Emergency Preparedness

Description: Description: Description: Description: T:\Emergency Preparedness_files\image001.jpgPublic Health Emergency Preparedness & Response



Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed. Learn more at Ready.gov


Emergencies can be caused by nature (an earthquake or disease outbreak), accidents (a hazardous chemical spill), or intentional events (bioterrorism). These emergencies often occur without warning and can have serious health effects. The Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department goal is to protect your health by reducing the effects of the emergency.

Description: Description: Description: Description: T:\Emergency Preparedness_files\image002.jpgPreparedness and planning activities are sponsored by The Public Health Emergency Preparedness Grant awarded by the Ohio Department of Health, Division of Prevention and Health Promotion, Bureau of Health Preparedness.



The Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department (ZMCHD) role is to effectively prepare for, respond to, and recover from a public health emergency caused by a natural or manmade disaster.  The ZMCHD works closely at the local level with all Emergency Services, other County Departments, Health Care Partners and community agencies to:

  Develop and integrate all-hazards public health response plans

  Integrated Shelter Support

  Isolation and Quarantine

  Mass Fatality

  Mass Vaccination and Mass Prophylaxis

  Medical Surge

  Strategic National Stockpile Plan

  Educate the public and train the county response partners

  Conduct drills and exercises to test plans

  Recruit, train and deploy a Public Health Emergency Response Team

  Collaborate with our community partners

Even a small amount of preparation before an emergency can make a huge difference which can save lives. That is why the ZMCHD creates plans, practices them, and conducts training to better protect the residents of Muskingum County. 


Below you can find summarized versions of the plans the ZMCHD has developed and maintain in order to keep Muskingum County prepared for a public health emergency:

Integrated Shelter Support:  In the event general population shelters are established in Muskingum County, ZMCHD personnel will work with the American Red Cross shelters.  Examples of services provided include:

  Observation, assessment and maintenance of Individuals with minor health/medical conditions

  Assistance with personal care or activities of daily living

  Assistance obtaining , managing and administering medications (prescription and over-the-counter)

  Assistance obtaining and utilizing durable medical equipment and medical supplies

  Conducting inspections to assure a clean, sanitary facility including food storage and serving areas


Isolation and Quarantine:  In a public health emergency caused by an infectious disease the ZMCHD Infectious Disease Nurse and Epidemiologist under the guidance of the Medical Director will coordinate activities that will stop or limit the spread of disease.


  Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy.

  Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill.


Mass Fatality: In a public health emergency that exceeds the communitys ability to manage human fatalities, ZMCHD Personnel will coordinate with the Muskingum County Coroners Office and other community partners to effectively respond to the incident.


Mass Vaccination and Mass Prophylaxis:  Some public health emergencies may require administration of large numbers of vaccine or medication in a short period of time.  The ZMCHD Emergency Preparedness Coordinator will assist the ZMCHD Nursing Director with the Muskingum County Department of Health response which may include Points of Dispensing.  Points of Dispensing (POD) sites are typically large facilities (universities, colleges, high schools) located throughout the County. Depending on the nature of the medical emergency PODs may have to operate 24 hours a day for several days.  ZMCHD has agreements with many locations throughout the County to operate PODs in the event of an emergency.


Medical Surge: Medical Surge is the capability to rapidly expand the capacity of the existing healthcare system (long-term care facilities, community health agencies, acute care facilities, alternate care facilities and public health departments) in order to provide assessment and subsequent medical care.


Strategic National Stockpile Plan: The federal Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) has large quantities of medicine and medical supplies to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out. Once federal and local authorities agree that the SNS is needed, medicines will be delivered to any state in the U.S. within 12 hours. Each state has plans to receive and distribute SNS medicine and medical supplies to local communities as quickly as possible.  Muskingum County is prepared to receive, process, and distribute medication, supplies and equipment to Points of Distribution (POD) sites and hospitals pre-identified throughout the County. 


Education and Trainings: Public Health personnel, in addition to medical and emergency personnel, are intensively trained to be alert, prepared, ready, and able to respond to these potential threats. Public Health Emergency Preparedness is in place and is constantly being strengthened to assure our ability to deal with emerging infectious diseases, as well as chemical attacks. The Public Health System (Federal, state and local) works jointly with numerous other organizations to prepare for such threats.

ZMCHD participate in local, regional, state, and federal trainings.


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Please call or e-mail us: Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 740.454.9741. If there is an emergency, dial 911.


Contact Information:


Kristina Bell, MSHCS

ZMCHD Public Health Readiness Coordinator

(740) 454-9741 x260



Jennifer Hiestand

ZMCHD Public Information Officer

(740) 454-9741 x233