Attitudinal Determinants of Local Public Health Workers' Participation in Hurricane Sandy Recovery Activities

Nicole A. Errett, Shannon Egan, Stephanie Garrity, Lainie Rutkow, Lauren Walsh, Carol B. Thompson, Kandra Strauss-Riggs, Brian Altman, Kenneth Schor, Daniel J. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Local health departments play a critical role in short-, intermediate-, and long-term recovery activities after a public health emergency. However, research has not explored attitudinal determinants of health department workers' participation in the recovery phase following a disaster. Accordingly, this qualitative investigation aims to understand perceived facilitators and barriers to performing recovery-related activities following Hurricane Sandy among local health department workers. In January 2014, 2 focus groups were conducted in geographically representative clusters of local health departments affected by Hurricane Sandy (1 cluster in Maryland and 1 cluster in New Jersey). Focus groups were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed to qualitatively assess attitudes toward Hurricane Sandy recovery activities. This analysis identified 5 major thematic categories as facilitators and barriers to participation in recovery activities: Training, safety, family preparedness, policies and planning, and efficacy. Systems that support engagement of health department personnel in recovery activities may endeavor to develop and communicate intra- A nd interjurisdictional policies that minimize barriers in these areas. Development and implementation of evidence-informed curricular interventions that explain recovery roles may also increase local health department worker motivation to participate in recovery activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-273
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Security
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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