The Waukesha County Public Health Division created an Emergency Preparedness Team in response to the events of September 11, 2001, and subsequent anthrax attacks. Public health emergency preparedness plans were expanded and enhanced to protect
Waukesha County residents from and prepare for potential bioterrorism threats, natural disasters, accidents and infectious diseases outbreaks, like the flu.
In order to have a comprehensive response to public health emergencies, the Public Health Division has collaborated and coordinated with the Waukesha County Department of Emergency Preparedness, the State of Wisconsin Division of Public Health, other local health departments, area hospitals, health care providers and community organizations. Plans have been developed to prepare for, identify, prevent, respond to and recover from all types of public health emergencies. Public health personnel continuously engage in on-going preparedness training including emergency response drills and exercises.
Get Prepared Now
Waukesha County citizens share in the responsibility to be aware of and prepare for potential public health threats and emergencies. Preparedness is the steps you take to stay safe and survive during an emergency or disaster before help arrives. It is recommended that citizens develop a disaster plan and Go Kit to be ready for natural health threats (such as a pandemic flu outbreak or Ebola), an act of bioterrorism, an accidental release of a chemical or other substance, or a natural disaster (such as a tornado or flood).
How is Waukesha County Public Health Prepared Now?
Public Health has plans to respond to infectious disease outbreaks, whether they are naturally occurring or man-made. Examples of naturally occurring infectious disease outbreaks include pandemic influenza (H1N1 or avian/bird flu), SARS, hepatitis A and bacterial meningitis. Examples of diseases that could be used as a bioterrorism weapon include anthrax, smallpox and plague.
If an infectious disease outbreak threatens Waukesha County, the Public Health Division is prepared to respond by setting up mass clinics or a Point of Dispensing (POD) to dispense vaccines or medications. 10 quick facts on PODS.
In the event of a public health emergency, Waukesha County Public Health will communicate with residents in a variety of ways. Information will be on television, the radio, newspapers, special hotlines, IMPACT 2-1-1, Facebook and on this website. Information about the disease and its symptoms, who is at risk, where to go for preventative medication or vaccine and where you should seek medical attention if you become ill will be provided.
Waukesha County Public Health Division has plans for Pandemic Flu Preparedness, which is a renewed focus in addition to planning and preparing for an anthrax bioterrorism event. A pandemic is an outbreak of a disease, like the flu, that exceeds the normal amount of infected people in a season and becomes a global disease outbreak. Some examples of pandemics include H1N1 (swine flu), H5N1 (bird flu), SARS, smallpox and the plague. Although pandemics occur infrequently, planning and preparing for a pandemic is important to ensure an effective response because responding to a pandemic is complex and pandemics can affect everyone in a community, especially our critical infrastructure personnel like first responders and medical professionals.
In the event of a pandemic flu outbreak, Waukesha County Public Health Division would activate the Medical Countermeasure Dispensing Plan, which would activate Points of Dispensing (PODs) to open throughout the county. At these POD locations, trained medical professionals would administer flu vaccine to members of the community.
Public Health has developed plans to keep the community safe in the wake of any public health emergency, including a pandemic flu outbreak, during which Public Health would take measures to minimize the spread of disease such as enforcing isolation and quarantine measures when necessary. All of these strategies would be put in place with the goal of keeping as many of the community safe and healthy as possible by preventing further spread of the disease.
Helpful Preparedness Resources
The Nurse Call Center is available by phone:
Mon., Wed., Thurs., & Fri. (8 AM – 4:30 PM)
Tuesdays (10:30 AM – 6:30 PM)
WIC Benefit Issuance is available:
Mondays (8:15 AM – 4 PM)
Tuesdays (3 – 5:30 PM)
Fridays (8:30 – 11:30 AM)
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please contact a medical professional or call 911.
The Public Health Division will be closed to the public for the following observed holidays in 2020: