Gov. declares a public health disaster emergency in Iowa

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds - AP image

Public health response teams activated to assist local resources.

Posted: Mar 27, 2019 7:02 PM
Updated: Mar 27, 2019 7:48 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa – A public health disaster emergency is declared after widespread flooding and flash flooding in Iowa.

Governor Kim Reynolds is authorizing the Iowa Department of Public Health to take the necessary steps to protect the public and also mobilizing public health response teams.

“Local resources and capabilities are quickly becoming overwhelmed,” says Gov. Reynolds. “Authorizing the mobilization of public health response teams will ease that burden as this emergency event continues.”

Public health response teams are made up of volunteers from health care institutions, local public health and environmental agencies, county medical examiner’s offices, private industry, the Office of the State Medical Examiner and state public health staff. The first such team was created in 2003.

“Governor Reynold’s proclamation will give the department more flexibility to respond to public health emergencies as needed,” says Department of Public Health Director Gerd Clabaugh. “Our staff and trained volunteers are ready to respond to and help affected Iowans recover from the floods.”

In addition, more help is now available for 20 of the Iowa counties covered by President Trump’s disaster declaration. Those counties, which includes Franklin, Winneshiek, and Wright, may now apply for assistance replacing or repairing disaster-damaged facilities like roads, bridges, and public buildings.

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