Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER): An Innovative Emergency Management Tool in the United States

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To demonstrate how inclusion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) as a tool in Public Health Preparedness Capabilities: National Standards for State and Local Planning can increase public health capacity for emergency response.


We reviewed all domestic CASPER activities (i.e., trainings and assessments) between fiscal years 2012 and 2016. Data from these CASPER activities were compared with respect to differences in geographic distribution, type, actions, efficacy, and usefulness of training.


During the study period, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted 24 domestic in-person CASPER trainings for 1057 staff in 38 states. On average, there was a marked increase in knowledge of CASPER. Ninety-nine CASPERs were conducted in the United States, approximately half of which (53.5%) assessed preparedness; the others were categorized as response or recovery (27.2%) or were unrelated to a disaster (19.2%).


CASPER trainings are successful in increasing disaster epidemiology skills. CASPER can be used by Public Health Emergency Preparedness program awardees to help build and sustain preparedness and response capabilities.

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