Preparedness and Emergency Response

Michigan stakeholders continue working together to improve early detection and rapid response capabilities.

General References


Acknowledgement: Emergency Preparedness Coordinators from Kent County, Ottawa County, and St. Clair County Departments of Public Health developed the core document with input and review provided by representatives from MDHHS Office of Public Health Preparedness, MDARD and the MI Food Emergency Capacity Development Pilot Project

  • MDHHS BETP – Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness  Guidance

Training & Exercising

The training resources identified on this website are intended to assist staff from local, state, and federal agencies cost-effectively prepare robust “all hazards” response capabilities to address a wide range of incidents including foodborne outbreaks, report of adulterated imported foods, food/feed recalls and food emergencies created by natural disasters or loss of infrastructure (example: power loss).

They are intended to be used as part of a comprehensive training program consistent with:

  • Appropriate program standards, and
  • National guidance.

This section identifies food/feed regulatory and multi-disciplinary resources that are available for:

  • Web-based training,
  • Agency-based in-service training,
  • On-the-job training,
  • Formal courses,
  • Workshops, and
  • Exercises. 

Standardized web-based training resources focused on nationally identified competencies currently exist for many aspects of training for newly hired food regulatory staff – See “General Training Websites” below. 

Similarly standardized and nationally recognized “competency-based” resources for more experienced staff are not currently available. Agencies need to regularly reassess their training programs and make changes as needed to ensure staff are competent to perform assigned emergency management tasks.

General Training Websites

  • The FDA’s ORAU is the primary vehicle through which the FDA Division of Human Resource Development (DHRD) seeks to help meet the training and development needs of the regulatory community at the local, state, and federal levels. It is a combination of face-to-face courses and activities and distance learning that includes web-based training, web conferences, satellite broadcasts, and video conferences. Training is provided free for FDA, state, local & tribal regulators.
  • ORAU presently offers over 100 web based courses. Topics include food and drug law, public health principles, communication skills, food microbiology, foodborne illness investigations, traceback investigations, food safety issues in the event of disasters among others.
  • Instructions for getting started using ORAU and model training curriculum for regulatory officials involved in various types of activities (examples: retail and manufactured foods). 
  • ORA U’s Level 1 web courses are designed to help satisfy the training specified in Standard Number 2, Trained Regulatory Staff from the appropriate regulatory program standards for the “new hire” or “apprentice” level. Typically, most courses can be completed within 60 - 90 minutes.
  • Retail Food
  • Manufactured Food  
  • International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) Learning Management System (LMS) 
  • The IFPTI is improving public health by building competency-based training and certification systems and cultivating leadership for the food protection community worldwide. The LMS provides a convenient means to identify, select, and enroll in courses and to access course records and transcripts. See More HERE.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Emergency Management Institute (EMI) 
    • FEMA provides both web-based and face-to-face courses intended to assist agencies develop all hazards response capacities consistent with the National Response Framework (NRF).
    • Examples of popular web-based ICS courses include ICS 100, 200, 700, and 800
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  Integrated Food Safety Centers of Excellence    
    • CDC’s five Centers serve as resources for local, state, and federal public health professionals who respond to foodborne illness and outbreaks.  Included in the Centers’ goals are providing technical help and training in epidemiological, laboratory, and environmental investigations, through development and sharing best practices through six main activity areas. 
  • Other Training websites – Please let us know of additional resources that you have found useful – Contact Us

Foodborne Illness Investigation and Response Training Websites

  • MI-Train: Michigan Food Emergency Response Training (FIRST)  
  • The 2 day Foodborne Illness Response Strategy for Michigan (F.I.R.St) course was developed to identify roles, responsibilities and legal requirements for the agencies involved in foodborne outbreak investigations.  It served as the basis for development of the NEHA EpiReady training workshop. This audio and video-based version of the training promotes teamwork and consistency in surveillance and investigation methods by outlining a general approach for Michigan agencies.
  • CDC e-Learning on Environmental Assessment of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks 
    • This e-Learning course provides training on how to use a systems approach in foodborne illness outbreak environmental assessments. The course can be completed in about 8-10 hours. Participants acquire in-depth skills and knowledge to: 1) Investigate foodborne illness outbreaks as a member of a larger outbreak response team, 2) Identify an outbreak’s environmental causes, and 3) Recommend appropriate control measures.
  • Foodborne Outbreak Investigation Tools from The Oregon Health Authority 
    • The “Interviewing Cardinal Rules” resources includes 30 and 9 minute videos features many members of the Oregon Public Health Division and a downloadable Training Guide. The videos walk participants through the 10 cardinal rules of effective interviewing. The longer videos explains background and is very helpful for understanding outbreak investigation interviewing. The shorter 9-minute version is useful as a quick introduction to volunteer interviewers, for times when it is important to get on the phones as quickly as possible.
  • Other foodborne illness training websites – Please let us know of additional resources that you have found useful – Contact Us

Face-to-Face Foodborne Illness or Food Emergency Investigation Courses

  • FDA Division of Human Resource Development (DHRD)
    • FDA DHRD provides a number of number face-to-face courses that complement ORAU on-line courses. Courses must be requested by FDA or state regulatory agencies and are made available as DHRD resources allow based on FDA training needs and priorities.
    • A listing of courses is available HERE.
    • More detailed information on courses focused on emergency response and investigations including course description, objectives, and prerequisites, is found HERE.   
  • National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) Epi-Ready Workshop – 2 day face-to-face training - National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)  
    • Developed in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Epi-Ready is a two-day in-person workshop for environmental and public health professionals with responsibility for investigation of foodborne illness outbreaks. The workshop content is designed to follow Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) Guidelines. There are two ways to host a workshop, CDC-funded (limited to 3-4 per year throughout the USA) and self-funded. Contact NEHA to determine current availability and costs.
  • Other face-to-face courses – Please let us know of additional resources that you have found useful – Contact Us

Emergency Action Plan for Retail Food Establishments

The Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for Retail Food Establishments is a practical guidance for retail grocery and food service establishments to plan and respond to emergencies that create the potential for an imminent health hazard.  The EAP  was produced by Detroit Department  of Health and Wellness Promotion, Macomb County Health Department, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), Michigan Restaurant Association, and the Oakland County Health Department.  The EAP for Retail Food Establishments is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic.  More information can be found on MDARD's Emergency Management Webiste.