Description of Services:
Public health plays a vital role in emergency preparedness. After major disasters, public health workers are often called upon to participate in a coordinated response and to protect residents from disease outbreaks and other hazards due to contaminated food and water, chemical releases, insect-borne diseases, and unmet medical needs.
In Belchertown, the health department is focused on health emergencies that could potentially harm many people, such as pandemic flu, infectious diseases, hazardous releases, natural disasters, and terrorism. To date, Board of Health staff has completed the following plans:
Emergency Dispensing Site Plan and Development
Continuity of Operations Plan
Risk Communication Plan
In addition to local preparedness activities, the Belchertown Board of Health is coordinating preparedness activities with the 20 other communities that comprise Hampshire Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coalition. To appropriately address regional public health threats, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has divided the state into 7 regions. Belchertown is located in Region 1, which encompasses the four counties of Western Massachusetts. ~Designated health department staff members from each community meet monthly to strengthen the regions collective capacity to effectively respond to emergencies.