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Volume 27, Issue 3

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Lessons Learned from Mock Disaster

Written by  Dr. Tom Phelan January 6, 2009

On September 14, 2008, PPBI sponsored the mock disaster at DRJ’s Fall World in San Diego. More than 150 conference attendees were asked to respond to a public health emergency wherein an outbreak of an undiagnosed illness occurred in seven U.S. major cities on the same day. The illness impacted adults working in inner-city office complexes. There were no reports of illness among children or in rural areas. Seated at tables designated as elements of private/public organizations, participants were to work together to indicate what actions they would take in response to the news of the outbreak. Each participant was provided with a hard copy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services book, “Public Health Emergency Response: A Guide for Leaders and Responders.” The book contains chapters on public health response, key functions of federal public health agencies in an emergency, risk communication during a terrorist attack, legal and

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