PHEP BP1 Project AbstractOverviewSouth Carolina faces a host of challenges to protecting public health during disasters andemergencies. Five (5) fixed nuclear facilities statewide, proximity to two (2) more nuclear plantsin North Carolina and Georgia, and vulnerability to hurricanes and secondary flooding contributesignificantly to the challenges of preparing for disasters with potential public health impacts.Vulnerable populations which may be disproportionately impacted by disasters range from thosewith limited English proficiency to both children and elderly residents, with 22 percent ofresidents under the age of 18 and 17 percent over age 65 according to current U.S. CensusBureau estimates. At least 15.2 percent of South Carolina residents also have a disabilityaccording to the SC State Health Assessment published in 2018. All of the above factors add tothe challenge of responding effectively to public health emergencies when and where they occur.ApproachPurpose:The purpose of this PHEP Cooperative Agreement application is to build upon lessons learnedduring large-scale events over the past five (5) years by improving upon existing plans andprocesses while exploring new opportunities to prepare for events of public health significance inSouth Carolina.Outcomes:The goal of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control?s (DHEC)Public Health Preparedness program is to prepare for public health emergencies by focusing onthe six preparedness domains of Community Resilience, Biosurveillance, Incident Management,Information Management, Surge Management, and Countermeasures and Mitigation.Strategic goals to be met over the five (5)-year performance period include completion of thestate?s first stand-alone public health jurisdictional risk assessment; expanded continuity-ofoperations(COOP) planning and exercises; and establishment of mobile pharmacy agreementsand processes to facilitate the delivery of medications to shelter clien
ts.BP1 activities toward these and other strategic goals will include an exploration of options forensuring the physical and behavioral health needs of individuals affected by quarantine orisolation orders; development of a process for monitoring public health responders to chemicaland radiological exposures; and participation in ASPR?s Crimson Contagion exercise.Conclusion:As the state lead for ESF-8 (Health and Medical Services) and ESF-10 (Hazardous Materials),DHEC is fully committed to preparing South Carolina for events of public health significance.We anticipate that the efforts described above will bring us closer to achieving the agency?svision of healthy people living in healthy communities as well as the CDC?s mission to savelives and protect people from health threats.