Surveillance and Rapid Needs Assessment During Disasters

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012), “…it is important to conduct surveillance to determine the extent and scope of the health effects on the affected populations…Public health surveillance during a disaster allows for the detection of potential disease outbreaks and track disease and injury trends.”  In public health emergencies, decisions need to be made in a very short period, which is very different than a standard epidemiological investigation.

Please answer the following:

  1. Discuss a scenario (your experience if possible) when an attempt to control health problems was implemented.  Be sure to focus on the health of a community, rather than the individual patients.  
  2. How are rapid needs assessments used during disasters and emergencies?

A Primer for understanding the principles and practices of Disaster surveillance in the united states (

CDC – Health Studies – Public Health Surveillance during a Disaster

CASPER: Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response Toolkit, 3RD edition (

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