A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. A flu pandemic occurs when a new virus emerges and people have little or no immunity to the virus.


Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department (ATCHHSD) has the following personnel and other resources to assist in disaster response:

  • Disease Control and Prevention: epidemiologists, physicians, veterinarians, infection control practitioners, registered nurses, experienced disease investigators, data entry/analysis, and other professional staff
  • Environmental Health: sanitarians, toxicologists, and other environmental technicians
  • Planning and Regulations: staff with expertise in state/federal laws; hospital licensing expertise
  • Immunization: nurses, pharmacists, and experienced disease investigators
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS): staff with expertise in facilitating emergency medical system response and trauma systems
  • Public Health Laboratories: microbiologists, laboratory technicians and other staff; laboratory testing facilities
  • Health Alert Network
  • Stress management and Crisis Counseling: Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) trained personnel, social workers, psychologists, crisis counselors, and other professional staff


Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department conducts syndromic surveillance for respiratory illness or ILI (a variety of syndromic surveillance systems are currently used or under implementation).

ATCHHSD will have an inventory of the following services and/or items:

  • Medical personnel, including but not limited to currently licensed physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, medical assistants, and other people who may be trained in the event of an emergency (e.g., people with previous patient care experience who currently work outside of patient care) Identification of back-up personnel will be provided with special emphasis on non-traditional volunteers (e.g. family members, retired health care personnel)
  • Beds (hospital and long term care)
  • ICU capacity
  • Ventilators
  • Pharmacies and pharmacists
  • Laboratories
  • PPE (e.g., masks, gloves)
  • Specimen collection and transport materials
  • Contingency medical facilities (within jurisdiction)
  • Mortuary and funeral services
  • Social services, behavioral health services, and faith services
  • Sources of medical supplies (e.g., syringes, gloves)