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HHS Unveils Interactive Map Tool for Emergency Response; Nicole Lurie Comments

HHS Health and Human ServicesThe Department of Health and Human Services has introduced an interactive map tool designed to help health agencies and emergency management personnel plan disaster response for the community.

HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services worked together to develop the emPOWER map, the department said Tuesday.

“This tool helps communities better anticipate, plan for, and respond to these unique needs of this population and improve resilience for the entire community before and after disasters,” said Nicole Lurie, HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response.

The tool displays weather data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration integrated into the Medicare beneficiaries’ claims.

Health, emergency and utility officials can also use the tool to help mitigate the impact of prolonged power outages on human health, forecast where electricity demand might be needed and deploy transportation and evacuation assistance.

The HHS developed the map in compliance with the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act and the Federal Privacy Act to protect patient privacy.

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