The Emergency Preparedness program plans for and responds to a range of public health threats and emergencies that could affect the health and well-being of Livingston County residents. This includes disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and accidental or intentional man-made disasters like chemical or nuclear incidents. The Emergency Preparedness program’s goal is to build a more resilient community that is prepared to deal with and rapidly recover from emergencies that affect the health of the public.
This is accomplished through activities focused on preventing, responding, and recovering from public health threats and emergencies:
- Preparedness planning and readiness training and assessments
- Partner collaboration with local, state, and federal agencies
- Disease surveillance and epidemiology
- Risk communication and public education
- Promoting a sense of personal responsibility in preparedness
The Livingston County Health Department works closely with other local and state emergency response agencies to plan for a variety of scenarios and hazards that could affect the safety of our residents. The Emergency Preparedness program acts as a public health liaison to provide support and technical assistance to local emergency management officials, law enforcement, fire, county dispatch and EMS, schools, businesses, senior communities, and more. Together, these partners work together to increase safety for all residents by conducting drills, exercises, trainings, and outreach.
What is a Public Health Emergency?
A public health emergency is any adverse event (natural or man-made) that negatively impacts the health of the community and has the potential to cause widespread illness or serious harm. A public health emergency exists when there is a suspected or confirmed situation that has the potential to overwhelm the routine capabilities established to address them.
- A disease outbreak that can occur naturally (flu), or is man-made (an intentional release of anthrax or food contamination)
- An illness that may cause a larger number of deaths and serious disabilities, or both (polio)
- A newly emerging infectious disease
- Outbreaks of illnesses that can be highly contagious (measles)
- Exposure to a chemical that affects our air, water, or food (transportation/industrial accident, cyanide gas release, or intentional food contamination)
- Radioactive contamination and radiation exposure (accident or act of terrorism)
- Exposure to disease or hazards after a natural disaster (hepatitis A in flood waters or food contamination after a lengthy power outage)
Get Prepared for Public Health Emergencies!
Your family is unique! Your emergency plans and supplies should be, too. LCHD provides residents with the tools and resources needed to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies. Know what emergencies could affect your family, your home, and your community. Even a small amount of preparation before an emergency can make a big difference and can save lives.
Learn About the Hazards in Your Area
The Livingston County Hazard Mitigation Plan provides information about the types of hazards that affect or have the potential to affect Livingston County. Top hazards in our county include:
- Severe weather
- Winter weather/Ice storms
- Extreme Temperatures
Prepare for everywhere! If you travel or visit other areas often, learn the hazards affect that area as well.
- If you visit areas that experience hurricanes or earthquakes which are not common in Michigan, learn what to do before you go.
Do you live near an area that may see greater impact from a disaster, like in a low-lying flood zone? Is your home near train tracks or a highway where a transportation accident may affect your neighborhood? Consider the area you live in and identify hazards you should plan for.
Build an Emergency Kit
Getting prepared includes gathering enough food, water, and supplies for your home that will last for several days. There are lots of different emergency kits you can prepare in advance, so you have supplies readily available at the time of an incident. Consider the unique needs of all family members, including babies, seniors, and pets. Information below is just a suggestion. You may find that your family needs more. Check the supplies in your kits at least twice a year. Remember, when you set your clocks, check your stocks. Re-evaluate your needs and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
Basic Emergency Supply Kit
- After an emergency, you may need to survive at home for several days before help arrives. A Basic Emergency Supply Kit is a collection of supplies you keep in your home in case you need to shelter-in-place and stay home for a length of time. These supplies should last your family for several days.
- Supplies should be stored in an airtight container, protected from elements and pests.
- Store your kit in an easy to access location at the time of an emergency.
- Example lists of what to include in your Home Emergency Kit can be found at Ready.gov, MIReady, and the CDC.
- A Go Kit is a small emergency kit, typically a backpack, that’s easy to take with you in case you need to leave your home right away.
- Every family member should have a Go Kit.
- Pets should have a Go-Kit, too!
- An example list of items to include in a Go-Kit can be found at Ready.gov.
Car Emergency Kit
- No matter the distance you regularly drive, create an emergency kit for your vehicle with items you may need if you experience an emergency while on the road.
- Plan long trips carefully, listening to the radio or television for the latest weather forecasts and road conditions.
- Example lists of what to include in your Car Kit can be found at Ready.gov and MIReady.
Pet Emergency Kit
Make a Plan
Prepare your family for an emergency by developing a written emergency plan. LCHD works to protect the health of the community and can provide you with valuable information on how to best keep your family safe during emergencies. Your family should prepare for a disaster at any time. Whether it be a natural disaster, disease related, or an event of terrorism, you should have a plan.
- Every household should have a written emergency plan and all household members should know the plan. Create a binder with your plan and keep it in a secure location within your home.
- Plan ahead in case your family is not home when an emergency strikes and can’t access your emergency binder. Store your emergency plan on a cloud system or email a copy to yourself.
- Some resources that can assist you with creating a family emergency plan include: MIReady Family Preparedness Guide, MIReady Family Preparedness Plan Template, and Ready.gov.
- Some family members may have additional needs, be an older adult or a pregnant person or infant and may need extra considerations.
Emergency alerts allow officials to push out urgent, life-saving information to residents in a short amount of time. Residents should sign up to receive alerts before a disaster strikes and know where to get local emergency information. Learn ways to get further tech ready for an emergency.
- Emergency alerts keep residents and travelers informed on potentially hazardous situations involving weather, traffic, and other emergencies. Residents are encouraged to sign up to receive LivCo Alerts through the county’s free notification system. Landlines are automatically added to the system to receive tornado warnings only.
- To learn about the other types of notifications you may receive during emergencies from Michigan Public Safety Officials, visit MIReady.gov.
Emergency Public Information
- In addition to posting emergency information and alerts to our website, LCHD also shares press releases and Facebook posts. Your city, village, or township office may also share information through their websites or social media accounts, as well as your local police and fire responder agencies.
Other sources for emergency information in Livingston County include:
Prepare & Protect Your Health
Planning for how to maintain and protect your health in a disaster or emergency is an important, but often overlooked part of the preparedness process. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle prior to an emergency and taking time to learn about how to protect yourself and your family may prevent injury or even save a life.
Before an Emergency
Natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and emergencies can have widespread and even long-lasting impacts on supplies, services, and the public health and health care systems. Don’t wait for an emergency to happen to prepare. Use the time before and between events to gather essential supplies, learn self-help skills, and build the self-confidence you need to respond quickly and constructively in a crisis.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle by choosing nutritious foods, exercising regularly, drinking water, and getting regular sleep. Avoid smoking, drugs, and other factors that can harm your health.
- Get involved in your community to improve preparedness efforts for your area.
- Stay up to date with vaccinations.
- Plan for your healthcare needs if you rely on regular medical support or treatment (ex., insulin, prescription medications, dialysis, breathing treatments, or oxygen use). During a disaster, you may not be able to readily access your normal providers or resources. Prepare by making a list of products, medical devices, medications, treatment instructions, and prescriptions to keep in your kit. Include your doctors and providers on your emergency phone list.
- Learn what other actions you can take now to protect your health later with information from the CDC.
- Learn how to shut off the utilities to your home.
During an Emergency
- Use safe water after a disaster or emergency.
- Listen to authorities and stay informed about whether you should stay and shelter in place, or if you should evacuate.
- Carbon monoxide (or CO) is a silent killer. You cannot see it, smell it, or taste it. CO is produced by running a vehicle engine, or using a generator, furnace, grill, or space heater. Learn how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Prevent food poisoning. Prolonged power outages can also affect food safety. Perishable foods, such as meats, seafood, and dairy, are unsafe to eat after being in your refrigerator when the power has been off for four hours or more.
After an Emergency
- Cleaning up after a disaster takes time, patience, and precautions. Learn how to take steps to clean up safely after a disaster and reduce your risk of exposure to things like mold, bacteria, and other health hazards.
- Learn what to do to ensure the water you are consuming or using for food prep and hygiene purposes is safe.
- Learn about disaster food safety and what food items may be safe to keep, and which should be thrown away.
- Take care of your mental and emotional health when coping with a disaster or traumatic event.
Emergency Preparedness isn’t only about collecting supplies and stocking items. It’s also about learning skills and being aware of how you might be able to step up and help in the time of disaster. Skills could include how to use a fire extinguisher, how to set up and operate a portable generator, as well as how to provide CPR or stop severe bleeding.
Join the Medical Reserve Corps!
Interested in more opportunities to get involved and provide support to your community? Join our Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteer team!
Sign Up For LivCo Alerts
LivCo Alerts is a free service available to all residents that allows individuals to sign up for emergency notifications from state and local authorities.
Last Modified July 13, 2023