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Emergency Preparedness and Response

Disasters can happen anywhere and anytime. Communities can cope with disaster by planning and preparing in advance and working together as a team.

As stated in the Office of Rural Health Policy’s document, Rural Communities and Emergency Preparedness, adequate emergency preparedness in rural communities depends on public health departments, hospitals, and emergency medical services providers. Rural public health departments tend to have less capacity and resources than their urban counterparts. Some hospitals, which are the center of health planning, activity, and resources in rural communities, have been downsized in an effort to contain costs and, as a result, rural hospitals lack surge capacity for personnel and beds. Rural EMS often relies on volunteers and may lack funding and adequate equipment.

Rural communities face challenges regarding emergency management. These include resource limitations, remoteness, separation, low population density, and communication issues.

Sources: Rural Communities and Emergency Preparedness (2002); Challenges of Rural Emergency Management (2009)


State Homeland Security Contacts

State Offices and Agencies of Emergency Management

There are more organizations related to Emergency Preparedness and Response in the organizations section.

Frequently Asked Questions