Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP)

PHEP is a federal program through the CDC that is tasked with planning and preparing for public health emergencies. Funding is used to build and strengthen our abilities to effectively respond to a range of public health threats, including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District works in conjunction with various entities, including the Waco-McLennan County Office of Emergency Management, local hospitals, and local first responders to plan for the collaborative response to emergencies in our community.  Pre-planning for emergency response is imperative, as planning saves time in getting operations under way, and helps to ensure essential activities are carried out efficiently.  The McLennan County All-Hazards Plan outlines which agencies perform specific functions in order to facilitate the integrated response of many partners.

Are You Ready for an Emergency?

Emergencies in McLennan County can take many forms – from extreme heat, and severe weather to potential flooding and disease outbreaks. These events could cause health consequences. Some public health events may impact our access to safe drinking water, food, and cause infectious diseases to spread more easily. Now is a good time to prepare for any type of emergency that may occur. Follow these easy steps to get ready!


Visit, an automated emergency alert system for McLennan County, and sign up to receive severe weather and emergency alerts so you can be notified when disaster strikes.

Learn about the potential emergencies that can affect where you live and the appropriate ways to respond to them by clicking on the icons below. When you know what to do, you can plan with your household and prepare in advance to be ready.

      Tornadoes      Severe Storms  Disease Outbreaks    Extreme Heat      Hail Storms
      Flooding      Winter Weather Radiological Threats   Mass Violence  Vector Diseases


We strongly encourage everyone to take steps towards personal preparedness for yourself and your family. In the event of a disaster, it may take some time for first responders to arrive with assistance. Not only is it the responsible thing to do, it could save your life!

Stock enough food, water, and other supplies to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Begin collecting the items on the list below to assemble your emergency kit. Store an emergency kit at home, at work, and in your vehicle.
For a more complete list, click here.

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
Water, 1-2 gallons of water per person per day for at least 3 days (for drinking and sanitation), add extra water for pets Food, at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food, add 3-day supply of pet food
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both Manual can opener for food
First aid kit Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Flashlight and extra batteries Whistle to signal for help
Medications Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Hygiene products and hand sanitizer Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place

GET INVOLVEDCentral Texas Medical Reserve Corps Logo

Once you and your family are ready for emergencies, you can get involved by preparing your community. Consider volunteering with the Central Texas Medical Reserve Corp (MRC) to support your community during public health emergencies.

Click here for more information on the Central Texas Medical Reserve Corps!

What to Do During a Blackout

Power outages can be a minor inconvenience or, in the event of a prolonged or widespread outage, a major catastrophe. Have you considered what you and your family would do if the power was out for days or if your entire community or city was without power for a prolonged period of time?

Check out the Blackout Preparedness Information Page for tips on how to be prepared in case of a power outage.

Additional Resources

Many helpful resources for preparing for and responding to public health emergencies are available on the following websites.

DSHS Emergency Preparedness  | CDC Emergency Preparedness  | HHS  | FDA Emergency Preparedness and Response  | Department of Homeland Security

Until Help Arrives Training

What? You Are the Help Until Help Arrives is a program designed to educate and empower the public to take action in emergency situations and provide lifesaving care before professional help arrives.

You Are The Help Until Help Arrives encourages the public to take these five actions when there is an emergency:

  1. Call 9-1-1 and provide your specific location.
  2. Stay safe by protecting the injured from harm and moving them away from any ongoing danger.
  3. Stop the bleeding with firm, direct pressure, or a tourniquet.
  4. Position the injured: Let someone who is conscious position themselves; put an unconscious person into the recovery position.
  5. Provide comfort to the injured while keeping them warm and offering encouragement.

When? Thursday, March 26, 2020 from 5:30-7PM

Where? Waco-McLennan County Public Health District (225 W. Waco Drive)

How to Register? RSVP to Stephanie Alvey at 750-5492 or

Until Help Arrives Presentation Slides

Until Help Arrives Presentation Slides (shortnened version)