Epidemiologic assessment of the impact of four hurricanes--Florida, 2004

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2005 Jul 22;54(28):693-7.


During August 13, 2004-September 25, 2004, Florida experienced four major hurricanes: Charley and Frances (both Category 4) and Ivan and Jeanne (both Category 3). An estimated 20% of homes throughout Florida were damaged by these hurricanes, and 124 persons died. In October 2004, the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) added 30 questions to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey to assess the impact of the hurricanes on state residents. This report summarizes the results of that survey, which indicated that 48.7% of Florida residents had no evacuation plan before any of the hurricanes, portable generators were used in 17.5% of homes after electric power outages, and residents of counties not in the direct paths of the four hurricanes had consequences similar to those who lived in the direct paths of the hurricanes (e.g., physical injuries, barriers to medical treatment, and loss of work days). Public health officials should consider the needs of residents both in and not in the direct paths of hurricanes in their preparedness planning.

MeSH terms

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Disaster Planning*
  • Disasters*
  • Florida
  • Humans