USF Libraries
USF Digital Collections

Natural hazards and the elderly

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
Natural hazards and the elderly
Series Title:
Quick response research report ;
Physical Description:
9 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Tobin, Graham A
Ollenburger, Jane C
University of Colorado, Boulder -- Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center
Publisher:
Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center
Place of Publication:
Boulder, Colo.
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Older people -- Mental health -- Texas -- Liberty County   ( lcsh )
Stress in old age -- Texas -- Liberty County   ( lcsh )
Floods -- Texas -- Liberty County   ( lcsh )
Genre:
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
by Graham A. Tobin and Jane C. Ollenburger.
General Note:
"Final field report"--P. 1.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001984823
oclc - 298456583
usfldc doi - F57-00015
usfldc handle - f57.15
System ID:
SFS0001096:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 2

NATURALHAZARDS AND THEELDERLYByGraham A.TobinandJaneC.OllenburgerUniversityofMinnesota,Duluth QUICK RESPONSERESEARCHREPORT '53 1992. ublication is part of the Natural Hazards J:::::arch &Applications Information ongoing Quick Response Research Report Series. http://INWN.colorado.edu/hazards TheviewsexpressedinthisreportarethoseoftheauthorsandnotnecessarilythoseoftheNaturalHazardsCenterortheUniversityofColorado.

PAGE 3

filIAl fiELDREPORT IATUIW.HAZARDSAtID TIlEELDERLYGrall.A. Tobin'"JMe C. Olleri3Urgerlkliversity ofMimesota.Duluth .INTROOUCTIOII InDecemberandJanuary 1991/92. theTrinityRiver inundated largetractsof Liberty County, Texas.TheTrinityRiver has a longhistoryof flooding with references in thescientificliteratureandmediaaccountstoeventsoccurring in 1843,1853,1869,1870,and1889,andmanyothers during the 20th Century.Withtheinstallationofriverlevel gaugesatRomayorandthe City of Liberty, data haveshownthatthereturnperiodfordamagingfloodsislessthan ten years (Tables 1and2).Indeed, communities along theTrinityhave been flooded four timesinthelastthreeyears.TABLE1: GAUGING STATlOliS-LIBERTY CDIfTY.TEXAS IIROMAYOR(1908-1961)ILIBERTY(1903-1961)IDRAINAGEAREA(MILES)217,192 17,539MEANANNUAL FLOU (cfs)44,000 44,000GAUGEHEIGHTBKFL(ft)28 24GAUGEHEIGHTMAX(ft)45.8 29.4DISCHARGEMAX(cfs)111000114000RETURNPERIOD(yr)2531REORDFLOODMAY1942MAY1942AVERAGE FLOU ATLIBERTY=7,155cfs.TABLE2: MAJOR FUXJ)EVENTSATLIBERTY, TEXAS GAUGEHEIGHT(ft)DISCHARGE(cfs)MAY194229.38 114,000MAY199030.03 107,000JAN199229.72N/AAPR194528.8 104,000MAY195729.26 88,100MAY194427.81 64,000MAY195828.35 58,000MAY195328.02 53,200

PAGE 4

JAN196128.28 52,400JUN196528.32 46,700MAY192228.6N/AFEB192028.4N/AMAY191428.3N/AJUN192928.3N/AJUN190828.1N/ANOTE:Datacollectedfromvarious sources but basedonUSGSstatistics.Return periods notcalculatedbecause of incompletedata.Figures basedonannualmaxinunseries.Since 1968, flooding has been linked inparttothe operation ofLakeLivingstonDamthatstoreswaterforthe City of Houston.Manyclaimthatfloodingisparticularlyseverewhenlargereleasesarerequiredtopreserve theintegrityof thedam.Typically,managementof suchfacilitiesispredicatedononeoftwostrategies:releaseof water inanticipationof extremeprecipitationupstream, orreleaseof water duringandfollowing suchprecipitationevents. Since the formerisdependentonthecertaintyof occurrence of neededprecipitation,thelattermanagementtechniqueisoftenused.Thusflooding of low-lyingareasistobeexpected.However,hydrologistsattheTrinityRiver Authority arguethatthe operation ofthedammerely transmits the floodwavedownstream. FurtherworkisnecessarytodeterminetheeffectsofthedamonwaterlevelsinLiberty County. Sixteen subdivisions along theTrinityweredirectlyaffectedbyflooding inDecemberandJanuary.OVer270dwellingswereunder waterandthousandsmorehadflood wateronthe property orwereinaccessibleforseveralweeksbecause of high floodlevelsanddamagedroads.Manyhouses haverecentlybeenraisedonstiltsbecause ofthehigh frequency of floodingandthisundoubtedly reduced losses for anumberofresidents.Nevertheless, the incidence of flooding in LibertyCountyistypicallyof long duration with floodslastingformanyweeks. the subdivisionswerevisitedin January 1992,threeweeksaftertheonstartof flooding,somesubdivisionswerestillonlyaccessiblebyboatandofficialdamageestimateshadstillnot beenmade.Countyofficialswereeven uncertain astohowmanypeoplewereflooded andhowmanyhadevacuatedtheirhouses. Severalemergencyserviceswerestilloperating in the county, including the FederalEmergencyManagementAgency,theRedCross, as well as local churchandcommunitygroups.Somepeoplewerestillresidinginsheltersandmanymealswerebeing supplied bothatthesheltersandtopeoplewhohadrefusedtomoveout oftheirproperties.Locals with boatswereusedtodistributesomeofthesesupplies.2

PAGE 5

Giventhe highprobabilityof flooding, LibertyCountyprovidesanideal case studyforexaminingtheeffectsof the flood hazardonolderadults.Thefield work provided theinitial background dataanditisplannedtofollowthisupwith additionalstudies during 1993.Thegoal of the researchistoproduceanexplanatorymodelofhowolderadultscope with hazardous events throughananalysis of behaviorpatternsandattitudes.Ofparticularconcernarechanges in the mentalandphysical health of olderadults,responsesandattitudestowards hazard warning systems,andpropensitiestoutilizesupport services such as federalreliefprograms.literatureReview:Anumberofstudieshavefocusedonnatural hazardsandtheelderly.Results suggestthattheelderlyexperience declininghealth,andhavegreatersocialdisruptionandhigher levels of depression thanmembersof thecommunityatlarge. Research hasalsodiscriminated betweenelderlygroups, findingdifferencesin behavior basedoneconomicstatus,raceandgender. Others have indicatedthat kinship relationships,socio-psychologicalcharacteristicsandfamiliaritywithstressorsaresignificantvariablesin influencing post-hazard behavior.Agestructureof thecommunitymayalsoplayaroleinperceived long-term support. Hypotheses:Theproposedtheoretical framework toexplainstressfromhazardsonolderadultsisbasedonthreefactorsdescribed in theliterature:environmental conditions, mental healthstatus,andphysicalhealth.Themodelpredictsthatolder adults livinginagehomogeneousenvironments will experiencelesslong-termstressandwill reactmorefavorablytosubsequent hazard warnings than older adults in age heterogeneous environments. Furthermore, family networks, gender, race,andsocioeconomicstatuswill influence the emotional, physicalandpsychological responses of older adults towards hazards. METHOOOlOGY During thesitevisittoLibertyCountyin January1992,weobtainedmanylarge-scalemapsof the subdivisionsthatwereunder water.Thesemapsprovided informationonindividualpropertiesanddetailsonthe layout of eachcommunity.In addition,wecollectedtelephonedirectoriesforeach of the subdivisions.Basedonthese sources,wedrewarandomsample of householdsfromthe flooded areasandwereabletomatchaddresses with locations.Censusdata provided additional background information (Table3).TABLE3:DEMOGRAPHICS-LIBERTY CWNTY,TEXAS POPULAT ION:54,700 47,088 5,900 3,100 4,9001984 1980Births Deaths Immigration3

PAGE 6

IKlJSEHOLDS: I NeacE:86%White11% Black 2% Hispanic 18,6002.9Persons/household 18.8X Households with one personSS,404/CAP1985S9,895/CAP1979(1985dollars) 13.6% personsbelowpovertyline 10.7% familiesbelowpovertyline 41.4% UPTO24YEARS 29.5% 25TO44YEARS 9.5% 45TO54YEARS 19.7% 55YEARSANDOVERA totaL of300househoLdswereincLuded in the sample. We then conducted a teLephone interview survey. Sincesomeof the individuaLswerestillunabletoget backintotheirhomesbythe timewewerecalling,weextendedtheperiod of interviewingintoMarch.In the end,wecompLetedinterviews with127respondentswholived in the floodedareas.Ofthese,85hadbeendirectlyaffectedbythe floodbyeitherhavingtheirhomeorLandflooded orwereunabletogain accesstotheirproperty because of the flooding.RESULTSSampleCharacteristics:Ofthe127respondents, 47.2% (n=60)weremaleand 52.8% (n=67)werefemale. Their ages rangedfrom15to98.Themedianagewas56and 64.3% of the samplewere50years of age orolder.Thevastmajority (93.7%) werewhite withonLy7 respondentsindicatingtheywereeitherAfrican American/BLack or American Indian.Mostof the respondents (74.9%) lived withatleastoneotherperson in the household and ten respondents indicated they lived withfiveormorepeopLein the household. Thirty-seven (29.1%) of the respondentswereempLoyedfuLL-time,33.1%(n=42)wereretiredand 11.8% (n=15) indicated theywerehomemakers.Only 4.7% (n=6)wereunemployedand 8.7% (n=11)wereemployedpart-time.Theremainingindividualswerestudents (n=3) or farmers (n=1).HousingCharacteristics:Themajority of respondents (71.7%, n=92)Livedin housesand 16% (n=33) livedinmobiLehomes.TheremainingthreerespondentsLivedeitherin apartments or townhouses.OnLy 19.6% of the respondentswhoLivedin houseshadmuLtipLestoriesin thehome.However,72.8%(n=67)indicatedthattheirhouseswerebuiltonstilts.Thevastmajority (91.2%, n=114)indicated theyownedtheirhome,and ofthese,onLy n=27),werestillmakingpaymentsontheirhome.Flooding Consequences: Forty-eight (37.8%) of the respondents indicatedthattheirhomehadbeen fLooded. Seventy-five (59.1%) indicatedthattheirlandhadbeen floodedandseventy-four (58.3%)indicatedthatthey4

PAGE 7

hadproblemsgettingto fromtheirproperty because of the flood. Atotalofeightyrespondentshadexperiencedatleastoneof thethreeaforementioned flooding problems. Estimates ofdamagerepaircostsrangedfromalowof zerotoa high of 530,000.Thefollowingtable(Table 4)indicatesthecostestimatestorepairproperty.Ofthosewhoexperienced flooding, only 36.4% (n=20)wereinsuredforlosses.TABLE4:COSTTOREPAIR DAMAGE TOPROPERTYValue Frequency % Less than $1,000 721.2%$1,001 $4,0001545.5%$4,001 $8,500618.2%$8,501 $30,000 515.2%n=33Twenty-eight respondents (25.5%) receivedsomesupportfromfederal agenciestohelpthemwith the consequences of flooding. Federalassistancewasprimarilyfromthe FederalEmergencyManagementAgency.Local agencies provided supportfor9respondents (8.2X) andtheRedCross providedassistanceto42 (38.2X) respondents. Local agencies included a local grocerystore,theSOSthriftstoreandcitysandbaggers. Inaddition,threerespondents receivedassistancefromlocal church groups. Neighbors providedassistanceto25(22.7%) respondents.Twoothergroupswerealsomentioned in providingassistance,these included a localyoungpersons group and ahomehealthservice.Onlytworespondents indicatedthatamemberoftheirhouseholdhadsufferedaninjurybecause of the flooding.INDEPENDENTVARIABLESAge:Eighty of the respondentswere50years of age orolder.Tablefiveindicatesthe agebreakdownof the sal!1'le. TABLE5:AGESTRUCTUREOFTHEREPONDENTSAgeUnder3031-40 41-50 51-60 61-7071andolder 11181827 2921n=124 % 8.9% 14.5% 14.5%21.8X23.4% 16.9%Thereexistedasignificantrelationshipbetween ageandwhether or not the respondent'shomehadbeen flooded[X2 =23.62, df=10,p<01]and between age and whetherornot the respondents' landhadbeen flooded[X2 =9.89,df=5, p=.07J. Tablesixindicatesthe frequency of property and land floodingbyage category.5

PAGE 8

TABLE 6:AGEBY FL()(J)IIIGCHARACTERISTICS Under3031-40 41-50 51-60 61-7071andoLder FloodedII % 2 4.424.47 15.61226.71328.9920.0N=45Land FloodedII % 45.668.31013.91926.41926.41419.4N=72Access Proble.s II % 57.08 11.3 8 11.32028.21926.81115.5N=71 Familiarity with Flooding: In ordertoassess famiLiarity with fLooding,weaskedhowfrequentLy respondentshadexperienced simiLar types of fLooding in thepast.TabLesevenindicatesthefrequency of past fLooding experiences for the respondents. TABLE 7: FL()(J) EXPERIENCE IIU11ber ofPast Floodso12345 ormore Frecpn:y 510204322 22N=122 % 4.18.216.4 35.2 18.0 18.00Asevidencedbythedata,our respondentsare,forthemostpart,veryfamiliarwith fLooding. Thisisan areawhichhas seen frequent events over the past decadeandmanyof our respondentsindicatedthatfloodingaLongtheTrinityRiverwassimpLyapartof Life inthatarea.HeaLthStatus:GeneraLheaLthstatusof the respondentswasascertainedbyaskingthemhowtheirheaLthis,in generaL: exceLLent, good,fairor poor.ThefoLLowingtabLe(TabLe8)indicatestheirresponses. TABLE 8:HEALTHSTATUSHealthStatusExceLLentGoodFair Poor Frecpn:y 29622412N=127 % 22.8 48.8 18.9 9.4 Thirty of the respondents (23.6X) indicatedthattheyhadhada healthprobLemLasting formorethantwomonths(Over sixty-seven per cent (n=86) of the respondents indicatedthattheyhadheaLth insurance. Twenty-four (18.9X) respondents indicatedthattheyhadamedicaLconditionwhichLimitstheirdressingand 17.3X (n=22) indicatedthattheyhada conditionwhichrestrictsthemfrommovingabout.Tenoftherespondents (7.9X) requiremechanicaLaidstomoveabout.6

PAGE 9

AgeHomogeneity: Age homOgeneity has beenshownin the agingliteraturetobeasignificantfactorin influencingelderlyresidents'qualityoflifein thecommunity.Generally, individualsinagehomogeneouscommunities havemoreaccesstoresourcesandarelessisolatedthanelderlyindividualswholivein age heterogeneous communities. In ordertoassess age homogeneity, we asked whether or nothepeoplewholiveinthe respondent'scommunityaregenerally ofsimilarage or of various ages. Forty-six indicatedthatthey lived in acommunitywherethe majority of residentswereofsimilarages.MentalHealthStatus:Mentalhealthstatuswasdeterminedbyaskingtwoquestionsrelatedto depressionandanxiety. Thirty-seven (29.1X) of the respondents indicatedthattheyhadfeltdepressedpriortothe floodand18.9%(n=24) indicatedthattheyhadfeltanxiouspriorto the flood.Themental healthvariablewascreatedbycombining thesetwoissues with alowscore of 1 indicatingnoproblem with depression or anxietyanda high score of 3 indicating ahistoryof both depressionandanxiety. Support Networks:Levelof kinshipandfriendship networksweredeterminedbythreequestions.Thefirstaskedhowmanypeoplelivein the respondent's household, the second askedhowmanycloserelativesliveinthecommunityandthethirdasks whether or not the respondent hasanyclose friendswhomhe/she cancallifhelpisneeded.DEPENDENTVARIABLEPost Stress:Aseriesof questionswereusedtoassessstresslevels following the flooding. asked whether or not the respondentshadhadanyof the following problemssincethe flood: Trouble sleepingLossofappetiteFeeling weak alloverShortness of breathHandstremblingWonderingifanythingisworthwhileTheresponsestothese problemswerecombinedtocreateasinglepost-hazardstressscale.Responses rangedfroma high of12(indicatinglowstress)andalowof 6(indicatinghighstress).Thesescoreswerethen recodedfrom1 (lowstress)to 7 (highstress).REGRESSION ANALYSIS A regressionmodelwasusedtoanalyze the influenceandsignificanceof the independentvariablesof friendship networks, kinship networks, age homogeneity, age,familiaritywith floods, healthstatus,andmental healthstatusonthe dependentvariable,stressimmediately following the flood.Onlythose respondentswhohadactuallyexperienceddamageor inconveniencefromthe floodingwereincluded in theanalysis.This included85of the127respondents.7

PAGE 10

PredictorsofStress: There werefoursignificantpredictorsofstressamongour respondents,familiaritywith floods, healthstatus,mental healthstatusandthenumberof peoplelivingin the household(seeTable9).Contrarytoour hypothesis, individualswhohadexperienced flooding inthepast experiencedmoresymptomsof post hazardstressthan thosewhohadexperienced fewer ornoprevious flooding [Beta=.23, T=2.26, p<.03] TABLE9:REGRESSION AJW.YSIS Variable FriendstocallonAgeHomogeneityAgeFloodingfamiliarityHealthstatusRelatives intownMentalhealthstatusNo.of peopleinhousehold (Constant) [F=4.734,df=8,p<.001] *p<.10 **p<.05***p<.01B-.37-.33-.01.07.63.01.58.29.54 Beta-.10 -.09-.08.23 .34.03 .26 .22 .35T-.94-.86-.732.26** 3.09*** .25 2.42** 1.83*Aspredicted,individualswhoindicatedtheirhealthwaspoor orfair,as opposedtoexcellentorgood,weremorelikelytoexperience higherlevelsofstressfollowing the flooding [Beta=.34, T=3.1, p<.003]. Also, individualswhohadindicated theyhadproblems with depression or anxietypriortothefloodweremorelikelytoindicatesymptomsofstressfollowing the flood than individualswhohadnoprevioushistoryof depression or anxiety [Beta=.26, T=2.4, [<.02]. Also,thereexistedasignificantrelationshipbetween thenumberof people in the householdandthelevelsof post hazardstresswith themorepeople in the household the higher thelevelsofstress[Beta=.22, T=1.8,p=.on.Interestingly,age proved nottobeasignificantpredictorofstressandinfact,the nature of therelationshipshowsthatolder individuals experiencedlessstressthan younger individuals [Beta=.08, T=.73,ns].Agehomogeneityalsoproved nottobeasignificantpredictorof post hazardstresshoweverthenature of therelationshipillustratedthatindividuals in agehomogeneouscommunities experiencedlessstress[Beta=.09,T=.85,ns].Friendship networks [Beta=.10, T=,94, ns]andkinship networks [Beta=.03,T=.25,ns]alsodid notsignificantlypredictstressfollowing the flood.8

PAGE 11

SlIICARY In conclusion,wefoundfromthispilotsurvey,partialsupport for ourmodelconcerning ageandthe likelihood of post hazardstress.However,age did not provetobeasignificantfactorinthisanalysis.Infact,olderadultswerenotmoreprone towardsstressthananyother age group eventhoughtheyweresignificantlymorelikelytoexperience negative consequencesfromthe flooding including havingtheir hane or land flooded, ortohaving access problemsgettingtoandfromtheirproperty. Furtherstudieswillnowbemadetodeterminestressduring theup-coming"floodseason"tofurthertestthe model.Theresearchersgratefullyacknowledge thereceiptof the grant through theQuickResponse Program, administered through the Natural Hazards ResearchandApplications Information Centeratthe University of Colorado, Boulder,thatallowedustomakea majorstartonthisproject.9


xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 standalone no
record xmlns http:www.loc.govMARC21slim xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.loc.govstandardsmarcxmlschemaMARC21slim.xsd
leader nam 2200337Ia 4500
controlfield tag 001 001984823
005 20090115152824.0
006 m d s
007 cr bn|||||||||
008 090115s1992 cou s s000 0 eng d
datafield ind1 8 ind2 024
subfield code a F57-00015
035
(OCoLC)298456583
040
FHM
c FHM
043
n-us-tx
1 100
Tobin, Graham A.
0 245
Natural hazards and the elderly
h [electronic resource] /
by Graham A. Tobin and Jane C. Ollenburger.
260
[Boulder, Colo.] :
b Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center,
1992.
300
9 p. ;
28 cm.
440
Quick response research report ;
v #53
500
"Final field report"--P. 1.
533
Electronic reproduction.
[Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Libraries,
d 2008].
n Digitized from copy owned by Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado at Boulder, in a joint project with the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) Research Library's disaster mental health initiative.
650
Older people
x Mental health
z Texas
Liberty County.
Stress in old age
Texas
Liberty County.
Floods
Texas
Liberty County.
700
Ollenburger, Jane C.
2 710
University of Colorado, Boulder.
Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center.
776
Original
w (OCoLC)32928688
773
t Natural Hazards Center Collection
049
FHMM
090
RC451.4.A5 (ONLINE)
994
C0
FHM
4 856
u http://digital.lib.usf.edu/?f57.15