Public Health Preparedness

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Public health emergencies such as infectious disease, bioterrorism, or natural disasters require a coordinated response at the local, national, and international levels. RAND research improves the capability of public health systems to anticipate and prepare for such emergencies, by providing a robust set of standardized response measures, tabletop exercises, and toolkits; using GIS technology for planning; and identifying best practices and lessons learned from multiagency exercises.

  • holding hands in a circle

    Multimedia

    Building Resilient Communities: An Online Training

    Aug 13, 2013

    This easy-to-use, self-guided online training shows organizations and communities how to strengthen their resilience, helping them recover and learn from disaster—both natural and man-made.

Explore Public Health Preparedness

  • Report

    Social Determinants of Health: Nonmedical Interventions That Affect Population Health: Proceeds from the 2015 L.A. Policy Symposium

    Video of the 9th Annual L.A. Policy Symposium, which was held on April 10, 2015. The theme for this year's event was Social Determinants of Health: Nonmedical Interventions That Affect Population Health.

    Sep 2, 2015

  • Pedestrians in a region of the South Bronx that has seen a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in New York August 7, 2015

    Commentary

    Control Disease in a New York Minute

    Legionella bacteria are ubiquitous in many warm-water environments, but outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease like the recent one in the South Bronx don't have to be. Effective public health policies can help inhibit Legionella growth, minimize the occurrence and impact of outbreaks, and save lives.

    Aug 20, 2015

  • t-call-experts-hr

    Multimedia

    Vaccines: The Real Story

    Medical expert Melinda Moore, M.D., outlines the facts about vaccines in the wake of a new California law requiring all schoolchildren to be vaccinated.

    Jul 7, 2015

  • future-of-anticoagulation-initiative

    Multimedia

    Joanna Chataway and John Camm Discuss the Pan-European Future of Anticoagulation Initiative

    RAND Europe’s Joanna Chataway and University of London Professor John Camm discuss the pan-European Future of Anticoagulation Initiative, its goals with regard to treating atrial fibrillation, RAND Europe's research process, and the team’s findings and recommendations.

    Jun 2, 2015

  • Texas nurse Amber Vinson, who had treated Liberian Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, exits an ambulance at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, October 15, 2014

    Commentary

    As Ebola Declines, Lessons Emerge

    Lessons learned through the analysis of this most recent Ebola outbreak as well as other disease outbreaks can have far-reaching consequences, helping authorities to both improve the continuing, ongoing response and plan for the best possible response to future threats.

    May 7, 2015

  • A group of people rally together

    Tool

    Community Resilience: LEARN and TELL Toolkit

    The LEARN and TELL Community Resilience Toolkit teaches people about community resilience so that they can teach others and—ultimately—help their communities remain strong in the face of economic downturns, violence, weather-related disasters, and other community stressors.

    Apr 22, 2015

  • Teen group learning about community resilience

    Tool

    Disaster Resilience Skills for Youth

    This guide introduces high school youth to key principles of community resilience through youth-friendly talking points and a scavenger hunt game.

    Apr 22, 2015

  • Fishing boats in the Mekong area of Vietnam

    Journal Article

    Local Cross-Border Disease Surveillance and Control: Experiences from the Mekong Basin

    The Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance cooperation (MBDS) is one of several sub-regional disease surveillance networks that have emerged in recent years as an approach to transnational cooperation for infectious disease prevention and control.

    Apr 7, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Wearing Many Hats: Lessons About Emergency Preparedness and Routine Public Health from the H1N1 Response

    Describes some of the challenges the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) faced during the pH1N1 response associated with simultaneous operation of emergency and routine operations.

    Apr 7, 2015

  • Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California

    Commentary

    The Disneyland Measles Outbreak: “Anti-Vaxxers” Aren't the Only Issue

    The recent measles outbreak that began in Disneyland is the latest reminder that Americans have ceded ground in the fight against the potentially deadly disease. So-called “anti-vaxxer” parents have received a lot of attention following the outbreak, but they may comprise less of the population than you think.

    Mar 17, 2015

  • News Release

    New Tool Can Help Identify Nations That May Be Vulnerable to Ebola or Other Public Health Emergencies

    Public health experts can identify nations that are vulnerable to the occurrence and impact of future outbreaks of Ebola or other emergencies by using a screening tool that evaluates a nation's strengths across a wide range of measures such as political strength and health care capabilities.

    Mar 3, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Geographic Targeting, Message Content and Character Limitation Subgroup Report

    This Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) report analyzes geo-targeting, message content, and character limitations of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).

    Feb 27, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Assessing Entrepreneurship in Governmental Public Health

    We assessed the feasibility and desirability of public health entrepreneurship (PHE) in governmental public health.

    Feb 26, 2015

  • Government health workers administering blood tests for the Ebola virus in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 2014

    Report

    Mitigating the Impact of Ebola in Potential Hot Zones

    The experiences of African countries that successfully contained Ebola early can be informative for government officials, international organizations, and aid agencies seeking to capture the underlying factors that affect countries' resilience to such outbreaks and can help them prepare for high-risk scenarios.

    Feb 23, 2015

  • A health worker demonstrates putting on protective gear in a Red Cross facility in Koidu, Sierra Leone, December 18, 2014

    Report

    Learning While Doing: Applying Lessons Learned During Public Health Emergencies

    Response efforts to the 2014 Ebola outbreak highlighted both strengths and weaknesses. Researchers have created a tool that may help inform and guide ongoing efforts in the midst of similar public health emergencies, rather than after the fact.

    Feb 13, 2015

  • Microscopic view of the Ebola virus

    Report

    Assessing Options for Public Health Emergency Planning and Response

    When public health emergencies arise, policymakers must assess and compare interventions to determine the best way forward. Using Ebola as an example, RAND developed a simple, practical, proof-of-concept tool that may fill gaps in a decisionmaker's ability to systematically assess options in a public health emergency.

    Feb 9, 2015

  • Health workers don protective gear before entering an Ebola quarantine zone at a Red Cross facility in Koidu, Sierra Leone, December 19, 2014

    Commentary

    What Have We Learned from the Ebola Outbreak?

    For much of 2014, the world has confronted the most deadly Ebola outbreak since the discovery of the disease in 1976. What lessons have emerged? What should the world do to better prepare for transnational outbreaks?

    Dec 31, 2014

  • Participants practice a medical procedure on a dummy arm during training for the Ebola response team at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, October 24, 2014

    Commentary

    Ebola Shows America Needs Better Disaster Preparedness

    Crafting an effective, whole-community strategy to respond to Ebola could stop the spread of the disease now and lay groundwork for responses to future outbreaks and other emergencies. In the long run, this could make public preparedness and resilience valuable assets for the U.S.

    Nov 7, 2014

  • U.S. Army soldiers, earmarked for the fight against Ebola, put on protective suits during training before their deployment to West Africa, October 9, 2014

    Commentary

    Declaring War on Ebola

    Operation United Assistance, which includes the deployment of 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to respond to the Ebola crisis, is a welcome recognition of the range of missions the military is increasingly able to tackle, particularly in disaster-management assistance.

    Oct 10, 2014

  • A burial team wearing protective clothing prepares to enter the home a person suspected of having died from Ebola in Freetown, Sierra Leone, September 28, 2014

    Commentary

    Ebola Outbreak: Putting the Public Back in Public Health

    Medical and public health systems are crucial to controlling the transmission of Ebola and treating patients. But the public's role in becoming aware and engaged, both in West Africa and the United States, cannot be overstated.

    Oct 9, 2014