Weather Outlook: Cloudy with a Chance of...— Classification of Storm-Related ED Visits


Hurricane ‘Superstorm’ Sandy struck New Jersey on October 29, 2012, causing harm to the health of New Jersey residents and billions of dollars of damage to businesses, transportation, and infrastructure. Monitoring health outcomes for increased illness and injury due to a severe weather event is important in measuring the severity of conditions and the efficacy of state response, as well as in emergency response preparations for future severe weather events. Following the experience with Hurricane Sandy and the foreseeable need to be prepared for future severe weather events, NJDOH initiated a project to develop a suite of 20 indicators in EpiCenter, an online system which collects emergency department chief complaint data in realtime, to perform syndromic surveillance of extreme weather–related conditions.


To introduce and describe methods for evaluating and refining custom classifier keyword lists for syndromic surveillance of several post-severe weather event conditions and to report findings from New Jersey’s syndromic surveillance of selected conditions in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.


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December, 2015

September 28, 2017

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