Public health plays a vital role in emergency preparedness. After major disasters, public health workers are often called upon to participate in a coordinated response and to protect residents from disease outbreaks and other hazards due to contaminated food and water, chemical releases, insect-borne diseases, and unmet medical needs.
In Cambridge, the health department and other first responders lead the city’s disaster preparedness efforts. The department is focused on health emergencies that could potentially harm many people, such as pandemic flu, foodborne illnesses, hazardous releases, natural disasters, and terrorism.
In addition to city preparedness activities, the Emergency Preparedness Division is responsible for coordinating preparedness activities for 27 communities (including Cambridge) that comprise Massachusetts Emergency Preparedness Region 4b.
Updated on April 4, 2014