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Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Program

What is a HERC?

A healthcare emergency readiness coalition (HERC) is comprised of a core group of hospitals and healthcare organizations, local and tribal public health agencies, state, regional, and local and tribal emergency management, and emergency medical services, as well as additional members. These partners collaborate for the common goal of making their communities safer, healthier, and more resilient. Wisconsin has seven regional HERCs that support communities before, during, and after disasters and other health-related crises.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) funds Wisconsin’s HERCs. ASPR leads the country in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from the adverse health effects of emergencies and disasters. ASPR’s HPP enables the health care delivery system to save lives during emergencies and disaster events that exceed the day-to-day capacity and capability of existing health and emergency response systems.

HPP is the only source of federal funding for health care delivery system readiness, intended to improve patient outcomes, minimize the need for federal and supplemental state resources during emergencies, and enable rapid recovery. HPP prepares the health care delivery system to save lives through the development of health care coalitions (HCCs). In Wisconsin, these are known as HERCs.

The overall goal of the HERC is to help Wisconsin communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster as quickly as possible. Through coordinated preparation, response, and recovery efforts, HERC members work to create a more resilient Wisconsin.

To learn more about your regional HERC, contact your local HERC Coordinator.

 COVID-19 Dashboards

Check out the daily hospital data updates on our COVID-19 Dashboards.

The Office of Preparedness and Emergency Health Care (OPEHC) staff have been integral in the Department of Health Services (DHS) COVID response operations through a number of ways, including providing daily hospital data updates for DHS COVID Dashboards.

These daily updates allow DHS and the public to understand COVID patterns as well as the capacity of hospitals to meet COVID needs throughout the state.

HERC regions

Wisconsin is divided into seven regional healthcare emergency readiness coalitions. For more information on the coalition in your region, see their coalition websites below or view the regional contact information:

Click on the map image for a downloadable PDF of the locations.

HERC resources

Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Healthcare Preparedness Program Measures – Healthcare Coalition Assessment Factors (PDF)

The Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) training provides a set of guiding principles for exercise programs, as well as a common approach to exercise program management, design and development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning. DHS provides links to seven training lessons over viewing HSEEP principles.

ASPR documents

Performance measures


Additional resources

EMResource (formerly WI Trac)

Legal resources for emergency preparedness

Residential care facilities resources

Pre-hospital resources

The Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Program supports hospital emergency preparedness planning and response to mass casualty incidents or pandemic events. The Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Program is funded by the ASPR in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Last revised January 22, 2024