Public Health Preparedness Program

Where can I get a flu shot?

For more information about the flu and the Health Department's flu vaccine clinics click here.

How can I prepare for an emergency event?

Since an emergency can occur quickly and without warning, the best way for you and your family to be safe is to be as prepared as possible before an emergency strikes. Families should plan to store enough food, water and personal necessities for a 3 - 4 day period, in the event that they have to remain inside their home for their safety. They might also consider putting together a family emergency plan, so that all family members (e.g., schoolchildren or homebound relatives) could be cared for in case the main caregivers are unable to return home at their usual times.

For more information, visit:

What if I have limited mobility or special needs?

Rockland County has developed a Special Needs Registry for residents with limited mobility or special needs, which might impact a timely response during an emergency. If you believe you, or someone you care for, is unable to independently act upon emergency protective orders, please register.

Why should you register?  

  • To receive individual notification when an evacuation has been ordered
  • To alert local emergency personnel of your individual considerations
  • To allow emergency responders an opportunity to plan and be prepared

How can schools prepare for an emergency event?

For more information about how schools can plan for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and terrorist acts go to

Where can I get updated information if there was a bioterrorism attack, or chemical or radiation emergency in Rockland County?

Were a bioterrorism attack, or chemical or radiation emergency to occur in the county, the public would be informed immediately of measures that could be taken to protect their health.

The Rockland County Department of Health will keep residents informed through:

Sign up for NY-ALERT (New York State's All-Hazards Alert and Notification System)

NY-Alert is free and subscription-based.  Visit or call 1-888-697-6972 to sign up to receive emergency weather alerts, and other emergency warnings.  You can receive that information the way you choose:  including to your e-mail, phone at home or at work, and cell phone.    

Specific information regarding Indian Point:

In addition to the above, if there is a radiological release from Indian Point, special emergency sirens that produce a continuous, four-minute tone would alert people within 10 miles of Indian Point to tune to Emergency Alert System radio and television stations for information and instructions. The sounding of the sirens is not a signal to take any actions other than to listen to your radio or TV.  In addition to the sirens, a high-speed telephone service, an e-mail alerting service or web-based services could be used to notify and inform the public.

How can I volunteer in an emergency event?

Medical and non-medical volunteers are needed. For more information call Junie Delizo, Director of Emergency Preparedness/Public Health, at (845) 364-2660.

What is a bioterrorism attack?

A bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants. These can be spread through the air, through water, or in food.  Some, like the smallpox virus, can be spread from person to person and some, like anthrax, can not.  For more information go to

What is a chemical emergency?

A chemical emergency occurs when a hazardous chemical has been released and the release has the potential for harming people's health. Chemical releases can be unintentional, as in the case of an industrial accident, or intentional, as in the case of a terrorist attack. For more information go to

What is a radiation emergency?

A radiation emergency is the release of radiation that can harm people's health. Radiation emergencies may be:

  • Intentional (for example, caused by terrorists)
  • Unintentional or unplanned, accidental

For general information about radiation emergencies go to

For information about emergency planning related to radiation release (intentional or unintentional) from Indian Point, click here.

What is the county doing to respond to bioterrorism attacks, and chemical and radiation emergencies?

Extensive planning efforts have been undertaken to respond to bioterrorism attacks, and chemical and radiation emergencies:

  • An enhanced surveillance program is in place to monitor cases of unusual illnesses or infectious disease outbreaks in the county.
  • Steps have been taken to increase the knowledge of our health care providers, law enforcement and emergency services in order to quickly recognize and manage suspected events.
  • Enhanced public communication, increased media cooperation and expanded prevention education are other important strategies in place.

For more information contact:

What if my fears about a bioterrorism attack, or chemical or radiation emergency are having a serious impact on my family and work life?

If your fear grows to the point that it stops you from doing things that you would normally do it might be helpful to talk with a professional counselor. Your health care provider can make a referral, or visit the Rockland County Department of Mental Health web page for more information.

Should residents stockpile antibiotics to protect against attacks?

The Rockland County Department of Health strongly advises against stockpiling antibiotics in the absence of any surveillance or laboratory evidence of a biological attack. The use of antibiotics is not without risk. Inappropriate use of antibiotics will lead to increased antibiotic resistance among strains of common bacterial infections and may result in serious adverse effects including: diarrhea, rash, allergic reactions, and abdominal pain. Individuals who stockpile antibiotics would also be more likely to use expired medications.

A large stockpile of life-saving pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics, antidotes and other medical supplies that are effective against the most likely bacterial and chemical agents,have been stored by the Federal government and would be rapidly available for distribution to our county and any U.S. location in the event of a biological attack.

What should I do about mail that looks suspicious?

Contact your local police department if you receive any unusual packages and letters. This may include, but is not limited to, mail that looks tampered with, or letters without a return address. For information on how to handle suspicious mail/packages click here.

Is the county's water supply safe from attack?

Most experts agree that reservoirs are an unlikely target.  Methods already in place that filter and clean the drinking water supply are considered effective against most biological agents. Also, the large quantity of water in the county's water supply would significantly dilute a biological agent before it reaches the tap, limiting its potential to do harm.

Should residents buy gas masks to protect themselves and their families?

Buying gas masks for protection against biological agents is discouraged. Gas masks would only protect against chemical agents if worn at the time of release. Also, masks need to be fitted properly as improper use can cause serious injury and even death by accidental suffocation, especially among persons with underlying heart or lung disease.