( By A Study Guide (Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) )

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Lesson 2 - Factors to consider for effective management

Study Guide

This lesson establishes the framework for effective disaster management of environmental health. It discusses criteria on which priorities are established and actions planned or taken. It defines three phases in disaster management that will be covered in detail in subsequent lessons.

Learning Objectives

List three factors to be considered in determining a course of action in disaster management of environmental health.

List the five necessary services that must be provided at least at minimum levels to individuals in high-risk areas.

Partition disaster management into three phases.

Learning Activities

Read pages 9-12 in the manual.


Complete the Self-Assessment Test.


Lesson 2 - Self Assessment Test

Multiple Choice

Circle the correct answer(s):

1. The main reason that locally available experts should be called on first to take part in relief efforts is:

a. they would most likely be immune to endemic diseases
b. they would be familiar with pre- and likely postdisaster conditions in the affected area
c. they would be trusted more by residents of the stricken area
d. they would be the ones most in need of employment
e. outside disaster personnel need not be diverted from other tasks

2. The major factor that determines what areas should be given priority for intervention once a disaster has occurred is:

a. extent of property damage
b. availability of manpower
c. availability of medical personnel and drugs
d. presence or absence of disease-related risks
e. shortage of food and water

3. Preparedness planning focuses on areas where likelihood of___ is known to be high.

a. infant mortality
b. public ignorance
c. natural disaster
d. insect resurgence
e. telecommunications failure

4. The first phase of environmental health management begins:

a. long before a disaster strikes
b. when a disaster strikes
c. within the first three hours after the disaster has struck
d. after the warning period
e. at the moment local officials request help

5. The main objective of phase three is:

a. to institute immediate emergency relief measures
b. to focus on areas of known high risk
c. to develop and maintain a state of preparedness
d. to return environmental conditions and services to predisaster levels
e. to initiate rescue and evacuation activities

6. Phase two is divided into:

a. immediate and consolidation measures
b. short-term and long-term measures
c. emergency and rehabilitation measures
d. predisaster and postdisaster measures
e. emergency and control measures

7. After a disaster, as soon as an area has been singled out as requiring priority intervention, attention should next turn to:

a. determining high risk factors based on relative incidence of disease
b. determining the extent to which environmental health measures return conditions to predisaster levels.
c. ranking needs of essential services in order of priority and providing the requisite manpower
d. instituting short-term rehabilitation measures
e. assessing the technical feasibility of emergency measures

8. Immediate emergency measures should be taken

a. within the first three days after the disaster strikes
b. within the first seven days after the disaster strikes
c. prior to the disaster
d. as soon as short-term measures have been initiated
e. as soon as consolidation measures have been initiated

9. Consolidation measures should be initiated:

a. once areas of known high risk of natural disaster have been designated
b. once short-term rehabilitation measures have been implemented
c. once long-term reconstruction measures have been implemented
d. once immediate emergency measures have been implemented
e. once local officials have been consulted

10. When considering emergency steps to take in the aftermath of a disaster, highest priority should be accorded to:

a. returning environmental conditions to predisaster levels
b. establishing settlements in peripheries of urban centers
c. immunizing the stricken population against typhus and malaria
d. protecting environmental health personnel
e. providing the minimum levels of essential services


Indicate T or F:

___11. Phase one consists of measures undertaken immediately after a disaster strikes.

___12. All phases of disaster management are Undertaken during time frames that overlap.

___13. The five necessary services that must be provided at minimum levels are: shelter, drinking water, food, vector control, and antibiotics.

___14. Environmental control measures are always undertaken before, during, and after a natural disaster.

Answer Key

1. b

8. a

2. d

9. d

3. c

10. e

4. a

11. F

5. d

12. T

6. a

13. F

7. c

14. F

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