The CDC recently released its updated Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities. While this is certainly important for public health preparedness personnel, these are something that most emergency management professionals should also be aware of. Public Health is an incredibly integral partner in emergency management and homeland security. Last year I did a review of the new HHS ASPR Health Care Preparedness and Response Capabilities and also included the previous version of the CDC Public Health capabilities in my discussion.
The new CDC standards, at a glance, are the same as the previous version. All 15 capabilities have been continued. Upon closer examination, there has certainly been some refinement across these capabilities, including some adjustments in the functions, or primary activities, associated with each capability; as well as a better look at preparedness measures for each. As with the previous version, they front load some guidance on integrating the capabilities into preparedness and response activities.
For those keeping track from the previous version, each capability narrative includes a summary of changes which were adopted from lessons learned over the past several years. Similar to the previous version, each capability is broken into functions and tasks, with suggested performance measures. For those of you who remember the old Target Capabilities List and Universal Task List, it’s a similar, although more utilitarian, concept.
So what do emergency managers need to know? Fundamentally, be aware that these capabilities are what public health will be primarily focused on rather than the National Preparedness Goal’s 32 Core Capabilities. These aren’t mutually exclusive to each other, though. In fact, the new CDC document references the National Preparedness Goal. There are some public health capabilities that cross walk pretty easily, such as Fatality Management. The public health capability, however, has a strong focus on the public health aspects of this activity. Some public health capabilities don’t necessarily have a direct analog, as many of them would be considered to be part of the Public Health, Healthcare, and Emergency Medical Services Core Capability.
My recommendation is to have a copy of this document handy. Review it to become familiar with it, and, depending on how heavy your involvement is with public health, you may be making some notes on how these capabilities compare with and interact with the 32 Core Capabilities.
© 2018 – Timothy Riecker, CEDP