special needs

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