Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) refers to a set of tools designed to provide, quickly and at low cost, accurate and reliable population-based public health information about communities impacted by public health emergencies. Rapid public health assessment is just one of many epidemiological tools (e.g., mortality and morbidity surveillance, outbreak investigations) potentially utilized in a public health emergency.

This method has been used by public health officials in Texas in responding to to the wildfires in Bastrop (2011), Hurricane Ike (2008) along the coast, the floods (2006) in El Paso, Hurricane Rita (2005) in East Texas, and Tropical Storm Allison (2001) in Houston.

The Texas Department of State Health Services at Austin has established a CASPER Team to assist and partner with local and regional health departments in responding to public health emergencies in their communities. For more information, contact Herminia Alva (Statewide CASPER Coordinator). A house that has been damaged by a tornado


CASPER Lessons Learned 2015

DSHS CASPER Regional Ambassadors 8_5_2014

Potential CASPER Benefits for Emergency Management Officials

Overview of CASPER Activities (2009 – 2013)


Model Protocols

Model Questionnaire 

Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) Disaster Toolkit 2.0

Assessments and Past Disaster Epidemiological Investigations

Recommended Public Health Actions Resulting from Past CASPERS 
An inventory of public health actions resulting from past CASPERS, excerpted from the literature.

CASPER Pocket Field Guide

CASPER Organizational Structure, Job Action Sheets, and Code of Conduct 
An example of the Texas Department of State Health Services’ CASPER organizational structure, job action sheets, and code of conduct.

CASPER Resource Typing 
An example of the Texas Department of State Health Services’ CASPER resource type.

Example of State of Texas Assistance Request (STAR) Request for CASPER resources

Books and Web Sites


Last updated February 26, 2021