Public Health Preparedness – About Us

Welcome to the DSHS Public Health Preparedness website. Here you will find information on steps you and your family can take to be ready for emergencies before they occur. This includes how to reduce the impact of disasters on different groups, such as children, the elderly, and pets.

This site provides information on many different types of events and disasters; both human-made and natural, such as weather-related emergencies and the biological, chemical, and radiological weapons of terrorism.

This site presents information not only for the general public, but for public health profesionals and emergency responders as well.

Contact Information

  • DSHS Communications Department: (512) 458-7400
  • Assistant Commissioner Prevention and Preparedness Services  512-458-7729 
    DSHS Infectious Disease Control Unit, Zoonosis: (512) 458-7255
  • Texas Poison Control Network: 1-800-222-1222
  • DSHS Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology: (512) 458-7269
  • DSHS Food Safety Bureau: (512) 719-0222
  • State Entomologist, General Sanitation Division: (512) 834-6635

About our partners:

  • Local and Regional Health Department Contacts

  • Community Preparedness Section
    As a central source of scientific, public health, and emergency management expertise for developing and coordinating mitigation, preparedness response, and recovery activities, the Section is committed to helping local jurisdictions prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters in a manner that will protect property and safeguard lives.

  • Office of Border Health
    Promotes and protects the health of border residents by reducing community and environmental health hazards along the Texas-Mexico border, in collaboration with communities and U.S. and Mexican local, state, and federal entities.

  • EMS/Trauma Systems
    The DSHS program that regulates EMS and trauma systems in Texas. This website contains information about EMS certification and licensure, trauma designation, contact information, and more.

  • Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit
    The mission of the Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit is to protect and promote the health of Texans. This is accomplished through the operation of disease and injury registries and the conduct of public health surveillance, field investigations, health assessments, and epidemiologic studies. Information from these activities is provided in a timely fashion to the Department, other agencies, researchers, and the public for identifying Texans at increased health risk, understanding the causes, and recommending changes to prevent disease and injury.

  • Immunization Division
    Contains information on the Division, an electronic edition of the newsletter Upshot, information on the automated immunization tracking system ImmTrac, surveillance and epidemiology, and more.

  • Infectious Disease Control Unit (IDCU) (512) 458-7676
    Responsible for assisting local or regional public health officials in investigating outbreaks of acute infectious disease or any report of isolated cases of rare or unusual disease, such as plague, cholera, or botulism. The program conducts routine and special morbidity surveillance of diseases designated as reportable.

  • Laboratory Services Section (512) 458-7318
    The Laboratory Services Section provides comprehensive laboratory services for human, animal, and environmental specimens and provides professional expertise and consultation. The Lab provides medical laboratory services for the state-mandated newborn screening program, Texas Health Steps Program, the Maternal and Child Health Program, Title V, and Childhood Lead Screening. The Lab also provides comprehensive diagnostic testing of specimens for the presence of infectious disease organisms and water testing.

  • Medical & Research Library
    With over 250 links, the Library guides you to electronic journals, government resources, health associations, access to Medline, other health libraries, general reference sites, Internet search engines, health information, and statistics.

  • Radiation Control Program
    Prevents unnecessary radiation exposure to the public through effective licensing, registration, inspection, enforcement, and emergency response programs.

Note: External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may also not be accessible to people with disabilities.

Last updated July 18, 2013