Countywide Survey This Weekend About Emergency Preparedness
Posted at 1 p.m.
This Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5, our Health Department will be conducting a first-of-its-kind community assessment in a representative sampling of neighborhoods throughout the county.
Through door-to-door surveys, we hope to get credible information about our community’s level of preparedness for emergencies. This information will be critical in improving our preparedness efforts and understanding how best to respond in times of disaster to meet our community’s needs.
The Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) is a tool developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to enable government at all levels to rapidly assess a community’s health needs after a disaster, as well as to measure household preparedness for disasters or emergencies.
CASPER will involve choosing a random sampling of neighborhoods within the county that are weighted toward more populated areas. Seven houses within each tract will then be selected at random. This sampling methodology will allow for data to be extrapolated to the entire county.
To conduct the study, small teams of Fairfax Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers — supported by Health Department staff and Red Cross volunteers — will be visiting neighborhoods, going door-to-door, throughout the day on Saturday and on Sunday afternoon. Volunteers and staff will be wearing vests and identification badges.
Participation in the survey is confidential and voluntary; individuals may decline to participate when approached by interviewers. Each survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete and will include general questions on the household and the people who live there, as well as questions about their knowledge of certain kinds of emergencies and disease threats and their personal preparedness.