Emergency Preparedness

Public Health Emergency Preparedness Mission

To mitigate the loss of life, Clark County Health Department Emergency Preparedness assists Public Health entities, Healthcare Providers, and Clark County residents to respond to and recover from all hazard incidents by identifying, developing, refining, and executing plans in a timely manner.

Public Health Emergency Preparedness Vision

Every Clark County resident protected from and educated regarding all hazards incidents whether natural or manmade. 

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 Preparedness 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.

Click here to view the Public Health Preparedness Capabilities Standards

Additionally, the PHEP Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) program is administered to local health departments within the four Indiana Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) – Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Louisville. 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.


Clark County PHEP is responsible for emergency planning, emergency operations, medical countermeasures, public health volunteers, and preparedness analysis.  Operations consists of the following areas:

Emergency Planning

Emergency planning consists of the development and maintenance of 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 county, 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.

Emergency Operations

Emergency Operations consists of serving as the Emergency Support Function 8 - Public Health and Medical Services (ESF-8) coordinator in the Clark County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during disasters and county emergencies. The ESF-8 coordinator works with the fourteen other county essential support functions (transportation, communications, firefighting, information and planning, mass care, logistics management and resource support, search and rescue, hazardous materials response, agriculture and natural resources, energy, public safety and security, long term recovery, as well as, external affairs) during an emergency to facilitate communications and resource assistance.

Medical Countermeasures

In conjunction with the CDC's Division of Strategic National Stockpile (DSNS), CCHD collaborates with public health partners, healthcare coalitions, Indiana State Department of Health to prepare for the receipt of pharmaceuticals, countermeasures, personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and other related items in response to disasters and emergencies.

Emergency Volunteer Registry and Clark County 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.  For every one medical personnel, four non-medical personnel are needed. Please consider volunteering!

Click here to register for SERV-IN

Clark County has an established Medical Reserve Corp (MRC) that works closely with the Health and Human Services Medical Reserve Corp in administration of the program.  By signing up in SERV-IN and choosing Clark County MRC you will be registered as a volunteer should a public health emergency occur.  As a volunteer with Clark County MRC you give as little, or as much, time as you so desire.  Should a call for help be issued and you are available, great.  If you are not available, no harm, no foul…we’ll try you again next time.  Thank you for considering this volunteer opportunity! 

Resources & Evaluation

Preparedness Analysis

Preparedness analysis consists of the development and completion of jurisdictional risk assessments. These risk assessments are completed in conjunction with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, local public health, healthcare coalitions, and healthcare partners. Jurisdictional risk assessments are based on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (THIRA) principles and Hazard and Vulnerability Assessments (HVA) from various models. Additionally, as Operational Readiness Reviews (ORR) are submitted by local health departments in conjunction with the District and Local Readiness section, each ORR is analyzed and reviewed.


Public health and medical training is coordinated throughout the state, additionally providing support and guidance for local public health agencies, 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.


Exercise design consists of developing and implementing exercises, providing support and guidance for the Clark County Health Department, healthcare coalitions, and healthcare partners. CCHD follows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) standards and guidelines for all trainings and exercises. Additionally, CCHD participates in the District 9 Healthcare Coalition Training and Exercise Planning Workshops(TEPW) hosted annually.


Logistics consists of maintaining operational status, maintenance, and inventory of the Clark County Health Department Emergency Preparedness assets. In a disaster or countywide emergency, CCHD possesses emergency resources such as communication assets, emergency response trailers, supplies, and other items. The emergency response trailers consist of (3) previously identified Point of Dispensing site (PODs) supply trailers and the Mobile Medical Clinic trailer. CCHD also has a rapid inflatable shelter to serve as an Incident Command Post, Alternate Care Site, Triage Facility or the like.


The Clark County Health Department maintains a variety of communications assets utilized in daily operations as well as during emergencies. Communications assets include 800 MHz radios, as well as, hand to hand communication devices. Other communication systems include electronic platforms and mass notification systems. All communication systems are tested frequently and statewide emergency communications planning is conducted with the Integrated Public Safety Commission and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator

Jo Polk
Emergency Preparedness Planning Coordinator
812.282.7521 x 209



Promoting a Safe and Healthy Community for the People of Clark County Indiana