April 4, 2013 in Oregon
The Oregon response to the Japan Radiation Event was a real-time response triggered by the Tohuku Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011. Damage caused by the tsunami to the Oregon coast did not necessitate a state Public Health response. Rather, state PH focused primarily on the health and medical informational needs of the public, public health and medical partners and other state agencies and tribes. OPHD initially responded in an ad hoc manner. It was subsequently determined that a more effective approach would be to establish an Incident Management Team and activate the Agency Operations Center, which were accomplished on 16 March and 21 March respectively. Agency Operations Center and Public Health Information Center operations worked well, with enhanced cooperation demonstrated in message development and interaction with the media. Use of HAN, links on the OHA website to FAQs and statistical data, rapid translation of messages into 6 languages, teleconferences with LHDs, tribes, PIOs and Region X Federal and state partners and Oregon Emergency Management facilitated calls with sister state agencies resulted in consistent information being provided. The major deficiency in the process was the lack of clarity and responsiveness from the national headquarters of federal agencies (EPA, FDA).