Emergency preparedness aims to promote a state of readiness and prompt response in the face of potential public health emergencies. Our goal is to keep Calhoun County safe in the face of any emergency/disaster, including outbreaks of infectious diseases, acts of terrorism, natural disasters, and more.
This mission is accomplished through developing, exercising, and evaluating emergency response plans in collaboration with state and local community partners, promoting a sense of personal responsibility in preparedness within the community, and planning for special populations (disabled persons, non-English speaking populations, elderly persons, etc) to ensure access to care for all Calhoun County residents.
If a disaster strikes in your community, access to food, water, or electricity may be unavailable or limited for several days or weeks. You may think you have time to run to the store for supplies and groceries, but stores sell out of supplies following emergency warnings or actual emergencies very quickly.
Approximately half of adults in the U.S. do not have the resources and plans in place for a possible emergency. Preparing emergency kits for you and your family is an important step in keeping them safe and healthy during a disaster. Follow the guidelines below to be ready.
1) Make your family emergency plan.
Get your team together. Your team may include your household members, extended family, friends, neighbors, caregivers, family doctor, anyone who may have some responsibility, as noted in your plan, or knowledge of the information you may need to include in your plan.
- Determine what emergencies are most likely to occur in your area.
- Assess your needs.
- Create a written plan.
- Regularly review, test, and modify the plan (and repeat).
- Choose two places to meet
- Outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire
- Outside your neighborhood, in case you can't return home
- Develop a Family Communication Plan
- Include phone numbers for:
- Household members' cell phones
- Places of work
- School or Day Care
- An out of town contact to check in with if you are separated from your family
2) Build and customize an emergency supply kit.
Each person’s kit is going to be a little different. Take into consideration your unique needs (kids, pets, medical needs, etc.). Put together a minimum three day supply of food, water, and other essential items for your household. [Here’s a great starting point for your kit]
3) Be connected.
Personal preparedness is like team sports-you can’t and shouldn’t do it alone. Connect with your support team (extended family members, friends, relatives, caregivers, etc.), as well as local emergency management and first responders. Volunteers may also be needed during an emergency. If you would like to volunteer, visit these sites to find out how you can help:
Disasters can happen without warning. Click here to be sure your pets are as prepared as the rest of your family.
1) Sheltering and Evacuations
When sheltering at home with your pet, make sure the room chosen is pet-friendly.
Click here for information on sheltering your pet during an evacuation.
2) Prepare a Pet Disaster Kit
Prepare a disaster kit for your pets so evacuation goes smoothly for your entire family. Disasters are stressful for humans and pets alike. Practice safe handling of your pet, because your pet may behave differently during a stressful situation.
3) To avoid common diseases that pets can transmit to people:
- Wash your hands before and after handling your pet and its waste
- Wash your hands right after handling pet food or treats
- Avoid letting your pet lick your face or hands
Volunteers are always needed during an emergency. Visit these sites to find out how you can help:
MI Volunteer Registry
This site is used to register, notify, and inform individuals who are interested in volunteering in the event of a natural or public health emergency. By adding your name and information to the Registry, you are indicating your willingness to volunteer your time and skills in an emergency. Registering places you under no obligation to volunteer.
American Red Cross
Volunteers lead the Red Cross mission in preparedness, prevention, and response to emergencies. No matter your interests, skills or schedule, you can make a significant contribution to your community and help people in their moments of greatest need. Find out how rewarding giving your time and efforts can be, by exploring the specific volunteer opportunities now available.
Southwest Michigan 5th District Medical Reserve Corps
A national network of local groups of volunteers committed to improving the public health, emergency response, and resiliency of their communities.
Federal Partners and Resources:
- American Red Cross: www.redcross.org/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): www.cdc.gov
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): www.fema.gov
- FEMA (Spanish): www.fema.gov/es
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): www.usda.gov
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security: www.dhs.gov
- United States Environmental Protection Agency: www.epa.gov
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: www.phe.gov/preparedness/Pages/default.aspx
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: www.fda.gov
State Partners and Resources:
- Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS): http://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs
- MDCH Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP): http://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-71548_54783_72703---,00.html
- Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD): http://www.michigan.gov/mdard
- Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ): http://www.michigan.gov/deq
- Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security: http://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-60152---,00.html
Regional Partners and Resources:
- 5th District Medical Response Coalition: www.5dmrc.org
- Southwest Michigan 5th District Medical Reserve Corps: https://www.medicalreservecorps.gov/MrcUnits/UnitDetails/425
Local Partners and Resources:
- American Red Cross of Greater Kalamazoo and Battle Creek Areas: http://www.redcross.org/mi/kalamazoo
- Battle Creek Response Consortium: http://www.bcesmi.org/index.php/programs-services/battle-creek-response-consortium
- Battle Creek Community Emergency Response Team (CERT): http://www.bcesmi.org/index.php/programs-services/community-emergency-response-team-cert
- Battle Creek Emergency Services: http://www.bcesmi.org/
- Calhoun County Emergency Management: http://www.calhouncountymi.gov/government/sheriff/emergency_management/
The National Incident Management System (NIMS) was established in response to significant disasters. NIMS consists of organizational processes, shared terminology, and principles to enable collaborative incident management. This system provides a nationwide template that enables federal, state, local, and tribal governments, the private sector and non-governmental organizations to work together efficiently and effectively in the face of any emergency incident.
All levels of government are required to adopt the NIMS for preparedness, including Calhoun County Public Health Department. Below are links to the four NIMS courses every CCPHD employee must complete within 90 days of employment. Completed course certificates are recorded in a training log and employee files.
- IS-100.B: Introduction to Incident Command System
- IS-200.B: ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
- IS-700.A: National Incident Management System (NIMS) An Introduction
- IS-800.B: National Response Framework, An Introduction
Nixle, the county alerting system, is our “go-to” communicator for weather alerts and messages, area emergencies, building closures, and certain special announcements.
Nixle is free, and it is easy to sign up. Simply click on the Nixle link below and join today. You may also want to encourage your friends and family members to take advantage of this free service.
All-weather alerts, advisories, watches, and messages, are produced using information generated directly from the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids.