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Disaster Health Information Sources: The Basics

Course Description
Course Developers
Course Resources
Materials for Instructors (Available on Request)
About the Disaster Information Specialization Certificate


Course Description

Disaster Health Information Sources: The Basics

This class provides a comprehensive overview of the essential resources needed to provide health-related information services for supporting disaster mitigation, planning, response, and recovery. This case-based workshop will cover key sources from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), federal and nonfederal agencies, and international organizations. Tools for locating, organizing and disseminating disaster health information will also be discussed.

Course Developers

Robin Featherstone, MLIS
Research Librarian
Alberta Research Center for Health Evidence
Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB, Canada

For questions or concerns about a course, please contact the Disaster Information Management Research Center at

This class is offered at no cost. Completing this class earns three Medical Library Association (MLA) continuing education (CE) credits. CE hours from this class may be used toward the MLA Disaster Information Specialization Program document of completion at the Basic Level.

To obtain a certificate showing that you have completed this class, please register using the registration form and select the class you have completed from the dropdown menu. You will receive an email with a link to the Continuing Education survey from the Medical Library Association. After completing the survey, you will be able to print or download your class certificate. This certificate is the only record of your class completion. You will need to retain a copy of the certificate to include in your application for the MLA Disaster Information Specialization Basic Level document of completion.

Course Resources

To complete the online class, please view the video lecture and read the course materials. There is no homework. You may find it helpful to review the handouts and presentation materials before watching the course.

Videocast Recording This videocast is an MP4 file. If you do not have a media player, you can find links to download QuickTime on the NIH Accessibility page. Due to the quality of the recording, you may want to view the videocasts in Firefox in order to zoom in to increase the size of the video. In Firefox, to zoom in, press and hold the Ctrl key while pressing + key, or you can press and hold the Ctrl key and use the scroll wheel on your mouse. Additionally, the PowerPoint slides and transcript are available below.

PowerPoint Slides Used in the Videocast
Transcript of Live-Captioning of Videocast
Course Web Links

Sources for Professionals

Sources of Professional Information - Associations
Sources of Professional Information - Academic Centers
Sources of Professional Information - Surveillance Tools
Sources for the Public/Consumer Information
Tools and Resources from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health
Literature Search Help
Disaster Information for Librarians
Email Lists
RSS Feeds
Disaster Subject Categories Resource

Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • Disaster Medicine
    • Disaster hospitals
    • Disaster nursing
MeSH Terms Used in Indexing Disaster-Related Journal Articles
Disaster Information Management Research Center, U.S. National Library of Medicine

There is no Doody's category for "disaster medicine," use the following:
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Public Health

WorldCat categories
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Emergency Management
  • Emergencies
  • Disaster Planning
  • Disaster Medicine (>1000 books)

Twitter Accounts List

  • United States Agency for International Development - @USAID
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security - @FEMA
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emergency - @CDCEmergency
  • National Association of County and City Health Officials - @NACCHOalerts
  • Disaster Information Management Research Center, U.S. National Library of Medicine - @NLM_DIMRC
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Web - @EPAweb
  •, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - @FluGov
  • Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - @PHEgov
  • U.S. Department of State - @StateDept

  • American Red Cross - @RedCross
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies - @Federation
  • World Health Organization, News - @whonews
  • Pan American Health Organization, Disasters Area - @PAHOdisasters
  • Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, Equity - @EQPAHO
  • World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization, Emergency Operations Center - @PAHOEOC
  • ReliefWeb - @ReliefWeb

Materials for Instructors

Classroom Course Materials

Materials for presenting this course in a classroom setting are available upon request from
About the Disaster Information Specialization Certificate

The Medical Library Association (MLA) awards a Basic or Advanced certificate for completion of courses and other activities as part of the Disaster Information Specialization Program. Courses and activities that meet the requirements for a certificate are outlined in the Disaster Information Model Curriculum. Completing the course Disaster Health Information Sources: The Basics earns three hours of MLA continuing education credit which may be used towards the Basic certificate. See Registration for details on documenting your completion of this class.
This course was first developed in 2011 as part of a Medical Library Association project (contract HHS-N-276-2010-00782-P) funded by the National Library of Medicine.