Fairfax County Public Health to Survey Households About Emergency Preparedness

Update: Health Department to Continue CASPER Survey Work the Week of June 13-17

The Fairfax County Health Department will be continuing its Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) survey effort during the week of June 13-17 in order to meet its completion goal. Survey teams will be visiting a small number of neighborhoods in Fairfax County during the course of the week. As before, the surveyors will be identifiable by their red vests and Fairfax County Government or Fairfax Medical Reserve Corps identification. Participation in the survey is voluntary and confidential. If you have questions about the survey, please call the Health Department at 703-246-8610, TTY 711. See the map for more details about the areas that may be visited during the week of June 13-17.

Staff and volunteers will be walking neighborhoods on June 4 and 5

May 26, 2016

Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) wants to know how well county residents are prepared for a variety of emergencies.

To find out, FCHD will be conducting a survey called a Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) in a representative sampling of neighborhoods. Staff and volunteers will be going door-to-door on June 4 and 5, 2016, asking residents to participate in the anonymous survey.

Neighborhoods and households will be selected at random using validated sampling methodology. Participation in the survey is voluntary and confidential. Respondents will not be asked to identify themselves and their address will not be included in the results.

Each survey will take about 10-15 minutes and will include questions such as: do they have an emergency supply kit; do they have a working generator and carbon monoxide detector; would they be able to evacuate in the event of a large-scale disaster; and if they have pets, do they have supplies and a plan for what they will do with them during an evacuation?

CASPER was developed as a tool for local, regional, state and federal health officials to use in assessing community needs during and after a disaster. Public health departments have also used the tool during non-emergency situations to strengthen planning efforts, identify vulnerabilities, and estimate community awareness for a wide variety of emergency situations. A summary of the results will be shared with the community.

“The answers received from the surveys will help us assess our community’s current level of preparedness,” said Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, Health Department Director. “It will also help us anticipate the community’s needs during an emergency.”

Several agencies are providing volunteers for the survey teams or assisting with planning and coordination of the event, including Fairfax Medical Reserve Corp (MRC), the American Red Cross and the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management. Volunteers and staff will be wearing red vests and will have Fairfax County, MRC, or American Red Cross identification.

“Partnering with our community to gather this information will allow us to plan for a better and faster recovery in an emergency situation,” said Marc Barbiere, the department’s Emergency Management Coordinator. “We really feel the information gathered in this survey will help make Fairfax County better prepared.”

On June 4 and 5, staff and volunteers conducting the surveys will be wearing red vests like the ones shown below.

Front of red vestBack of red vest with a label that says "Screener"



    John Silcox
    Public Safety Information Officer
    Fairfax County Health Department
    703-246-8635, TTY 711


CASPER Emergency Preparedness Survey 2016

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