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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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Disaster Preparedness

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What Services Are Available?

The Florida Department of Health in Polk County is the lead agency for directing and coordinating health and medical responses during emergencies and disasters within the county - Emergency Support Function 8 (ESF-8).

The health department works closely with hospitals, medical providers, first responders (emergency medical services, fire/rescue, Emergency Management, and law enforcement) and other community partners to ensure coordination of health and medical response within Polk County.

Public health services during emergencies and disasters include:

  • Disease control
  • Safety of food and water
  • Radiological and biological coordination
  • Providing public health information
  • Assisting in the coordination of mass casualty treatment in partnership with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and hospitals.

In addition, staff members in this program are available to speak to employees of local businesses, civic organizations, and other agencies about the following topics:

  • Emergency and hurricane preparedness
  • Point of Dispensing Partnerships
  • Special Needs shelters
  • Comprehensive Emergency Mangement Plans assistance for: home health, home medical equipment, hospice and nurse registry.
  • Shelter In Place
  • Incident Command System (ICS)
  • Mass casualty, disaster, and continuity of operations planning
  • Pandemic influenza
  • Project public health ready

When & Where?

Information about preparing for and responding to natural and man-made disasters can be obtained from the Community Health - Preparedness Office in Bartow at (863) 393-8552 or email