The following Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) deliverables apply to all Region 4AB communities.
Each community must document primary and secondary 24/7 public health contacts. Both contacts must be registered with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Health and Homeland Alert Network (HHAN) and the Metro Regional Preparedness Coalition (MRPC) Send Word Now (SWN) notification systems. Quarterly, the Region 4AB PHEP Assistant will contact the primary 24/7 contact to verify and update (if needed) 24/7 contact information.
Drills and Exercises
For BP1, communities were given the option to either conduct three Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) drills or participate in an Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) Tabletop Exercise (TTX). The Boston Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) communities were required to do both.
The SNS drills are conducted to validate plans, procedures, and systems for:
- Staff and volunteer notification and assembly
- Emergency Dispensing Sites (EDS) activation and availability
- EDS facility setup
The SNS drills may be conducted in conjunction with annual seasonal flu clinics. Communities should document results from the SNS drills on the MDPH drill forms.
In June 2019, Region 4AB conducted an EID planning workshop to develop template procedures for dispensing Medical Countermeasures (MCM) to local Critical Infrastructure Staff (CIS). Thirty-three communities signed up to participate in the EID TTX. Participating communities will work with the PHEP Planners to customize the template procedures, identify critical infrastructure agencies, document the estimated number of CIS, and recruit exercise participants. In total, four EID TTX will be conducted in early 2020.
MDPH conducts quarterly HHAN drills to ensure timely notification of 24/7 public health contacts. Additionally, MDPH conducts an annual WebEOC drill that requires local Boards of Health to log in to the MDPH WebEOC and post to the EDS board. The WebEOC drill is typically conducted in conjunction with one of the quarterly HHAN drills.
At minimum, each community should complete two updates to the local EDS plan. Updates should be documented on the plan’s record of changes or revisions. The Region 4AB PHEP Planners are available to provide technical assistance on plan updates. Updated plans must be submitted to the PHEP Planners prior to the last business day each June. For BP1, the focus for plan updates is on the statewide mutual aid agreement and access and functional needs.
Each community should designate primary and secondary staff for the EDS Incident Command (IC) positions. Designated IC staff should be trained in Incident Command System (ICS). Annually, the PHEP Planners will contact the local Boards of Health to document and update completed ICS training for designated IC staff. At minimum, all designated IC staff should complete: