Health Emergency

What is a Health Emergency?  

A health emergency is a rare situation when something unusual creates the potential for widespread illness among a group of people.

Examples of possible health emergencies include the following:

  • A large outbreak of bacterial meningitis
  • A large foodborne outbreak
  • An act of bioterrorism such as the intentional release of anthrax spores or another biological agent
  • A large chemical spill or release that results in multiple injuries
  • An influenza pandemic

What can you do to prepare for a health emergency on location?

  • Keep yourself in good health.  This includes getting a seasonal flu shot, eating a healthy diet, exercising and not smoking.
  • Practice infection control measures now.  Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently.  Cover your cough and sneeze into a tissue; dispose of the tissue and wash your hands.  Avoid close contact with others when you are ill.
  • Make a communication plan with your family.  Create a list of important contacts and discuss alternative ways to communicate if necessary.  This might include prearranged meeting places or communication through a third party, such as a relative.  If you live in student housing, discuss with your family when and how you might leave the location in the event of an emergency.