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Emergency and Service Disruption Planning Rationale for ADAPs

Emergencies such as natural and man-made disasters can disrupt the public health infrastructure, potentially interrupting medication delivery services to RWHAP Part B ADAP clients and access to health care. For these reasons, people with HIV are extremely vulnerable during and after emergencies. It is important for ADAP staff to be well-informed and positioned to respond to issues that result from disasters or other major events that may interfere with ADAP operations.  

This guide summarizes and outlines key steps to support ADAP emergency and service disruption preparedness, including disease outbreak and pandemic response planning (with examples from the COVID-19 pandemic; Appendix 1), federal and state shutdowns (Appendix 2), and cybersecurity considerations (Appendix 3). It includes a compilation of state and federal resources, as well as examples gathered from jurisdictions, and is intended to provide ADAP administrators with resources and considerations to assist in developing or updating existing emergency plans for ADAP and other program services. However, each jurisdiction should work with their health department legal team to ensure adherence to federal, state and local regulations.  

An ADAP emergency preparedness plan needs to dovetail with the disaster response coordinated through the state emergency management department. An ADAP emergency preparedness plan should focus on details specific to its programs and clients, understanding that local, state, and federal emergency response teams will have responsibility for broader disaster or hazard concerns (e.g., shelter, food, water). It is important that ADAP personnel work in concert with state and local officials to ensure that the critical ADAP functions are included in the jurisdiction’s emergency preparedness efforts.  

While the vocabulary and framework utilized in this Emergency and Service Disruption Preparedness Guide may be unfamiliar to ADAP staff, an effective response to emergent disasters and disruptive events requires a basic understanding of federal and state emergency response plans. The National Response Plan (NRP) may serve as a helpful resource to broaden ADAPs understanding of the role of national coordination efforts during an emergency. ADAP program administrators should participate in state emergency management pre-events and dialogues and actively advocate on behalf of their clients to ensure that access to medications and care are considered priorities.  

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to developing an ADAP emergency preparedness plan or a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). Risks and hazards change and evolve, as was made evident by the COVID-19 pandemic. All parties engaged in emergency planning should routinely review and revise, if necessary, the emergency preparedness plan and COOP. Links to key documents have been included throughout this guide to aid programs in the event of a disaster and other emergency situations that can result in service disruptions. Please visit the sites regularly, as updated information may be available.