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Community Characteristics

Community Characteristics and Health

Understanding the characteristics of a community is essential for all kinds of public health practices such as program planning and epidemiologic studies. Community characteristics are particularly important in public health emergency preparedness.

A key step in preparedness planning for any disaster, whether it be radiological, chemical, or natural, is identifying a community's

  • most likely hazards
  • most vulnerable populations
  • available resources, and
  • ability to respond.

Knowledge of the local infrastructure, vulnerabilities, and resources enables public health professionals to quickly establish priorities and take proper actions during the emergency or disaster response.

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