September 30, 2015
HHS launches resources system to improve disaster preparedness
Health and emergency preparedness professionals now have access to the nation’s first and most comprehensive system of resources designed specifically to help communities better prepare for and manage the health impacts of disasters.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) features resource materials, a help line, just-in-time suggestions and tools to share information gleaned from real-life experiences in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters.
“Experience has shown that every disaster, large or small, has the potential to impact heath,” said Dr. Nicole Lurie, HHS’ assistant secretary for preparedness and response. “TRACIE can help health and emergency management officials across the country learn about, share, and apply best practices and experiences before, during and after disasters to protect health and potentially save lives.”
ASPR developed TRACIE with a network of experts nationwide to address needs identified by stakeholders charged with preparing for public health and health care system emergencies. To support them, TRACIE provides technical resources and a technical assistance center, a comprehensive national knowledge center, and multiple ways to share information between federal, state and local officials.
TRACIE’s technical resources include a living library of audience-tailored and subject matter expert-reviewed topic collections and materials highlighting real-life tools and experiences. TRACIE’s resources include user rating and comments, which can be used to help choose the best resource for a particular need.
Through TRACIE’s assistance center, state, tribal, local and territorial officials can reach subject matter experts for technical assistance and consultations on a range of topics. Technical assistance could vary widely, including pediatric preparedness resources, crisis standards of care, tools to assess the readiness of hospitals and health care coalition for emergencies, lessons learned about delivering dialysis care during disasters, and more. Officials also can find training related to preparedness, response and recovery. The assistance center is available through a toll-free number, email, and online.
TRACIE also includes an information exchange. Through this forum, health care emergency preparedness stakeholders can discuss, collaborate and share information about pending and actual health threats and promising practices. Users also can exchange templates, plans and other materials through this feature.
Users can get advice, including just-in-time advice, from hundreds of health care, disaster medicine, public health and public safety professionals, through ASPR TRACIE. TRACIE’s free registration allows users to rate the usefulness of the resources and to access the information exchange.
ASPR TRACIE resulted from the collaborative efforts of local, state and federal government agencies, regional health-care coalitions, academia, and partners from the private sector and nongovernmental organizations.
ASPR leads HHS in preparing the nation to respond to and recover from adverse health effects of emergencies, supporting communities’ ability to withstand adversity, strengthening health and response systems, and enhancing national health security. HHS enhances and protects the health and well-being of all Americans by providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services.
To learn more about preparedness, response and recovery from the health impacts of disasters, visit the HHS public health and medical emergency website, www.phe.gov.