Disasters are unexpected events created by natural or human factors leading to massive disruptions, deaths, and challenges. The emergencies cause population health issues and require an immediate response from the regulators and communities. For instance, the hurricane Sandy attacked the United States’ East Coast in 2012, affecting Caribbean countries, New York, and New Jersey and causing more than 200 deaths (Kim et al., 2017). The disaster also damaged vital systems such as food production, destroyed homes and facilities that provided resources, seriously affecting inhabitants’ lives. This part aims to identify the population health issues caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, discuss its epidemiological considerations and factors that influenced the response’s effectiveness.
The Disaster: Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy was one of the severest natural disasters in the United States due to its unexpected powerfulness and the wideness of territories it affected. The superstorm stroked on the Caribbean territories and went North, massively destroying buildings and infrastructures in New York and New Jersey. Sandy’s economic damage was estimated at $70 billion, and more than 200 thousand inhabitants were left homeless (Subaiya et al., 2019).
Consequently, the population health issues that resulted from Hurricane Sandy were related to the damage it caused to houses, the physical traumas people got, and the mental problems they developed while being in extreme survival conditions. Indeed, the affected regions’ inhabitants experience difficulties accessing food, lack of medical assistance, and safety in their neighborhoods. These circumstances led to increasing rates of anxiety and emotional distress (Subaiya et al., 2019). Mental disorders received specific attention from epidemiologists because addressing this population health issue required applying complex measures.
Hurricane Sandy’s Epidemiological Considerations
Epidemiological considerations resulting from hurricane Sandy were based on the urgent operations required to save people, such as evacuation, humanitarian resources providence, and fixing the damage. Ruskin et al. (2018) emphasize that it is crucial to make “medical care more accessible to patients, both chronically and acutely ill, during natural disasters to benefit their physical as well as their mental health” (p. 367). Furthermore, the diverse cultural and socioeconomic status of the affected people is required to adjust the help measures to receive more efficient outcomes and support health equity (Nash et al., 2021).
Addressing Hurricane Sandy’s population health issues included the enforced resources’ providence for the poorest regions and sending practitioners of different ethnicities to enhance the effectiveness of considerations (Subaiya et al., 2019). Lastly, the significant measure to address the disaster was providing medication, food, water, and clothing for the affected people. From the epidemiological consideration perspective, it was essential to decrease the number of diseases developed due to the lack of these vital resources.
Factors Influenced the Response to Hurricane Sandy Effectiveness
The national and community-based responses to hurricane Sandy’s outcomes were relatively efficient, and several factors impacted addressing the population health challenges’ occurrence. The physical damage was repaired within four months after the disaster as the government made significant efforts and investments (Madrigano et al., 2018). Diverse populations required assistance, and the cultural factor decreased the measures’ efficiency because of the demand for culturally-narrow care (Kim et al., 2017). Moreover, the socioeconomic aspect of the affected groups forced the communities’ response to the disaster’s considerations differently. Indeed, the preparedness of certain regions was significantly lower and required more external support, leading to the unequal distribution of help.
Hurricane Sandy became a massive disaster affecting thousands of people in diverse communities and socioeconomic statuses. The damages it caused led to health issues such as mental problems and chronic diseases developing, forcing the nation to address the challenge through various supportive measures. Epidemiological considerations, such as involving practitioners of different cultural backgrounds, providing humanitarian help, and enforcing the healthcare facilities’ functioning, resulted from the hurricane’s consequences. The nation and communities successfully responded to the consequent issues because the cultural, economic, and resource-related factors were regarded.
Kim, S., Kulkarni, P. A., Rajan, M., Thomas, P., Tsai, S., Tan, C., & Davidow, A. (2017). Hurricane Sandy (New Jersey): Mortality rates in the following month and quarter. American Journal of Public Health, 107(8), 1304-1307. Web.
Madrigano, J., Ruder, T., & Chari, R. (2019). Resilience to the health impacts of weather-related disasters. Environmental Epidemiology, 3, 256. Web.
Nash, D. B., Skoufalos, A., Fabius, R. J. & Oglesby, W. H. (2021). Population health: Creating a culture of wellness (3rd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Ruskin, J., Rasul, R., Schneider, S., Bevilacqua, K., Taioli, E., & Schwartz, R. M. (2018). Lack of access to medical care during Hurricane Sandy and mental health symptoms. Preventive Medicine Reports, 10, 363-369. Web.
Subaiya, S., Stillman, J., & Pumpalova, Y. (2019). A modified community assessment for public health emergency response (CASPER) four months after Hurricane Sandy. Disasters, 43(1), 206-217. Web.