Serving Nebraska for 65 Years!

Emergency Response Section

About us

Emergency Response Coordinator (ERC) is a position within each health department.  We work with partners and stakeholders to plan for public health emergencies and disasters.  ERCs meet once a month with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory, the Center for Preparedness Education, and other partners to review and plan to maintain and increase our preparedness and response capabilities.

Community Health Worker Contacts

Randy Fischer – Chair

Melanie Thompson – Co-Chair

Terri Morrow – Secretary

Kendra Hansen – Treasurer

Who belongs to the Emergency Response Section?

There are 19 Emergency Response Coordinators across Nebraska who belong to this section.

What does the Emergency Response Section Do?

In addition to our monthly conference call, we meet at least once a year to collaborate with planning and preparedness efforts.  We use this time to share lessons learned and successful projects, update our Emergency Response Plan, and work on other preparedness activities beneficial to the wellbeing of our district and state.


Download a membership application. Print the form, fill out and mail to PHAN.


  • Networking and exchanging resources with your peers
  • Providing input into Section activities
  • Discounts at PHAN activities
  • Taking a lead in important issues


CDC’s Public Health Preparedness Capabilities: National Standards for State and Local Planning Priority Resource Elements

Courtesy of Sachin Bagade the 15 Capabilities have now been put into MindManager. There are TWO different template formats: 1) A single map with all 15 Capabilities; and 2) 15 separate maps for each of the 15 Capabilities. Please contact Rita at if you would like a copy.

Scheduled Meetings

The ERC Section meets monthly via conference call. Use the contact form below to receive additional information.

Directed Health Measures Handbook:

Implementation Guidance for Local Health Departments for the Prevention of Spread of Communicable Disease, Illness or Poisoning

This handbook was developed in response to the Nebraska local public health departments’ need for guidance and accurate information on how to prepare for and implement quarantine and isolation quickly. The handbook, like most public health emergency preparedness documents, is a living document in which resources can be added and shared as they are developed.

Download Handbook.

Learn more about the Eastern Nebraska/Western Iowa Medical Reserve Corps

Sandi, a RN, responded to Hurricane Katrina through the Eastern Nebraska/Western Iowa Medical Reserve Corps.

A call came out through FEMA and the national MRC office for medical assistance in the New Orleans area following the deadly 2005 hurricane. Sandi was trained and her credentials verified through the MRC, so processing her into the system was easy. Unlike other health professionals who just showed up, Sandi was able to get an assignment at a shelter right away.

If you are the type of person who would want to volunteer if a disaster struck your community (e.g., tornado, flood, terrorist attack), then you should be part of a MRC in your area.

By joining the MRC, you are already plugged into the disaster response system. MRCs offer free trainings, many with CEUs. There are also opportunities to “practice” disaster response skills to be better prepared in times of need. You are also afforded liability coverage in a declared disaster event.

MRCs also assist local communities with public health initiatives. For examples, most MRCs assisted with H1N1 vaccinations during the national health emergency in 2009-10. Other activities might include mass vaccinations, health screenings or first aid at community events.

To register to join the MRC, go to More information is available at

For more information or to contact the MRC in your area, contact 402-522-7970.

CDC Releases 1918 Pandemic Flu Storybook


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released an online storybook containing narratives from survivors, families, and friends about one of the largest scourges ever on human kind — the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed millions of people around the world. The storybook provides valuable insight for public health officials preparing for the possibility of another pandemic sometime in our future.

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the 1918 influenza pandemic.

The Internet storybook contains about 50 stories from individuals from 24 states as well as photos and narrative videos from the storytellers.

The idea for such a storybook emerged during crisis and emergency risk communication (CERC) training CDC has been conducting with health professionals over the past few years. The online storybook contains narratives from survivors, families, and friends who lived through the 1918 and 1957 pandemics. The agency welcomes new submissions and plans to update the book each quarter. Narratives from the 1968 pandemic are also welcome.

To access the storybook follow,

Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) and the EMAC Environmental Health Assistance Project

Centers s for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Emergency Preparedness and Response Web site that provides information on the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) and the EMAC Environmental Health Assistance Project. This Web page can be accessed at

Nebraska Disaster Behavior Health

Nebraska’s Plan for Behavior Health Disaster Response

CDC’s Public Health Emergency Response Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Public Health Directors

Available Online at
The Public Health Emergency Response Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Public Health Directors is an all-hazards reference tool for health professionals who are responsible for initiating the public health response during the first 24 hours (i.e., the acute phase) of an emergency or disaster. It provides useful information on the activation and integration of a jurisdiction’s public health system into the existing overall emergency response structure during the acute phase of an incident. It also contains guidance that may be unique to specific types of incidents, such as floods, earthquakes, and acts of terrorism.

The guide is not a substitute for emergency preparedness activities and is not intended to replace existing emergency operations plans, procedures, or guidelines within a jurisdiction’s health department. It is consistent with the doctrine, concepts, principles, terminology, and organizational processes in the National Response Plan (NRP) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).


CDC Shelter Assessment Tool

  • Overview:  CDC has developed an Environmental Health Shelter Assessment Tool to assist environmental health practitioners in conducting a rapid assessment of shelter conditions during emergencies and disasters. The tool is an assessment form that covers 14 general areas of environmental health, ranging from basic food safety and water quality to pet (companion animal) wellness, and allows for the documentation of immediate needs in shelters. It can be easily modified to meet local needs.
  • Link:
    Posted: September 8, 2008

At-Risk Populations and Pandemic Influenza: Planning Guidance for State, Territorial, Tribal, and Local Health Departments

ASTHO has released the At-Risk Populations and Pandemic Influenza: Planning Guidance for State, Territorial, Tribal, and Local Health Departments. This guidance is the product of nearly a year spent reviewing relevant publications and plans, assembling subject matter expert work groups, and convening public and stakeholder engagement meetings to provide key input during the drafting process.

Under a cooperative agreement with CDC, ASTHO was asked to develop model guidance on the protection of at-risk populations in an influenza pandemic; it is ASTHO’s hope that the culmination of this important project will assist public health officials in their pandemic influenza planning efforts.

ASTHO will conduct implementation activities over the course of the next several months. In August, we will hold the first of three regional meetings (for HHS Regions I, II, III, and V), and the first of two Webinars. These activities will introduce the guidance to public health officials and assist them in learning how best to use it in their jurisdictions. You will receive additional information about these activities in the coming weeks.

The document can be found under “At-Risk Populations Project” at If you need assistance accessing the document, please contact Caroline Barnhill at or 571-527-3174. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact Anna DeBlois Buchanan or Caroline Barnhill.
Posted July 9, 2008

Isolation and Quarantine Toolkit

The Planning & Managing for Isolation & Quarantine Toolkit is available online from the Seattle/King County Advanced Practice Center. The Toolkit is available online at:

Local Health Department Pandemic Influenza Guide AVAILABLE AT:

Pandemic Flu Morbidity and Mortality Projection Tools

Spanish version of CDC’s Public Health Emergency Response Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Public Health Directors

The Spanish version of CDC’s Public Health Emergency Response Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Public Health Directors has been finalized and can now be accessed on the CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response Spanish Web site at

Terrorism and Other Public Health Emergencies: A Reference Guide for the Media

“Terrorism and Other Public Health Emergencies: A Reference Guide for the Media” is posted on the HHS website at

Mass Casualties

CDC’s webpage provides information on such topics as coping with a traumatic event, rapid assessment of injuries, explosion and blast injuries (a primer for physicians), possible research studies, and injuries and mass trauma fact sheets.


This web-based module is designed to teach the natural epidemiology of plague and how to manage it as both a natural disease and an intentional attack. The content is presented in a series of eight lessons to be completed in the order that they appear.


LINKS to Preparedness Sites

APHA Get Ready Campaign

The ‘Get Ready’ Campaign, sponsored by the American Public Health Association, provides information, resources and tools so that all individuals, families and communities in the United States are more prepared for a potential influenza pandemic, outbreak of an emerging infectious disease or other hazard or disaster.


In cooperation with the Nebraska Health and Human Services System, Department of Regulation and Licensure, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Program has an Internet web site to host Health Alert Network updates related to pesticides and human health. The information and documents hosted on this site are intended for health care professionals such as first responders, rural clinicians, emergency room personnel, and general practitioners. The information placed on this web site will deal exclusively with the impact of pesticides on human health, and could include symptom diagnosis, toxicology, clinical studies, or real life situations of concern.


Spanish EPR Site
CDC has expanded its version of the Spanish EPR site. The new site is organized and structured the same as the English version, and will make it easier for Spanish speakers to find emergency preparedness information.

Medical Examiners, Coroners, and Biologic Terrorism

A Guidebook for Surveillance and Case Management

Drinking Water Contamination Threats and Incidents: EPA’s Overview of the Response Protocol Toolbox (EPA-817-D-03-007)

EPA has announced the release of Modules 5 and 6 of the interim final Response Protocol Toolbox: Planning for and Responding to Drinking Water Contamination Threats and Incidents (the Response Protocol Toolbox). Module 5 addresses the public health response to a credible contamination threat or confirmed incident, while Module 6 addresses remediation and recovery of a contaminated drinking water system. Modules 1 through 4 were released in December of 2003 and address response planning, threat management, site characterization and sampling, and laboratory analysis. The titles of the modules in the Response Protocol Toolbox are as follows:

  • Water Utility Planning Guide – Module 1 (EPA-817-D-03-001)
  • Contamination Threat Management Guide – Module 2 (EPA-817-D-03-002)
  • Site Characterization and Sampling Guide – Module 3 (EPA-817-D-03-003)
  • Analytical Guide – Module 4 (EPA-817-D-03-004)
  • Public Health Response Guide – Module 5 (EPA-817-D-03-005)
  • Remediation and Recovery Guide – Module 6 (EPA-817-D-03-006)

Monitoring diseases worldwide

Weekly MMWR Report

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