Carson City works to improve Nevada's preparedness

The Carson City Health and Human Services Department in Carson City, Nevada, is working to improve its public health emergency response after receiving low marks on the recent Ready or Not report.

The state of Nevada received an unsatisfactory four out of 10 on a recent report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health. The report detailed state emergency readiness throughout the United States.

Preparedness planners in Carson City and county epidemiologists operate round-the-clock tracking to limit the number of disease outbreaks in the state. In preparation for the potentially serious flu season, public health support staff and nurses provided close to 9,000 community outreach vaccinations to people in and around Carson City. The outreach clinics and the department's drive-through flu clinic function as practice for real public health emergencies.

Planners in the health department are also attempting to identify vulnerable individuals in the community who might need extra help during emergencies and connect them with needed services and resources. The planners also partner with local hospitals to provide necessary supplies during overwhelming medical surge situations.

The city's public health preparedness staff constantly implements and evaluates response strategies for bioterrorism, pandemics and other emergency disasters.

The Western Nevada Medical Reserve Corps, a group of trained volunteers located at Carson City Health and Human Services, works with the planners to participate in exercises and responds during public health emergencies.