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The impact of Hurricane Harvey on Greater Houston Households: Comparing pre-event preparedness with post-event health effects, exposure experiences and recovery

Grineski, S.E., Flores, AB., Collins, T.W., Chakraborty, J.  (2019). The impact of Hurricane Harvey on Greater Houston Households: Comparing pre-event preparedness with post-event health effects, exposure experiences and recovery. Disasters. https://doi.org/10.1111/disa.12368

Most studies in the disasters literature rely on convenience sampling and ‘after only’ designs to assess impacts, which are limitations we address. Focused on Hurricane Harvey and leveraging a pre‐sol;post‐event sample of Greater Houston households (n=71), this paper establishes baselines for disaster preparedness and home structure flood hazard mitigation; reports on household‐level impacts; and examines how preparedness and mitigation relate to post‐Harvey health effects, event exposures, and recovery. 70–80% took preparedness measures. Mitigation actions varied with 6% having interior‐drainage systems and 83% having elevated indoor heatingsol;cooling components. 60% reported home damage. Half reported allergies and two‐thirds indicated some level of post‐traumatic stress. Three‐quarters worried about family memberssol;friends. Results from generalized linear models revealed that greater pre‐event mitigation was associated with fewer physical health problems and adverse experiences, lower post‐traumatic stress, and faster recovery. The pre‐sol;post‐design allowed us to discern broad benefits of home structure flood hazard mitigation for households post‐Harvey.

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Last Updated: 8/23/19