State of Michigan Is Emergency Preparedness Leader

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

September 6, 2007

Through the efforts of the Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP), created by the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), in partnership with the State Bureaus of Epidemiology and Laboratory, Michigan has become a leading state in emergency preparedness as September is recognized as National Preparedness Month.

"Since the events of September 11, 2001, our emergency preparedness efforts have greatly increased," said Governor Jennifer M. Granholm. "Effective planning and preparation can help ensure Michigan citizens are safe in a time of emergency."

One key resource for Michigan citizens is the OPHP maintained web site www.michigan.gov/prepare, which is specifically designed to provide proactive emergency planning information for individuals, families, and businesses. The site offers citizens the latest available information on family preparedness, chemical, biological, and radiological emergencies, and natural disasters (including severe weather). The site also features state resources, as well as links to other federal assets, that are considered essential for comprehensive family emergency preparedness.

As another preparedness resource, MDCH and the Michigan Association of Local Public Health (MALPH) debuted "Pandemic Flu and You", a new public health publication, which is designed to give Michigan citizens proactive information regarding the potential health threat of pandemic influenza. The document can be accessed at www.michigan.gov/flu and provides citizens pandemic flu facts, advice for practicing good hygiene to reduce the risks related to and spread of influenza, and information about pandemic influenza prevention and treatment.

In addition to creating various virtual and print resources, MDCH has made significant enhancements to state and local public health readiness programs that distribute medicines, promote effective and efficient coordination of response activities among, federal, state, regional and local response partners, and which assure the provision of essential public health and health care services to the public in the event of a public health emergency. One enhancement in particular, the Michigan Health Alert Network (MI-HAN), is a secure notification system that allows health officials, healthcare organizations, and first responders from across the state to quickly and efficiently communicate with each other during an emergency. 

The MI Volunteer Registry (www.MIVolunteerRegistry.org), also initiated by MDCH, is an online database that functions as a central location for volunteer information collection, credentialing, and communications. The registry helps hospitals, healthcare organizations, local public health and traditional public safety responders meet their volunteer needs when local resources are exhausted.

MDCH and its public health emergency response partners train and regularly conduct exercises to test emergency response plans, procedures and personnel. Response performance is evaluated and operational procedures are enhanced in a continuous effort to maintain the highest level of state readiness.

Michigan is proud of the status of health preparedness and will continue to work to plan, train and exercise programs statewide.