Tornadoes, ice storms, flooding, a disease outbreak, terrorism — Montgomery County is at risk for any number of emergencies. Recent events like the Orlando shootings and the spread of the Zika virus remind us that disaster is just one breath away. Our staff have increased emergency preparedness over the past year. We recently attended a training on how to put on and take off personal protective equipment in order to prevent the spread of a communicable disease. We also participated in training on how to offer medication or vaccinations to the entire county population within 48 hours. And we participated in a state-sponsored Ebola response training and exercise.
In an emergency, we may need to offer vaccinations or medication to everyone in our community within just a few days. In order to accomplish this, we plan to open Point of Dispensing Sites, also called PODs. We will let our community know when and where people should report to a POD to receive free medication or vaccinations that will protect them from a disease.
We will need help from volunteers to effectively staff and run a POD. If you are interested in helping us as a public health volunteer, please contact us at (573) 564-2495. We also encourage you to complete the paperwork and training listed below. This will help us to more quickly put you in action as a volunteer after an emergency strikes.
• Volunteer Application Form — Please print and complete this document, then mail it or drop it by our main office.
• Volunteer Background Check Application — Please print and complete this document, then mail it or drop it by our main office. We will submit it to the Family Care Safety Registry on your behalf. You do not need to submit payment with it.
• Household Health Information — You will not need to complete this form unless a public health emergency occurs and we need to offer vaccinations or medication to residents of our community.
We also encourage you to complete the following basic training before volunteering for our agency. All trainings are online and are free. You may need to register to take some of the courses. Please print a certificate of completion for each training and submit it to our agency with your volunteer application.
• Volunteer Training: First Steps
• HIPAA: An Overview
• Family and Workplace Preparedness
• Volunteer Training: Incident Command System
• Mass Dispensing Guide: A Primer for Volunteers
• Volunteer Training: Stress Management
There are other volunteer opportunities that allow you to serve our community in times of need.
• Show Me Response
• American Red Cross
• Salvation Army
We encourage you to prepare for emergencies, as well. Write down what each family member should do during an emergency. Make sure all family members know how to contact each other if separated. Identify a family meeting place inside and outside your neighborhood. Write down contact information for a person who lives out-of-state. If local telephone service is unavailable, each family member should this person to let him know where they are and if they are hurt.
Assemble an emergency preparedness kit for your home and your vehicle. Store your home kit in a dry place where you can quickly access it. Each emergency kit should contain at least:
• Flashlight with batteries
• Battery-powered radio
• First-aid kit
• 3 gallons of water per person
• Non-perishable food
• Manual can opener
• Prescription medications
• Special items for infants or children
Visit Ready in 3 for more information on how to prepare your family for a public health emergency.
Because we care about you and about our community, we are continually planning, practicing and refining our plans to respond to a public health emergency.
Preparing for emergencies helps protect our community and strengthens our infrastructure and our ability to respond quickly to prevent the spread of disease and save lives.
Funding is provided through a Public Health Emergency Preparedness contract with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.