Environmental Health and Shelters

Environmental Health
Online Course
3 hours
University of Alabama
South Central PERLC
Environmental Hazards

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This course was developed by CAPT Mark Miller, a Senior Environmental Health Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The content of this course is taken from a series of lectures that CAPT Miller and his colleagues deliver around the country as a package of Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response. The lectures in this course focus on teaching environmental health specialists how they can apply their knowledge of everyday environmental health problems to dealing with environmental health issues that arise in the creation of mass shelters that may follow a major disaster. By the end of this course, the student should be able to describe key environmental health issues and the roles of environmental health professionals in shelter operations.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Describe the role of Environmental Health professionals in mass shelter operations
  • Identify the lead organizers of mass shelters
  • Describe the role of Emergency Support Functions in the development and maintenance of shelter operations
  • Describe the different types or classes of shelters
  • Identify the standards that must be met for a site to be designated as a shelter facility
  • List the components of a SanPac and discuss the underlying assumptions for its use
  • Describe when and how to use a spill kit for bodily fluid clean-up
  • Discuss the sanitation and housekeeping procedures that are unique to child care and food preparation/distribution facilities within a mass shelter
  • Indicate the staffing recommendations for EH personnel at a shelter
  • Describe the components of a shelter assessment tool
  • Describe the unique considerations in sheltering special needs populations
  • List measures to prevent outbreaks in shelters
  • List special considerations for maintaining pets in shelters
  • Discuss options for pet sheltering and the pros and cons of each
  • Discuss the types of information that need to be communicated to the residents of a shelter, and the best means to do so
PHEP Capabilities: 
Community Preparedness
Emergency Operations Coordination
Mass Care