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Prepare and Protect During National Preparedness Month

Aug 27, 2014

PEORIA COUNTY – During National Preparedness Month in September, Peoria City/County Health Department (PCCHD) remembers our commitment to prepare and protect people during hazardous events. Health Department staff plan and prepare for public health emergencies, respond to health threats, and protect people from health hazards. Those hazards may be from tornados, flooding, power outages, natural or man-made disasters, or disease threats, including new diseases, such as the Ebola Virus or other diseases that may develop.

"We often hear questions about what we are doing for the public when we hear about threats from unfamiliar and sometimes dangerous communicable diseases," states PCCHD Director of Infectious Disease Jean Bellisario. "We have staff who are dedicated to providing surveillance, investigation, and control for communicable diseases. We work with federal, state, and local health systems to assure reporting of diseases. We work with our community partners to help protect people in  our area. Prompt notification of a communicable disease allows us to prevent further transmission of disease,” adds Bellisario. “Information we receive through our reporting and surveillance programs also helps us monitor disease trends, identify groups that may be at high risk of illness, and develop policies and programs to prevent the spread of these diseases.”

"Adding to our surveillance activities, our Health Department also employs vigorous efforts to plan and prepare for all public health hazards, not just new diseases," states Jason Marks, PCCHD Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. "We know there are risks that cannot be fully controlled, so it makes sense that we plan with community partners and with the public for those risks. A major focus in our plans is to work and help people know how to be prepared for possible hazardous events, such as tornados, summer heat, flooding, infectious diseases, power outages, and even natural or man-made disasters. We help individuals to be better prepared by getting an emergency kit of supplies, making a plan with family members of what to do in an emergency, staying informed and ready to act, and even getting involved in their community. While preparing and protecting are important, our overall plans include informing and including the public in this whole process in order to achieve our goal of being a prepared community for all hazardous events.”

To learn more about Preparedness and other important Public Health issues, visit the Peoria City/County Health Department website at www.pcchd.org.

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