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Departments » Public Health » Preparedness
General Information


Public health threats are always present. Whether caused by natural, accidental, or unintentional means, these threats can lead to the onset of public health incidents. Power outages, winter safety in the home or while traveling, heat and cold extremes, winter storms, severe thunderstorms, flooding, tornadoes, and wind damage are potential risks in our area. Being prepared to prevent, respond to, and rapidly recover from public health threats is critical for protecting and securing our resident’s public health.

While serving the residents of Shawano and Menominee Counties, the Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department (SMCHD) works in continuous collaboration with Shawano and Menominee County Emergency Managements, Menominee and Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Emergency Managements, local hospitals and clinics, and surrounding health departments.

What Constitutes a Public Health Emergency
A situation becomes emergent (developing) when its health consequences have the potential to overwhelm routine capabilities. Health emergencies may include: environmental (lead, radon, and other hazardous material); radiological (radiation contamination, dirty bombs); toxic (bioterrorism); natural (flooding, extreme heat); or infectious (tuberculosis, measles) emergencies.

Preparedness Capabilities ♦ National Standards for Local Planning
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plays an important role in ensuring that we are prepared for these incidents while providing funding and technical assistance. The CDC has defined several capabilities to provide guidance and recommendations for preparedness planning, and, ultimately, assure safer, more resilient, and better prepared communities.

Currently, Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department is working on the following six capabilities:
• Responder Safety and Health
• Fatality Management
• Community Preparedness
• Emergency Operations Coordination
• Emergency Public Information and Warning
• Information Sharing

Mass Clinics
In the event of a pandemic or public health threat, the mass clinic plan would be activated to dispense prophylaxis (vaccines, antiviral drugs, antibiotics or antitoxins) for treatment or prevention in an identified population. Shawano County Mass Clinic sites include: Shawano High School, Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School and St. Paul’s Church and School, Bonduel.

Preparedness Training
Training is essential for responding quickly to save lives, reduce danger, and control panic. The health department staff has completed National Incident Management System (NIMS) training, a nation-wide system for responding to emergencies. NIMS provides a structure for all emergency responders to work together in a coordinated fashion. The system provides a clear chain of command and response procedures so communications are quick, clear, and accurate.

Judy, Preparedness Coordinator

Preparedness Planning Section Chief Judy Sengstock, RN BSN
Phone: (715) 526-4808
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311 N. Main St., Shawano, WI 54166-8724 • (715) 526-9135
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