Emergency Preparedness

Health Emergency


Ensuring a healthy University community

Many people across campus work every day to ensure the health and safety of our campus community. This responsibility is shared by many departments including those who provide health services, counseling services, food services, housing, facilities management, environmental health, and public safety. Many of these daily efforts are designed to prevent health problems at the individual level, and also to prevent community-level health problems.

What is a health emergency?

A health emergency is the rare situation when something unusual creates the potential for widespread illness or possibly death among a group of people.

Examples of possible health emergencies include the following:

  • A large outbreak of bacterial meningitis
  • A large food borne outbreak
  • An act of bioterrorism such as an intentional release of anthrax spores or another biologic agent
  • A large chemical spill or release that results in multiple injuries
  • An influenza pandemic

Health emergencies, by their nature, are often longer term events than natural disasters, with the possibility of lasting for weeks or months. An influenza pandemic may cause significant reductions in the available workforce. The large reduction of available workforce and extended duration of a pandemic may threaten our entire infrastructure causing disruptions in normal services.

Visit our Pandemic Influenza Committee page for more information.

How are health emergencies handled on campus?

The University's Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) outlines the basic response system for all emergencies on campus including health emergencies. Additional systems and procedures that capitalize on the resources available in the UMD Health Services have been developed for health emergencies to augment the EOP.

Additional Resources


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