Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER)
What is CASPER
CASPER is an epidemiological tool designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to quickly assess the public health needs and emergency response capabilities of communities following a disaster. While most commonly implemented throughout the lifespan of a disaster, CASPERs can also be used pre-disaster to help local stakeholders determine the preparedness levels of their communities. With the growing threat environment in today’s world, it is important for emergency management and public health officials to know the risks their residents face. Benefits of conducting a CASPER include a better understanding of preparedness capabilities within a community, if a community will be able to efficiently and effectively respond to an emergency, and improved emergency plans at a county level.
A CASPER is conducted by sending teams of volunteers to randomly selected households to complete an in-person survey. The assessment uses a two-stage methodology design to choose households. The first step is to select 30 clusters in a specific sampling frame (i.e. within specific county or town lines). The second step is to randomly select seven households within each of those 30 pre-determined clusters. Volunteers then travel to those households to collect a total of 210 surveys. Once the surveys are collected, the data is then analyzed and placed in a report for county stakeholders to review. Data-based suggestions within the report help guide stakeholders in improving county emergency management plans or assist with various other preparedness-related projects.
In partnership with local Nevada communities, the State of Nevada’s Public Health Preparedness program has been working to conduct CASPERs within each interested rural county and tribal nations. Through the CASPER, local stakeholders have the opportunity to design an assessment specific to the needs of their county. Survey creation can be hazard-specific, such as flooding or extreme heat, or the focus can remain on assessing general preparedness abilities and needs.
Each CASPER conducted not only improves the preparedness capabilities of the participating counties, but also for Nevada as a whole. The information collected returns back to the local level, which stakeholders then use to assist their residents through outreach and education programs, improved emergency preparedness plans, and collaborative relationships across county lines. If you are interested in conducting this assessment within your county, please feel free to contact us, as well as reach out to your county’s stakeholders and decision makers to discuss this. Community preparedness starts with you!
For more information contact:
Emily Gould, Rural Preparedness Coordinator
- Churchill County | October 16th – 19th, 2019
Publications will be the surveys completed in the various counties throughout Nevada.