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 …

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, …

Lessons from Sandy — Preparing Health Systems for Future Disasters

Within hours after Hurricane Sandy’s landfall, doctors and staff at one of New York City’s premier medical centers realized that something was going terribly wrong. Lights were flickering, critical devices essential to life support for more than 200 patients, many in intensive care units, were malfunctioning. A decision had to be made by hospital leaders, …

The 2011 Tuscaloosa Tornado: Integration of Pediatric Disaster Services into Regional Systems of Care

Objective: To empirically describe the integration of pediatric disaster services into regional systems of care after the April 27, 2011, tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a community with no pediatric emergency department or pediatric intensive care unit and few pediatric subspecialists. Study design: Data were obtained in interviews with key informants including professional staff and managers …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 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. …

Ethical and Legal Challenges Posed by mandatory Hurricane Evacuation: Duties and Limits

When Hurricane Katrina made landfall in August 2005, between 70,000 and 100,000 residents of New Orleans either did not or could not comply with the order that had been issued to evacuate. The events surrounding Katrina raised critical legal and ethical questions about the use of mandatory evacuation orders. We discuss four key ethical issues …

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. …

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 …

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 …