Home Emergency Management News PAHPRA Passes the US House of Representatives
PAHPRA Passes the US House of Representatives

PAHPRA Passes the US House of Representatives


By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest

Public policies play an important role in the overall well-being of society. They create guidelines for citizens to follow and set the tone of a government administration.

Public policies have also been a driving force to tightening emergency management efforts in the United States. Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparation Act Reauthorization Act (PAHPRA). This legislation is an important component to emergency management, particularly in relation to public health.

Streamlining Emergency Management Resources Nationwide

In the United States, federal policies are administered by various departments and agencies within the government. Some of these federal organizations include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

When an emergency occurs, it is particularly important for the various responsible agencies to coordinate and collaborate to streamline their resources and assist each other during disasters. However, legislation was needed to help streamline this process for emergency management.

What the PAHPRA Will Do

The PAHPRA gives HHS the authority to join other national security agencies when health issues are involved. This legislation includes multiple components, such as:

  • A national health security strategy
  • An Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
  • A national advisory committee on children and disasters
  • The modernization of the National Disaster Medical System
  • The temporary reassignment of state and local personnel during a public health emergency
  • The improvement of state and local public health security
  • Hospital preparedness and medical surge capacity
  • The enhancement of situational awareness and bio-surveillance
  • The enhancement of medical countermeasure review
  • The acceleration of medical countermeasure advanced research and development

PAHPRA and its components will also streamline other policies such as national security and public health and eliminate administrative obstacles. It is designed to make emergency management more effective.

PAHPRA Will Help Government Agencies to Avoid Mistakes Like Hurricane Katrina in Future

The U.S. government has worked hard to correct numerous administrative problems like those that occurred during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Numerous scholars have argued that the federal level was the root cause of those administrative problems.

Ultimately, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparation Reauthorization Act will help modernize the area where emergency management and public health issues meet. The modernization of the National Disaster Medical System, for example, is important should a pandemic or other mass medical emergency occur.

Allison G. S. Knox Passionate about the issues affecting ambulances and disaster management, Allison focuses on Emergency Management and Emergency Medical Services policy. Allison has taught at the undergraduate level since 2010. Prior to teaching, she worked in a level-one trauma center emergency department and for a member of Congress in Washington, D.C. She holds four master’s degrees in Emergency Management, National Security Studies, International Relations, and History; a Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security; and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Allison is an Emergency Medical Technician, Lifeguard, and Lifeguard Instructor, and is trained in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society as Chancellor of the Southeast Region, Vice Chair of the Tactical Emergency Medical Support Committee with the International Public Safety Association, and serves as the Advocacy Coordinator of Virginia with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. She is also a member of several committees including the Editorial Committee with APCO, the Rescue Task Force Committee with the International Public Safety Association, and the Advocacy Committee with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. She also serves as Chair of the Leadership Development Program for the 2020 Pi Gamma Mu Triennial Convention. Allison has published several book reviews and continues to write about issues affecting ambulances, emergency management, and homeland security.