Postdisaster needs assessment

1. The tsunami experience was considered uncoordinated due in part to competing and overlapping assignments by different agencies. The result was a badly traumatized population being subjected to repeated questioning by different groups.

2. Reliable and relevant information are critical to crisis management. These data must be collected, collated and analyzed in real time.

3. Baseline information was critical in identifying needs. For example, some communities had public health surveillance systems well in place, while others did not. The pre-event data, therefore, needed to be local. The WHO is currently developing the standard health assessment tools that will be used by the Red Cross, the Red Crescent movement, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other groups that participate in the response.

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