142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Exploring the relationship between self-reported flood exposure, location of residence and community health following the 2013 Colorado Floods

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 8:50 AM - 9:10 AM

Molly Gutilla, MS , Assessment, Research and Program Evaluation, Health District of Northern Larimer County, Fort Collins, CO
Cindy Kronauge, MPH, PhD , Community Health Assessment, Planning, and Evaluation Team, Weld County Department of Public Health & Environment, Greeley, CO
Susan Joan Hewitt, MS , Assessment, Research and Program Evaluation, Health District of Northern Larimer County, Fort Collins, CO
Sara Stone, BA , Assessment, Research and Program Evaluation, Health District of Northern Larimer County, Fort Collins, CO
In the fall of 2013, historic rains and flooding resulted in 8 deaths, numerous injuries, produced major utility outages, and cost billions of dollars in structural damage in 14 Colorado counties. Areas within the storm’s epicenter received 600% of their average precipitation for September. Flooding occurred immediately prior to the fielding of a population-based community health assessment survey in Northern Colorado. Survey respondents reported on personal health and perceived exposure to the flood event.  

In this analysis we will examine the relationship between self-reported flood exposure, home of residence flood exposure as measured by geographical information systems (GIS), and self-reported health status.  We hypothesized that self-reported flood exposure will vary from measured residential exposure and that greater exposure to the flood, including self-reported or residential exposure measured by GIS, will negatively impact health.

More than 15,000 residents in Larimer and Weld Counties were recruited by mail to complete surveys online or on paper. The survey instrument included six items with a five-point scale to indicate flood exposure level. Flood questions inquired about level of impact including personal property damage and injury, as well as broader influences such as inconvenience experienced and perceived community impact. The survey also contained multiple measures of health status.

GIS will be used to geocode residential locations and floodplain maps will be used to categorize residential exposure to flood. Self-reported and residential exposure to flooding will be compared and examined in relation to overall health. Preliminary analyses demonstrate that self-reported flood exposure varies significantly by residential location. Further analyses using multiple geographic scales will be conducted. Sensitivity analyses between the two flood exposures measures will be performed and we will also explore the potential impact of misclassification error. Results will be discussed using visual map aids and statistical reporting of flood exposures and overall health.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the similarities, differences, and predictive capacity of self-reported flood exposure and residential home flood exposure. Evaluate flood exposure indicators influence on community health status.

Keyword(s): Disasters, Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked in research settings for over 10 years and am currently responsible for data analysis and evaluation for multiple projects at a local public health agency. I am also enrolled in the DrPH program at the Colorado School of Public Health. My research interests include social and spatial epidemiology, health equity, and health in rural Colorado.
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.