GCAFH Study Description

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What is G-CAFH?

Six months following Hurricane Katrina, Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness and the Children’s Health Fund’s Operation Assist conducted a random household survey of the health and well-being of 555 Louisiana households that had been displaced or severely impacted by the disaster. This study focused on identifying health and social service needs among this displaced and heavily-impacted population shortly thereafter the study was replicated in 524 households along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.

The study follows a cohort of 1,079 households in order to assess post-disaster recovery via indicators such as infrastructure rehabilitation and stability, community redevelopment and housing stability, economic recovery, social re-engagement, and personal resilience and recovery. 

The first follow-up round of interviews (Wave 2) was conducted in 2007, 20-23 months post-Katrina, and focused specifically on the physical and mental health effects and social and economic consequences resulting from exposure to the hurricane and subsequent displacement. 

A second follow-up survey (Wave 3), was conducted in 2008, 33-38 months post-Katrina, but was suspended upon the imminence of Hurricane Gustav. At the time of suspension, 718 of the 1,055 eligible respondents had completed the survey. Immediately after Hurricane Gustav, a supplemental survey was administered to 528 of the already-interviewed 718 respondents from G-CAFH Wave 3, allowing for pre- and post- Gustav comparison. After about 4 weeks, the Hurricane Gustav Supplemental survey was completed regular Wave 3 interviews resumed. Wave 3 was completed with 777 interviews. 

Future interview waves will continue to investigate the G-CAFH objectives of understanding the ongoing health and social service needs of children and families affected by Hurricane Katrina, exploring factors associated with resiliency and recovery, and tracking individual-level measures of recovery.