Disaster preparedness: occupational and environmental health professionals' response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

AAOHN J. 2007 May;55(5):197-207; quiz 208-9. doi: 10.1177/216507990705500506.


In disaster-related events such as these, this survey demonstrates clear need for improved preparedness efforts and communication strategies to help reduce health risks for at-risk populations. The role of occupational health nurses and occupational and environmental medicine physicians requires knowledge and skills in many areas. This includes not only clinical skills related to illness and injury that will occur, but also skills in such areas as surveillance, management, community coordination, risk management and risk communication, and health protection. The psychological impact of disasters will have far-reaching effects resulting in emotional and behavioral changes requiring both immediate and long-term interventions. Comprehensive disaster management guidance should be in place to assist health care providers and workers in pre-event, event, and post-event phases of the disaster.

MeSH terms

  • Alabama
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Disaster Planning / organization & administration*
  • Disasters*
  • Environmental Health
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Planning Guidelines
  • Humans
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Models, Psychological
  • Needs Assessment / organization & administration
  • Nurse's Role* / psychology
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Occupational Health Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Professional Competence
  • Relief Work
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / prevention & control
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Texas
  • Triage / organization & administration