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SACRAMENTO, Calif. March 15, 2018 – UC Davis public health researchers are asking Northern Californians to complete an online questionnaire — called the Northern California Fire and Health Impacts Survey — about their experiences before, during and after the October 2017 fires.

The survey, which will be available through April, can be accessed online here: https://ucdavis.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aaS1gHzT5AKhdsh

It is also available in Spanish here: https://ucdavis.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_escEpHgWHa3l4iN

Launched in February, the questionnaire has so far been completed by over 1,200 people. The researchers are hoping that one person in each household in fire-affected areas will participate, regardless of how much, or how little, his or her household members were affected by flames, smoke or ash from the fires. The questionnaire should take about 20 to 30 minutes to complete, and responses are confidential.

Those who participate will help the research team, together with collaborating state and county agencies, better understand the effects of the fires along with the needs of residents going through the rebuilding process. The results could assist with closing gaps in disaster relief services, improving preparedness for future fire catastrophes and reducing their impacts on health.

“We are very grateful to those who have taken the time to complete the survey so far, as they are providing important insights into the short- and medium-term consequences of the fires,” said lead researcher Irva Hertz-Picciotto, professor of public health sciences and director of the Environmental Health Sciences Center at UC Davis. “We hope many more people, including those who don’t usually participate in research studies or whose voices often are not heard, will do the same.”

Hertz-Picciotto added that research on the October 2017 Northern California fires is essential as they were unique in scope, intensity, and the extent to which they affected residential and commercial areas.

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“Including as many experiences with these firestorms as possible is critical to communicating the full range of outcomes, needs, and repercussions for diverse communities and potentially bringing all who were affected closer to full recovery,” Hertz-Picciotto said.

Answers to common questions about the survey are available online here: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/newsroom/releases/20180221_fire_health_survey.html

Additional questions can be emailed to: surveysupport@ucdavis.edu

The survey is part of a comprehensive post-fire assessment of the UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center. Established in 2015, the center links UC Davis experts in multiple schools — medicine, veterinary medicine, engineering, biological sciences, letters and science, and agricultural and environmental sciences — for studies on the effects of environmental chemicals, pollutants, events and disasters on disease and disability. The ultimate goal is to foster new approaches and policies that protect communities from harmful exposures. More information is available on the center’s website: https://ehscc.ucdavis.edu/