Developing Capacity for Community Action Planning & Resilience Building
CRGC In-Person Preparedness and Resilience Survey
To meet our objectives to help communities across the Gulf Coast to more effectively understand, withstand, and overcome the multiple stressors brought on by disasters like the DWH oil spill, one CRGC project was the in-person survey.
The CRGC in-person survey was a cross-sectional in-person survey carried out by our research team from Tulane University in 2017, led by Dr. Amy Lesen and Dr. Reggie Ferreira. The survey was implemented in the three communities where the Consortium had placed community health workers: the Port Sulphur area in lower Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana; the Galliano area in lower Lafourche Parish, Louisiana; and the Bayou La Batre area in lower Mobile County, Alabama.
These three communities had initially been chosen for the Community Health Worker Program based on four selection criteria: (a) communities defined by geography; (b) the presence of active and effective community- or faith-based organizations operating in the community; (c) pre-existing relationships between project researchers and community organizations, activists and leaders; and (d) characteristics including resource dependent economies, presence of vulnerable populations, and significant negative impacts from Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The 60-minute in-person survey investigated the role of social networks, risk perception, preparedness measures, individual resilience, and demographics as predictors of preparedness and resilience for future hydrocarbon (oil spill) and other disaster events among households in the Gulf of Mexico.
Between June and November 2017, 21 trained data collectors administered the IRB-approved survey (Tulane Institutional Research Board Study #997431) to 326 individuals across all three sites. The data collectors were all Tulane University graduate students and faculty, except for three data collectors in Alabama who were staff of our community partner organization there and administered the survey in Vietnamese.
The survey instrument was a product of cross-disciplinary collaboration between CRGC researchers and featured questions about participants’ social networks, images participants associate with oil spills, past disaster exposure including disasters caused by both natural and technological hazards, oil spill disaster planning and risk perception based on the Protective Action Decision Model (Lindell and Perry 2004, 2012), perceived oil spill consequences, attitudes about job retraining and relocation for work, resilience attributes based on the 10-item Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (Connor and Davidson 2003; Campbell-Sills and Stein 2007) and participant demographics.
Placement and Training of Community Health Workers in Targeted CommunitiesOil spills can negatively affect the health, social, and economic wellbeing of any local community, but underserved and disadvantaged populations are especially hard-hit. To improve resilience in such areas, CRGC worked with partners from the University of South Alabama’s Coastal Resource and Resiliency Center (CRRC) and local stakeholders to identify three communities that could benefit from the efforts of Community Health Workers (CHWs). In 2015-2016, we trained and deployed seven lay CHWs to enhance disaster preparedness, improve overall health and healthcare capacity, and support community resilience efforts. The CHWs are working in community-based organizations and community health clinics in Plaquemines and Lafourche Parishes in Louisiana as well as Mobile County, Alabama.
Disaster Resilience Leadership Fellowship Program
When disaster strikes, communities look to leaders to interpret the experience and provide direction for response and recovery. To strengthen local resilience leadership capacity, CRGC, the Institute for Disaster Resilience and Humanitarian Affairs at George Washington University, and the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA) at Tulane University launched an innovative new fellowship program: Planning for Resilient Communities.In November 2016, a Leadership Advisory Committee (LAC) led by Louisiana Lt. Governor Nungesser selected 15 Fellows, who were trained to provide a diverse breadth and depth of disaster resilience leadership capacity and coordination across multiple sectors and systems. Fellows comprise of emerging, local leaders representing Louisiana’s five coastal parishes.
What and How Are Fellows Learning?
Fellows are learning to how to help their communities develop plans that strengthen and coordinate the resilience to future disasters such as oil spills. The program structure is developed iteratively in partnership with the LAC.
Modes of Learning
- Interaction with leading experts: Short lectures and discussions build individual and regional networks of practical and theoretical knowledge.
- Collaborative exercises: This format seeks to encourage greater collaboration and alliance building among fellows from different parishes and across different sectors and to build a strong network of resilience leaders.
- Virtual Disaster Resilience Leadership Learning Environment: This online tool facilitates fellow communication, interaction, and networking. It is also helping us produce a Disaster Resilience Leadership Learning program workbook and resource guide that can carry on well beyond the life of the project.
CRGC Researchers Present Findings on Exposure to Disasters in the Gulf States and Long-Term Mental and Behavioral Health Outcomes
The Natural Hazards Center, in partnership with the International Research Committee on Disasters (IRCD), and with funding from the National Science Foundation, convened its 2018 Researchers Meeting in Broomfield, Colorado on July 11 and July 12, 2018, which focused on improving rapid reconnaissance research and featured sessions designed to identify pressing research needs, better coordinate researchers and research teams, and improve data collection, sharing, and archiving. This year’s meeting, designed to convene researchers across disciplines, who recently received National Science Foundation RAPID grants, as well as those who have ongoing hazards and disaster related research projects, featured the Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities’ (CRGC) recent findings related to exposure to disasters in the Gulf States and long-term mental and behavioral health outcomes. Read more »
Check Out CRGC’s Student Webinar,The Benefits and Challenges of Interdisciplinary Research, featuring Rajeev Ramchand, Ph.D., a Senior Behavioral Scientist with RAND Corporation, and Michael Blum, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee at Knoxvile. In this conversation, moderated by CRGC’s Director,Melissa Finucane, Ph.D., a Senior Social and Behavioral Scientist with RAND Corporation, speakers engaged in an interactive discussion to share their experiences working with people in other disciplines on research within and outside their traditional areas of expertise. To view webinar »
To improve disaster resilience in targeted communities that were especially hard-hit by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, CRGC worked with its partners from the University of South Alabama’s Coastal Resource and Resiliency Center (CRRC) to train and deploy seven lay Community Health Workers (CHWs) in community-based organizations and community health clinics in Bayou La Batre, AL, Galliano, LA, and Port Sulphur, LA. CRGC researchers, Keith Nicholls, PhD, Steven J. Picou, PhD, and Selena C. McCord recently published findings on how to better prepare CHWs, who take active roles in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: Training Community Health Workers to Enhance Disaster Resilience. Read more »
CRGC Hosts Student Webinar, The Benefits and Challenges of Interdisciplinary Research, Featuring Drs. Ramchand and Blum On Jan 25th
CRGC’s upcoming GoMRI student webinar,The Benefits and Challenges of Interdisciplinary Research, will feature Rajeev Ramchand, Ph.D., a Senior Behavioral Scientist with RAND Corporation, and Michael Blum, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee at Knoxvile. In this conversation, moderated by CRGC’s Director, Melissa Finucane, Ph.D., a Senior Social and Behavioral Scientist with RAND Corporation, speakers will engage in an interactive discussion to share their experiences working with people in other disciplines on research within and outside their traditional areas of expertise. The webinar will take place on Thursday, January 25, 2018 from 2pm – 3pm CST. All students working across GoMRI-funded consortia are invited to join! To register and learn more about the webinar »
With foresight gleaned from its Coastal Master Plan—developed in partnership with RAND—Louisiana understands the need to protect residents who are most vulnerable to flooding. NPR reports that the state has devised a plan to buy their homes, but there isn't money available to pay. Learn more »
Major General Michael Regner (Image provided by DRLA)[/caption] On Saturday, December 2nd, Tulane’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA) will welcome Major General Michael Regner, who will present Leadership in Peacetime and Crisis. Major General Regner will discuss topics including: (1) Resiliency in Peacetime and Crisis; (2) Crisis Communication; (3) Casualties – Civilians and Military Members; (4) Humanitarian Assistance and Cultural Awareness; and (5) Designing Your Leadership Philosophy. Learn more»
Check out the latest commentary on The RAND Blog! Director of CRGC, Melissa L. Finucane (@MelissaFinucane), who is a Senior Social and Behavioral Scientist at RAND, discusses the extremely active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season- as well as the range of risks posed by future disasters- and implications on community and infrastructure resilience in the Gulf of Mexico. Learn more»
CRGC’s Drs. Finucane and Nicholls Contribute to National Academies Workshop on Preparing for a Rapid Response to Major Marine Oil Spills: Protecting and Assessing the Health and Well-Being of Communities
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently released
Proceedings of the Workshop— in Brief, chronicling the presentations and discussions from Preparing for a Rapid Response to Major Offshore Oil Spills: A Workshop on Research Needs to Protect the Health and Well-Being of Communities. The two-day workshop, which Drs. Finucane and Nicholls participated in Aug 2-3 in Washington D.C., was organized by an ad hoc committee to facilitate cross-sector, transdiciplinary discussions around research needs and other opportunities for improving public health preparedness, response, and protection related to oil spills. Learn more»
CRGC’s upcoming GoMRI student webinar, Managing the Grad School Process, will feature Jacqueline Fiore— a Ph.D. candidate in Tulane University’s Economic Analysis and Policy program and a member of CRGC’s Economics subteam— and Vanessa Parks— a Ph.D. candidate at Louisiana State University and a member of CRGC’s Health subteam. The webinar will take place on Thursday, October 26 from 1pm – 2pm CDT. The conversation is designed to provide current graduate students with helpful tips and strategies on navigating the graduate school process. Fiore and Parkes will discuss an array of interesting topics, including interacting with advisors, publishing articles, the necessity of internships, and other practical bits of advice for students. All students working across GoMRI-funded consortia are invited to join! To register and learn more about the webinar »
At this year’s Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference, The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) interviewed Dr. Melissa Finucane– Senior Social and Behavioral Scientist at the RAND Corporation and Director of The Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities- about CRGC’s latest research findings and progress assessing and addressing the impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the health, social, and economic wellbeing of people in the Gulf Coast region. Finucane speaks to CRGC’s research, outreach, and education initiatives, which are aimed at helping communities across the Gulf Coast to more effectively understand, withstand, and overcome the multiple stressors brought on by such disasters. Learn more>>