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County and City Leaders Coordinate to Just Be Ready
Date:5/26/2009

From new flu A H1N1 to earthquakes and fires, elected officials and city managers gather to prepare for potential public health emergencies

LOS ANGELES, May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health today hosted a workshop, titled "Managing a Public Health Crisis at your Doorstep," designed to educate elected officials and city managers to effectively respond to public health emergencies. More than one hundred participants attended the workshop from cities throughout the county.

"Prepare now, so you know what to do when a public health emergency strikes your city, and television cameras and reporters are at your doorstep," said Don Knabe, Chairman and Supervisor, Fourth District, Board of Supervisors Los Angeles County. "Los Angeles County is proud to serve as the emergency preparedness partner for the 88 cities and unincorporated areas that may, at any time, find themselves affected by a natural or man-made disaster. Workshops such as this one provide an opportunity for information to be shared and knowledge to be gained before an emergency happens."

The workshop covered valuable tools available to cities from Public Health such as the development of continuity of operations plans in case of a pandemic; chemical, biological, or bioterrorism incident; or the aftermath of a natural disaster that may have public health consequences. It also covered ways in which cities may develop critical partnerships now with local governments, law enforcement agencies, fire departments and emergency medical services in the event that public health services, such as medication, need to be delivered rapidly and efficiently.

"The new flu A H1N1 outbreak demonstrated the critical role that emergency response plans play in protecting the public's health and safety. These types of incidents, and others such as earthquakes or fires, occur without warning," said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD,
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SOURCE County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health
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