BAYLEYEGN - 2006



 


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DISASTER

Bayleyegn T, Wolkin A, Oberst K, Young S, Sanchez C, Phelps A, Schulte J, Rubin C, Batts D. Rapid assessment of the needs and health status in Santa Rosa and Escambia counties, Florida, after Hurricane Ivan, September 2004. Disaster Manag Response. 4(1), 12-8, 2006.

BACKGROUND: Hurricane Ivan, a Category 3 storm, devastated the Florida panhandle on September 16, 2004, causing extensive property damage and 24 deaths. The Florida Department of Health requested assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct a rapid assessment in Santa Rosa and Escambia counties to determine the health impact of the hurricane and needs of the affected population. METHODS: A questionnaire was administered 6 days after the hurricane made landfall. The survey instrument elicited information about house damage, illness/injury, and access to utilities. A modified cluster sampling method was used to select 30 clusters in each county. Seven households were interviewed in each cluster and reported weighted frequencies. RESULTS: Three quarters of houses in each county were damaged. Households in Santa Rosa and Escambia lacked basic utilities, including regular garbage pick-up, telephone service, and electricity. Fifty-four percent of households in Santa Rosa and 27% in Escambia reported using a generator. The most commonly self-reported health conditions were sleep disturbances in Santa Rosa (54%) and upper respiratory problems in Escambia (46%). Injuries were reported in fewer than 15% of households in each county. CONCLUSION: Rapid restoration of power, telephone services, and debris pick-up remained a priority 1 week after the event. Findings demonstrated the need for (1) mental health and primary care services, (2) information about safe generator use, and (3) ways to access medical care and medications.

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