Academic public health community responds to hurricanes: A history of the University of North Carolina School of Public Health response and new infrastructure, 1999-2006
Schools of public health have traditionally offered internships, practicums, and other placement programs to give students the opportunity to gain insight into applied public health careers and to participate in service learning. While valuable, these more formal placements may not provide needed support in public health emergency situations. In addition, they may not meet the need for additional resources for increased epidemiologic surge capacity identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments.1 To better address the need for surge capacity, schools of public health can provide just-in-time student volunteers to assist local, regional, and state public health agencies in response to public health emergencies and disasters. Schools of public health can provide technical assistance with the public health response to hurricanes. To maximize the potential benefit, both infrastructure and partnerships should be in place prior to an event and response.