Rapid assessment of household needs in the Houston area after Tropical Storm Allison.

Stephen C. Waring, Kaye M. Reynolds, Gypsyamber D'Souza, Raouf R. Arafat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Tropical Storm Allison, which hit landfall near Galveston, Texas, on June 5, 2001, caused the most severe flood-related damage ever recorded in the Houston metropolitan area. The main goal of the public health response to tropical storm Allison was to evaluate the immediate health needs of the community. METHODS: To estimate damage and household needs, we conducted a rapid needs assessment in the areas most affected by flooding with use of a modified cluster sampling method facilitated by Geographical Information Systems methodology. A total of 420 households participated in the survey, 210 each from the 2 sampling areas. RESULTS: We found a 4-fold increase in illness among persons living in flooded homes compared with those living in nonflooded homes. These findings suggest a need for rapid resolution of flood-related damage and the possibility that residents should seek temporary housing during clean-up and repair. In addition, we obtained reliable estimates of damage and household needs to help guide relief efforts. CONCLUSION: The findings underscore the usefulness of a rapid-needs assessment as a tool to identify actual health threats and to facilitate delivery of resources to those with the greatest and most immediate need.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalDisaster management & response : DMR : an official publication of the Emergency Nurses Association
StatePublished - Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Emergency Medicine


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