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Critical Systems for Public Health Management of Floods, North Dakota

Wiedrich, Tim W. MS; Sickler, Juli L. BS; Vossler, Brenda L. BSN, RN; Pickard, Stephen P. MD

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice: May/June 2013 - Volume 19 - Issue 3 - p 259–265
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3182641b39
Original Articles

Availability of emergency preparedness funding between 2002 and 2009 allowed the North Dakota Department of Health to build public health response capabilities. Five of the 15 public health preparedness capability areas identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2011 have been thoroughly tested by responses to flooding in North Dakota in 2009, 2010, and 2011; those capability areas are information sharing, emergency operations coordination, medical surge, material management and distribution, and volunteer management. Increasing response effectiveness has depended on planning, implementation of new information technology, changes to command and control procedures, containerized response materials, and rapid contract procedures. Continued improvement in response and maintenance of response capabilities is dependent on ongoing funding.

The article describes the North Dakota Department of Health approach to flood response within 5 of the 15 capability areas that are the most thoroughly tested by flood response efforts. The article also discusses the implication of future funding on response capabilities.

Public Health Emergency Preparedness Division (Ms Sickler) and Hospital Preparedness Division (Ms Vossler), Emergency Preparedness and Response Section (Mr Wiedrich), North Dakota Department of Health, Bismarck; and Career Epidemiology Field Officer Program, Office of Science and Public Health Practice, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Dr Pickard), assigned to the North Dakota Department of Health, Bismarck, North Dakota.

Correspondence: Stephen P. Pickard, MD, Career Epidemiology Field Officer Program, Office of Science and Public Health Practice, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 600 E Blvd Ave, Bismarck, ND 58505 (spickard@nd.gov).

The authors acknowledge the assistance of John Horan MD, MPH, Career Epidemiology Field Officer Program, Office of Science and Public Health Practice, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the CDC/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. All funding and financial support for authors comes from the North Dakota state general funds, the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement or the Hospital Preparedness Cooperative Agreement from the CDC, and Department of Health and Human Services or directly from CDC as employer. All work was completed as part of assigned state or federal government duties.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.