Major Earthquakes & Cascading Events: Potential Health and Medical Implications

The ASPR TRACIE resource provides an overview of the potential significant health and medical response and recovery needs facing areas affected by a major earthquake with or without additional cascading events.

The list of considerations is not exhaustive, but does reflect a thorough scan of publications and resources available that describe past incident effects and response. Earthquakes do not pose a significant risk for every community and those communities that could be affected by earthquakes have different risk levels, different hazards or cascading events, and different levels of existing community preparedness and mitigation. Those faced with planning for—and leading the response to and recovery from—an earthquake may use this document as a reference. Planners and responders should integrate jurisdiction-specific risk assessments and issues specific to their communities in their planning efforts.

Please note that the focus of this document is on human health and the healthcare system response to earthquakes, however, the health of people, animals, and the environment are all interconnected, so general considerations for animals and the environment are included, where applicable to human health or to the overall mission of Emergency Support Function 8.

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