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Community Study: Evaluation of long-term community recovery after a mass casualty event

Goals:

To collect information about factors that influence the long-term recovery of a community after a mass casualty event, with severe property damage affecting at least one neighborhood. The assessment should be designed to benefit the affected population by providing useful, up-to-date information, such as the location and/or availability of various types of assistance.

Who would use the data?

Disaster relief organizations, health departments, local and state governments, and other organizations involved in evaluating and planning for improved response to future events.

Example:

McDonnell S, Troiano RP, Barker N, et al. Evaluation of long-term community recovery from hurricane Andrew: Sources of assistance received by population groups. Disasters 1995;19:338-47.

Research Questions:

  • What are the demographic characteristics of the affected population?
  • How long did it take for essential services (food, water, electricity, etc.) to be restored?
  • What problems remain (e.g., financial difficulties due to disruption in employment)?
  • What were the sources of information used by the affected population (e.g. television, friends or family, radio, newspaper, church, American Red Cross, Emergency response teams, schools, Salvation Army, hotlines, etc.)?
  • What were the most important sources of assistance used by the affected population (e.g. friends, family, neighbors, church, volunteers, American Red Cross, FEMA, etc.)?
  • Which sources of information and assistance were most helpful?
  • What are the factors and assistance associated with good recovery?

Methods:

  • Target population: Persons directly affected by the mass casualty event who are living in the community. These would include:
    • Directly exposed individuals who were physically present at the time of the event.
    • Immediate family members of persons directly exposed to the event.
    • Indirectly exposed individuals who were not physically present at the time of the assault, but were indirectly affected physically, emotionally, or socially by the event.
    • Emergency workers/first responders who engaged in evacuation and recovery efforts, patient triage, or onsite medical or first aid treatment.
  • Study design: Cross-sectional survey of households, commercial establishments, and public buildings.
  • Sampling plan: Modified cluster sampling methods as described in McDonnell et al., 1995.
  • Time frame for study: One month post-event, with follow-up at 6 and 12 months post event.

Potential partners/collaborators:

  • State and local health departments
  • Local university researchers, especially schools of public health
  • CDC, including NCEH and NCIPC staff
  • Law enforcement
  • American Red Cross
  • FEMA
  • Salvation Army

IRB needed:

N/A (this is not research)


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