Public Health Preparedness

Public Health Preparedness

In most emergency scenarios the role of Public Health is “environmental surety”. This can be described as making sure that secondary impacts such as infection, or illness caused by consuming contaminated food and water is reduced or eliminated. This may be achieved through inspections or issuing advisories or orders. An example of this is a Boil Water Order – issued when there is a risk of contamination of a drinking water supply (operators of water systems may also issue Boil Water Advisories). Public Health also has specific roles in other scenarios. To find out about the Public Health’s role in a radiological emergency, visit:


In “biological emergencies” which are scenario’s where the primary risk is disease, Public Health has a more central role to response. Grey Bruce Public Health may be involved with investigations, contact tracing, vaccination and communication. Examples of these types of scenarios include epidemics such as pandemic influenza or COVID-19.

 In these situations Publich Health works closely with the Province’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and Health Canada. Public Health also utilises information from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).


Grey Bruce Public Health has developed an Emergency Response Plan to help it prepare for emergency situations. It can be found here:

Emergency Response Plan


Public Health is often asked to be a member of Municipal or County Emergency Control Groups, and takes part in exercises that are run by these groups. This allows Public Health to be in direct communication with other agencies and promotes better planning for and response to emergency situations.


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