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What You Can Do to Prepare for Public Health Emergencies

NPM 2010

Emergencies can happen at any time, and can be large or small. Public health emergencies are natural or man-made disasters that can make many people sick or die.

You can take action now to prepare yourself for public health emergencies:

Sign up for emergency alerts

You can find out about emergencies that affect your area by signing up to receive email or text message notifications from the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management.

Click here to sign-up.

Get prepared with the Everybody Ready Handbook

People who are prepared for emergencies feel more confident and “in control.” You can prepare for emergencies by learning what emergencies can happen in your area, how to evacuate or shelter in place, and how to get emergency medication or vaccine. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health collaborated with 34 Southeastern Pennsylvania partner agencies to develop a step-by-step planning handbook for you and your family to use to prepare for emergencies.

Learn more about the Everybody Ready Handbook.

Learn about chronic medical conditions and public health emergencies

If you have a chronic medical condition, such as asthma, diabetes, or high blood pressure, you may need to plan ahead to ensure access to your medication or health care services in an emergency.

Learn more about chronic medical conditions and public health emergencies.

Keep a Health Information Card

One way you can be prepared for emergencies is to keep a card of important information that a health care provider may need to take care of you. This important information includes a list of current medications, allergies, and chronic medical conditions. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has a Health Information Card that you can print out and keep with you.

Learn more about the PDPH Health Information Card.

Stay up to date with the PDPH Health Bulletin

There are steps that you can take in advance of an emergency to protect yourself and your family from infectious diseases. You can stay up to date on public health topics or emergent health issues impacting Philadelphia by reading the PDPH Health Bulletin. This newsletter comes out twice a year, with Special Editions whenever there is a public health incident or emergency.

Learn more about the Health Bulletin.

Fight the Flu

Take the following steps to protect yourself, your family, and your community from the flu:

  • Get annual flu vaccine
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Cover your cough
  • Stay home when sick

Learn more about Fighting the Flu.


Visit the pages below to learn about what public health emergencies are, and what we are doing to prepare:

Facts About Public Health Emergencies

What the PDPH is Doing to Prepare

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