Disaster Preparedness

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Mental Health Disaster Preparedness and Response Program (DPRP)

The State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, or SCEMP, describes the methods by which the State of Nevada will mobilizes resources and conduct disaster preparation, response and recovery activities.

In order to prepare and respond to disasters, MHDS administers the DPRP to provide an interlinking, sustainable system between mental health, response agencies, health care, and others involved in disaster preparedness and response throughout Nevada and adjoining states.

There are three primary components to MHDS DPRP:

  1. MHDS Agency Disaster Evacuation and Mass Fatality Plans, which includes hospitals and special populations. MHDS agencies are the lifeblood of the Division, were services are delivered. Having plans in place to assist our clients and employees during a disaster is paramount and goes along with the mission of MHDS’ care and services it provides to its clients.
  2. State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) - MHDS is designated by the Nevada Division of Emergency Management as the lead agency to work in the SEOC, to coordinate and facilitate victim assistance during disasters, know as Emergency Support Function (ESF) 8-1. ESF 8-1 is implemented upon the appropriate state or local-level request for assistance, usually following a disaster that causes emotional or psychological impact on individuals within the affected community. These disasters could be natural, technological, or man-made incidents.

    MHDS is responsible for staffing and operating the ESF 8-1 mental health function during emergencies or disaster, when the ESF 8-1 is activated. MHDS has the following responsibilities within ESF 8-1:

    • Coordinate the development of crisis counseling, or mental health disaster response, programs
    • Maintain a list of statewide volunteers who are mental health professionals to arrange for crisis counseling/disaster mental health services delivery.
    • Maintain and utilize emergency disaster communications within all MHDS facilities

    Periodic training is provided on the activation of the SEOC, the use of incident command structures during field operations, and MHDS’ role in coordinating the disaster response.

  3. Crisis Counseling Program - MHDS relies on both agency personnel and community partners to provide mental health disaster response, or Crisis Counseling, services. Periodic training is provided to Crisis Counselors on the Crisis Counseling Program and the intervention of Psychological First Aid.

If you have questions or are interested in becoming a Nevada MHDS Crisis Counselor Volunteer, please call MHDS' DPRP Coordinator, Dave Caloiaro, at (775)684-5970.


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Behavioral Health
Phone: 775-684-5943
Fax: 775-684-5964