In a study appearing in the May issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, the researchers write that this distrust likely played a role in residents' response to evacuation warnings and advice.
"The statements of distrust were not solicited — they were all spontaneous statements," said lead researcher Dr. Kristina Cordasco, a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar in the department of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "As we prepare for future disasters, I believe we have to account for this distrust in the shaping of the public health message."
The researchers interviewed 58 English-speaking New Orleans residents who had been living in one of three shelters in Houston. Researchers had been querying the residents about their evacuation experiences, including how they had been evacuated and who had helped them. They got answers to those questions — and more.
"Because our semi-qualitative interviews did not include specific queries about trust and distrust, we were struck by the frequency, breadth and depth of distrust reflected in the spontaneous statements of the evacuees we interviewed," the researchers wrote.
This distrust may be rooted in the experiences of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, when authorities performed controlled breaks along the levee to selectively flood poor areas in order to preserve the downtown financial district.
Some of the categories of distrust most often mentioned by evacuees involved the competency of authorities in handling the emergency; perceived equity — that is, whether authorities treated the hurricane victims the same regardless of class, race and gender; fiduciary issues, in which people trust others to act in their best interests; and issues of honesty and dishonesty, with some evacuees believing that the levees were intentionally broken.
The distrust was aimed not only at government leaders but extended to people helping with the evacuation. For instance, one person claimed that rescuers ignored her family's pleas for help, and instead "the helicopters were going back and forth getting people from the richer neighborhoods."
Another evacuee said the levee was deliberately broken "so they can flood out those black neighborhoods … because every time they have a hurricane, it always be that way. You know?"
Authorities' display of competency, fairness, empathy, honesty and openness prior to a disaster like Hurricane Katrina would help in heading off some of these negative perceptions, the researchers wrote. They recommend that in creating disaster plans, public health and emergency response officials include community representatives drawn from churches, social clubs, schools and labor unions. This could be done via community-based participatory research involving partnerships between researchers and communities. And public health authorities should keep matters of trust and distrust in mind when crafting disaster plans and policies.
"Often the public health community puts out messages and programs while not accounting for distrust," Cordasco said. "They're not as fully effective as they would have been had that distrust been accounted for."
Enrique Rivero | EurekAlert!
Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine