FQHC Emergency Operations Preparedness (EOP), Incidents, and Epidemic Surveillance

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) & EOP:

FQHCs have emergency operations plan (EOP) responsibilities toward their service area counties during natural disasters or other emergencies. FQHCs located within disaster-affected areas strive to a) preserve their continuity of operations and records security, b) work with the county or Local Emergency Operations Centers to offer public health assistance, and c) distribute medical resources as specified by the National Stockpile Program (ESF 8-29). They may also provide services during the recovery phase.

A free, comprehensive health center guide book Emergencies Happen-Get Prepared Now! is available on the NACHC Emergency Management Planning webpage.

Statewide Emergency Resources

Emergency Communications: FQHC sites are to be tuned into natural disaster conditions through the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Emergency Alert System (EAS) process. The NE DHHS has an Emergency Operations Preparedness State Plan and a Behavioral Health All Hazards State Plan. The Health Alert Network (HAN) is a statewide communications system used to alert all medical doctors, hospitals, veterinarians and animal clinics of a medical or animal disease emergency.

Incidents: FQHCs will operate using the NIMS protocols for mass casualties to provide available resources such as medications, medical service personnel, emergency food or water supplies, expendable cleaning and personal hygiene supplies during events. They may also be asked to help with transportation, shelter facilities, cots and blankets.

Disease Surveillance: Nebraska’s “Guardian” internet portal is where FQHCs’ reporting is conducted by accessing the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS) (requires password).  Guardian also provides access to the Center for Disease Control’s Health Alert Network. (HAN).

Regional and Nationwide Resource Links