Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP)

What is Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP)

PHEP is a full range of prevention, mitigation, and recovery activities aimed towards preventing disease and reducing death rates in the event of an emergency or disaster. PHEP strategies expand upon day-to-day public health best practices and build upon existing systems and partnerships. Successful PHEP strategies rely heavily on local partnerships with community stakeholders and are not developed de novo. Our goal is to build a more resilient community that is prepared to deal with and rapidly recover from threats and emergencies that affect the health of the public. 

What We Do

The Montgomery County Office of Public Health PHEP team provides liaison support and technical assistance to County and local emergency management officials, specifically focused on issues surrounding public and community health in emergencies. Additionally, the PHEP team coordinates and manages the County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) which as an all-volunteer medical workforce, specifically trained to respond in emergencies and disasters.

How Emergency events Differ

Public health emergencies differ from conventional emergencies in terms of their onset, detection, temporality and overall effects on community social processes. Conventional emergencies are typified by their highly visible activity, damage, and local effects which trigger emergency responses from local agencies. Public health emergencies such as illness outbreaks, or food/water contamination, are themselves invisible and mysterious in terms of spread and outreach. PHEP is a specialty within traditional emergency management requiring health experts to work with communities to respond to, and ultimately recover from these invisible threats.

How We Can Assist You

  • Personal and Family Readiness Training
  • Organizational Health preparedness (pandemic and bioterrorism) planning assistance
  • Local (public) or organizational (private) POD planning assistance
  • Inclusion in local and regional training and exercises
  • Business Pandemic and Bioterrorism COOP development assistance 
  • Set up an organizational Chapter of the MRC

Contact Us 

Megan Young, MPA  
Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator 
Phone: (610) 278-5117

Programs and Assistance

I want to become a disaster volunteer.

Email the Medical Reserve Corp Coordinators for more information

I am a resident / family.

Any amount of preparation before an emergency can have a huge impact and save lives. You can prepare yourself and your family by: 

Stay Informed: 

Sign up for our emergency alert system that can send you weather alerts, community news, and emergency information right to your phone or computer. Visit ReadyMontco to sign up and start receiving alerts.

Montgomery County introduced a new program for residents to use to submit a safety profile to the Department of Public Safety for use in an emergency. Smart911 is a free service that residents can use to provide information they want first responders to have in the event of an emergency. Fill out the questionnaire with as much or as little information as you want.

We are a community organization, business, or school. 

  • Pandemic Preparedness Planning
  • Pandemic Flu Information and Planning
  • Learn more about emergency exercises 
  • Partner with Montgomery County and Become a Closed POD: At the Montgomery County Office of Public Health, we have been working to increase our capacity to respond to emergencies by strengthening existing partnerships and building new ones. Partnerships with the community and other public health and emergency response agencies in Southeastern Pennsylvania make our region and our county healthier, safer, and better prepared to respond to emergencies. If you are part of a large business, long-term care facility, health care network, or university/college in Montgomery County, your organization may be eligible to partner with the Montgomery County Office of Public Health by becoming a Closed POD. A Closed POD, short for point of dispensing, is a private location that, through a partnership with the Montgomery County Office of Public Health, dispenses lifesaving medications to clients, staff, and staff families during a public health emergency. For more information on how to sign-up your business to be a closed POD please email