Emergency Preparedness

Public Health Emergency Preparedness The Joplin Health Department recognizes the importance of public health emergency preparedness activities in the community. The department participates in emergency preparedness planning initiatives in the local, state, and federal levels. Public health emergency preparedness includes planning and epidemiology services. These services are supplemented by a contract from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Through this contract, the department offers regional planning and epidemiology services to the Joplin and Jasper County area.

The health department also participates with other community partners in several committees that work toward community preparedness for emergencies. Chief among them are the Local Emergency Planning Committee, Medical Subcommittee, which includes a variety of community stakeholders from Joplin, Jasper County and Newton County. This is also known as the Joplin/Jasper County - Emergency Healthcare Coalition (J/JC-EHC). Another group is the Southwest Coalition Western District Non-Urban Healthcare Coalition which is sponsored by the Missouri Hospital Association (MHA).

Joplin/Jasper County - Emergency Healthcare Coalition (J/JC-EHC) The purpose of the Joplin/Jasper County Emergency Healthcare Coalition is to facilitate enhanced preparedness for community emergencies that impacts the community health. The coalition is responsible for reviewing and providing recommendations to the larger Joplin/Jasper County LEPC needed changes to the following Annexes:

  • Annex M of the Joplin/Jasper County Local Emergency Operations Plan (health and medical)
  • Annex N Of the Joplin/Jasper County Local Emergency Operations Plan (WMD)
  • Annex O the Animal Disaster and Agriculture Response Plan
  • Appendix 7 of Annex M (Local Health Agency Plan)
  • Other annexes impacting community health response

The coalition committee works with each member to review individual agency emergency response plans to ensure a coordinated response to community emergencies impacting community health. The committee works with member agencies to determine the need for and plan exercise activities for medical emergencies. Additional responsibilities of the subcommittee include:

  • Review of need for any potential Strategic National Stockpile Activation in Jasper County or Joplin
  • Review of need for DHSS Surge Capacity Cache activation (located at Freeman Hospital)
  • Review of need for the Mass Casualty Trailer activation (located at Mercy Hospital) if needed out of area

Membership Membership includes community partners in Joplin and Jasper County that have a role in the community health emergency response issues.

Regional Public Health Planning Services The regional public health planning services include developing local and regional emergency preparedness and response plans in the City of Joplin and Jasper County.

Emergency Preparedness & Response Plans The Joplin Health Department recognizes the important role of planning for emergencies and has plans that cover various areas that would be affected in the event of disasters. Such plans include;

  • Agricultural Terrorism Plan
  • Animal Emergency Response Plan
  • Pandemic Flu Preparedness Plan
  • Local Public Health Emergency Plan (LPHEP)
  • Sheltering Support Plan for American Red Cross Emergency Shelters
  • Strategic National Stockpile Plan (SNS)
  • Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan
  • Animal Emergency Response Plan

Emergency Planning Exercises The City of Joplin Health Department participates in disaster preparedness exercises in collaboration with the local emergency preparedness committee and community stakeholders.

Education & Training As part of emergency preparedness, the regional public health planner offers training such as Incident Command Systems (ICS) and National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) to local health department staff and other interested stakeholders.

Ready-In-3 Ready-In-3 focuses on three steps to take in order to prepare for many kinds of emergencies which include:

  • Creating a plan
  • Listening for information
  • Preparing a kit

Available Materials Ready-In-3 materials are available for free from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. They are presented in various formats, in multiple languages, and geared toward families, seniors, special needs, faith-based organizations, schools, child-care providers, and employers. To learn more about Ready-In-3 materials, visit the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Pandemic Influenza Planning

An influenza pandemic can occur when a non-human (novel) influenza virus gains the ability for efficient and sustained human-to-human transmission and then spreads globally. Influenza viruses that have the potential to cause a pandemic are referred to as ‘influenza viruses with pandemic potential.’

Pandemic preparedness efforts include ongoing surveillance of human and animal influenza viruses, risk assessments of influenza viruses with pandemic potential, and the development and improvement of preparedness tools that can aid public health practitioners in the event of an influenza pandemic.

Family  Make sure your family has a plan in case of an emergency. Before an emergency happens, sit down together and decide how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go and what you will do in an emergency. Keep a copy of the plan in your emergency supply kit or another safe place where you can access it in the event of a disaster. Fill out a card and give one to each member of your family to make sure they know who to call and where to meet in case of an emergency.

Many people have a deep bond with their pets. If your animals are true members of the family, they must be included in your family's emergency planning and preparations.


Medical Providers Medical professionals play an important role in the management, care and treatment of health problems in our community.


Businesses You've invested significant time and resources into making your business work. Your business is important to you, your family, your employees, your customers and the community. It is therefore critical that you take the time and effort necessary to plan and respond to flu pandemic events to protect your investment.

According to current projections, a flu pandemic could have negative impact to businesses and society. Some of these impacts may include absenteeism due to people getting sick and caring for sick family members, as well as disruptions in such critical services like public safety, power, telecommunications and emergency response etc.

The following resources will help you identify variety of issues to consider, learn key elements to a flu pandemic business plan, and chart a course of action you can take now to prepare yourself, your employees and your business.


Faith-Based Organizations In preparation for a potential pandemic influenza, government officials strongly recommend that all individuals, government and business entities, and community organizations and agencies take appropriate measures to minimize the impact of a pandemic outbreak.

As part of a disaster response, the religious community, concerned about the values of human life, human community, and the environment, will just naturally become involved in disaster planning, prevention, and risk-reduction.

The City of Joplin the Jasper County Health Department have compiled a guide, Pandemic Planning: The Faith Based Role, to guide faith based communities on pandemic planning.

Schools and Other Institutions of Learning Local educational agencies (LEAs) play an integral role in protecting the health and safety of their district's staff, students and their families. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed a checklist to assist LEAs in developing and/or improving plans to prepare for and respond to an influenza pandemic.

Building a strong relationship with the local health department is critical for developing a meaningful plan. The key planning activities in this checklist build upon existing contingency plans recommended for school districts by the U.S. Department of Education (Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide For Schools and Communities (PDF)

School districts should include pandemic influenza in the their emergency plans.