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Public Health Staff To Go Door-To-Door In Hamilton County

Thursday, March 31, 2011 | 11:34am

Training Exercise Held April 1 and 2

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department with assistance from the Tennessee Department of Health is administering a door-to-door survey on Friday afternoon, April 1 and Saturday morning, April 2 to 210 randomly selected residents in the five-mile emergency planning zone surrounding the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant. Staff members from both health departments will be interviewing a selection of residents of the area in order to evaluate a rapid assessment tool called Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER).

In the event of an emergency, the CASPER methodology allows officials to rapidly assess the status of a community by visiting designated areas and surveying residents during the crises. Answers to questions about injuries and illness, supplies of food and water, and functionality of utilities help improve emergency response. An example is the Kingston coal ash spill. In that event, a community assessment was performed, asking residents about potential symptoms related to the spill. The psychological stress of residents was rapidly identified as an unmet need that then could be addressed.

Teams in the community will be wearing identifying badges. Residents will be questioned as to whether they have taken basic precautions to prepare for emergencies, such as stockpiling supplies of food, water and medications, and what preparations they might have made for contacting relatives or for their pets’ needs.

For more information about the exercise, contact Abena Williams at the Chattanooga Hamilton County Health Department at (423) 209-8238.

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