Zanesville muskingum county health departmentAnnouncements

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Emergencies can be caused by nature (an earthquake or disease outbreak), accidents (a hazardous chemical spill), or intentional events (bio-terrorism). These emergencies often occur without warning and can have serious health effects. The Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department goal is to protect your health by reducing the effects of the emergency.

ohio department of healthPreparedness and planning activities are sponsored by The Public Health Emergency Preparedness Grant awarded by the Ohio Department of Health, Division of Prevention and Health Promotion, Bureau of Health Preparedness.



The Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department (ZMCHD) role is to effectively prepare for, respond to, and recover
from a public health emergency caused by a natural or man-made disaster. The ZMCHD works closely at the local level with all Emergency Services, other County Departments, Health Care Partners and community agencies to:

Develop and integrate all-hazards public health response plans

  Integrated Shelter Support

  Isolation and Quarantine

  Mass Fatality

  Mass Vaccination and Mass Prophylaxis

  Medical Surge

  Strategic National Stockpile Plan

  Educate the public and train the county response partners

  Conduct drills and exercises to test plans

  Recruit, train and deploy a Public Health Emergency Response Team

  Collaborate with our community partners

Even a small amount of preparation before an emergency can make a huge difference which can save lives. That is why the ZMCHD creates plans, practices them, and conducts training to better protect the residents of Muskingum County. 


Below you can find summarized versions of the plans the ZMCHD has developed and maintain in order to keep Muskingum County prepared for a public health emergency:

Integrated Shelter Support:  In the event general population shelters are established in Muskingum County, ZMCHD personnel will work with the American Red Cross shelters.  Examples of services provided include:

  Observation, assessment and maintenance of Individuals with minor health/medical conditions

  Assistance with personal care or activities of daily living

  Assistance obtaining , managing and administering medications (prescription and over-the-counter)

  Assistance obtaining and utilizing durable medical equipment and medical supplies

  Conducting inspections to assure a clean, sanitary facility including food storage and serving areas


Isolation and Quarantine:  In a public health emergency caused by an infectious disease the ZMCHD Infectious Disease Nurse and Epidemiologist under the guidance of the Medical Director will coordinate activities that will stop or limit the spread of disease.


  Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy.

  Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill.


Mass Fatality: In a public health emergency that exceeds the community’s ability to manage human fatalities, ZMCHD Personnel will coordinate with the Muskingum County Coroners Office and other community partners to effectively respond to the incident.


Mass Vaccination and Mass Prophylaxis:  Some public health emergencies may require administration of large numbers of vaccine or medication in a short period of time.  The ZMCHD Emergency Preparedness Coordinator will assist the ZMCHD Nursing Director with the Muskingum County Department of Health response which may include Points of Dispensing.  Points of Dispensing (POD) sites are typically large facilities (universities,
colleges, high schools) located throughout the County. Depending on the nature of the medical emergency PODs may have to operate 24 hours a day for several days.  ZMCHD has agreements with many locations throughout the County to operate PODs in the event of an emergency.


Medical Surge: Medical Surge is the capability to rapidly expand the capacity of the existing healthcare system (long-term care facilities, community health agencies, acute care facilities, alternate care facilities and public health departments) in order to provide assessment and subsequent medical care.


Strategic National Stockpile Plan: The federal Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) has large quantities of medicine and medical supplies to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out. Once federal and local authorities agree that the SNS is needed, medicines will be delivered to any state in the U.S. within 12 hours. Each state has plans to receive and distribute SNS medicine and medical supplies to local communities as quickly as possible.  Muskingum County is prepared to receive, process, and distribute medication, supplies and equipment to Points of Distribution (POD) sites and hospitals pre-identified throughout the County. 


Education and Trainings: Public Health personnel, in addition to medical and emergency personnel, are intensively trained to be alert, prepared, ready, and able to respond to these potential threats. Public Health Emergency Preparedness is in place and is constantly being strengthened to assure our ability to deal with emerging infectious diseases, as well as chemical attacks. The Public Health System (Federal, state and local) works jointly with numerous other organizations to prepare for such threats.

ZMCHD participates in local, regional, state, and federal training.


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Please call or e-mail us: Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 740.454.9741. If there is an emergency, dial 911.


Contact Information:


Kristina Bell, MSHCS ZMCHD
Public Health Readiness Coordinator

(740) 454-9741 x303


Jennifer Hiestand ZMCHD Public Information Officer

(740) 454-9741 x233


Your Role 

Preparedness is the key to saving lives in an emergency. Even the smallest amount of preparation can make a huge difference. Being prepared has three steps: Being Informed, Making a Plan, and Making a Disaster Supply Kit.



1.       Be sure your house address clearly visible from the street.

2.       Post emergency numbers near every telephone.

3.       Know how and when to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency.

4.       Be sure all family members know the location of the first aid kit.

5.       Be sure working flashlights are located on every level of the house.

6.       Be sure smoke detectors are installed throughout the house and batteries are changed two times a year.

7.       Keep health insurance and family’s medical needs information readily available.

8.       Identify at least two escape routes and an outside meeting place.

9.       Practice the plan!


Build a Basic Emergency Preparedness Kit on a Budget:

Watch a YouTube video on how to build an emergency preparedness kit: Click Here

1. Make a Disaster Supply Kit

The ZMCHD recommends you have an Emergency Supply Kit: An emergency may interfere
with normal supplies of food, water, heat, and other necessities. Keep a stock of emergency supplies on hand that will last for at least 3 days.


Update your kit regularly.

Contents of an Emergency Supply Kit can be found at:


When an emergency strikes, you may not have time to gather all the necessary supplies. Making an emergency kit ahead of time can make all the difference. An emergency supply kit should include items to help you survive an emergency for several days. Things you take for granted every day may become extremely valuable to you during a crisis.

2. Make a Plan


There are well-developed and well-rehearsed emergency response plans at all levels of government. At the core of this effort is citizen preparedness. You and your family can plan, prepare, practice, and protect each other.


If a disaster strikes, relief workers may not be able to reach everyone immediately. You might be asked to evacuate your home or may need to “shelter-in-place.” It is important that you and your family know what to do during different types of emergencies. By planning and practicing, you and your family will be more prepared if an emergency occurs. Planning Guides and additional information are at:


Once you are informed about the potential emergencies in Muskingum County, your next step is to make a plan to deal with each emergency. Remember that it is not necessary to make one plan for each kind of emergency. One or two well thought out plans can generally be effective during any situation.


Remember communications. During a crisis, you will want to know where your loved ones are, and if they are safe. Be sure to include several ways to contact the people who are important to you. An out of town family contact may be helpful if the utilities in your area are damaged.

Members of your household may have specific planning considerations such as:

1. A chronic medical condition that requires prescriptions? Be Proactive! Take a moment now and talk with your medical provider about having an extra supply stored at home.

2.A medical condition that requires medical equipment that needs electricity to operate?

3.Have you planned to provide for any medical conditions that requires treatment appointments outside of the home? Take a moment now and talk with your medical equipment supplier to learn of the backup power sources you may require such as batteries, generator, etc.

4.How about in-home care? Do you or a household member or neighbor require home health care service? Take a moment now and talk with your medical provider about how these needs would be met if an emergency prevented your access to these necessary services.

Essential medical items ALL households want to consider having:


1.Items for seniors, disabled persons, children, or anyone with serious allergies including special foods

2.Denture items

3.Extra eyeglasses

4.Hearing aid batteries

5.Several day supply of prescription and non-prescription medications, including insulin, that are used regularly

6.Inhalers and other essential equipment and backup power supply if these items require electricity or water


Additional Information for Special Needs


Here are some Emergency Preparedness Topics accessible to people who are deaf, blind, or have limited sight.


Visit the American Red Cross’s web site for people with disabilities for tips on how to survive a disaster. Also visit the web site on information and videos for helping people with special needs.

3. Get Informed

ZMCHD prepares Muskingum County by having in place a countywide emergency plan that helps coordinate police, fire, medical and emergency responses. Click here to view the Public Health Chapter. The Public Health Chapter is the health department’s section of the County Emergency Response Plan. Comments Please: Submit your comments on the Public Health Chapter to

Other related activities include:


  1. We are conducting regular training exercises to test our emergency preparedness.
  2. Medical providers are sent educational alerts which will increase awareness and reporting of illness.
  3. Genesis Hospital Emergency Departments reports any unusual patterns of illness every 24 hours to the Zanesville-Muskingum County Public Health Department.
  4. Volunteer Opportunities
  5. After the Flood: Important Information to Remember
  6. Flooding Emergencies: What to know and do when there is a flood
  7. Food Safety During an Emergency
  8. Special Needs & Alerting Registry
  9. Muskingum County Resource Management
  10. Community Healthcare Coalition

Related Links





Older Americans


People with Disabilities and Special



Emergency Kits




Asked Questions



Health Care Providers

Avian Flu

Correct Hand Washing Procedures



Sarin Information





Radiation Emergencies


Ricin Information



Extreme Heat


Landslides and Mudslides


Power Outages


Winter Weather


































Centers for Disease Control and Prevention –

Ohio EMA –

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) –

Web video from the Dept. of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator, urging the public to be prepared for any emergency –