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Public Health Emergency Management FAQs


How prepared is Long Beach for a biological, chemical or radiological terrorist attack?

The DHHS has developed systems for rapid detection and investigation of disease outbreaks that could be the first indication of a biologicalattack. Early detection of illness and BT agents allow more rapid protection to unexposed population and more specific and effective treatment for those who have contracted the disease. We are training all DHHS staff as well as local hospital staff to recognize early signs and symptoms of biological agents and have frequent training exercises with Police and Fire Departments to enhance our coordination and roles in an emergency event.

Should I buy gas masks for my family and myself?

No. The DHHS and CDC do not recommend that citizens purchase gas masks. A gas mask would only protect you if you were wearing it at the exact moment of a bioterrorist attack. Gas masks require proper fitting and regular maintenance to be effective and remember they will not protect you against a biological event.

Should I have my own supply of antibiotics in case there is a bioterrorist attack?

No. There are a number of different germs a terrorist might use to carry out an attack. Using antibiotics at the wrong time or in the wrong way can lead to harmful side effects (especially for pregnant women and children) and can make bacteria and other organisms resistant to antibiotics. In the event of an emergency there will be emergency supplies of antibiotics and antidotes available to the public.

Should I put together an emergency family plan and supply kit?

Yes.You can prepare for a terrorist incident much like preparing for an earthquake or other disaster. Three of the most essential parts to an emergency plan are: 1) Establish a way to identify the status and whereabouts of each family member. 2) Make sure to have an additional emergency kit in the trunk of your car. 3) Have your list of important telephone numbers, including your physician's number.

Create a Family Emergency Plan.