Emergency Preparedness

Preparedness response plans

Utah County Health Department (UCHD) is part of a county wide emergency preparedness and response system.  It is our responsibility to organize health support functions ranging from distributing medical countermeasures to coordinating with Red Cross and hospitals to effectively work together during an emergency. 

Accidental Release of Chemicals 

When chemical spills take place, they can put many people in harm’s way.  UCHD coordinates with hospitals as well as emergency responders and become a clearing house for information as well as provide phone banks for concerned citizens letting them know if it is better to evacuate the area or to shelter in place.  When evacuations are needed, UCHD coordinates with the Red Cross to provide temporary sheltering.  UCHD also coordinate with the federal government for the release of antitoxins and other controlled countermeasures to quickly protect those in harm’s way. 

Animal and Insect Spread Disease

There are many diseases that are spread by Animal or Insects collectively called vectors.  Our department of Epidemiology in conjunction with state and private laboratories are constantly surveying the occurrence of diseases of concern.  Some vector borne disease include Zika, West Nile, Tularemia, Rabies, and Hanta Virus.

Human Spread Disease 

There are new and evolving diseases throughout the world that are a constant threat to humanity. The CDC has a list of diseases that are under constant surveillance.  This surveillance is necessary because our ability to travel vast distances in less than 48 hours makes these diseases real threats.  These diseases are constantly evolving and some are capable of being used as weapons.   Disease such as novel type A Influenzas, viral pneumonias, small pox, Ebola and Anthrax are some of the diseases of concern.   

Natural Disasters 

Earthquakes has been listed by the USGS as a significant threat to those that live along the Wasatch Front.  During an earthquake we would experience loss of power, water, natural gas, damage to roads, 20% loss of buildings, ~6,000 injuries, and many deaths. The ability to avoid such damage is impossible.  However, our ability to prepare will minimize the difficulty of survival for 48 hours until help from beyond our boarder can arrive.  Such preparation is paramount to being able to survive and help our neighbors.   

Radiological Event 

Dirty Bombs are a sad possibility of the world we live in.  These are terrorism driven bombs that have spent radioactive material attached to them.  These do more harm to those near the bomb than the radiation possible could but never-the-less are used because of the fear and disruption they can cause.  The county emergency response, local first responders, and hospitals are ready and practiced with decontamination equipment should such an event occur.