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Toolkit: Insights for Communities From OIG's Historical Work on Emergency Response

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Last Updated: 03-28-2023

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Funding Funding
Training Training
Laboratory Testing Laboratory Testing
Vaccination Programs Vaccination Programs
Emergency Planning Emergency Planning
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This toolkit contains key insights and lessons learned from Office of Inspector General (OIG) reports published from 2004 to 2020 about community emergency preparedness and response. These reports address State and local actions during outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases (such as Ebola and H1N1 pandemic influenza) and natural disasters (such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy), as well as bioterrorism preparedness and response. OIG conducted these audits and evaluations prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. We provide this information to assist communities in responding to the current pandemic and to other emergencies as they arise.

For reports referenced in this document, OIG conducted audits in accordance with the Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office and conducted evaluations in accordance with the Quality Standards for Inspection and Evaluation issued by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.


Clear guidance, flexibility, and appropriate oversight are important when distributing emergency funds to local entities


Training of community organizations, staff, and volunteers helps enable effective emergency planning and response

Laboratory Testing

Coordination and communication among public and private labs are essential for rapidly expanding the capacity to test for infectious diseases; ongoing oversight is essential to maintain quality testing

Vaccination Programs

Developing strategies to adequately staff and manage community vaccination programs is needed in advance of vaccine availability

Emergency Planning

Community emergency preparedness plans should incorporate a wide range of health and human service needs