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Center for Public Health Preparedness

Emergency Management and Preparedness Planning for Community Health Center Leaders

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As a community health center, your facility has a responsibility for the care and treatment of the people that live within your community. This care and treatment extends beyond routine primary care. Your health center will be a focal point during emergencies, both large and small, that impact the community in which you operate. Such emergencies may include:

  • Natural disasters (floods, hurricanes, wild fires, earthquakes, winter storms, etc.)
  • Large-scale accidents (transportation accidents, industrial explosions)
  • Terrorism (biological, chemical, or radiological)
  • Communicable disease outbreaks
  • Internal (fire, burst pipe, carbon monoxide leak)

Emergencies happen – but is your facility prepared? The more prepared your facility is, the more efficient your facility's response will be and the more quickly your center can recover and get back to business as usual.

The purpose of this course is to aid community health centers in developing and maintaining an emergency management plan that guides their response to all hazards. For organizations that have developed emergency management plans, this course will provide an opportunity to evaluate how the plan might function in a disaster scenario.


After completing "Emergency Management and Preparedness Planning for Community Health Center Leaders" the learner will be able to:

  • List the elements of an emergency management plan
  • Understand the importance of having an emergency management team
  • Explain the concept of "all-hazards"
  • Understand the importance of community partners
  • Describe the basic concepts of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS)
  • Identify some of the various roles your community health center may undertake during an emergency
  • Describe different types of staff training
  • Understand the importance of evaluating and revising your emergency management plan

Technical Requirements

This course is built to XHTML 1.1 specifications. A modern web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, is required to view the pages.


Originally launched August 5th, 2010. Updated October 2015.


Free and open to the public


This course was written by Kristin Murphy, Web-Based Training Coordinator for the University at Albany, Center for Public Health Preparedness based on materials developed by:

  • Center for Health Policy, Columbia University School of Nursing
  • Community Health Care Association of New York State
  • National Association of Community Health Centers


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