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Louisiana Floods Case Study

Decent Essays
Recommendations to Reduce Health Risk from Floods

The 2016 Louisiana floods were a reminder of the never ending fight to prevent floods in the State. The risk of flooding will further be elevated as climatic related events, like sea level rise and storms, continue to occur. After reviewing the literature, it seems as if the region is not and has never been fit for human development, and no effort will eliminate the risk of flooding. However, this does not change the fact that Louisiana is home to over 4 million people, a large portion of which are poor. The State’s public health infrastructure is not adequately prepared to meet needs of the most vulnerable populations during such disasters. Therefore, adaptation measures must be
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In contrast, individuals with more access to resources are often healthier and fair better during storms (Lane, 2013). In addition to general flood adaptation measures, state and local governments should focus on poverty reduction. This would take strategic interdisciplinary efforts of social service agencies to build stronger communities, and promote opportunity. More specifically, these efforts should improve access to education, health care, child care, transportation, job training, and affordable housing.

Improve Communication of Health Risks

Poor and disabled populations are more likely to shelter in place instead of evacuating for storms (Miller, 2014). Some individuals stay by choice, but others may not have the means to leave. Unfortunately, there are severe health consequence, such as injury or death, for those who stay behind. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017), flooding is the leading cause of severe weather related deaths. Further, over 50 percent of all flood-related casualties occur when a vehicle is driven into flood water (CDC, 2017). The next highest percentage of flood related casualties are caused by walking into or near flood waters. These types of deaths are completely preventable with proper public communication on flood safety (Revere, 2011). State agencies should improve communication of health risks from flooding, particularly for those who do not and
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