During an emergency or disaster, shelters provide refuge for the general community and at-risk populations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emergency Management Program has released an updated product titled Environmental Health Assessment Form for Disaster Shelters. This form has been developed to assist environmental health practitioners in conducting a rapid assessment of disaster shelter conditions during emergencies. The assessment form that covers 10 areas of environmental health, ranging from basic food safety and water quality to pet (companion animal) wellness, and allows for the documentation of immediate needs in shelters. It can be modified to meet local needs.
The Disaster Shelter Assessment Form is intended to
- Serve as a standardized instrument for rapidly assessing environmental health conditions in shelter facilities;
- Assist in identifying and prioritizing health and safety issues in shelters;
- Provide shelter management officials with data and an assessment of environmental health conditions and recommendations for improvement; and
- Capture data and create documentation for use in future planning and improvement of shelters.
CDC convened a working group of experts from local, state, federal, and non-governmental institutions including the American Red Cross to obtain input on the form.
This resource is available as a fillable form to reduce the need for paper forms.