The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has launched an online information system to help health and emergency preparedness professionals prepare for and manage the effects of disasters.

"Experience has shown that every disaster, large or small, has the potential to impact heath," Nicole Lurie, HHS' assistant secretary for preparedness and response, said in the announcement. "TRACIE can help health and emergency management officials across the country learn about, share, and apply best practices and experiences before, during and after disasters to protect health and potentially save lives."

The new system -- called the Technical Resources, Assistance Center and Information Exchange, or TRACIE -- includes:

  • An assistance center;
  • An information exchange; and
  • Technical resources

In addition, there will be an assistance center where "state, tribal, local and territorial officials can reach subject matter experts for technical assistance and consultations on a range of topics," the announcement said. It will include a toll-free number, email address and online component.