Measuring the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Access to a Personal Healthcare Provider: The Use of the National Survey of Children's Health for an External Comparison Group

This paper examined the effect of Hurricane Katrina on children’s access to personal healthcare providers and evaluated the use of propensity score methods to compare a nationally representative sample of children, as a proxy for an unexposed group, with a smaller exposed sample. 2007 data from the Gulf Coast Child and Family Health (G-CAFH) Study, …

Children as Bellwethers of Recovery: Dysfunctional Systems and the Effects of Parents, Households, and Neighborhoods on Serious Emotional Disturbance in Children After Hurricane Katrina

Background: Over 160 000 children were displaced from their homes after Hurricane Katrina. Tens of thousands of these children experienced the ongoing chaos and uncertainty of displacement and transiency, as well as significant social disruptions in their lives. The objectives of this study were to estimate the long-term mental health effects of such exposure among …

Emergency Response and Public Health in Hurricane Katrina: What Does it Mean to Be a Public Health Emergency Responder?

Since 9/11, federal funds directed toward public health departments for training in disaster preparedness have dramatically increased, resulting in changing expectations of public health workers’ roles in emergency response. This article explores the public health emergency responder role through data collected as part of an oral history conducted with the 3 health departments that responded …

Recovery Research, Katrina's Fifth Anniversary, and Lessons Relearned

What may be called “disaster science” is a broad field that begins with understanding hazards, risks, and population vulnerabilities and moves on to establishing best-practice models of response, mitigation, and recovery. Gaps abound in our collective knowledge in all of these areas, and it is fair to suggest that we have only begun to scratch …

Measuring Individual Disaster Recovery: A Socioecological Framework

Background: Disaster recovery is a complex phenomenon. Too often, recovery is measured in singular fashion, such as quantifying rebuilt infrastructure or lifelines, without taking in to account the affected population’s individual and community recovery. A comprehensive framework is needed that encompasses a much broader and far-reaching construct with multiple underlying dimensions and numerous causal pathways; …

Second Wind: The Impact of Hurricane Gustav on Children and Families Who Survived Katrina

The category 2 Hurricane Gustav made landfall on the Louisiana Coast on Sept. 1, 2008, nearly three years to the day after Hurricane Katrina, resulting in an evacuation of approximately 2 million people and considerable property damage. Although it did not match the intensity or consequence of Hurricane Katrina, the experience of anticipating and responding …

Mental Health Services in Louisiana School-Based Health Centers Post-Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Louisiana school-based health centers (SBHCs) were called on to respond to a sharp increase in mental health needs, especially for displaced students coping with grief, loss, trauma, and uncertainty. To assess the impact of the hurricanes on the students and the needs of SBHC mental health providers (MHPs), we surveyed …

Lessons from Katrina – What Went Wrong, What Was Learned, Who’s Most Vulnerable

If humans did not occupy the planet, disasters would never occur. Massive climatic events, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis would be regular occurrences, of course, and the earth would look like a dynamic cauldron of natural activity, changing the look and the balance of nature and natural events continuously and randomly. What morphs these natural …

Meeting Mental Health Needs Following a Natural Disaster: Lessons From Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina had a devastating impact on hundreds of thousands of Louisiana and Mississippi families. Housing was destroyed, jobs were lost, and family members were separated, sometimes in different states and without communication. Postdisaster stress reactions were common, with vulnerable individuals most affected. Mental health services were not adequate to meet immediate needs, and postdisaster …

The Recovery Divide: Poverty and the Widening Gap Among Mississippi Children and Families Affected by Hurricane Katrina

Six months after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, a Columbia-led research team conducted a random household survey of people who had been displaced by the disaster in Louisiana. Mental health disability and psychological strain were rampant, people’s lives were chaotic, and their futures were uncertain. The children who had been displaced were often socially …

The Legacy of Katrina's Children: Estimating the Numbers of Hurricane-Related At-Risk Children in the Gulf Coast States of Louisiana and Mississippi

The 2005 hurricane season, which included hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, exacted a monumental toll on the people and infrastructure of the Gulf Coast region in the southern United States. Disaster-related losses were estimated to have exceeded $110 billion. Much has been written about the short-term effects on the local housing stock, economy, and populations. …

On the Edge: Children and Families Displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Face a Looming Medical and Mental Health Crisis

The individuals and families who were displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and who have ended up in FEMA-subsidized community housing in Louisiana are facing a second crisis, one in which untreated and undertreated chronic medical problems and incipient mental health issues will overwhelm patients and providers. Among the displaced, children may be particularly vulnerable. …

Challenges in Meeting Immediate Emotional Needs: Short-term Impact of a Major Disaster on Children's Mental Health: Building Resiliency in the Aftermath of Huricanne Katrina

Disasters, whether resulting from terrorism or natural events, have a dramatic impact on the health and well-being of children. Studies after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, in New York City and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and countless reports on the impact of natural disasters on children show that a child’s mental health …

Critical Concepts for Children in Disasters Identified by Hands-on Professionals: Summary of Issues Demanding Solutions Before the Next One

This supplement contains many hands-on experiences of pediatricians and others who cared for children during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. They have all offered significant insightful suggestions to help planners better prepare for care of children during the next disaster. Pediatricians and other providers need to educate families on many aspects of disaster planning. Families should …

Responding to an Emerging Humanitarian Crisis in Louisiana and Mississippi: Urgent Need for Health Care "Marshall Plan"

It is now clear that massive challenges are facing the recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast region ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as the flooding of New Orleans. Evacuees from the hardest hit communities who are currently in extended shelter status, particularly those with limited economic means, may already formally fall under …

Chronicles From Out-of-State Professionals: Providing Primary Care to Underserved Children After a Disaster: A National Organization Response

Hundreds of thousands of lives in the Gulf Coast region were affected by Hurricane Katrina. The Children’s Health Fund (CHF) responded rapidly to the needs of children and their families after the hurricane. CHF is a national organization that supports direct health services, education, and advocacy for medically underserved children. Although CHF’s principle mission is …

Mental health in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina: Science to Practice

This article talks about the programs that were developed post-Katrina in accordance with the mental health facilities and care programs. The Children’s Health Fund was funded 20 years ago to provide medical services to underserved children and families through mobile units. We have found mobile units to be effective ways of delivering services to people …