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ORAU provides evidence-based solutions tailored to help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from all types of public health and healthcare emergencies.

ORAU understands the increasing demand on our nation’s healthcare and public health systems to prepare for, respond to, and recover from pandemics, natural disasters, terrorism and other unforeseen, disruptive events. The integration of public health, healthcare and emergency management systems before, during and after these events help agencies reduce duplication and meet increased requirements and demands when an emergency occurs. ORAU’s experienced team uses this holistic approach to enhance a community or agencies resilience in support of national health security efforts.

ORAU has more than three decades of real-world operational experience supporting national and global preparedness programs and responses, including the more recent Ebola outbreak in the U.S. and West Africa, as well as the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

Need support for COVID-19? ORAU has a long history of helping communities prepare for and respond to pandemics

Need support for COVID-19? ORAU has a long history of helping communities prepare for and respond to pandemics

ORAU has worked with Department of Health and Human Services operating and staff divisions that are instrumental in preparing for and responding to public health emergencies, including a pandemic, since 2003. We collaborate to engage key stakeholders, community members, businesses and federal stakeholders to develop tools for communities to assess their readiness and prepare for a public health emergency.

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What we offer

Our experts work with federal, state and local public health and healthcare agencies to promote evidence-based practices and programs that protect communities from threats. These services include:

  • Automation of emergency management processes
  • Community capacity building
  • Emergency public information and warning
  • Emergency response support and training
  • Strategic planning
  • Preparedness product (e.g., guidance, toolkits) development
  • Exercise and drill design, facilitation and evaluation
  • Medical countermeasures planning
  • Medical surge planning
  • Medications on pharmacy shelves

    Medical Countermeasure Readiness

    ORAU offers more than three decades of real-world experiences supporting federal agencies, public health departments and national preparedness organizations promote evidence-based practices to advance medical countermeasure readiness.

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    Public Health Emergency Preparedness

    ORAU works on a variety of national projects, programs, and initiatives to help CDC ensure state and local public health systems are able to effectively respond to a range of public health threats, including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological events.  

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  • Small group of adults in masks taking instruction from emergency personnel

    Healthcare Preparedness

    ORAU healthcare preparedness experts conduct exercises; organize, facilitate and evaluate key stakeholder meetings; and develop state and local planning tools to help communities across the United States improve their healthcare preparedness and delivery during an emergency or event.

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  • Firemen and medical staff assist patient in emergency drill

    Radiation Health Preparedness

    ORAU provides broad based support for planning and responding to mass casualty radiological and nuclear disasters. Our experts work with federal agencies to promote radiological and nuclear emergency preparedness planning.

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  • Nuclear power plant cooling towers

    Exercise Builder Nuclear™

    Exercise Builder Nuclear™ provides powerful drill and exercise management tools and the convenience of an online application that can store all current and historical exercise and drill data in one place.

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  • Student participating in radiation emergency medicine training

    Radiation Emergency Medicine

    ORAU’s experts in radiation emergency medicine have more than 40 years of experience in radiation emergency medical response, leading the way in strengthening worldwide preparedness to respond to radiological/nuclear incidents. Our team provides advice, consultation and educational courses on the medical management of radiological/nuclear incidents.

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    Forensic Science Services

    ORAU helps strengthen our nation’s defenses by aiding government agencies and law enforcement in their mission to protect citizens and stop threats to communities. ORAU provides forensic science expertise in several areas, including analysis and laboratory operations, consulting and education and training.

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Who we serve

  • Federal, state, local and territorial public health departments
  • Healthcare systems
  • Preparedness professionals
  • National preparedness organizations and agencies
  • sandbags holding back flood waters

    PIMS web-based application aids VHA in response to local emergencies and national disasters

    ORAU developed the Performance Improvement Management System (PIMS) for the Veterans Health Administration’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Program to track information such as available volunteers and emergency resources for each VA medical center. The system helps VHA emergency managers respond quickly to staffing and supply needs at hardest hit locations.

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  • Large fire with cars in foreground

    Community preparedness: Best practices for emergency and disaster response

    For decades, ORAU has engaged state and local public health departments across the United States to develop tools that focus on a whole-community approach to emergency preparedness. The approach requires public health, healthcare, emergency medical services and emergency management working together to provide the right care at the right time.

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    Exercise Builder Nuclear™ app makes management of large-scale emergency exercises easier

    Exercise Builder Nuclear™ is an online platform used by emergency preparedness managers in the nuclear power industry to manage the many drills and exercises required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to prepare plants to meet any type of threat. The once web-only platform is now available as a mobile app.

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View the Health Preparedness & Response fact sheet

Emergency Preparedness Fact Sheet

Whether helping hospitals expand medical surge capacity for hurricane response or evaluating medical countermeasures planning, ORAU provides evidence-based solutions tailored to help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from all types of public health and healthcare emergencies.

Download the ORAU Health Preparedness & Response fact sheet

Our Experts

Freddy Gray

Freddy Gray, M.P.H.

Expertise: Public health and healthcare preparedness, medical countermeasures, team dynamics, strategic planning

Gray has more than 25 years of experience managing and supervising public health and healthcare system preparedness and response programs involving medical countermeasures to help mitigate the surge of patients due to a public health emergency.

Certification: Master Certified Health Education Specialist

Don Hanlon

Don Hanlon, M.S., M.B.A.

Expertise: Business process automation, software development management, technology product marketing and sales, training

Hanlon has more than 30 years of experience developing technology solutions for various sectors, including military, government, and financial and power generation corporations.

Certification: Project Management Professional (PMP)

Mary Connelly

Mary Connelly

Expertise: Emergency management technology solutions, training, exercises, project management


  • National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Conference, November 2017
  • National Health Preparedness Summit, April 2017

Certification: FEMA Master Exercise Practitioner

Contact us

For information about ORAU’s health communication, preparedness and response solutions, contact Freddy Gray, director, Health Communication and Preparedness programs, at 865.576.0029 or