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emPOWER in Action

Since 2013, the HHS emPOWER Program has emPOWERed communities in all 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia to strengthen emergency preparedness and take action to protect at-risk populations prior to, during, and after emergencies, incidents, and disasters. Nationwide emPOWER data and tools have been used for over 220 events, and over 72,000 users have accessed the HHS emPOWER Map.

Learn more about how communities are advancing emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities by hovering over or selecting the pins on the map below:

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Examples of emPOWER in Action

Read vignettes from different states or skip down to view and download detailed stories.

Arizona – Developed Systems, Processes and At-Risk Caches

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) used the HHS emPOWER Map, the emPOWER Emergency Planning De-identified Dataset, and the emPOWER Emergency Response Outreach Individual Dataset to prepare for, respond to, and work to mitigate severe weather, poor air quality, and power outage threats to at-risk individuals in emergencies. ADHS developed systems, processes and deployable equipment and supply caches to support 1,000 at-risk individuals in a response. For more information, access the Story from the Field.

California – Supported Wildfire Response and Recovery Activities

During severe wildfires, Los Angeles County, California, used the emPOWER Emergency Response Outreach Individual Dataset to identify and contact 38 local durable medical equipment and oxygen suppliers serving approximately 600 at-risk individuals to provide information on recovery resources for their clients. LA County also developed a formal multi-agency LA County-City of LA protocol that rapidly operationalizes data and supports integrated situational awareness, decision-making and action prior to, during, and after an emergency. For more information, access the Story from the Field.

California – Planned for Emergency Power Shut-Offs

During public safety power shut-offs and wildfire response in California, over 20 counties across California used emPOWER data to plan shelters and recharging stations, and conduct outreach to electricity- and health care service-dependent individuals. Over 1,000 individuals in California used the HHS emPOWER Map data to rapidly inform their emergency planning, response decision-making, and resource deployments.

Florida – Activated Emergency Communication Networks to Conduct Outreach

The Florida Department of Health used the emPOWER Emergency Response Outreach Individual Dataset and their alert system to perform a reverse phone number look up to conduct rapid robo-dial outreach to over 40,000 at-risk individuals in the path of Hurricane Matthew. For more information, access the Story from the Field.

Illinois – Acquired Population-Level Situational Awareness for Regional Planning

A regional partnership including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio, Wisconsin used the emPOWER Emergency Planning De-identified Dataset to help develop FEMA’s multi-state regional power outage plan, which aims to address needs at the local level in the event of a severe widespread power outage.

Indiana – Acquired Population-Level Situational Awareness for Regional Planning

A regional partnership including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio, Wisconsin used the emPOWER Emergency Planning De-identified Dataset to help develop FEMA’s multi-state regional power outage plan, which aims to address needs at the local level in the event of a severe widespread power outage.

Louisiana – Provided Resources and Supported Continuity of Care

The City of New Orleans, Louisiana, used the HHS emPOWER Map, the emPOWER Emergency Planning De-identified Dataset, and the emPOWER Emergency Response Outreach Individual Dataset to make informed decisions about the locations of emergency shelters and evacuation assistance as well as conduct life-saving outreach and ensured access to critical dialysis services for at-risk individuals impacted by water emergencies, ice storms, hurricanes and also flooding events from critical infrastructure failures.

Michigan – Acquired Population-Level Situational Awareness for Regional Planning

A regional partnership including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio, Wisconsin used the emPOWER Emergency Planning De-identified Dataset to help develop FEMA’s multi-state regional power outage plan, which aims to address needs at the local level in the event of a severe widespread power outage.

Minnesota –Acquired Population-Level Situational Awareness for Regional Planning

A regional partnership including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio, Wisconsin used the emPOWER Emergency Planning De-identified Dataset to help develop FEMA’s multi-state regional power outage plan, which aims to address needs at the local level in the event of a severe widespread power outage.

Nevada – Set the Stage for Life-Saving Assistance

Nevada’s state and county health departments, in partnership with the Aging and Disability Services Division, a Tribe Emergency Manager, durable medical equipment suppliers, and others, used emPOWER data to conduct outreach to at-risk individuals during multiple prolonged severe flooding events. For more information, access the Story from the Field.

New York – Conducted Outreach Calls and Alerts

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) used the HHS emPOWER Emergency Response Outreach Individual Dataset to conduct reverse phone number look-ups and send automated outreach phone calls to at-risk individuals during multiple emergencies. In one event, NYC DOHMH successfully conducted robo-dial outreach to over 4,450 electricity- and health-care dependent individuals, encouraging them to prepare for potential power outages through voice and text messages and provided emergency contact information to request assistance, if needed.

New York – Conducted Life-Saving Outreach

The Broome County Health Department in New York used the emPOWER Emergency Response Outreach Individual Dataset to quickly identify and conduct outreach to 58 at-risk residents without power during a severe and prolonged power outage and make informed decisions on power restoration. For more information, access the Story from the Field.

Ohio – Acquired Population-Level Situational Awareness for Regional Planning

A regional partnership including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio, Wisconsin used the emPOWER Emergency Planning De-identified Dataset to help develop FEMA’s multi-state regional power outage plan, which aims to address needs at the local level in the event of a severe widespread power outage.

Oregon – Enhanced Situational Awareness Through Collaboration

During severe winter storms and power outages, the Oregon Health Authority leveraged the emPOWER Emergency Response Outreach Individual Dataset and worked with local public health, local home health agencies, the office of Aging and People with Disabilities, law enforcement officials, local fire departments, the county COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disasters), and local Search & Rescue through the Emergency Operations Center to gain a comprehensive understanding of the access and functional needs in affected counties. This situational awareness helped inform targeted outreach activities to over 100 at-risk individuals and operational decisions, such as road clearance and flood plain mapping.

Pennsylvania – Informed COVID-19 Outreach Activities

Philadelphia County, in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, used the emPOWER Emergency Response Outreach Individual Dataset to provide targeted public health messaging and direct contact information for support services, including grocery and utility bill paying assistance, to approximately 13,000 at-risk individuals. Philadelphia also leveraged emPOWER data to identify and partner with home health agencies, to reinforce these public health and safety messages and provided additional resources for their staff and patients. For more information, access the Story from the Field.

Puerto Rico – Provided Critical Resources and Outreach Assistance

The Puerto Rico Department of Health (PRDOH) used the emPOWER Emergency Response Outreach Dataset to identify at-risk individual residences in areas impacted by severe earthquakes and directed community outreach teams comprised of PRDOH officials, Medical Reserve Corps volunteers, local nursing school students, and others to conduct wellness checks across five municipalities. Outreach teams located 166 at-risk individuals and provided them with referrals to behavioral health services, as needed, as well as informational resources and contacts for behavioral health, hygiene, human services and housing services, the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program, and other federal assistance programs. For more information, access the Story from the Field.

South Carolina - Activated Plans for Shelter Surge and Recovery Assistance

During Hurricane Matthew, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) used the emPOWER Emergency Response Outreach Individual Dataset to identify areas with high concentrations of at-risk individuals. Through a partnership with first-responders and FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), DHEC identified evacuation staging areas that could support a surge in at-risk individuals requiring shelter. DHEC later conducted recovery outreach to 268 at-risk individuals to assess ongoing recovery needs and level of preparedness, and provide informational resources. For more information, access the Story from the Field.

Tennessee – Coordinated Outreach and Evacuation Assistance

During the Gatlinburg wildfire, the Tennessee Department of Health used the emPOWER Emergency Response Outreach Individual Dataset to rapidly identify at-risk individuals that may be in danger and partnered with the National Guard to conduct life-saving outreach to over 70 oxygen dependent at-risk individuals, one of which was evacuated to receive medical care.

Texas – Conducted Targeted Outreach to Electricity-Dependent Populations

The Texas Department of State Health Services, during Hurricane Harvey, leveraged the emPOWER Emergency Response Outreach Individual Dataset, in partnership with the South East Regional Advisory Council and the Division of Emergency Management, to rapidly identify electricity-dependent Medicare beneficiaries that would be impacted by power line repairs and rapidly conducted a reverse phone number look-up and contacted them to preemptively alert them to potential power outages due to the repairs.

Evacuating Critical Dialysis Patients

ASPR, CMS, and territorial public health officials used the emPOWER Emergency Planning De-identified Dataset, and the emPOWER Emergency Response Outreach Individual Dataset to rapidly identify, locate, and conduct life-saving evacuations for 235 dialysis dependent individuals on St. Thomas and St. Croix to ensure continuity of care in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Virginia – Conducted Targeted Planning Activities

Fairfax County, Virginia, used the HHS emPOWER Map, emPOWER Emergency Planning De-identified Dataset, and the emPOWER Emergency Response Outreach Individual Dataset to plan for the access and functional needs of at-risk residents in anticipation of a winter storm.

Wisconsin – Acquired Population-Level Situational Awareness

A regional partnership including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio, Wisconsin used the emPOWER Emergency Planning De-identified Dataset to help develop FEMA’s multi-state regional power outage plan, which aims to address needs at the local level in the event of a severe widespread power outage.

Wyoming - Coordinated Targeted Outreach and Response Activities

During back-to-back severe blizzards, Goshen County, Wyoming, used the emPOWER Emergency Response Outreach Individual Dataset, along with local electric cooperative and company information, to identify at-risk individuals in areas impacted by prolonged power outages. The county then partnered with the Sheriff’s Office to conduct approximately 25 targeted outreach phone calls and visits to the residences of at-risk individuals without cell phones. For more information, access the Story from the Field.

Stories from the Field

Communities across the nation have used HHS emPOWER Program data and tools to anticipate, prepare for and take action to protect the health of at-risk populations prior to, during and after a diverse array of incidents, emergencies, and disasters. Select any of the Stories from the Field below to learn more about how emPOWER data and tools have made an impact in communities across the nation.

COVID-19 Response in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania   Download PDF

Wildfires in Los Angeles County, California   Download PDF

Hurricane Matthew in Florida and South Carolina   Download PDF

Severe Flooding in Nevada   Download PDF

Earthquakes in Puerto Rico   Download PDF

Flooding and Windstorms in Broome County, New York   Download PDF

Blizzards in Goshen County, Wyoming   Download PDF

Planning for Multiple Threats in Arizona   Download PDF