Multi-Sector CoordinationIn the last decade, a series of emergencies – including the events of 2001, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic, and the 2005 hurricanes – and the threat of pandemic influenza have focused immense attention on emergency preparedness. As a result, investments in emergency preparedness have expanded the capacity of state, local, and federal health and other agencies to address such challenges. In addition, law enforcement agencies, the corrections system, the judiciary, and many other sectors have re-examined their own policies and procedures, identified potential gaps, and undertaken steps to strengthen preparedness for future emergencies.
While these efforts to strengthen each sector’s all-hazards preparedness are essential, the recent disasters also have taught that no sector or jurisdiction is likely to face a major disaster or its aftermath alone. To enhance coordination of preparedness across sectors, during 2007-2008, CDC’s Public Health Law Program, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, convened the Workgroup on Public Health and Law Enforcement Emergency Preparedness that included experts representing four sectors: public health, law enforcement, the judiciary, and corrections.
Workgroup members identified opportunities for improving cross-sectoral and cross-jurisdictional collaboration and developed the three tools available at this website. The first, “A Framework for Improving Cross-Sector Coordination for Emergency Preparedness and Response: Action Steps for Public Health, Law Enforcement, Corrections, and the Judiciary,” is designed to be a starting point for the four Workgroup sectors, setting forth the major gaps and problems in cross-sectoral and cross-jurisdictional emergency preparedness planning as well as some key opportunities for addressing them. The second, a guide for developing a memorandum of understanding for coordinated cross-sector implementation of community response measures to contagious respiratory diseases such as influenza, is designed to assist representatives from the four sectors in clarifying the expectations each would have of the others during a scenario in which community responses to a severe respiratory disease outbreak would be warranted.