ASPR seeks development of disaster recovery best practices

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) recently announced a grant to obtain disaster recovery best practices from subject matter experts.

The funding opportunity, which has a closing date for applications of September 15, seeks the establishment of a rapid process for convening experts from the Institute of Medicine to address adverse health effects of public health emergencies and disasters when they occur. The ASPR said that post-disaster recovery often focuses more on infrastructure than on human health.

"Anecdotal evidence from recent disasters and other scientific evidence suggest that there is not a broad understanding of the recovery activities that most significantly impact the health of individuals of populations," the ASPR said. "This grant will support the development and distribution of a set of evidence-based recommendations that inform recovery efforts in affected communities and the work of both emergency managers and health professionals. The recommendations will be informed by input from stakeholders and subject matters experts."

The ASPR said the goal of the process is to prioritize scientific research needs immediately after a disaster to create a summary report of relevant scientific research questions that will promote better response, recovery or resilience. The results could be used to inform response to future disasters.

The grant opportunity will award between $50,000 and $65,000 as part of a cooperative agreement.

The ASPR works on preparedness planning and response, countermeasures research, building federal emergency medical operational capabilities, and grants to strengthen the capabilities of the public health system during emergencies.