CDC Stresses Importance of Disaster Mortality Report

The Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control is reminding the public of the availability of its disaster-related mortality report that it says is intended to serve as an initial report for state department and medical examiners following a disaster or emergency situation.

CDC says that in a disaster situation death certificates are not a timely method for counting or evaluating mortality during or immediately after an event. Although this report is not intended to replace the death certificate or death certification procedures, it is hoped that it will serve as a helpful guide for basic information gathering required for mortality reporting in any natural or man-made disaster. Its data can then be used by the states and local authorities for evidence-based decisions on required resource distribution.

The goals of the report are as follows:

  • Identify the number of deaths-related to disasters and provide basic mortality information about the deceased for public health emergency officials in affected jurisdictions.
  • Identify high risk groups that could benefit from immediate public health interventions.
  • Evaluate and assess the direct and indirect impact of the disaster and human toll in affected communities on high vulnerable groups.
  • Provide information on disaster-related mortality for emergency officials and public health officers to assist in future planning and mitigation efforts.

A Web-based data entry format of the report, along with PDF and Word versions in English and Spanish, are available at www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/surveillance/resources.asp.

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