Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hurricane Katrina evacuees had deep distrust of public health authorities

02.05.2007
While investigating the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans evacuees, a group of UCLA researchers stumbled across something they had not been looking for — the deep level of distrust the largely minority victims felt toward public health authorities.

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!
Further information:
http://www.mednet.ucla.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Getting electrons to move in a semiconductor

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Reconstructing what makes us tick

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Cheap 3-D printer can produce self-folding materials

25.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>