The epidemiologic study of disasters is a relatively new area of research and practice in public health settings. The epidemiologic investigation of disaster events focuses on two approaches. The first is the study of the underlying causes of the disaster. This may focus on the event itself or the mortality and morbidity associated with the event. Learning as much as possible about the reasons for disasters is important for developing population-based prevention activities in the future. The second approach is to use epidemiologic methods to investigate mechanisms for alleviating the burden of a disaster once it occurs. The most direct applications of epidemiology in this situation are the establishment of surveillance systems to identify injuries and the possible emergence of communicable and mental health ...
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