Rapid assessment of the needs and health status of older adults after Hurricane Charley--Charlotte, DeSoto, and Hardee Counties, Florida, August 27-31, 2004

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2004 Sep 17;53(36):837-40.


On August 13, 2004, Hurricane Charley, a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 145 mph, made landfall at a Gulf of Mexico barrier island in Florida, resulting in an estimated 31 deaths statewide and extensive property damage in Charlotte, DeSoto, and Hardee counties. The Florida Department of Health (FLDOH) requested that CDC conduct a rapid needs assessment of older adults (i.e., aged >/=60 years) because this vulnerable age group constitutes a substantial proportion of the population in the most severely affected counties (Charlotte County [43% older adult residents of 141,627 total population], DeSoto County [24% of 32,209], and Hardee County [18% of 36,938]). This report summarizes the findings and recommendations from three rapid needs assessments in these Florida counties. Older adult residents experienced disruptions in both quality-of-life status and medical care for preexisting conditions (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and physical disabilities). On the basis of these findings, recommendations were provided to FLDOH for immediate use in deploying resources for response to Hurricane Charley and in planning responses to future disasters.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Disasters / statistics & numerical data*
  • Florida
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment*