The Hurricane Sandy Person Report: Disaster Exposure, Health Impacts, Economic Burden, and Social Well-Being

Abramson, David M.; Van Alst, Donna; Merdjanoff, Alexis; Piltch-Loeb, Rachael; Beedasy, Jaishree; Findley, Patricia; Peek, Lori Ann; Mordy, Meghan; Moroso, Sandra; Ocasio, Kerrie; Park, Yoon Soo; Sury, Jonathan; Tobin-Gurley, Jennifer

The impact a disaster has on the health of a population can be described as having a “dose-response” relationship: the larger the “dose” of the disaster, the greater the health impact or “response” among those individuals and communities exposed. This PERSON Briefing Report describes the impact of Hurricane Sandy (the dose) on the health and well-being of adults and children exposed to the storm (the response). Data for the report are drawn from the baseline survey of the Sandy Child and Family Health (S-CAFH) Study, an observational cohort study of nearly 1,000 randomly-selected New Jersey residents who were living in areas of the state exposed to the storm in 2012. Participants in the study represent over 1 million people living in Sandy’s “Disaster Footprint,” the hurricane-exposed portions of the state. This report describes and examines several critical aspects of individual health and well-being that may be associated with the storm, including: 1. Physical health of adults; 2. Psychological and emotional health of adults; 3. Social and economic health of adults; 4. Health and well-being of children; and 5. The association between disaster exposure and individual outcomes.

Geographic Areas


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This report is part of the 2015 Briefing Report Series of the Sandy Child and Family Health (S-CAFH) Study, a project designed to survey the impact of Hurricane Sandy on several key aspects of New Jersey residents’ lives. Four briefing reports will be provided by the team that cover the following topics: (1) The Place Report – the decisions and actions related to evacuation, housing, community, and restoration and repair; (2) The Person Report – the physical and mental health status and well-being of residents who lived in areas exposed to Hurricane Sandy, with an additional focus on children’s health; (3) The Problems Report – residents’ current unmet needs and their experience with systems of formal help; and (4) The Progress Report – the factors associated with stalled or facilitated recovery among affected residents.