To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
In the United States, tornadoes are the third leading cause of fatalities from natural disasters1. To aid prevention and mitigation of tornado-related morbidity and mortality, improvement in standardizing tornado specific threat analysis terminology was assessed. The largest number of tornado-related fatalities has occurred in the state of Texas for over a hundred years. The occurrence of tornadic clusters or “outbreaks” has not been formally standardized. The concept of “tornado outbreaks” is better defined and its role in fatality mitigation is addressed in this Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved study.
To understand the role of “tornado outbreaks” related clusters in Texas in relationship to morbidity and mortality.
This IRB approved (IRB2017- 0507) research study utilized GIS tools and statistical analysis of historical data to examine the relationship between tornado severity (based on the Fujita Scale), the number of tornadoes, and the trends in morbidity and mortality. This study was funded in part from The National Science Foundation grant (NSF Grant #1560106) in support of the CyberHealthGIS Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU).
A statistically significant difference was demonstrated between the severity of a tornado and related morbidity and mortality during “tornado outbreaks” in Texas during a defined 30-year period.
Understanding the role and discerning the impacts of “tornado outbreaks” as related to tornado severity has critical implications to disaster preparedness. Applications of this conclusion may improve shelter planning/preparation, timely warning, and educating the at-risk public. Subsequently, examining the likelihood and improved descriptions of “tornado outbreaks” may aid in reducing the number of tornado-related injuries and fatalities nationally.
The use of the Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) method in disaster and non-disaster settings continues to grow. While CASPERs flexibility has been well demonstrated, the documentation of specific actions that have resulted from the utilization of CASPER data has been limited. We attempted to document changes in emergency preparedness planning and policy based on CASPER data.
Written reports from 19 CASPERs conducted in Texas between 2001 and 2015 were collected. Key informant interviews were conducted with 9 public health staff knowledgeable about the CASPERs. Written reports and interview transcripts were coded and analyzed for themes.
Few specific outcomes could be documented beyond a single successful grant application. Respondents felt CASPER data was not duplicative and was useful for improving existing plans. CASPER is seen as an effective way to enhance relationships with communities and partnerships with agencies including Emergency Management.
As the use of CASPER grows, it is increasingly important to document any specific and measurable benefits, actions, and changes to planning or policy taken as the result of data collected using the CASPER method. Without measurable outputs and outcomes, support for the use of CASPER from decision-makers may begin to wane. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:680-684)
Prenatal hurricane exposure may be an increasingly important contributor to poor reproductive health outcomes. In the current literature, mixed associations have been suggested between hurricane exposure and reproductive health outcomes. This may be due, in part, to residual confounding. We assessed the association between hurricane exposure and reproductive health outcomes by using a difference-in-difference analysis technique to control for confounding in a cohort of Florida pregnancies.
We implemented a difference-in-difference analysis to evaluate hurricane weather and reproductive health outcomes including low birth weight, fetal death, and birth rate. The study population for analysis included all Florida pregnancies conceived before or during the 2003 and 2004 hurricane season. Reproductive health data were extracted from vital statistics records from the Florida Department of Health. In 2004, 4 hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne) made landfall in rapid succession; whereas in 2003, no hurricanes made landfall in Florida.
Overall models using the difference-in-difference analysis showed no association between exposure to hurricane weather and reproductive health.
The inconsistency of the literature on hurricane exposure and reproductive health may be in part due to biases inherent in pre-post or regression-based county-level comparisons. We found no associations between hurricane exposure and reproductive health. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:407–411)
Karachi, Pakistan was affected by a heat wave in June 2015 during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Many media reports attributed the excess deaths in part to the practice of daylight fasting during Ramadan. As much of the published research reports on heat-related mortality in Europe and the United States, an exploration of the effects of extreme heat on residents of a South Asian mega-city address a gap in current disaster research.
This report investigated potential risk factors for excess mortality associated with the June 2015 heat wave in Karachi, Pakistan.
Data were obtained through manual review of death certificates at public hospitals and private clinics in Karachi, Pakistan, conducted from July 1 through July 31, 2015 by a trained physician. Demographic data for any deaths with a primary cause of death of heat-related illness were recorded in Microsoft Excel (Microsoft Corp.; Redmond, Washington USA). EpiSheet (2012; Rothman. Modern Epidemiology. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA) was used to calculate risk differences (RD), rate ratios (RR), and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).
Overall, residents of Karachi were approximately 17 times as likely to die of a heat-related cause of death during June 2015 (RR=17.68; 95% CI, 13.87-22.53) when compared with the reference period of June 2014. Residents with a monthly income lower than 20,000 Pakistani Rupees (US $196; RD=0.03; 95% CI, 0.01-0.05) and those with less than a fifth grade education (RD=0.03; 95% CI, 0.00-0.05) were at significantly higher risk of death during the 2015 heat wave compared to the reference period.
Fasting during Ramadan was not a significant risk factor for mortality from heat-related causes during the Karachi heat wave of June 2015. A large number of excess deaths were reported across all demographic groups, which due to the burden of record keeping in an under-resourced health system during a public health emergency, are almost certainly an underestimate.
GhummanU, HorneyJ. Characterizing the Impact of Extreme Heat on Mortality, Karachi, Pakistan, June 2015. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(3):263–266.
Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) is a group of tools and methods designed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide rapid, reliable, and accurate population-based public health information. Since 2003, North Carolina public health professionals have used CASPERs to facilitate public health emergency responses and gather information on other topics including routine community health assessments.
To date, there has been no evaluation of CASPER use by public health agencies at the state or local level in the US.
Local health departments of North Carolina reported when and how CASPERs were used during the period 2003 to 2010 via an online survey. Data on barriers and future plans for using CASPERs also were collected.
Fifty-two of North Carolina's 85 local health departments (61%) completed the survey. Twenty-eight departments reported 46 instances of CASPER use during 2003 to 2010. The majority of CASPERs were performed for community health assessments (n = 20, 43%) or exercises (n = 11, 24%). Fifty-six percent of respondents indicated they were “likely” or “very likely” to use CASPERs in the future; those who had prior experience with CASPERs were significantly more likely (P = .02) to report planned future use of CASPERs compared to those without prior experience with the tool. Lack of training, equipment, and time were the most frequently reported barriers to using CASPERs.
Local public health agencies with clear objectives and goals can effectively use CASPERs in both routine public health practice and disaster settings.
HorneyJ, DavisMK, DavisSEH, FleischauerA. An Evaluation of Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) in North Carolina, 2003-2010. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(2):1–5.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.