Listening to and Learning from Older Adult Hurricane Katrina Survivors

Authors


Correspondence to:

Joanne C. Langan, Saint Louis University School of Nursing, Saint Louis University, 3525 Caroline Mall, Saint Louis, MO 63104-1099.E-mail: langanjc@slu.edu

Abstract

Objective

The objective of this pilot study was to explore how Hurricane Katrina affected older adult disaster survivors.

Design and Sample

Participants for this descriptive exploratory pilot study were recruited from churches and senior centers on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Of the 224 participants, one hundred provided additional comments at the end of a forced-response questionnaire.

Measures

Manifest content analysis was used to examine the participants’ comments by identifying, coding, and categorizing their responses to the open-ended question. The codes were based on conditions and behaviors that might be exhibited by disaster victims.

Results

Themed categories were losses and needs, giving advice, justification for continuing to live in this disaster-prone region, deterrents and facilitators of home evacuation, spirituality and faith, manageability, bereavement, grief, anger, and natural debriefing.

Conclusion

The strongest message of these survivors was the need to be heard by public health nurses, other public health officials preparing for disasters, and those in positions to render aid.

Ancillary