The Hurricane Sandy Person Report: Disaster Exposure, Health Impacts, Economic Burden, and Social Well-Being

The impact a disaster has on the health of a population can be described as having a “dose-response” relationship: the larger the “dose” of the disaster, the greater the health impact or “response” among those individuals and communities exposed. This PERSON Briefing Report describes the impact of Hurricane Sandy (the dose) on the health and …

The Hurricane Sandy Place Report: Evacuation Decisions, Housing Issues and Sense of Community

Hurricane Sandy was one of the largest storms on record, sweeping through the eastern seaboard of the United States with a massive diameter twice the size of Hurricane Katrina. Although wind speeds did not match those of Katrina, the combination of high tide at landfall and the lunar phase resulted in exceptionally high storm surges. …

The Medical Home and Care Coordination in Disaster Recovery: Hypothesis for Interventions and Research

In postdisaster settings, health care providers encounter secondary surges of unmet primary care and mental health needs that evolve throughout disaster recovery phases. Whatever a community’s predisaster adequacy of health care, postdisaster gaps are similar to those of any underserved region. We hypothesize that existing practice and evidence supporting medical homes and care coordination in …

School Interventions After the Joplin Tornado

Background/Objective To qualitatively describe interventions by schools to meet children’s needs after the May 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado. METHODS: Qualitative exploratory study conducted six months after the tornado. Key informant interviews with school staff (teachers, psychologists, guidance counselor, nurse, principal), public health official, and physicians. Report After the tornado, school staff immediately worked to contact …

At the Crossroads of Long-Term Recovery: Joplin, Missouri Six Months after the May 22, 2011 Tornado

In December 2011, researchers from Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) interviewed key officials and community leaders in Joplin, Missouri in order to document the major themes of the recovery effort approximately six months after the May 22 tornado. Researchers interviewed individuals in Joplin, Missouri to document recovery efforts six months after the …

Children’s Health after the Oil Spill: A Four-State Study Findings from the Gulf Coast Population Impact (GCPI) Project

In 2012, with funding from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, the National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) at Columbia University, in partnership with the Children’s Health Fund, launched a four-state study in order (1) to identify communities of children in the coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida who were adversely impacted by the …

The American Preparedness Project: Executive Summary: Where the US Public Stands in 2011 on Terrorism, Security, and Disaster Preparedness

Ten years after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, America is, in some aspects, a different country. Significant portions of the federal budget over the past decade have been spent on enhancing preparedness and security on the home front, and prosecuting terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. As part of its American Preparedness Project, which …

Planning for Long‐Term Recovery Before Disaster Strikes: Case Studies of 4 US Cities: A Final Project Report

Among the four phases along the hazard continuum — preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation — the sub‐field of long‐term recovery has long been an outlier, an “orphan” when it comes to concerted policy attention and pre‐disaster planning. It’s not that community residents or municipal and state government officials are unaware of the potential long‐term residual …

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 …

Impact on Children and Families of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Preliminary Findings of the Coastal Population Impact Study

Although the ruptured Deepwater Horizon oil well was capped on July 15, 2010, an estimated 3 to 5 million barrels of oil spilled in to the Gulf of Mexico over a three-month period. Several surveys prior to the capping of the well documented the concerns and immediate effects of the oil spill on coastal residents. …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Population Vulnerabilities, Preconditions, and the Consequences of Disasters

In a perfect illustration of our nation’s proclivity for postevent crisis response and our resistance to longer term planning and system investment, the nation put a rush order on developing a massive bureaucracy designed to fast track new systems for preventing and responding to terrorism and large scale natural disasters. FEMA and many other agencies …

Building Integrated Mental Health and Medical Programs for Vulnerable Populations Post-Disaster: Connecting Children and Families to a Medical Home

Introduction: Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3 hurricane, made landfall in August 2005. Approximately 1,500 deaths have been directly attributed to the hurricane, primarily in Louisiana and Mississippi. In New Orleans, Louisiana, most of the healthcare infrastructure was destroyed by flooding, and >200,000 residents became homeless. Many of these internally displaced persons received transitional housing in …

The American Preparedness Project: Where the US Public Stands in 2007 on Terrorism, Security, and Disaster Preparedness

Since 2002, the National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and The Children’s Health Fund (CHF), have conducted annual surveys of public attitudes and personal preparedness in the aftermath of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Produced in collaboration with the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion …

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. …

Mississippi Child and Family Health Study — Toplines

During the period of August 6 through August 26, 2006, the Columbia-led Mississippi Child & Family Health Study conducted an assessment among Mississippi residents displaced or heavily impacted by Hurricane Katrina. The purpose of the study was to gather information that could inform local, state, and federal policymakers about the health and social service needs …

Disaster Care for Persons With Psychiatric Disabilities: Recommendations for Policy Change

There is growing concern that the management of persons with psychiatric disabilities after disaster has been inadequate. Unfortunately, the literature is extremely limited, and empirical evidence on the best practices for addressing the needs of persons with psychiatric disabilities after disasters is sparse. A literature search of articles published in 3 widely used databases revealed …

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 …

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 …

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. …

Snapshot 2005: Where the American Public Stands on Terrorism and Preparedness Four Years after September 11

The National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) 2005 survey of the American public’s attitudes and views on terrorism, preparedness, and associated issues is the latest in a series of national surveys administered annually beginning in the months after September 11, 2001. The survey was completed in July 2005, just after the London Underground bombings and …

How Americans Feel About Terrorism and Security: Three Years After September 11

The following is a product of The National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, commissioned in collaboration with The Children’s Health Fund (CHF), and conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. NCDP is a major national and international resource in disaster and terrorism readiness. NCDP includes one …

How Americans Feel About Terrorism And Security: Two Years After 9/11

Understanding attitudes, concerns and reactions of individuals and families is critical to emergency planning efforts on all levels. In order to have effective implementation of a disaster plan, people need to be confident in (a) the reliability of information from official sources, (b) the capacity of government to perform effectively in a crisis and (c) …

The 9/11 terror attacks: Emotional consequences persist for children and their families

The terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., are unique in American history. The magnitude of the attack in New York, in terms of loss of life and property, was enormous. The destroyed twin towers of the World Trade Center had …