Preparedness | Cerro Gordo


The preparedness division of the Health Department was developed to provide an organized and coordinated response to any natural or human caused public emergency which contains an actual or potential public health hazard including:

  • Communicable disease outbreaks
  • Environmental sanitation hazards
  • Emergencies involving toxic and hazardous materials
  • Chemical, biological, and radiological incidents

We work closely with local, regional, state and federal agencies to prepare for and respond to incidents that threaten public health. The Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health works closely with other first responder agencies within the community to ensure a coordinated, effective response to any emergency.


Emergency Preparedness and YOU!

It may not seem like a big deal if your power goes out for an hour or two. But what if your power goes out for a day or two? What if the temperature outside is below zero and your power is off for several days or a week? Are you prepared for that?

No matter what the season, whether the temperature outside is extremely hot or cold, and no matter what the emergency, weather-related or man-made, Public Health encourages you to take a few simple steps now so you can prepare yourself and your family if disaster strikes.preparedness

These resources were compiled to help residents prepare for almost any type of emergency. Feel free to print these and share with your friends, co-workers, neighbors or family.

Get a Kit.

Often, during disasters, you will not have access to food, water or electricity for some time. Having an emergency kit for your home and car will help to keep you and your family safe and healthy during these times. Please click on the link above to learn about what you can include in your kit!

Make a Plan.

Because you and your family may not be together when a disaster happens, it’s important to plan ahead and know how you would contact one another, and how you would get to a safe place. A communication plan is something you can prepare ahead so your family can reconnect and get help if needed.

Be Informed.

It’s important that you and your family know what to do before, during and after an emergency. Knowing how to respond to each type of emergency that can happen in your area is critical.


Resources For Weather Warnings

  • KIMT Weather Warn: This is a free weather alert system in which you will receive a timely warning message via email or text. This program lets you select what types of advisories you want to receive and what counties you want to receive them for.
  • KIMT Storm Team 3 App: Personal alert notifications let you know when significant weather is heading your way and when to take cover. Radar maps available to track weather. Set customized alerts to keep you and your family informed and safe.
  • The Weather Channel
  • NOAA
  • National Weather Service
  • Code Red: The City of Mason City partnered with the City of Clear Lake and Cerro Gordo County to provide an emergency notification system to its residents.  The CodeRED Emergency Notification System is an ultra high-speed telephone communication service designed to deliver emergency messages and distribute information considered to be important in all or specific areas of the city or county. This system allows us to telephone targeted areas of the City or County or the entire City or County within minutes.  It then delivers a pre-recorded message describing the situations to a live person or an answering machine in the affected area, and if necessary, including instructions requiring immediate action on the part of the recipient. While a calling data base was created by extracting information from the Town’s computerized files and other public record sources, it is certain that not all phone numbers of residents and residential and business property owners within our incorporated limits were captured. If you reside or own property within the incorporated limits of Cerro Gordo County and would like to receive CodeRED emergency messages you may signup by clicking the link below.  IMPORTANT:  USE YOUR PHYSICAL ADDRESS.  DO NOT USE A POST OFFICE BOX as your address.


Public Health Ready: Is Public Health ready for potential disasters?

In 2009 the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health received national re-recognition for emergency preparedness planning through the Project Public Health Ready program. This was the second time the department was recognized, with the first award being presented in 2004.

Public Health Ready is a competency-based training and recognition program that assess preparedness and assists local health departments to respond to emergencies. The Public Health Ready criteria are nationally recognized standards for local public health preparedness. The following goals of the program has a comprehensive list of standards that agencies must meet to achieve Public Health Ready recognition:PHReady

  • All Hazards Preparedness Planning
  • Workforce Capacity Development
  • Demonstration of Readiness through Exercises or Real Events

Project Public Health Ready builds preparedness capacity through a continuous quality improvement model that can be maintained within the department after recognition is achieved. By working with response partners to develop and enhance their plans and processes to meet criteria, agencies strengthen working relationships and improve integration within the preparedness community.

Currently, the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health is the only local public health agency in the state of Iowa to be considered recognized under this program. This recognition confirms that the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health has an emergency response plan in place, the plan is appropriately connected to other emergency response plans, agency staff members are trained, and the plan is exercised and used during public health and other community emergencies.

Read more about Project Public Health Ready at the National Association of County and City Health Officials website.