In the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attack on the country, then Governor Jeb Bush directed and approved the formation of seven "Regional Domestic Security Task Forces". The responsibilities of these task forces are:
- Improve Florida's ability to detect and prevent potential terrorist threats
- Train and equip public safety first responders and disaster response teams
- Improve Florida's response and recovery capabilities
- Promote better public awareness of suspicious incidents and how they may be reported
- How to respond should an emergency situation develop.
What is bioterrorism?
Bioterrorism is a deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs
(agents) used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants. These
agents are typically found in nature, but it is possible that they could be
changed to increase their ability to cause disease, make them resistant to
current medicines, or to increase their ability to be spread into the
environment. Biological agents can be spread through the air, through water, or
in food. Terrorists may use biological agents because they can be extremely
difficult to detect and do not cause illness for several hours to several days.
Some bioterrorism agents, like the smallpox virus, can be spread from person to
person and some, like anthrax, cannot.
What is the Health Department's role in public health preparedness?
The Health Department continues to work on enhancing their system for early detection of disease outbreaks. It is also working with community partners in developing a response to a bio-terrorism event. This includes not only biological agents such as anthrax and smallpox, but chemical agents and nuclear devices as well. For more information about disease outbreaks please visit our Epidemiology website.
Public Health Preparedness coordinates efforts with health/medical facilities to:
Develop a unified, all-hazard response plan
Train and educate medical providers and others concerning potential disease threats and chemical decontamination
Develop infrastructure and equipment needs to assist in properly protecting and treating the public through the proper allocation of resources.
Bioterrorism Related Sites Web SitesBioterrorism
Radiation and Nuclear Hazards