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( By A Study Guide (Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) )

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Multiple Choice

Circle the correct answer(s):

1. An example of a natural disaster is

a. disease epidemic
b. an outbreak of food poisoning
c. a hurricane
d. mine explosion
e. forest fire

2. The primary goal of a disaster preparedness plan is:

a. to protect the population
b. to protect valuable resources
c. to keep communications lines open
d. to protect environmental health personnel
e. to procure needed funding

3. Priority environmental health concerns during a natural disaster are providing victims with:

a. food, radio, water, portable generator
b. food, fuel, refrigeration, shelter
c. water, food, shelter, sanitation
d. water, heat, clothing, medicine
e. water, food, medicine, electricity

4. Disaster management is aimed ultimately at:

a. resettling people in the closest unaffected urban area
b. collecting valuable data for future management objectives
c. strengthening sewage and drinking water treatment facilities to resist the impact of a future disaster
d. incorporating needed reforms into community government structure
e. restoring a community's services, facilities, and residences to predisaster levels

5. The most valuable information to have on hand in case a disaster strikes is:

a. phone numbers and addresses of local, national and international aid societies
b. knowledge of which areas are likely to be hardest hit and resources and services available in and around these areas
c. first aid manuals, maps, and emergency operations manuals
d. addresses of all hospitals and clinics throughout the country
e. phone numbers of all communications media

6. Environmental sanitation involves:

a. quarantining of areas in which individuals with communicable diseases are residing
b. collecting, treating, and disposing of human waste to prevent risk of disease
c. hygienic management of dairy and livestock operations
d. spraying of areas with pesticides to reduce or eliminate disease risk
e. treatment and disinfection of drinking water supplies

7. It is important to test the quality of the water because:

a. it might transmit disease
b. it might clog pipes
c. it might stain laundry
d. it might be unacceptable for use in food preparation
e. it might be harmful to aquatic life

8. Educating the public on what to expect in the event of a disaster and what emergency steps to take:

a. would lull the population into a false sense of security
b. is an unwise use of time and money
c. would increase the likelihood of survival
d. could cause unnecessary panic and disorientation
e. would eliminate the need for centralized disaster management

9. The most important use of water is:

a. cleaning
b. drinking
c. bathing
d. washing
e. cooking

10. The major risk associated with overcrowding is:

a. proliferation of mosquito breeding sites
b. heightened exposure to decaying matter
c. creation of nuisance problems
d. increase in mental stress
e. increase in diarrhea! disease

11. Relocation of disaster victims in camps:

a. is the preferred way to provide essential services to disaster victims
b. can result in secondary health emergencies
c. usually represents the most efficient use of scarce resources
d. should never be attempted

12. Once an area has been singled out as requiring priority intervention following a disaster, attention should turn next to:

a. determining high risk factors based on relative incidence of disease
b. instituting short-term rehabilitation measures
c. ranking the needs for essential lifeline services in order of priority and providing the requisite manpower
d. conducting technical surveys to evaluate and plan the restoration of lifeline services
e. assessing the technical feasibility of emergency measures

13. Predisaster environmental health measures are intended to reduce or eliminate environmental health hazards, caused or aggravated in a disaster, by:

a. developing evacuation strategies, coordinating transport and distribution of emergency supplies, and developing a public education program

b. developing an emergency operations plan, establishing an immunization program, and adopting routine measures to protect lifeline services

c. developing a public education program, conducting epidemiologic surveys, and coordinating transport and stockpiling of emergency relief supplies

d. developing an emergency operations action plan, adopting routine measures to protect lifeline services, and developing a public education program

e. assigning key military personnel to special emergency relief teams, organizing an emergency administration, and developing an emergency operations action plan

14. Delivery of enough water and food to stricken areas will depend largely upon:

a. national and international cooperation in stockpiling and distributing relief supplies
b. inspection and analysis of food and water supplies conducted by trained technicians
c. financing efforts organized on a national scale to purchase necessary goods and treatment units
d. willingness of local people to eat and drink products which taste unfamiliar to them
e. protective and emergency measures taken to keep vital transportation routes open

15. The primary cause of food and water contamination after a disaster is:

a. damage to civil engineering structures, such as dams, pipelines, etc.
b. large-scale looting of public and private facilities
c. difficulty in maintaining standards of personal hygiene
d. interruption of inspection and monitoring activities
e. personnel shortages

16. Alternate sources of drinking water may include all of the following except:

a. drinking water stored in gasoline containers
b. undamaged wells
c. breweries
d. power plants
e. rainwater cisterns

17. Tent camps should be located:

a. close to the nearest field hospital or emergency care unit
b. where slope and soil type favor easy drainage
c. where shelter material and vegetation are easily accessible
d. where the water table is no deeper than 3 meters
e. along a paved highway

18. Emergency environmental health control measures are carried out:

a. during phase two of a disaster
b. as soon as a warning is received
c. after the rescue and accommodation of displaced persons
d. only by qualified environmental health specialists
e. in response to requests from officials in the stricken area

19. Potential breeding sites of mosquitos should be identified by:

a. surveying areas where there has been an increase in vector-borne disease
b. surveying areas that sustained the heaviest flood damage
c. surveying areas of lush vegetation
d. surveying campsites and other densely populated areas
e. use of phosphatase determination kits

20. After mains, reservoirs, and wells have been repaired, they should be:

a. monitored weekly for chlorine residuals
b. put immediately back into service
c. cleaned and disinfected
d. inspected by a qualified environmental health specialist
e. lined with a water-proof sealant

21. If water is found to contain E. coli and dramatically increased levels of chloride, this may indicate:

a. contamination of water by insect vectors
b. presence of a chlorine residual
c. a possible laxative effect on the consumer
d. high salt levels, rendering the water unfit to drink but acceptable as an ingredient in food
e. contamination of water by human waste

22. Short-term rehabilitation measures are undertaken with three principal objectives in mind. They are: (select three)

a. make emergency information available to the public
b. prepare lists of needed assistance and submit them to relief agencies
c. restore essential lifeline services
d. locate sites for establishing tent camps
e. clear vital roadways and distribute emergency relief supplies
f. conduct technical surveys
g. restore environmental health surveillance activities
h. evaluate the emergency operations plan once it has been implemented

23. The should be determined before any disinfectant is distributed to individual users.

a. pH
b. chlorine residual
c.E. coli count
d. taste
e. nitrate level

24. All relief workers should receive:

a. appropriate technical aides
b. appropriate antibiotics
c. appropriate vaccinations
d. copies of the emergency operations action plan
e. first aid kits

25. All emergency, consolidation, and short-term rehabilitation measures should be carried out within of the occurrence of a disaster.

a. three days
b. three weeks
c. three months
d. six months
e. one year

26. Improper disposal of human waste can lead to: (select the best answer)

a. spread of disease
b. food spoilage
c. odor problems
d. fire hazard
e. fouling of water

27. Select the three primary areas of environmental health surveillance and list them in order of their importance:

a. transportation

Order of importance

b. sanitation

c. communication lines

d. power

e. water quality

f. food supplies

g. shelter

28. When groups of displaced populations migrate en masse from the stricken area to other, unaffected areas:

a. sewage and water treatment facilities may become overloaded
b. it increases their likelihood of survival
c. they become more susceptible to disease
d. environmental health surveillance activities should be stepped up
e. they should be provided with disinfection agents in the form of a liquid, powder, or tablet

29. To assess the potential vulnerability of an area, one must first:

a. monitor food and water supplies and determine priorities of need

b. conduct hydrological, geological, and topographical studies of disaster prone areas

c. identify and describe components of the environmental health service system and chart the characteristics of those natural disasters that might occur

d. inventory equipment, supplies and other emergency materials and determine numbers of gas stations, retail food stores, and alternate water supply sources

e. determine areas of greatest population density and identify potential vector breeding sites in areas where vector-borne disease is endemic


Indicate T or F:

___30. If the public water supply is found to be contaminated, mobile treatment units should be requisitioned automatically.

___31. Latrines should be inspected by qualified environmental health personnel.

___32. All food should be inspected and analyzed in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

___33. There is usually a need for officials to provide large areas for emergency accommodation of homeless families.

___34. With current technology, we now can predict all disasters before they strike.

___35. Conducting technical and environmental health surveys are luxuries in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

___36. The public should have accessible information about location and kind of resources and environmental health services available, and names and titles of authorities to contact regarding emergency situations.

___37. Some short-term rehabilitation measures must usually be taken during the emergency and immediate post-emergency periods.

___38. During a disaster, health-related agencies should act independently of one another to avoid confusion and disharmony.

___39. Personal hygiene is a primary consideration in relocation camps.

Answer Key

1. c

16. a

2. a

17. b

3. c

18. b

4. e

19. d

5. b

20. c

6. b

21. e

7. a

22. c,g,h

8. c

23. b

9. b

24. c

10. e

25. b

11. b

26. a

12. c

27. e,f,b

13. d

28. a

14. e

29. c

15. a

30. F - Mobile treatment units produce limited quantities of water, are expensive, and occupy valuable space when shipped. However, they are worthwhile if available locally.

31. T

32. F - All food should be inspected, but analysis of food products is too complex an undertaking to initiate in areas affected by the disaster.

33. F - Most families appear to go to official shelters only when all other alternatives have failed.

34. F - With current technology, we can predict some disasters at best only a few days before they strike.

35. F - Accurate survey-taking enables officials to set emergency priorities for restoring essential lifeline services and ascertaining that no increased risk of disease exists.

36. T - When people are informed of what services are available, where to go and whom to contact, the effectiveness of environmental health activities improves.

37. T

38. F - Health-related agencies should exchange information and supplies, coordinate their activities, and share personnel. This helps avoid duplication and assures the best use of manpower and resources.

39. T