GEOGRAPHIC AND DEMOGRAPHIC DISPARITIES IN SURVIVOR EXPERIENCES OF THE KATRINA RESPONSE
Jackson State University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Reports and studies of the events of Hurricane Katrina and the responses to environmental conditions of survivors have identified strong correlates with systems preparedness. System responses developed before and during the event were designed to address physical, mental and social health outcomes for survivors. However, the experiences of survivors with regard to their perceptions of disaster response and implementation have yet to identify specifics of differences between diverse geographical and demographic distributions.
This pilot study applied mixed methods analysis to data collected from a convenience sample of Katrina survivors in coastal and central areas of Mississippi. Perceptions of service and reported service access were assessed with regard to geographical location and race/ethnicity.
Significant differences were identified in survivors' experiences with regard to the implementation of Katrina response processes. Demographic distribution by race and ethnicity, and geographical distribution by coastal and non-coastal location of survivors were strongly associated with differences in experiences and perceptions of response processes. Differences identified were in area of focus with regard to geographical location. However, disparities in quality of service were discovered in relation to race and ethnicity.
In order to reduce disparities, areas of disaster response emphasis should include attention to policy development and quality of implementation. The emphasis should include access and quality assurance related to disaster preparedness for individual and organizational cultural competence with regard to ethnicity and race. Geographical differences in emphasis indicate a need for more specific and flexible policy application.