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. They also work 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.

The Cambridge Community Corps (C3) is a program coordinated by the Cambridge Public Health Department. Ambassadors inform and answer questions on public health messaging topics such as staying safe during the pandemic, vaccines, safety during periods of extreme heat, mosquito-borne diseases and emergency preparedness.

In addition to city preparedness activities, the Cambridge Public Health Department is a member of the state-funded Metro Regional Preparedness Coalition, which fosters regional health and medical readiness for emergency events in 60 communities, including Cambridge.

Updated: May 10, 2022