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Checklist: Local Public Health Legal Preparedness and Response


This checklist is one of three developed by the Center for Law & the Public's Health, intended for voluntary use by county, city, state, and federal public health agencies in assessing their legal preparedness for public health emergencies.

Each checklist includes opening commentary on the background, methods, organization, and suggested uses for each document, and features two principal sections:

  • A “Quick Reference,” that lists the checklist’s questions; and
  • the detailed checklist with an introduction and explanatory comments or suggestions provided for each question.

The content of the checklist is organized according to the four phases of incident management addressed in the National Response Plan: Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.

Local governments (e.g., counties, boroughs, cities, special districts) owe their existence to state governments, and vary in size, complexity, governance, and power. The legal needs of local governments may be similar across states or within them, but the significant diversity of these governments complicates the development of a model approach through legislative or regulatory provisions for public health emergency preparedness.

This checklist presents an assessment tool that is primarily intended for use by local governments to assess their legal preparedness for public health emergencies. It adopts a multi-sectoral approach, assessing the sorts of authority needed at the local level that involve public health agencies and their public and private sector partners.

Primary Toolkit:

EQUIPh Toolkit

Keyword Area:



Institutional Author:

Center for Law & the Public's Health





The NACCHO Toolbox is a repository of available resources to help local public health practitioners. Tools are produced by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as academic institutions and other stakeholders. The contents of this Toolbox are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official recommendations of NACCHO. NACCHO makes no express or implied warranty with respect to the contents and disclaims liability for any damages arising from or connected to the use of the material in this Toolbox.