About Community Preparedness
The Bureau of Community Preparedness (BCP) uses an all-hazards approach to integrate state and local public health jurisdictions for response to public health threats. The Bureau is organized according to the National Incident Management System, Incident Command Structure (ICS). Components of ICS include Command, Administration & Finance, Logistics, Operations and Planning. This structure allows for efficient management by integrating processes, personnel, communications and equipment on a day-to-day basis, as well as during emergencies.
Vision, Mission and Core Values
BCP is responsible for ensuring that the activities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Cooperative Agreement Program (42 U.S.C. 247d-3) are carried out as identified in the Bureau's work plan. The purpose of the PHEP program is to develop emergency-ready public health organizations by upgrading, integrating and evaluating state and local public health jurisdictions' preparedness for and response to terrorism, pandemic influenza, and other public health emergencies. To accomplish the goals set forth by the CDC in the PHEP, BCP follows its mission to build healthy communities through prevention, preparedness and response. To achieve its mission, BCP works closely with its colleagues, local, state and national preparedness partners to increase public awareness about the importance of preparing for emergencies and to encourage individuals to take action. The Bureau of Community Preparedness has a vision of healthy, safe and prepared communities. BCP's core values are respect, teamwork, caring, diversity, equity, inclusion, integrity, credibility, accountability, professionalism, competency, innovation and knowledge.
What services are provided?
Services provided through BCP are a result of the need for improved planning and training given domestic attacks such as 9/11 and catastrophic climate-related disasters. Public health preparedness has grown to include response planning for natural disasters. These disasters include pandemics, outbreaks, ice storms and flooding, as well as man-made events that include oil and chemical spills, and anthrax attacks. BCP offers public health expertise to its partners during preparedness phase (ie planning, trainings and exercises) and response phases (ie information sharing and medical operations). Moreover, services are provided for local, state and national partners in accordance with the National Response Framework.
Created in response to the disasters of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Bureau of Community Preparedness built upon existing bioterrorism response initiatives. Those initiatives were expanded to encompass emerging directives from the federal Department of Homeland Security. The bureau is structured in an Incident Command System (ICS) structure that follows National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) guidelines.
Responsible for maintaining the LDH Emergency Operations Center (LDH EOC) at a constant state of readiness, BCP staff responds 24/7 to incidents occurring across the state which have the potential to become threats to the public's health. Through LDH, the Bureau of Community Preparedness leads the State's public health response to disasters.
BCP staff is responsible for providing both training and exercises to LDH employees, volunteers, community partners and stakeholders on subjects such as hands-on setup of Point of Dispensing Sites (PODs) that are used for distribution of Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) medications.
BCP provides a wide array of logistical support such as supply trailers and medical equipment for events and incidents as directed by the State Health Officer.
An influenza pandemic is a public health emergency in which a new strain of the influenza virus (flu) spreads rapidly, causing severe illness for many people. If an influenza pandemic were to occur, there would be little to no natural immunity among most people, and it would take time for public health officials to develop a vaccine for a new pandemic strain. Because of these factors, a pandemic would quickly interrupt essential community services, such as work, school, emergency response services, transportation and health care. To prepare and be ready to respond in the event of a pandemic, the LDH Office of Public Health's Bureau of Community Preparedness has developed several readiness materials and conducted scenario training on an ongoing basis. See the materials below.
Please note that pandemic flu is different from seasonal flu. In Louisiana, flu season occurs from October to April, and many people contract the flu virus during this time. While not as severe as a pandemic, seasonal flu can still be serious, especially for the elderly, young children, pregnant women and anyone with weakened immunity. For the latest information on seasonal flu, visit Fight the Flu Louisiana.
Pandemic Influenza Storybook - Personal recollections from survivors, families and friends.
Pan Flu Presentations
- Online Trainings
- Family Readiness Guide
- Pandemic Influenza Planning Guide for Educators
- Why Schools Need to be Proactive
- Pan Flu and You (Healthcare Providers)
- Pan Flu and You (Community Outreach)
- Pan Flu Planning
- LDH COVID-19 Homepage
Per the State's laws governing emergency response, LDH is the agency primarily responsible for Emergency Support Function (ESF) 8, Public Health & Medical Services, after a disaster. The Bureau of Community Preparedness leads LDH's support in this area. LDH has many state, local and regional partners who assist in providing the public health response to a disaster.
Some of LDH's partners and stakeholders include other state agencies, like Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Corrections, other health agencies, including the LSU Health Sciences Center, the Louisiana National Guard and educational systems.
The Bureau of Community Preparedness conducts a number of private training sessions with their ESF 8 partners and stakeholders throughout the year. Because these trainings are highly specialized and detail confidential medical information, these sessions are not open to the general public.
Dr. Sundee Winder, Executive DirectorPH: 225.354.3500
Dr. Karmen Torrence
Interim Deputy Director/Operations Manager
Dr. Sandra Harris
Admin/Finance Program Manager
Dr. Gail HollinsPandemic Influenza - Statewide RN Program Consultant