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    An overriding message of the study of individual hazards is that mitigation and preparedness can be effective in saving lives and preventing injuries. Should disaster strike, be prepared. Areas with established and practiced disaster plans have a marked advantage over areas with no preparations. Planning is particularly important for providing adequate levels of emergency health care, temporary shelter, and preventive health services.

    The epidemiologic study of disasters is a relatively new area of research. Although there are strong concerns regarding the quality of existing mortality and morbidity data, unique patterns of death and injury have been noted by the type of disaster occu rring. The analysis of past disasters provides several clues to the reduction of mortality and morbidity from future events. Future research in the epidemiology of disasters will likely focus on improving the surveillance of mortality and injuries relat ed to disasters.

    Other information: Federal Emergency Management Agency Preparedness Information