Are people visible in the community? What are they doing?
Who are the people living in the neighborhood? What is their age range? What is the predominant age (e.g., elderly, preschoolers, young mothers, or school-aged children)?
What ethnicity or race is most common?
What is the general appearance of those you observed? Do they appear healthy? Do you notice any people with obvious disabilities, such as those using walkers or wheelchairs, or those with mental or emotional disabilities? Where do they live?
Do you notice residents who are well nourished or malnourished, thin or obese, vigorous or frail, unkempt or scantily dressed, or well dressed and clean?
Do you notice tourists or visitors to the community?
Do you observe any people who appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
Do you see any pregnant women? Do you see women with strollers and young children?
Indicators of social and economic conditions:
What is the general condition of the homes you observe? Are these single-family homes or multifamily structures? Is there any evidence of dilapidated housing or of areas undergoing urban renewal? Is there public housing? What is its condition?
What forms of transportation do people seem to be using? Is there public transit? Are there adequate bus stops with benches and shade? Is transportation to health care resources available?
Are there any indicators of the kinds of work available to residents? Are there job opportunities nearby, such as factories, small businesses, or military installations? Are there unemployed people visible, such as homeless people?
Do you see men congregating in groups on the street? What do they look like, and what are they doing?
Is this a rural area? Are there farms or agricultural businesses?
Do you note any seasonal workers, such as migrant or day laborers?
Do you see any women hanging out along the streets? What are they doing?
Do you observe any children or adolescents out of school during the daytime?
Do you observe any interest in political campaigns or issues, such as campaign signs?
Do you see any evidence of health education on billboards, advertisements, signs, radio stations, or television stations? Do these methods seem appropriate for the people you observed?
What kinds of schools and day care centers are available?
Do you notice any hospitals? What kind are they? Where are they located?
Are there any clinics? Whom do they serve? Are there any family planning services?
Are there doctors’ and dentists’ offices? Are they specialists or generalists?
Do you notice any nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, mental health clinics, alcohol or drug treatment centers, homeless or abused shelters, wellness clinics, health department facilities, urgent care centers, mobile health vehicles, blood donation centers, or pharmacies?
Are these resources appropriate and sufficient to address the kinds of problems that exist in this community?
Environmental conditions related to health:
Do you see evidence of anything that might make you suspicious of ground, water, or air pollutants?
What is the sanitary condition of the housing? Is housing overcrowded, dirty, or in need of repair? Are windows screened?
What is the condition of the roads? Are potholes present? Are drainage systems in place? Are there low water crossings, and do they have warning signals? Are there adequate traffic lights, signs, sidewalks, and curbs? Are railroad crossings fitted with warnings and barriers? Are streets and parking lots well lit? Is this a heavily trafficked area, or are roads rural? Are there curves or features that make the roads hazardous?
Is there handicapped access to buildings, sidewalks, and streets?
Do you observe recreational facilities and playgrounds? Are they being used? Is there a YMCA/YWCA or community center? Are there any day care facilities or preschools?
Are children playing in the streets, alleys, yards, or parks?
Do you see any restaurants?
Is food sold on the streets? Are people eating in public areas? Are there trash receptacles and places for people to sit? Are public restrooms available?
What evidence of any nuisances such as ants, flies, mosquitoes, or rodents do you observe? Are there stray animals wandering in the neighborhood?
Do you observe any families in the neighborhoods? Can you observe their structure or functioning? Who is caring for the children? What kind of supervision do they have? Is more than one generation present?
Are there any identifiable subgroups related to one another either socially or geographically?
What evidence of a sense of neighborliness can you observe?
What evidence of community cohesiveness can you observe? Are there any group efforts in the neighborhood to improve the living conditions or the neighborhood? Is there a neighborhood watch? Do community groups post signs for neighborhood meetings?
How many and what type of churches, synagogues, and other places of worship are there?
Can you observe anything that would make you suspicious of social problems, such as gang activity, juvenile delinquency, drug or alcohol abuse, and adolescent pregnancy?
Attitude toward health and health care:
Do you observe any evidence of folk medicine practice, such as a botanical or herbal medicine shop? Are there any alternative medicine practitioners?
Do you observe that health resources are well utilized or underutilized?
Is there evidence of preventive or wellness care?
Do you observe any efforts to improve the neighborhood’s health? Planned health fairs? Do you see advertisements for health-related events, clinics, or lectures?