Shawnee County Health Department

Leading the way to a healthier Shawnee County.

Public Health Emergency Preparedness


The Shawnee County Health Department's Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program is dedicated to ensuring our community is prepared on a community level in the event of public health emergencies. It is also important that we help Shawnee County Residents prepare on an individual level.

The Public Health Emergency Preparedness program is happy to assist your community organization or group by providing professional technical assistance and presentations educating individuals on the latest best practices to prepare.

Program Background

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11th and the Anthrax attacks of 2001, Congress passed the Bioterrorism Act of 2002. The law provided funding to all states for bioterrorism preparedness through a cooperative agreement program operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This agreement provides support to state and local health departments, including the Shawnee County Health Department to ensure community resilience and readiness in the event of bioterrorism or a public health emergency in Shawnee County.

Program Areas

  • Preparedness planning and readiness assessment: Establish strategic leadership, direction, assessment, and coordination of activities within the jurisdiction.
  • Surveillance and epidemiology capacity: Enable state and local health departments to enhance, design, and develop systems for rapid detection of unusual outbreaks that may be the result of bioterrorism.
  • Emergency Support Function (ESF) 8 Coordinator: Coordinate resources and response efforts with Shawnee County Emergency Management for Medical and Public Health emergencies in Shawnee County.
  • Laboratory capacity: biological and chemical agents: Ensure that core diagnostic capabilities for bioterrorism and chemical agents are available at all state and major city/county public health laboratories.
  • Health Alert Network Communication and information system:Enable state and local health agencies to establish and maintain a public information network.
  • Education and training: Provide communitywide training and public education materials to increase the preparedness within Shawnee County.

PHEP Resources

Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Preparedness and Response
National Association of City/County Health Officials - Public Health Preparedness
National Association of City/County Health Officials - Preparedness Brief
America's Prepare-A-Thon
Kansas Department of Health and Environment - Preparedness
Kansas Association of Local Health Departments - Public Health Emergency Preparedness

Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)

Citizen Corps and the MRC

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a component of Citizen Corps, under the USA Freedom Corps initiated by President George W. Bush. This national initiative is made up of several components including Peace Corps AmericCorps, and Citizen Corps. Citizen Corps volunteers work to make sure their families, homes, and communities are prepared in the event of terrorism, crime, and disasters of all kinds. MRC is a component of the Citizen Corps. The MRC program provides volunteers to help the community be better prepared for public health emergencies.

Becoming a Volunteer

There are no licenses or skills required to become an MRC volunteer. Anyone 18 or older is eligible to volunteer. The MRC coordinator matches volunteer skills and licenses with local needs for both emergency response and public health initiatives. MRC volunteers can be doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other community members who have a passion for keeping the local area healthy and prepared.

MRC Volunteer Application

Volunteer Duties

MRC volunteer duties are separated according to the needs for emergency and non-emergency events. Volunteers are needed for public health emergencies. They are also needed to assist with community events such as health fairs, flu clinics, provide BLS and children's vaccination clinics.

Benefits of Volunteering include:

  • You and your immediate family may have priority status in receiving prophylaxis/vaccination during an emergency.
  • You will acquire disaster training that prepares you in advance of a community emergency.
  • You will be exposed to a variety of unique learning opportunities and skill development.
  • You will have the opportunity to take part in hands-on drills and exercises.
  • You will have the opportunity to serve the emergency and public health needs of your community.
  • You will receive free emergency preparedness and response training with the possibility of CEUs.

MRC Resources


K-Serve website   The Kansas System for the Early Registration of Volunteers, K-SERV, is a secure registration system and database for volunteers willing to respond to public health emergencies or disasters in Kansas or areas across the country. It can be utilized as a volunteer management system at the local and state levels.

MRC-Train   Welcome to TRAIN, the premier learning resource for professionals who protect the public's health. A free service of the Public Health Foundation, is part of the newly expanded TrainingFinder Real-time Affiliate Integrated Network (TRAIN).

Contact Us

Emergency Preparedness

Medical Reserve Corps

2600 SW East Circle Drive
Topeka, KS 66606




Monday - Friday
8:00 am - Noon
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Evenings and weekends are available by request.