About the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Program     

  • PHEP ensures health and safety of the El Paso community through:
  • Developing collaborative partnerships with federal, state and local government officials, hospitals, community-based organizations and volunteers.
  • Developing plans and providing training to partners and stakeholders.
  • Conducting drills and exercises of those plans.
  • Performing surveillance and investigation of specific communicable/infectious diseases and other public health threats or emergencies.

PHEP Key Components:

  • Public health response and support
  • Epidemiological surveillance and investigation
  • Rapid notifications and alerts
  • Mass prophylaxis and vaccination
  • Drills and exercises
  • Internal and external training 
  • Community Education - Click here to request a presentation about various public health topics on the Speakers Bureau page.   
Potential local public health threats include:
  • Communicable disease outbreak (hepatitis A, measles, H1N1 influenza, West Nile virus, etc.)
  • Natural disasters (winter storms, extreme heat, floods, and high winds)
  • Bioterrorism incidents (anthrax, plague, smallpox)
  • Radiological disasters (bombs or power plants accidents)

Extreme Weather Campaign

Key Safety Tips

  • Extreme cold is when temperature drops well below normal for a region.
  • When temperatures are much lower than normal, heat can leave your body more quickly.
  • Stock up on emergency supplies for communication, food, safety, and heating in case a storm hits.
  • If there is a power failure, use battery powered flashlights or lanterns rather than candles.
  • Try to stay indoors during extremely cold weather. Make any trips outside as brief as possible.
  • Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead.                                                                                    

Plan Before the Cold Weather Hits:

  • Listen to weather forecast regularly and check your emergency supplies whenever a period of extreme weather is predicted.
  • If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, have your chimney inspected each year.
  • Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze.
  • Install/Test carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Winterize your home by insulating in walls and attics, caulking and weather stripping doors and windows, and covering windows with plastic. 

Build an emergency kit for your vehicle:

  • Your emergency kit should change with the season.
  • Include items that will be helpful during a winter weather emergency such as blankets or an ice scraper. 


Be a BUDDY – Check on senior neighbors

  • Call 2-1-1 if you are in need of a blanket or are interested in donating. Blankets are distributed by the Extreme Weather Task Force.

Protect your Pets:

  • Provide adequate shelter for your pets that protects them from extreme weather conditions like cold, wind, and rain.
  • Feed your pet a little more during the cold weather so your pet has the energy to keep itself warm.
  • Check on your pets regularly.
  • Remember, if it's too cold for you, it's too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside.

Staying Healthy in Cold Weather:

  • Hypothermia and frostbite are the most common cold related health problems.
  • Be sure to keep your nose, ears, toes, cheeks, chin, and fingers covered and warm.
  • People at high risk for becoming ill include older adults, infants, and those who stay outdoors for long periods.

Get the Flu Shot:

  • Spread the word, not the flu!
  • Flu Near You provides an interactive map where it allows you to report if you have any flu symptoms and also see how many cases of flux have been reported in your area.
  • Protect yourself by washing your hands with soap and water, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and by staying away from sick people.

Dressing for Cold Weather:

  • Dress in layers. Use many thin, warm layers rather than a few thick layers. It will insulate better and allow you to strip off layers if the temperature climbs.
  • Warm winter socks are important in keeping warm dry feet.
  • Wear a hat and gloves. 

Safety Tips Before Extreme Weather

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Get trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.
  • Know those in your neighborhood who are older, young, sick or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
  • Be aware that people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than are people living in rural areas.

Helpful Websites for Extreme Weather  

Emergency Preparedness Resources

Non-Emergency Helpful Numbers
  • El Paso Police Department 915-832-4400
  • El Paso Fire Department 915-832-4432
  • El Paso County Sheriff's Office 915-546-2280
  • Animal Services Department 915-842-1000
  • 24/7 Diseases Reporting 915-212-6520
  • American Red Cross 915-592-0208
  • Paso Del Norte Food Bank 915-544-5592
  • Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222

El Paso Extreme Weather Task Force (EWTF) 

The EWTF provides free fans to qualified individuals. In addition, the task force provides education for the community about the necessary steps to be prepared and protected from the effects of severe weather. EWTF encourages the “Buddy System” through the community to check on their neighbors and elderly family members.  Call 2-1-1 to request or donate a fan.  


City of El Paso Department of Public Health
Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Program
5115 El Paso Dr.
El Paso, TX  79905
Phone: 915-212-6609
Fax: 915-212-6520

Hours of Operation Monday – Thursday, 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Closed Fridays

Health Emergency Preparedness Program

5115 El Paso Drive
El Paso, Texas 79905
Phone: 915-212-6641
Fax: 915-212-6520

Hours of Operation

Monday – Thursday
7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.


The Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program (PHEP) enhances the capacity of the Department of Public Health to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the adverse health effects of public health emergencies and disasters.