The Ohio Pharmacists Association’s Pharmacist Preparedness Task Force has provided the following information and resources for pharmacists interested in disaster planning in Ohio. You can volunteer to serve on OPA’s Pharmacist Preparedness Task Force by clicking the button below. The Pharmacist Preparedness Task Force reviews disaster (natural and man-made) planning issues to be implemented in declared public health emergencies, to inform pharmacists and to encourage volunteer involvement.
The assistance of hundreds of pharmacy professionals and pharmacies could be needed in Ohio in the event of a declared emergency such as a natural disaster, act of bioterrorism, or an infectious disease outbreak. Depending on the event, pharmacy professionals could be called upon to dispense medications and medical supplies, administer immunizations, triage victims, etc.
How to Volunteer
Emergency preparedness begins in local communities, and because pharmacies and pharmacy professionals are a valuable resource for reaching the public with important health measures, OPA is calling upon you to volunteer for emergency preparedness/disaster planning in your community. If you are a pharmacist, pharmacy intern, or pharmacy technician, please consider signing up to volunteer at the Ohio Responds Volunteer Registry in the button below. The Ohio Responds Volunteer Registry is a volunteer opportunity site shared by the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). ODH coordinates the Ohio Medical Reserve Corps (OMRC). The Medical Reserve Corps website is now within the Office ASPR at phe.gov/mrc.
Partner with Your Local Health Department
The local health department is not only a valuable resource for emergency preparedness information, but also for information about health issues affecting your county. Pharmacy professionals are a valuable resource in local health department emergency planning and for reaching the public with timely and important health information. By clicking the button below and entering your home address, you will be able to locate information regarding your local health department and the contact information.
Should I be concerned about liability?
The Federal Volunteer Protection Act provides immunity from (no liability for) negligence if you volunteer for a nonprofit organization or governmental entity. You must act within the scope of your responsibilities in the organization. You must be properly licensed, certified, or authorized to act. Protection is not limited to emergencies. You are not protected if the harm occurred through your operation of a motorized vehicle. You are not protected for reckless misconduct or gross negligence.
The Ohio Revised Code also defines protections for registered volunteers during an emergency declared by the state or political subdivision in disaster-related exercises, testing or other training activities. These protections declare a person not liable for injury, death or loss to a person or property that may arise from an act or omission of that volunteer while providing services within the scope of the volunteer's responsibilities if the volunteer's act or omission does not constitute willful or wanton misconduct.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) - Emergency Preparedness & Response
The CDC’s Emergency Preparedness and Response web page provides access to webinars, calls, videos, newsletters and more resources to help healthcare professionals and the general public stay informed about public health emergencies.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Influenza
The CDC’s Influenza web page provides influenza updates, recommendations, prevention strategies, symptoms & diagnosis, treatment options and activity & surveillance data.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
FEMA is an organization that assists America in preparing for, preventing, responding to and recovering from disasters.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Guide to Citizen Preparedness
FEMA is an organization that assists America in preparing for, preventing, responding to and recovering from disasters. This publication provides guidance for preparing for potential disasters.
National Center for Medical Readiness
The National Center for Medical Readiness is a realistic training environment in Fairborn, Ohio that bridges the gap between medical readiness and disaster response for any potential emergency response personnel – from community groups and healthcare providers to law enforcement agencies and combat medics.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that focuses on the nation’s medical research. NIH makes important discoveries to improve health and save lives.
Ohio Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
The Ohio Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program helps provide knowledge to volunteers about preparing for disasters and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue and disaster medical operations.
Ohio Department of Health
The Ohio Department of Health is a cabinet-level agency that works to protect and improve the health of Ohioans by preventing disease, promoting good health and assuring access to quality care.
Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services provides high-quality, comprehensive and accessible mental health and addiction prevention, treatment and recovery services for all Ohio citizens.
Ohio Emergency Management Agency
The Ohio Emergency Management Agency coordinates activities to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters in order to save lives and create a safer future.
Ohio Responds Volunteer Registry
The Ohio Responds Volunteer Registry is Ohio’s online system for managing public health and medical disaster responder volunteers. The site is used to register, notify, and inform those who are interested in volunteering.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Chemical Hazards
The Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management page enables first responders, first receivers and other healthcare providers to plan for, respond to, recover from and mitigate effects of mass-casualty incidents involving chemicals.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Medical Reserve Corps
The Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of groups of local volunteers. These volunteers engage local communities to strengthen public health, reduce vulnerability, build resilience and improve preparedness, response and recovery capabilities.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Public Health Emergency
The Public Health Emergency page shows collaboration with hospitals, healthcare coalitions, biotech firms, community members, government officials and other partners across the nation to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters and public health emergencies.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security works to protect the country’s people, land and values from the many threats we face.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Ready
Ready is a national public service campaign that launched in February 2003 to help American citizens prepare for and respond to both natural and man-made disasters.