Public Health Preparedness

Zika Virus Information



Public Health Preparedness

Why is it important to be prepared?

Preparing for a public health emergency or disaster provides you with your best chance of survival. Emergency preparedness should always be considered in the home and workplace for any unexpected event. Devastating events such as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the destruction of Hurricane Katrina,and the spread of the H1N1 virus have left many concerned about the possibility of future events and their potential impact. Not only have they raised uncertainty, but also raised awareness of the importance of emergency and disaster preparedness.
There are specific steps you can take to prepare for the unexpected and reduce the stress you may feel now and later should another emergency or disaster arise. This preparedness portion of the Cleveland County Health Department’s website provides information you need to prepare for and appropriately respond to a public health emergency or disaster.

What should you do to prepare?

Step 1: Create a basic emergency kit. To learn what needs to be in this kit, please click here.
Step 2: Make a plan.
*You and your family may not be together when disaster strikes
*Have your plan set. Go here for information on making your plan.
Step 3: Be informed
*Learn the ways you would get information. Local radio and television stations voluntarily give broadcast time to alert the public when threats become imminent. Such valuable information aids in saving lives, reducing injuries and lessening the impact on property.
*Visit the CDC’s Emergency Preparedness and Response website for up-to-date information on numerous preparedness topics

In the event of a public health emergency or disaster

Find a POD. During a public health emergency, such as a large scale disease outbreak or bioterrorism event, the Cleveland County Health Department may be tasked with the responsibility of providing antibiotics or vaccines to all members of our community potentially exposed to a disease. Point of Dispensing (POD) sites may be set up to accomplish this task. The sole purpose of a POD is to quickly distribute preventive medication to large numbers of people during a public health emergency in an effort to prevent illness.
What is a Point of Dispensing (POD) site? A point of dispensing (POD) site is a mass dispensing site that is capable of providing medications or vaccinations to protect the general population from biological threats or epidemics. Routine medical care is NOT provided at a POD.
What happens at a POD? A POD is an efficient way to quickly dispense medication or administer vaccine to the community as a whole. In the event of a community disease outbreak or emergency, a POD site is one tool that may be used to help fight the spread of disease.
Who might have to go to a POD during a public health emergency to receive medication? Only individuals who have potentially been exposed to the disease causing the public health emergency will be able to receive antibiotics or vaccines at a POD. POD’s are designed to provide medication that will PREVENT someone from becoming sick with a disease. Persons who are already sick with the disease will not be able to seek treatment at a POD.
Where will POD’s be set up? PODs will be set up in communities throughout Cleveland County to assist the majority of our citizens. To locate the sites throughout the county that have been identified as POD locations in the event of a public health emergency, please use the following link.


*Check back soon*

Important Phone Numbers

ICE: (In Case of Emergency contact) Make sure you, and your family knows who to contact in case of an emergency and those numbers are plugged into cell phones and easily accessible.
911: In the case of a true emergency, or to report suspicious activity, packages, or substances, please use this number to call local law enforcement.
980-484-5100: The health department. If this is after normal working hours (8-5, M-F) you will hear a recording, giving you options. But if this is a true emergency, please dial 911.

Anyone interested in serving as a volunteer (medical or non-medical) in the case of a public health emergency or disaster in Cleveland County may register on the North Carolina State Registry of Volunteers (SERVNC). Once you have entered the SERVNC website, simply click on “Register Now” and complete the requested registration information.