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Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER)

During a disaster, public health and emergency management professionals must be prepared to respond to and meet the needs of the affected public in a timely manner. HSB’s rapid needs assessment toolkit, the Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER), can be used by public health practitioners and emergency management officials to determine the health status and basic needs of the affected community in a quick and low-cost manner. Gathering health and basic needs information using valid statistical methods allows public health and emergency managers to prioritize their responses and to make informed decisions regarding the distribution of resources.

Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER)

The Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, Health Studies Branch (DEHHE/HSB) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed the CASPER toolkit to assist personnel from any local, state, regional, or federal public health departments in conducting the CASPER during a disaster. One of the main objectives in developing this toolkit is to standardize the assessment procedures focusing on United States disaster response. The CASPER toolkit provides guidelines on data collection tool development, methodology, sample selection, training, data collection, analysis, and report writing.

Examples of CDC Health Studies Branch CASPERs

  • Deepwater Horizon Gulf Coast Oil Spill, Alabama and Mississippi – 2010
  • Tsunami/Earthquake, American Samoa – 2009
  • Ice Storms, Kentucky – 2009
  • Hurricane Ike, Texas – 2008
  • Hurricanes Charley and Ivan, Florida – 2004
  • Hurricane Isabel, North Carolina – 2003

Review HSB Disaster Response Activities

Requesting CDC Health Studies Branch Assistance

The CDC Health Studies Branch (HSB) provides scientific consultation, technical assistance, and disaster epidemiology training to

  • local, state, or foreign health departments,
  • federal agencies,
  • non-governmental organizations,
  • professional interest groups,
  • international organizations,
  • academic institutions, and
  • foreign governments.

To learn more about requesting HSB assistance, please visit HSB’s Disaster Training and Response webpage.

CDC Related Resources

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