Emergency Preparedness & Response
Are You Ready for an Emergency?
Natural disasters, like widespread epidemics, earthquakes and flooding, or man-made ones, such as fire or explosions, can happen without warning. Being prepared for emergencies can greatly lessen injury and loss of life or property. The North Georgia Health District is part of the emergency preparedness and response network in each of our counties - Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield - and we are coordinating plans with our partners to make our communities better prepared for disaster.
Learn how to create your own disaster plan and more by visiting Ready Georgia. Click on these four important steps Georgians can take to protect ourselves, those in our care and those in the community who may depend on us financially:
Our Emergency Preparedness and Response mission is to coordinate and deliver public health services in response to terrorism, natural disasters, or other public health emergencies and to facilitate and acquire resources that will supplement disrupted or overburdened services and relieve the suffering and trauma of victims.
Our mission aims to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities in the North Georgia Health District by preparing for, responding to, and recovering from events of public health significance.
Under the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Georgia Emergency Operations Plan, we lead local efforts related to Emergency Support Function 8 (Health and Medical) and support Emergency Support Function 6 (Mass Care). Consequently, we provide technical assistance, guidance, communication, and logistics to help communities within our health district during disaster or emergency. Grant Funding from the Department of Health and Human Services and the State of Georgia helps support the Public Health and Healthcare Community Preparedness and Response at the state and district levels.
Our vision is safer, healthier people, families, and communities in the North Georgia Health District as the result of our Emergency Preparedness office's assistance with and delivery of plans, policies, operating procedures, assessment tools and training/education that establishes and promotes emergency preparedness/readiness in our organization and communities.
We strive to realize this vision by coordinating with community partners and delivering public health services in response to terrorism, natural disasters, or other public health emergencies, and we hope to build resilient and prepared communities that are equipped to effectively respond to and recover from any public health emergency. Our desire is to ensure the availability of timely and comprehensive services, resources, and support to alleviate suffering, minimize trauma, and safeguard the well-being of all affected individuals and communities within our health district. Our unwavering commitment is to coordinate and deliver exceptional public health services that not only respond to the immediate needs of those affected but also foster long-term recovery and well-being.Together, we can build a future where preparedness, response, and resilience prevail.
Emergency Preparedness Team
Our award-winning Emergency Preparedness team is dedicated to creating and providing viable plans, policies, operating procedures, assessment tools, and training and education. With a goal of establishing and enhancing emergency preparedness and readiness within our organization and communities, the team's objective is to ensure that the communities in each of our counties are well-equipped and informed to effectively respond to any emergency situation.
This team is continually engaged in preparedness activities, which includes establishing close working relationships with various response organizations, conducting assessments to identify resources and capacities, acquiring necessary resources, developing plans and procedures, and actively engaging in training and exercises. By implementing these measures, our Emergency Preparedness team can ensure coordinated and effective response efforts, safeguarding the well-being of affected populations and minimizing the impact of emergencies on people and communities within the North Georgia Health District.
Darryl Camp, Emergency Preparedness Director
Darryl is a licensed Paramedic and an Emergency Management Healthcare Professional in Georgia, where he has proudly served north Georgians for 30 years. After a 12-year tenure as our Healthcare Coalition Facilitator, he has now taken on the role of North Georgia Health District Emergency Preparedness Director. In this position, Darryl leads the district in public health policies, planning, training, and exercises for emergencies, accidents, and terrorism events that may impact our residents and communities.
Lana Duff, Emergency Preparedness Specialist
Lana is a licensed Paramedic for Georgia and Tennessee and a Georgia Certified Emergency Manager. She has dedicated herself to serving the residents of north Georgia for over 30 years. As the health district's Emergency Preparedness Specialist, she focuses on working with internal and external partners within our six counties to enhance, plan, and prepare our response to and recovery from major events of public health significance.
Ryan Wilson, Emergency Preparedness Training Officer
Ryan has been a valued member of the North Georgia Health District for over a decade and currently serves as our Emergency Preparedness Training Officer. He facilitates public health emergency preparedness training for our staff and partners, ensuring we are well-equipped to respond to potential disasters. Ryan enjoys positive interactions with his department team and with staff throughout the district, fostering a collaborative and proactive approach to emergency preparedness.
Sandy Hullander, Healthcare Coalition Facilitator
Sandy is our North Georgia Healthcare Coalition Facilitator, working closely with the Regional Coordinating Hospital to help plan and coordinate healthcare emergency preparedness exercises, training, and the purchasing and distribution of supplies needed for healthcare emergencies. She is a licensed EMT-I in Georgia and AEMT in Tennessee and is a Certified Flight Communication Specialist. Sandy has proudly served the North Georgia and Southeast Tennessee area for 24 years.
Brittney Carmichael, Public Health Analyst and Opioid and Substance Use Program Coordinator
Brittney is a Kennesaw State University alumnus with a background in Human Services. She is currently attending Georgia State University in the graduate program for Public Health. As the coordinator of the North Georgia Health District’s Opioid and Substance Use Response Program, Brittney is our point person for understanding the repercussions of drug and alcohol addiction, and she champions prevention, harm reduction, and recovery efforts throughout the communities she serves.
Jennifer King, Public Information Officer and Risk Communicator
Jennifer has a B.A. in Communications and over 25 years in broadcast media, marketing, promotions, public relations, and risk communication. As the district's Public Information Officer and the Risk Communicator for our Emergency Preparedness team for more than 20 years, she leverages various communication channels to enable people to make well-informed decisions for mitigating the impact of potential threats or hazards by taking protective and preventive measures.
The North Georgia Healthcare Coalition brings together healthcare organizations to support the local healthcare community and other response agencies as they jointly plan for and respond to man-made or natural emergencies by promoting intra-regional cooperation and sharing of resources.
In the past, organizations and counties have been planning individually and in groups to become better prepared to respond to disasters. Organizations within counties have developed solid relationships and have plans to support each other during emergencies. However, there may need to be more than county, community, or organization plans to care for the healthcare needs during and after a disaster. A regional approach is necessary to improve the continuity of healthcare; therefore, the North Georgia Healthcare Coalition was formed to bridge gaps and enhance healthcare preparedness using a regional approach. Organizations encouraged to participate include but are not limited to:
The main objective of the North Georgia Healthcare Coalition is the development and maintenance of a regional coordinated emergency response plan for Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) Region A, which includes Catoosa, Dade, Fannin, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, Pickens, Walker, and Whitfield counties.
When a disaster hits a community or a region, the entire healthcare system will be impacted and have to respond. All healthcare organizations must work together in a coordinated fashion to effectively respond to the disaster and work towards recovery. During healthcare emergencies, decisions made by one healthcare organization will impact others. Healthcare organizations planning together will create a more prepared and resilient healthcare system. Planning together saves lives!
NGHC Defined - pdf