235179 Evacuation and basic needs among households with elderly: Findings from a community assessment in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike

Monday, October 31, 2011

Leann Liu, MD, MS , Community Health Planning, Evaluation and Research, Houston Department of Health & Human Services, Houston, TX
Deborah Banerjee, PhD, MS , Community Health Planning, Evaluation and Research, Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Houston, TX
Dinh Tran, MD, PhD , Department of Health and Human Services, City of Houston, Houston, TX
Five days after Hurricane Ike made landfall in Galveston-Houston area, Houston Department of Health and Human Services conducted a rapid community assessment to evaluate health-related impacts of the storm upon residents and to provide evidences for response strategies. A 26-item tool was developed to collect household level information on randomly selected clusters, on house structural damage, evacuation, injuries, acute illness, chronic health conditions, and basic needs. Characteristics and outcomes of households with and without elderly member(s) over 60 years of age were examined for the differences. A total of 441 household interviews were completed, of which 35% (154) had at least one elderly member. Households with elderly member(s) had only 53% odds (odds ratio 0.53, 95% confidence interval 0.29-0.96) of evacuating compared to those with no elderly member(s) after controlling for social-economic status and other relevant characteristics. However, having elderly member(s) in household did not impact the needs of prescription medications (odds ratio 1.17, 95% confidence interval 0.53-2.61) and food (odds ratio 0.74, 95% confidence interval 0.43-1.26). This study indicates that those most need to evacuate, households with vulnerable elderly member(s), appear to be the least likely to leave in a hurricane. Further studies are needed to identify the predictors and barriers of evacuation and to improve hurricane preparedness among older community residents.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Evaluate the differences in evacuation and basic needs between households with and without elderly member(s) after a major hurricane. 2) Analyze community-level information for emergency preparedness, response and recovery among households with elderly member(s).

Keywords: Aging, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the analysis and had significant responsibilities of the project planning and implementation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.