The Role of the Public Health Department in Mitigation of Natural Disasters

Subject: Public Health
Pages: 1
Words: 279
Reading time:
2 min

The significant impact on public health by natural disasters poses a difficult challenge for many government organizations that work towards public safety and security. The complexity of systems that provide said safety continues to grow exponentially every year, requiring more sophisticated ways to coordinate their synchronous functioning. Rose et al. (2017) state that the primary challenge is to determine how “to best maximize limited available resources in public health infrastructure” (p. 132). To demonstrate the role of the public health department in the resolution of such incidents, I chose the Mendocino County Emergency Operations Plan.

The plan puts an emphasis on the importance of constant awareness of the potential disasters and the ability of the county officials to issue an emergency alert. The author designed a complex system that creates a hierarchy between facilities in order to relay the necessary information efficiently (Angelo, 2016). Angelo (2016) puts the crucial role on the Sheriff’s Office Dispatch, from where the “timely emergency notifications can be relayed to response agencies, leaders, and (when necessary) the public” (p. 14). Activated facilities will vary depending on the exact nature and severity of the disaster (Angelo, 2016). The plan contains a wide variety of factors that affect the decision-making process of the emergency responders.

The disaster response plan includes several steps for action that aim to fully describe the process from the initial response to the elimination of long-term effects. It overviews crucial stages in resource management, coordination of field operations, damage assessment, and recovery (Angelo, 2016). Moreover, the author includes a sample scenario for each type of potential natural disaster in the area that examines the expected obstacles and priorities for organizations to consider.


Angelo, C. J. (2016). Mendocino county emergency operations plan (16-119). Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. Web.

Rose, D. A., Murthy, S., Brooks, J., & Bryant, J. (2017). The evolution of public health emergency management as a Field of practice. American Journal of Public Health, 107(S2), S126-S133. Web.