Public Health Emergency Preparedness

COVID-19 Update

Flu Information

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.

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 is unable to independently act upon emergency protective orders, please register. The registry provides individual notification when an evacuation has been ordered, alerts to local emergency personnel of your individual considerations, and allows 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

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.

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

The public would be informed immediately of measures that could be taken to protect their health. Information would be provided 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.

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.

How can I volunteer in an emergency event?

The Health Department recruits medical and non-medical volunteers as needed. Contact Eric Medina at (845) 364-2660 or email

Resources: (Federal Emergency Management Agency) para Español
New York State Department of Health para Español
Rockland County Fire & Emergency Services
NYS Cooling Centers

For More Information, Contact:

Eric Medina, Director of Emergency Preparedness/Public Health
(845) 364-2660