1. Essential components of health preparedness

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These components are the set of technical processes and operational mechanisms to ensure the functioning of a preparedness plan:

  • Emergency Committee (EC): The central entity for sectoral coordination and decision-making, as well as for liaison and coordination with the intersectoral Emergency Operations Center.
  • Situation room: Area where reports are received, processed, analyzed, and documented for decision-making.
  • Multidisciplinary technical teams: Staff trained and organized for rapid deployment and response to emergencies, able to conduct damage and needs assessment, and capable of providing local support.
  • Early warning system: A mechanism to monitor a hazard and rapidly get information to the population. It makes protective action possible, for example in cases of imminent volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, flooding, and earthquakes.
  • Logistics: The area that manages supplies, storage, transportation, and distribution, as well the deployment of personnel and humanitarian assistance.
  • Public information and mass communication: Mechanism that provides for an adequate flow of reliable information, principally to the public and other communications means.
  • Simulations and drills: Exercises to evaluate preparedness and response plans.
  • Education/training: formal or informal mechanisms but included in the training plan to improve knowledge, skills, capacities of those involved in the response to disaster events.