Preliminary Report Released on Emergency Response to Historic Kaua‘i Flooding
After unprecedented rains caused destructive flooding and landslides this past April, the Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Kaua‘i District Health Office conducted an island-wide community assessment for public health emergency response in July 2018.
The goal of the assessment was to determine resident preparedness, evacuation plans, health-related needs for natural disasters, and impact from the April 2018 flood.
Survey teams collected important demographic information about Kaua‘i residents, their health status, preparedness levels, and evacuation plans that will help to inform state and county emergency response plans as well as enable the Department of Health to best meet the community’s health needs post-disaster.
“We learned that further action is needed to make our residents more resilient to hurricanes and other emergencies, especially when it comes to preparing emergency kits with a 14-day supply of food, water and prescription medication,” said Dr. Janet Berreman, Kaua‘i District Health Officer. “This survey enabled us to collect critical information regarding impacts from the April 2018 flood. Survey teams made referrals to appropriate agencies for anyone wanting additional assistance.”
Teams conducted household surveys from July 20 through July 23, 2018, at systematically selected homes within 30 randomly selected census blocks. The CASPER methodology, designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, provides data that is representative of the entire community.
Survey teams completed a total of 190 interviews with local residents. All responses are confidential, and survey teams did not collect names or addresses. Survey teams were comprised of DOH staff with support from the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency, Kaua‘i Medical Reserve Corps and the American Red Cross.
Berreman added, “Mobilizing survey teams requires extensive planning, resources, and training. Through this effort, more than 50 DOH staff, partners, and vetted community volunteers have been trained on the CASPER methodology and door-to-door assessments. The Kaua‘i District Health office is excited to have developed this rapid-needs assessment capability on island to conduct future surveys.”