Disaster-related Mortality Surveillance

Purpose: This form may be used for collecting mortality data from Medical Examiner(s) and/or Justice of the Peace offices.

The purpose of the mortality surveillance is to:

a) identify the number of deaths related to the public health emergency and provide basic demographic information to public health and emergency management officers;
b) identify the cause of death to inform immediate public health interventions;
c) assess the direct and indirect impact; and d) provide information on deaths to inform future planning and mitigation efforts.

Information Flow: Medical certifiers will receive instructions on how to report disaster deaths to DSHS from the DSHS State Medical Operation Center (SMOC) and the DSHS Vital Statistics Section during a disaster response activation. Medical certifier offices include local medical examiners (if one exists locally), Justice of the Peace offices, and physician certifiers. Ideally the information should be gathered and the form completed by medical certifiers within 24 hours of death.

Disaster-related Mortality Surveillance Form

2021 Winter Storm Mortality Surveillance Report

DSHS’s Disaster Mortality Surveillance Unit completed its 2021 Winter Storm surveillance analysis. This final report includes surveillance methodologies, data sources, circumstances/causes of deaths, decedent demographics, and storm deaths-by-county totals. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definitions for direct, indirect and possible related disaster deaths were used for case ascertainment.

You can view the entire report at https://www.dshs.texas.gov/news/updates/SMOC_FebWinterStorm_MortalitySurvReport_12-30-21.pdf.

Last updated December 31, 2021