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Please note the Imperial County Public Health Department will be open for appointments only. Department staff will be available to provide assistance by phone to members of the community who have questions related to any of the Department’s essential services.

Phone assistance will be available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The office will be closed for lunch from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. This shall remain in effect until further notice.

Emergency and Disaster Preparedness

close up image of paper with header of Emergency Preparedness Checklist

The EMS Agency is responsible for the development of medical and health response plans for catastrophic disasters, including those involving chemical, biological and radiological agents. The EMS Agency also participates in the development and implementation of training programs and disaster exercises for EMS system participants.

three people in orange hazmat suit outside with hands in the air getting washed off with water

A bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs (agents) used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants. Biological agents can be spread through the air, through water, or in food. Cooperative efforts between the federal, state and local government are in effect to conduct planning, training, and prevention of disease epidemics and other health emergencies caused by a bioterrorism attack in Imperial County.

The California Health Alert Network (CAHAN) is the State of California’s web-based information and communications system available on a 24/7/365 basis for distribution of health alerts, dissemination of prevention guidelines, coordination of disease investigation efforts, preparedness planning, and other initiatives that strengthen state and local preparedness. CAHAN participants have the ability to receive alerts and notifications via alphanumeric pager, e-mail, fax, and phone (cellular and landline).

CAHAN links critical health and emergency response partners together to provide:

  • Rapid and secure communications system among state and local health agencies, health care providers, emergency management officials, and other emergency response partners

  • Dissemination of announcements from local, state or federal public health authorities to inform health and medical service personnel of likely or imminent dangers to the health of their community

  • Secure collaborative environment to develop and share information for emergency preparedness planning and response

The California Department of Public Health Emergency Preparedness Office provides CAHAN training, Help Desk support, and statewide administration. To request access, training, or assistance, contact the CAHAN Team at

Additional Resources:

yellow seismograph drawing encased in four white circles increasing in space on a red background

Earthquake Fast Facts

  • Earthquakes strike suddenly, violently, and without warning at any time of the year and at any time of the day or night.

  • Smaller earthquakes often follow the main shock.

  • An earthquake is caused by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the Earth's surface. Ground shaking from earthquakes can collapse buildings and bridges; disrupt gas, electric, and phone service; and sometimes trigger landslides, avalanches, flash floods, fires, and huge, destructive ocean waves (tsunamis).

  • Most earthquake-related injuries result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

  • Several thousand shocks of varying sizes occur annually in the United States, and 70 to 75 damaging earthquakes occur throughout the world each year. All 50 states and all U.S. territories are vulnerable to earthquakes. Where earthquakes have occurred in the past, they will happen again.

  • California experiences the most frequent damaging earthquakes; however, Alaska experiences the greatest number of large earthquakes—most located in uninhabited areas.

  • The Richter Scale, developed by Charles F. Richter in 1935, is a logarithmic measurement of the amount of energy released by an earthquake. Earthquakes with a magnitude of at least 4.5 are strong enough to be recorded by sensitive seismographs all over the world.

Website Links:


American Red Cross


Pandemic flu occurs when a new virus exists to which people have little or no immunity.This new virus will pass easily from person to person. Because the virus is new and people have not had it before, it could cause large numbers of people to become sick or die. A pandemic flu would likely affect businesses, travel and some basic services for a period of time. It is possible that the H5N1 bird flu virus could change to be easily passed from person to person.

Learn more about what you can do to prepare for and respond to a pandemic flu.

For more information about pandemic flu, visit

Seasonal Flu

The common flu virus, or seasonal flu, is caused by viruses similar to those already affecting people. Healthy adults are generally not at risk for severe complications from the flu. Young children, the elderly and those with medical conditions are at a greater risk for complications.

Learn more about what you can do to prepare yourself and your family for seasonal flu each year.

Bird Flu

Bird flu viruses are found naturally among birds and usually do not affect people. However, the H5N1 bird flu virus that has been spreading among birds recently has been passed from birds to humans and has caused people to die. People should be careful not to come in contact with infected birds or contaminated areas during an outbreak of bird flu among poultry.

In this section, you will find information to protect yourself, your family and your birds from bird flu.

More information on bird flu is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the World Health Organization.