Integrating Health Considerations into Local Level Recovery Planning: An Exploration of Florida’s Recovery and Redevelopment Plans
Megan Archer*,**, Katherine Pedersen**,***, Mallory Kennedy*, and Nicole A. Errett*,***,
*Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Washington
4225 Roosevelt Way NE, Suite 100, Seattle, Washington 98105, USA
**Urban Design and Planning, College of Built Environments, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
***Department of Health Systems and Population Health, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
Objective: Disasters result in impacts to the health and wellbeing of members of affected communities, as well as damage to healthcare infrastructure. These impacts are not experienced equally, and often disproportionately affect those facing higher health, social and economic risks even before a disaster strikes. Recovery planning provides an opportunity for pre-emptive consideration of how to address pre-existing health vulnerabilities and disparities, as well as insufficient and/or inequitable access to healthcare, with the resources and momentum that often come following a disaster. After the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, Florida began requiring coastal jurisdictions to plan for recovery. This study sought to identify if and how Florida jurisdictions have integrated health-sector restoration and revitalization strategies into local disaster recovery planning. Design: Plans were collected and coded using content analysis methods. Setting: Florida, USA. Participants: 16 county-level disaster recovery and post-disaster redevelopment plans. Results: While nearly three-quarters of plans described actions to address both short-term healthcare and behavioral health needs, the majority of recovery plans lacked long-term health-sector recovery activities and approaches to collect and analyze data to guide health-related recovery efforts. Moreover, plans did not explicitly call for evaluating health-sector recovery strategies. Conclusions: Additional resources are necessary to ensure local jurisdictions integrate short- and long-term health-sector strategies into disaster recovery planning.
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