Understanding How Disasters Kill
NORC improves disaster response by improving data collection
To make disasters less deadly, it’s important to know in as much detail as possible how different kinds of disasters cause fatalities so that government officials, relief agencies, and citizens can better prepare and respond when disasters strike. Working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NORC developed a toolkit meant to improve the accuracy and consistency of data collection on disaster-related deaths and identify common risk factors and effective protective measures.
To inform the development of this toolkit, NORC reviewed published and scholarly articles as well as death scene guidelines, worksheets, and protocols from states and counties to better understand what data are currently being collected. NORC also established a workgroup of key experts in the death investigation field to discuss current processes used during disaster death scene investigations and to make recommendations for more systematic data collection. The CDC recently published the finalized toolkit and is working with NORC to disseminate it to key stakeholder groups and organizations for review, comment, and approval. In 2018, NORC will develop a training on the finalized toolkit.