Emergency Preparedness

Richland Public Health is the lead agency in the event of a county emergency of a biological nature, either through an infectious disease or terrorist threat. But you should also be prepared in case of other emergencies.

Created by Richland Public Health and the Shelby City Health Department and approved by ODH (PHEP).


The need for personnel to support the COVID-19 response is continuing to increase.  Non-medical as well as medically licensed professionals from all disciplines are being called upon to help fill that need.  Specifically preparing to have enough professionals who can assist with vaccinations will be critical to ensure everyone who wants the vaccine can receive as the phases continue.  Volunteers with medical licenses who are actively practicing or are retired with an active license are highly encouraged to support response efforts. See the recruiting flyer HERE. Please use this link to SIGN UP for the OMRC (and not the one on the flyer).


There are many pages available for information on making emergency plans, preparing for emergencies, and dealing with health crisis situations such as floods, tornadoes, pandemic flu or power outages.

The American Public Health Association (APHA)
APHA has created a page devoted to helping Americans prepare themselves, their families and their communities for all disasters and hazards, including pandemic flu, infectious diseases, natural disasters and other emergencies. There is a lot of good information, podcasts, questions and answers, and downloadable flyers and posters for use by the public, the media, and professionals. Check it out here: http://www.getreadyforflu.org/newsite.htm

Here is a video is about being prepared, including for the flu, from getreadyforflu.org:

Ready.gov. The name says it: Prepare, Plan, Stay Informed:

 Center for Disease Control & Prevention
Tons of Links on this site. Check it out here: Preparation and Planning

Power Outages in Emergencies
Click on any of the following PDF documents about actions to take when there are power outages (either weather-related or power grid failures):
Power Outages and Food Safety (information on how long food can remain usable)
Power Outages and Portable Generator Hazards
Power Outages and Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Power Outages and Private Water Systems
Power Outages and Private Sewage Treatment Systems

Recovering from a Flood
Flooding and Health & Safety Concerns
Flooding and Driving Through High Waters (Safety Tips)
Flood Recovery brochure from the Ohio Department of Health
Flood Repair from the Red Cross

Disinfecting Water Wells after a Flood 

Preparing for an Emergency
Making an Emergency Supply Kit – a PDF download

Preparedness for a Pandemic
Here’s a new video titled How a Virus Changes the World.

A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges for which people have little or no immunity.  The disease spreads easily from person to person; causes serious illness or death; and can move across the country and around the world in a very short time.

Certain strains of influenza occur annually worldwide and should not be confused with pandemic flu. These “seasonal” viruses cause the high fevers, coughs, and chills familiar to all Ohioans, especially between December and April, which is the state’s peak period of seasonal flu activity.

Pandemic influenza is much more serious than seasonal influenza and has occurred three times in the last century. Pandemics can occur any time, symptoms may be more severe and complications more frequent. Recent pandemics occurred in 1957-58 and 1968-69; but the most serious was the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic which killed perhaps as many as 30 to 50 million people worldwide. Local, state and federal governments are preparing for the worst-case scenario which would be similar to the 1918 pandemic.

History tells us we will eventually have another influenza pandemic.  When an influenza pandemic occurs, it is certain our everyday lives will drastically change. These changes may include the temporary closing of schools or cancellation of events, disruption of normal services such as electricity and water and some shortages.  Planning for an influenza pandemic is similar to preparing for any emergency.  Take time to understand the needs of your household and take action to help lessen the impact of an influenza pandemic on you and your family.

What You Can Do Now

When preparing for a possible emergency such as pandemic influenza, it’s best to think first about the basics of survival, including fresh water, food, and medical supplies. Because it may be necessary to protect yourself and others from spreading the flu virus, you may be asked to remain in your home for several days. You can prepare now by creating a stockpile of emergency supplies. Experts recommend you have at least a one-week stockpile of food, water, and goods purchased over time to limit the financial impact and prevent store shortages.

Download “Making Your Own Emergency Supply Kit” PDF


  • Store a supply of drinking water and food
  • Buy bottled water or fill and seal water containers tightly, label them with a date and store in a cool, dark place. Rotate water every six months.
  • Bottled and/or filtered water – recommend at least one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation. Store water tightly in clean plastic containers such as soft drink bottles.
  • Children, nursing mothers, and sick people may need more water.

Examples of food and non-perishables

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and soups
  • Rice
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Peanut butter or nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Crackers
  • Canned juices
  • Canned or jarred baby food and formula
  • Pet food and prescriptions

Medical, first-aid and hygiene supplies
Have nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand. Be sure to periodically rotate medications. It is also a good idea to have medical information for all family members documented and packaged with your kit. This medical history document should include the following for everyone: allergies; past and current medical conditions; and current medications and dosages. 

  • Prescription medications
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood-pressure monitoring equipment
  • Soap and water, or alcohol-based hand wash
  • Tissues, toilet paper, and disposable diapers
  • Medicines for fever, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin
  • Thermometer
  • Vitamins
  • Fluids with electrolytes such as sports drinks

Emergency Supplies

  • Flashlight
  • Portable, battery-powered radio
  • Batteries for flashlight, radio and any medically-prescribed equipment
  • Manual can opener
  • Garbage bags
  • Camping or other stand-alone stove and fuel

Health officials recommend people continue to take the same precautions to protect themselves against a potential influenza pandemic as they would from colds and seasonal flu. Make good respiratory etiquette a habit.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away after you use it.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve if you don’t have a tissue.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs often spread this way.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze or use the restroom and before eating. If you are not near soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Stay away from people who are sick as much as you can.
  • If you get sick, stay home from work or school.

Preventive measures and good health habits can help your body stay healthy and fight off the flu.

  • Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grain products.
  • Drink plenty of water and go easy on salt, sugar, alcohol and saturated fat.
  • Exercise on a regular basis. Thirty or more minutes of physical activity most days of the week can help boost your immunity.
  • Get plenty of rest. Sleep also is shown to boost your body’s ability to fight off illness.

Questions or Comments

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