Emergency Preparedness & Response

All local public health agencies are required to prepare and respond to emergencies with a public health or environmental health implication in coordination with local, state and federal agencies and public and private sector partners. SJBPH Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) can serve as, or support, the Emergency Support Function 8 (Public Health and Medical Services) lead for the county, region, or jurisdiction.

SJBPH Regional EPR staff serve Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties and provide support to the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes.


Program Manager | 970 335 2001

Regional EPR Specialist | 970 335 2017


The SJBPH Emergency Preparedness & Response (EPR) program participates in All-Hazards planning, training, exercises, and response activities within the local jurisdiction.

  • Regional staff participate in Southwest Regional All Hazards planning meetings that involve other community and county partners, such as the Office of Emergency Management and public health and medical service partners.
  • All SJBPH staff are trained in Incident Command System (ICS) 100 and National Incident Management System (NIMS) 700 courses concerning a standardized system of command used to integrate with other emergency management personnel, with management staff pursuing further training.

SJBPH implements an emergency communication strategy to inform the community and to activate emergency response personnel in the event of a public health crisis.

  • Our Regional Emergency Preparedness & Response (EPR) Coordinator is the lead for Emergency Public Information Officer (PIO) functions working in tandem with our Communications Director, Regional Epidemiologist, Director of Health Protection Programs, and Executive Director.

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals, as well as other community members without healthcare backgrounds. MRC units engage these volunteers to strengthen public health, improve emergency response capabilities and build community resiliency. They prepare for and respond to natural disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, and floods, as well as other emergencies affecting public health, such as disease outbreaks. They frequently contribute to community health activities that promote healthy habits. Examples of activities that MRC volunteers participate in and support include:

  • Emergency preparedness and response training
  • Sheltering
  • Disaster medical support
  • First aid during large public gatherings
  • Veterinary support and pet preparedness
  • Health screenings
  • Vaccination clinics
  • Health education and promotion

To volunteer with the Southwest Colorado Regional MRC contact Whitney Lukas at (970)335-2017 or wlukas@sjbpublichealth.org.

The SJBPH Emergency Preparedness & Response (EPR) program is participating in a statewide Public Health Emergency Dispensing Exercise (PHED Ex) on June 16, 2017. The EPR program will be practicing receiving and distributing systems for medicine and other health supplies for when many people need them at once. The purpose of the exercise is to test state and local Strategic National Stockpile Plans (Medical Countermeasure Dispensing and Distribution) in response to a novel, contagious respiratory illness.

Did you visit our Point of Dispensing (POD) site?

Play medication fact sheets:

SJBPH promotes community preparedness by communicating steps that can be taken before, during, or after a disaster.

  • In conjunction with Mercy Regional Medical Center, Regional EPR staff also serve as executive officers of the La Plata, Archuleta, San Juan, and Southern Ute (LASST) Healthcare Coalition. The LASST HCC serves as a multi-agency coordination group (MACG) that assists Emergency Management and Emergency Support Function 8 (Public Health and Medical Services) with preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities related to healthcare organization disaster operations.

EPR Updates

No current emergencies.

La Plata County

Office of Emergency Management

Archuleta County

Office of Emergency Management