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Health Emergency Preparedness

Sullivan County Public Health has been preparing to respond to health related emergencies for many years. Extensive planning efforts have been undertaken to ensure that our public health staff and the community's first responders are fully prepared for any type of emergency that has the potential to impact the health of the public. Through the coordination of Sullivan County Public Health, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, the Sullivan County Emergency Management / Homeland Security Department, and the Local Emergency Planning Council, emergency preparedness plans are continually updated, improved and practiced to ensure the safety and well being of all residents.

To volunteer with the Sullivan Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), 

please visit the Volunteer Management System site for Sullivan County and follow the steps to sign up or email

You may contact Jenna Knox at (845) 292-5910 or
email: for more information

Knowledge is power. See this link (Aware Prepare) for detailed tips and helpful information.



What can you do?

The best way for you and your family to be safe is to be as prepared as possible before an emergency such as a man made, health-related, or natural disaster strikes. In keeping with long-standing emergency preparedness guidelines, families should plan to store enough food, water and personal necessities for a 3 - 4 day period, in the event that they have to remain inside their home for their safety. Also consider putting together a family emergency plan, so that all family members (e.g., schoolchildren or homebound relatives) can be cared for in case the primary caregivers are unable to return home at their usual times. For more information visit

What is an emergency and how can I be prepared?

An emergency - be it a natural disaster such as a flood or winter storm, a power outage, a widespread outbreak of communicable disease, or a terrorist act -- can occur quickly and without warning.

Two actions that you can take to become better prepared to protect yourself and your family are to develop an emergency plan and prepare a portable cache of emergency supplies that can be used at home or at work.

Emergencies may strike when you and your family members are away from home, so learn about plans at your workplace, or anywhere else you and your family spend time.

Contact your utility company if anyone in your household uses life-sustaining equipment such as a kidney dialysis machine or respirator. Your utility can advise you on how to prepare for power outages.

How can I develop an emergency plan for my family? 

To create a household emergency plan, do the following:

  • Meet with your family members and discuss the dangers of possible emergency events including fire, severe weather, hazardous spills, and terrorism. 
  • Discuss how you and your family will respond to each possible emergency. Know how to contact all family members at all times. Think 24/7 and 365 days/year. 
  • Draw a floor plan of your home. If possible, mark two escape routes from each room. 
  • Select two places to meet: a spot outside your home for an emergency such as fire, and a place away from your neighborhood in case you cannot return home (a real possibility during the day when most adults are at work and children are at school). 
  • Identify an out-of-town friend or relative as your "emergency family check-in contact" for everyone to call if the family gets separated. Make sure all family members have the correct phone number. It is often easier to call out-of-town during an emergency than within the affected area. 
  • Post emergency contact numbers near all telephones. Include local police, fire and health departments, poison control, your children's schools, doctors, child/senior care providers and insurance agents. 
  • Have your family learn basic safety and first aid measures. 
  • Keep family records in a waterproof and fireproof safe. 
  • Have emergency supplies on hand. 
  • Teach adults how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at main switches. If for any reason you do turn off natural gas service to your home, call your natural gas utility to restore service. DO NOT attempt to restore gas service yourself.
  • Make arrangements for your pets. Most shelters do not allow pets. Prior to an emergency, contact your county or local emergency management office and ask them where you could leave your pet. Have ID, collar, leash and proof of vaccination for all pets. Have current photos of your pets in case they get lost

What type of emergency supplies will I need?

Often during an emergency, electricity, water, heat, air conditioning or telephone services may not work. Be prepared to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer. Use the checklist below to help you prepare for what you and your family will need.

Consider two kits. In one put everything you will need to stay where you are. The other should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you have to evacuate.

Food and Water

  • Bottled Water - one gallon per person per day.
  • Ready-to-eat canned foods - vegetables, fruits, beans, meat, fish, poultry, pasta, soup, juice. 
  • Milk - powdered, canned or shelf-stable brick pack. 
  • High energy foods- peanut butter, jelly, nuts, dried meats (for example, jerky), granola, trail mix. 
  • Staples - sugar, salt, pepper, instant coffee, tea bags, cocoa. 
  • Instant and small children's needs - baby food, formula, disposable diapers. 
  • Specialty food - for elderly or people on special diets. 
  • Pet food (if needed).

Health and Hygiene Supplies

  • Prescription medication - at least one week's supply. 
  • First aid kit. 
  • Premoistened hand wipes - premoistened towlettes or baby wipes. 
  • Disinfectant no-rinse hand soap. 
  • Toiletries. 
  • A list of family physicians, important medical information, and the style and serial number of medical devices such as pacemakers. 

Personal Supplies

  • A change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes for each family member. 
  • Sleeping bags, bedding or blankets for each family member. 
  • An extra pair of glasses or contact lenses and solution (be sure to check the expiration dates). 
  • Identification, credit cards/traveler's checks/cash, and photocopies of important family documents including home insurance information. 

Household Supplies and Equipment

  • One gallon liquid chlorine bleach. 
  • Battery-powered radio or TV. 
  • Flashlights. 
  • Extra fresh batteries for radio, TV and flashlights. 
  • Manual can opener. 
  • Plastic bags - zip sealing, garbage. 
  • Fire extinguisher (small canister A-B-C type).

Related Links

American Red Cross

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

National Weather Service

New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH)

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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