Capabilities for Covid-19 Surge Management

Surge Management consists of four of the fifteen capabilities defined in the CDC Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities October 2018 (Updated January 2019) document. The four capabilities are:

Fatality management is the ability to coordinate with partner organizations and agencies to provide fatality management services. The public health agency role in fatality management activities may include supporting

  • Recovery and preservation of remains
  • Identification of the deceased
  • Determination of cause and manner of death
  • Release of remains to an authorized individual
  • Provision of mental/behavioral health assistance for the grieving

The role also may include supporting activities for the identification, collection, documentation, retrieval, and transportation of human remains, personal effects, and evidence to the examination location or incident morgue.

This capability consists of the ability to perform the functions listed below.

  • Determine the public health agency role in fatality management
  • Identify and facilitate access to public health resources to support fatality management
  • Assist in the collection and dissemination of antemortem data
  • Support the provision of survivor mental/behavioral health services
  • Support fatality processing and storage operations

Mass care is the ability of public health agencies to coordinate with and support partner agencies to address, within a congregate location (excluding shelter-in-place locations), the public health, health care, mental/behavioral health, and human services needs of those impacted by an incident. This capability includes coordinating ongoing surveillance and public health assessments to ensure that health needs continue to be met as the incident evolves. This capability consists of the ability to perform the functions listed below.

  • Determine public health role in mass care operations
  • Determine mass care health needs of the impacted population
  • Coordinate public health, health care, and mental/behavioral health services
  • Monitor mass care population health

Medical surge is the ability to provide adequate medical evaluation and care during events that exceed the limits of the normal medical infrastructure of an affected community. It encompasses the ability of the health care system to endure a hazard impact, maintain or rapidly recover operations that were compromised, and support the delivery of medical care and associated public health services, including disease surveillance, epidemiological inquiry, laboratory diagnostic services, and environmental health assessments. This capability consists of the ability to perform the functions listed below.

  • Function 1: Assess the nature and scope of the incident
  • Support activation of medical surge
  • Support jurisdictional medical surge operations
  • Support demobilization of medical surge operations

Volunteer management is the ability to coordinate with emergency management and partner agencies to identify, recruit, register, verify, train, and engage volunteers to support the jurisdictional public health agency’s preparedness, response, and recovery activities during pre-deployment, deployment, and post-deployment. This capability consists of the ability to perform the functions listed below.

  • Recruit, coordinate, and train volunteers
  • Notify, organize, assemble, and deploy volunteers
  • Conduct or support volunteer safety and health monitoring and surveillance
  • Demobilize volunteers

More detailed information about these four capabilities and their associated functions is found in the CDC document.

To go to the use cases and solutions for Covid-19 Surge Management

Surge Management Innovation Ecosystem and Use Cases

Surge Management Community Engagement

Volunteer network to help overwhelmed government agencies
A nationwide network of vetted volunteers that is matched to those government organizations in need. Areas of specialty include technology, data, design, operations, communications, project management, and operations. Additional information.

San Leandro Volunteer Portal
The City of San Leandro has launched a new online volunteer hub where community residents may register to serve as a volunteer to assist others in need. Currently, volunteer opportunities will be focused on local food banks or organizations dedicated to helping the community respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional information.

NYC Tech Slack Volunteer Portal
NYC Tech Corona Volunteer Efforts is a Slack group that aims to match its members with incoming requests.  Additional information.

Surge Management Data and Analytics

Surge Management Technology Infrastructure


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