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Preparedness & Response

Public Health's Role


Mother and Daughter

MCDPH is working with local community, State, Tribal, and Federal partners to help us get prepared for the unexpected.

It's all a matter of public health...


MCDPH is the primary agency responsible for protecting the public's health in the event of a widespread health emergency. In order to meet this critical role, the Department created the Office of Preparedness and Response (OPR).


OPR works in cooperation with the Department and other County agencies to foster critical community partnerships and coordinating resources necessary for community wide preparedness. They design, plan and execute drills that we will need to effectively respond to such an event.


How do we do this?


We engage in collaborative, community focused emergency health planning and this includes taking steps to test our readiness capabilities. OPR is responsible for managing these efforts. We meet these needs by engaging in a series of activities that enable the Department to evaluate the risks and potential health concerns that may affect the health of our residents.


Specifically, OPR develops the plans that will help MCDPH detect, respond to and recover from health emergencies. These plans work in cooperation with the activities we perform routinely such the disease surveillance, health education and workforce skills training.


  • We exercise, test and update our plans, protocols and strategies regularly to ensure their timeliness, operability and effectiveness.
  • We maintain a training and exercise schedule that aids us in evaluating what works and does not work in our response planning for anticipated and unexpected emergencies.
  • We coordinate and operate sites that will serve as emergency points of distribution (PODs) where we will dispense medicine or vaccine in an emergency.
  • We also maintain a volunteer, self registration database for community members with special medical and or social needs so that we may respond quickly to their public health needs if an emergency disrupts their home and or livelihood.
  • We partner with community based organizations who service these community members and work to keep them informed about preparedness. We also recruit and train volunteers to help in a health emergency and serve as communication conduit to the media as well.


Why do we do this?


MCDPH seeks to be the community's source for reliable and trustworthy health and disease prevention information.


Our Department's role is determined by the US Department of Health and Human Services and it's relationship with State and sister County Health Departments.


We work continuously to ensure our readiness to detect and respond to health emergencies. One of the critical ways we achieve this is through working with community, State, Tribal, Federal and International partners to help us get prepared for the unexpected. The relationships we form and foster now will make all the difference if an emergency occurs in our community.


Where MCDPH fits into County government...


MCDPH works in cooperation with the Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management in preparing for emergencies and events that may affect our public health.



Are we at risk?


Below are a few types of health emergencies we are preparing for in our Valley:


Bioterrorism :: Anthrax image Bioterrorism is the planned, unlawful use, or threat of use, of biological weapons made from living organisms with the intent of causing death or disease in humans, animals, or plants.
A chemical emergency occurs when a hazardous chemical has been released and the release has the potential for harming people's health. Chemical releases can be unintentional, as in the case of an industrial accident, or intentional, as in the case of a terrorist attack. Chemical Emergency :: Image of respirator
Natural Disasters and Severe Weather :: Wildfire image Natural Disasters and Severe Weather such as floods and wildfires could cause public health emergencies.
Mass Casualties can occur when an explosion, blast, or fire happens. Whether the event is caused by an act of terrorism or is unintentional, numerous people could suffer life threatening injuries. Mass Casualties :: Paramedics image


YES! You are a vital, essential part of our efforts.


Visit the Be Prepared section of our website to learn how you can do your part to improve your personal, business, school, and community readiness.

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Contact Us

Office of Preparedness & Response





Street Address:

4041 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85012