Public Health Preparedness

Preparedness for disasters, both natural and man-made, is a major public health priority. Grant County Health Department (GCHD) collaborates with emergency preparedness leaders at the local, state and federal levels. Emergency preparedness and response plans are actively developed, exercised and revised to improve local responses to: bioterrorism, chemical emergencies, infectious disease outbreaks, natural disasters and other health risks.

GCHD provides outreach to healthcare organizations and various agencies across our county to assist in preparedness education, identify community needs, and maximize existing preparedness resources and networks.


  • Being prepared can reduce public fear, anxiety, disease and deaths that accompany disasters.
  • GCHD preparedness staff establishes and maintains relationships with: local, state and national agencies, schools, non-profit organizations, healthcare providers, regional HAZMAT, pharmacies, and businesses.
  • Providing information to the public about what to do in emergency situations is a crucial piece of successful preparedness and response to emergencies.
  • Communities, families and individuals hold the potential to reduce the impact of disasters and sometimes avoid threat completely by having individualized plans in place.


What about your family? Where will you meet, what will you do, and how will you do it? You plan your vacation. You research your next car or television purchase. Plan also to keep yourself and your family as safe as possible if disaster strikes.

Call the Grant County Health Department to talk to the Preparedness Coordinator for more information: 541-575-0429.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide, or CO, an odorless, colorless gas can cause sudden illness and death. CO is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned in a furnace, vehicle, generator, grill, or elsewhere. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces and poison the people and animals in them. 

Carbon Monoxide Basics
Carbon Monoxide Fact Sheet
Generator Safety Fact Sheet
Furnace Safety Fact Sheet
Additional Resources

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide, or CO, an odorless, colorless gas can cause sudden illness and death. CO is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned in a furnace, vehicle, generator, grill, or elsewhere. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces and poison the people and animals in them. 

Carbon Monoxide Basics
Carbon Monoxide Fact Sheet
Generator Safety Fact Sheet
Furnace Safety Fact Sheet
Additional Resources



  • Have an emergency evacuation and communications plan for your family.
  • Keep battery powered radios handy with fresh batteries.
  • Prepare a list of emergency phone numbers to keep in your car, at work or at a friend’s house.
  • Assemble the supplies you’ll need for cleanup and recovery. Keep them in a safe, dry place.
  • Make a record of all your personal property. Take a room-by-room inventory of your home. Take photographs or videotapes. Inventory forms are available free from most insurance companies or you can make your own. The inventory is also good to have in the event of a fire or theft.
  • Identify two places where family members can meet if you are split up – one place in the neighborhood and one place that it is sure to be high and dry.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) How to Prepare for a Flood
Flood Preparation Information – Centers for Disease Control

Extreme Heat and Cold


Get a weather radio or download a mobile phone application to be instantly alerted to severe weather in your area.

In your home and/or workplace, designate a safe location for extreme weather. Hold drills to prepare family and co-workers for extreme weather events.

In your safe location, store an emergency kit. Your household emergency kit should include the necessary supplies to sustain you and your family in your home for at least 3 days. Remember that it may take a significant amount of time for basic services (water, electricity, and telephones) to return to normal.

  • Water: 1 gallon per person per day
  • Food: Ready-to-eat or just-add-water
  • Manual can opener
  • First Aid kit
  • Essential medications
  • Flashlight
  • Radio (battery-operated or manual)
  • Batteries
  • Cash in small denominations
  • A copy of important documents & phone numbers
  • Unscented liquid household bleach for water purification
  • Personal hygiene items including toilet paper, feminine supplies, and soap
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Heavy gloves
  • Warm clothes, a hat and rain gear
  • A local map
  • Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items
  • Plastic sheeting, duct tape and utility knife for covering broken windows
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Extra keys to your house and vehicle
  • Large plastic bags for waste and sanitation
  • Special-need items for children, seniors, or people with disabilities.
  • Don’t forget water and supplies for your pets.

In addition to your emergency kit, each family member should have a Go Bag, which has materials in case you need to leave your home. The Go Bag should include:

  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable food and a manual can opener
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-operated AM/FM Radio
  • Extra batteries (check the necessary types)
  • Pocketknife
  • Whistle
  • Prescription medication for a week, along with copies of your prescriptions
  • Small first aid kit
  • Extra house and car keys
  • A blanket
  • Raingear
  • A hat
  • Comfortable, sturdy shoes
  • Warm clothes
  • Extra pair of glasses and/or hearing aids
  • Toilet paper
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • A copy of your communications plan card
  • A regional map
  • Special needs items for members of your family, especially children, seniors or people with disabilities, and pets.
  • Paper, pens, and tape – in case you need to leave a message somewhere
  • Dust mask
  • Cash – preferably in small denominations
  • Coins for pay phones
  • Credit and Debit cards
  • Copies of important documents in a waterproof container (i.e. IDs, insurance information, proof of address, passports, etc.)
  • A recent family photo for identification purposes – make sure everyone’s face can be seen clearly

Mental Health

Disaster behavioral health is an integral part of the overall public health and medical preparedness, response, and recovery system.  It includes the many interconnected psychological, emotional, cognitive, developmental, and social influences on behavior, mental health, and substance abuse, and the effect of these influences on preparedness, response, and recovery from disasters or traumatic events. Behavioral factors directly and indirectly influence individual and community risks, health, resilience, and the success of emergency response strategies and public health directives.

During and after an emergency event, it is common for people—including response workers—in the affected region to experience distress and anxiety about safety, health, and recovery, as well as grief and loss.

Disaster behavioral health actions in the response period often focus on supportive, strengths-based basic interventions such as psychological first aid, crisis counseling, and response worker support. These interventions may be provided by behavioral health professionals, but are often also provided by paraprofessionals, other health workers, volunteers, and laypeople who have received training in basic disaster behavioral health support. As behavioral health concerns often emerge or evolve in the longer-term recovery period, recovery planning and activities must react to changing needs, which may include access to traditional behavioral health care and treatment.

Certain at-risk individuals may need functional support during a disaster response for communication, medical care, maintaining independence, supervision, or transportation. Examples of those at risk include children, senior citizens, pregnant women, people with disabilities, the economically disadvantaged, racial and ethnic minorities, people with pre-existing behavioral health conditions or trauma histories, or people with limited English proficiency. Community Counseling Solutions specializes in Mental Health Services and assists the Grant County Health Department with preparedness in Grant County.

Oregon Health Authority – Mental Health Services
Centers for Disease Control Mental Health Resources

After an Extreme Weather Event

Use mass text messages to communicate with friends and family. A single text can reach dozens of people quicker than phone calls can.

Check on neighbors, especially elderly and young neighbors.

Extreme Heat Information
Extreme Cold Information
Extreme Cold Guide


After a natural disaster dirty water can make your family sick. The most basic and effective precaution is to wash your hands with soap and clean water: before preparing food, before eating, after using the toilet and after cleaning.


Safety guidelines after a disaster – disinfecting: dishes, cookware and utensils 
Prevent illness after a natural disaster
Information on Mold
Pet safety: before, during, and after a disaster


Other Hazards

The Grant County Health Department has resources and plans for many specific hazards including the following:

  • All Hazards Public Health Emergency Plan
  •  Bioterrorism (anthrax, plague, smallpox) Plans
  •  Pandemic Influenza Plan
  •  Chemical Emergency Plan
  •  Radiation Emergency Plan
  •  Mass Casualty Plan
  •  West Nile Plan
  •  Natural Disasters and Severe Weather Plans
  •  Recent Outbreaks and Incidents (Meningococcal and Plague)
  •  Climate Adaptation Plan

For specific information on hazards:

Individuals and Families

Checklists for family health information and emergency contact information have been prepared to help guide individuals and families.

Pandemic Influenza Planning for Individuals and Families

From developed by the Department of Homeland Security

Basic Emergency Supplies Kit
Family Communication Plan
Readiness Plans Designed for Kids 

From developed by FEMA and the American Red Cross

Tools for Planning

Community and Faith-based Organizations

In the event of a disaster or pandemic illness, community and faith-based organizations will play an integral role. 

From  developed by the Department of HHS, CDC&P and the Department of Education 

Checklist Planning for Community and Faith-Based Organizations


Business play a crucial role in protecting employees’ health and safety as well as limiting negative financial impact for their company.  As with any catastrophe, having a contingency plan is essential.

Checklist and Information for Businesses

Special Needs Populations

This checklist is customized for seniors, people with mobility concerns, and people with special needs.

Preparedness Information for People with Disabilities and Other Special Needs

For Goverment and State Officials


These checklists provide tools to assist with disseminating health information, planning for staff and student absences, and maintaining a learning environment during a disaster or pandemic.

Checklist and Information for Schools and Universities for Planning

Healthcare Providers

The following checklists, toolkit, and guidelines will assist healthcare providers and service organizations in planning for a pandemic outbreak.

CDC Planner for Medical Offices

Plans for Pets