Social and Mental Health Needs Assessment of Katrina Evacuees

Ann L. Coker, Jeanne S. Hanks, Katherine S. Eggleston, Jan Risser, P. Grace Tee, Karen J. Chronister, Catherine L. Troisi, Raouf Arafat, Luisa Franzini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Gulf Coast as a Category 3 storm on August 29, 2005. Many residents were evacuated to neighboring cities owing to massive destruction. Working with the City of Houston Health Department, researchers conducted a medical and psychological needs assessment of 124 Hurricane Katrina evacuees in Houston shelters from September 4-12, 2005. Among those willing to talk about their experiences, 41% were afraid they would die, 16% saw someone close to them injured or die, 17% saw violence, and 6% directly experienced physical violence. When using a version of the Impact of Stress Experiences scale, the majority of evacuees scored as experiencing moderate (38.6%) to severe (23.9%) post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. These data suggest that in addition to challenges in finding loved ones, housing, and jobs, many Katrina survivors have experienced significant psychological trauma that may lead to future PTSD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-94
Number of pages7
JournalDisaster Management and Response
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Emergency Medicine


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