DHHR to Conduct Post-Flood Surveys in Greenbrier and Kanawha Counties
In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau for Public Health, will conduct a community health assessment for public health emergency response (CASPER) of households in Greenbrier and Kanawha counties that were affected by recent flooding. CASPER is used to rapidly assess the impact of a disaster on a community, determine a community’s health needs and evaluate the effectiveness of response and recovery efforts.
“We know that West Virginians are resilient, but we want to record how the flood recovery efforts have progressed and ensure impacted residents know about available services that can help them through this difficult time,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, State Health Officer and Commissioner for DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health.
The devastating flooding that occurred across West Virginia on June 23 damaged or destroyed several thousands of homes and resulted in 23 deaths. The flood exposed many West Virginia residents to health hazards they might not normally encounter. More than 10,000 doses of tetanus vaccine were mobilized for the initial public health response.
During the CASPER survey, trained public health interviewers, including state and local public health personnel, will use a standardized questionnaire to evaluate the physical and behavioral health of a household, in addition to enquiring about knowledge of safe practices and access to information and resources for recovery.
“We will use the results of this survey to improve our preparedness, rescue and response activities for state residents as they recover from this disaster,” Gupta said. “The assessment is part of a multi-step plan to evaluate response efforts from the perspective of the affected population.”
The survey will take place on August 1-3, 2016, during daytime hours, in Greenbrier and Kanawha counties. During this period, teams will visit randomly selected households and will carry credentials to identify themselves as public health staff. CASPER survey participation is not mandatory by residents, but is appreciated.
Media contact: DHHRCommunications@wv.gov or (304) 558-7899