Preparing for & Responding to Emergencies

Preparing for & Responding to Emergencies

Medical staff in discussion at nurses station in hospital

The Health Department works closely with our health care and hospital partners to prepare to and respond to public health emergencies by providing technical support, planning, training, exercising, staffing support, and guidance.

Contact one of our district offices if you have specific questions or need help with any emergency preparedness planning, training or exercises.

Preparedness Activities & Support

The department supports health care professionals with planning, training and exercising. An important part of all three is guided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Emergency Preparedness Rule.

Ensure you and your facility have all the necessary resources and tools to meet the regulations for the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule, which went into effect in 2016. 

For tips and resources, the Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) has created a Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE).

The four core elements of the CMS emergency preparedness rule for all 17 provider types include:

  1. Emergency Plan – Emergency Operations Plans (EOP) Tools and Templates, Hazard Vulnerability/ Risk Assessments, Continuity of Operations
  2. Policies and Procedures – Incident Management
  3. Communications Plan – Information SharingCommunication Systems, Vermont Health Alert Network (VTHAN)
  4. Training and Testing – Incident Command System Training Course for Healthcare/HospitalExercise Program

For questions or concerns about the CMS regulatory process please email the Division of Licensing and Protection Survey and Certification Group at [email protected]

The Vermont Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) Plan is intended to provide an ethical and operational framework for the development of statewide resource allocation and clinical guidelines in the context of a catastrophic disaster or massive public health emergency in which prolonged critical shortages of staffing, medical equipment and/or supplies exist. Learn more about Vermont’s Crisis Standards of Care Plan.

Response Activities & Support

Health Department staff deploy to the State Emergency Operations Center to work in conjunction with other state support functions activated during an emergency.

The Public Health and Medical Services support partner function assists with coordinated state response to supplement local resources in response to public health and medical disasters.

Services cover the medical needs of people in the “at risk” or “special needs” populations described in the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 and in the National Response Framework Glossary, respectively. It includes a population whose members may have medical and other functional needs before, during, and after an incident.

Health Care Professionals can access Public Health and Medical Services staff through the State Emergency Operations Center if activated, or through the Watch Officer Program at Vermont Emergency Management by calling 1-800-347-0488. Please ensure that this information is contained in your response plans.

Contact Us

For questions or technical support, please contact us at [email protected].