img_2533Our Bureau of Public Health Emergency Preparedness focuses on preparing for, responding to, and recovering from public health emergencies and disasters that are natural or human-caused. One of our preparedness strategies is to test our notification and alerting system, the Arizona Health Alert System (AzHAN) by initiating call down drills. Call down drills test the validity of ADHS’s call down lists and their ability to contact key staff in a timely manner, as well as estimate the percentage of staff who could report for duty within a designated time frame.

Emergencies do not always happen between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Staff involved in preparedness activities have to be ready around the clock to respond to a public health emergency. To ensure our readiness we test this capability on a quarterly basis to make sure those who are critical to an initial response are reachable and able to report for duty within the designated time-frame.

We strive to get at least 90 percent of the staff on the call down list to respond within one hour to meet the agency’s performance measure and a grant deliverable for the program. This quarter we beat our previous quarter’s response rate and were able to reach 93 percent of respondents within an hour! Thank you to all who participated in the drill for your continued readiness to protect Arizonans from public health emergencies.