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Authors Birnbaum ML, Daily EK, O'Rourke AP
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Journal Prehosp Disaster Med Volume: 30 Issue: 6 Pages: 648-56
Publish Date 2015 Dec
PubMed ID 26555764

Studies of the health aspect of disasters focus either on the epidemiology of disasters to define the causes and the progression from a hazard to a disaster, or the evaluations of interventions provided during any phase of a disaster. Epidemiological disaster research studies are undertaken for the purposes of: (1) understanding the mechanisms by which hazards evolve into a disaster; (2) determining ways to mitigate the risk(s) that a specific hazard will progress into a disaster; (3) predicting the likely damages and needs of the population-at-risk for an event; and (4) identifying potential measures to increase the resilience of a community to future events. Epidemiological disaster research utilizes the Conceptual, Temporal, and Societal Frameworks to define what occurs when a hazard manifests as an event that causes a disaster. The findings from such studies should suggest interventions that could augment the absorbing, buffering, or/and response capacities to lessen the probability of similar damages occurring from the next event. Ultimately, the use of these Frameworks in studying the health aspects of a disaster will help define what to expect in a specific setting and the standards and best practices upon which education, training, competencies, performance, and professionalization will be built. Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System