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Divisional Overview

The Division of Emergency Preparedness (DEP) is primarily charged with promoting the overall preparedness, readiness, and resilience for public health and healthcare across the State of Indiana. During an emergency, the DEP serves as the lead Emergency Support Function 8 - Public Health and Medical Services (ESF-8) coordinator in the Indiana State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).

The DEP consists of the following three sections and support staff:

District and Local Readiness

The District and Local Readiness section supports local public health and healthcare preparedness throughout Indiana. This is accomplished through Northern, Central, and Southern Regional Managers. Each Regional Manager oversees the District Public Health Coordinator and District Healthcare Coordinator for each respective District.

This section primarily works with local health departments, hospitals, healthcare coalitions, and other public health and healthcare partners in each District. This preparedness work includes all five mission areas of the National Preparedness Goal: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery. Additionally, the District and Local Readiness section works closely with several other State Agencies, Public Health and Healthcare Associations, and many other organizations that have local roles in public health and healthcare preparedness. The District and Local Readiness section consists of the following areas:

Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP)

The Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is administered to the 93 local health departments throughout Indiana. The CDC PHEP program has developed 15 Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities that are used to assist state and local public health partners in identifying gaps in preparedness, determining the specific jurisdictional priorities, and developing plans for building and sustaining capabilities.

CDC Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities

Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI)

The CDC Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) program is administered to local health departments within the four Indiana Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) – Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Louisville. This program focuses specifically on preparedness for medical countermeasure dispensing and administration in the MSAs. As part of the CRI program, the CDC's Operational Readiness Review (ORR) is conducted throughout each local CRI jurisdiction. The ORR is designed to measure public health preparedness for Medical Countermeasure (MCM) events.

Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP)

The Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) cooperative agreement from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) is administered to the 10 District Healthcare Coalitions throughout Indiana. The ASPR HPP has developed 4 Healthcare Preparedness and Response Capabilities that are used to assist state and local healthcare partners in identifying gaps in preparedness, determining the specific jurisdictional priorities, and developing plans for building and sustaining capabilities.

ASPR Healthcare Preparedness and Response Capabilities

Planning and Exercise

The Planning and Exercise section is responsible for emergency planning, medical countermeasures, statewide volunteer registry, and exercise. The Planning and Exercise section consists of the following areas:

Emergency Planning

Emergency planning consists of the development and maintenance of the division’s preparedness and response plans, as well as recovery and continuity planning. Other emergency planning activities consist of leading the development of public health and medical emergency plans for the state, working closely with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and other public health and medical partner agencies. Other planning activities include supporting local public health and healthcare planning in conjunction with the District and Local Readiness section.

Exercise

Exercise  consists of developing and implementing prepareness exercises aimed at evaluating plans based on a scenerio. Exercise additional provides support and guidance for the agency, division, local public health, healthcare coalitions, and other healthcare partners. The ISDH follows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) standards and guidelines for all  exercises. Exercise additional conducts After-Action and Improvement Planning (AAR/IP) based on the outputs of exercise for future corrective action on any gaps found.

Medical Countermeasures

In conjunction with the CDC and ASPR, the ISDH collaborates with the Indiana State Police, Indiana National Guard, Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies to support the distribution of pharmaceuticals, countermeasures, personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and other related items in response to disasters and statewide emergencies. Like local CRI jurisdictions, the ISDH is responsible for completing the statewide Operational Readiness Review (ORR) by the CDC.

Emergency Volunteer Registry and MRC

The State Emergency Registry of Volunteers for Indiana (SERV-IN) is a statewide, electronic registration system of  public health, medical, and non-medical volunteers who desire to assist during an event or disaster. By registering with SERV-IN, volunteers’ identities and credentials are verified in advance of an emergency situation.

Additionally, Indiana has over 25 Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) units across the state, working closely with the Health and Human Services Medical Reserve Corps program in administration of the MRC program in Indiana.

Training and Logistics

The Training and Logistics section oversees the Training and Logistics for the division. This section is responsible for the development of training and the maintenance and deployment of resources. This section maintains the readiness of the ISDH DEP resources, ready to respond during emergencies and disasters. The Training and Logistics section consists of the following areas:

Training

Statewide public health and medical training are coordinated throughout the state, additionally providing support and guidance for the division, agency, and other local public health, healthcare coalitions, and healthcare partners. Through a collaboration with state and federal partners, training needs are continuously assessed, developing new or identifying existing courses, providing support with requesting training courses, and coordinating delivery of a variety of training opportunities.

Logistics

Logistics consists of maintaining operational status, maintenance, and inventory of the division's assets. In a disaster or statewide emergency, the ISDH possesses emergency resources such as communication assets, emergency response trailers, supplies, and other items. The emergency response trailers consist of the Advance Medical Supply Unit (AMSU), Mobile Command Unit (MCU), the Mobile Hospital, and the supply trailer. The ISDH has multiple sheltering systems ranging from rapid inflatable shelters to rigid structural shelters.

Communications

The ISDH maintains a variety of communications assets utilized in daily operations as well as during emergencies. Communications assets include amateur radio, UHF/VHF, high frequency, and satellite communications. Other communication systems include electronic platforms and mass notification systems.