Unmet Needs for Emergency Organizations During Disaster: Red Cross and Salvation Army Referrals in Texas During Katrina-Rita, 2005
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The purpose of this study is to examine unmet needs for key emergency organizations - Red Cross and Salvation Army - in Texas during Katrina and Rita Hurricanes, 2005. Using Texas 2-1-1 data from 8/1/05 - 12/31/05 (N=635,983 calls), referrals to these organizations will be examined by location and disaster phase. This is the first time that "real time" disaster unmet needs of this geographic scope have been examined. The findings will help disaster organizations better understand unmet needs for their services at disaster sites and evacuation destinations. Results show that major metropolitan areas have high volume of need for access to Red Cross. Harris County stands out with three times greater needs for Red Cross support. After adjusting for urban/rural bias, metropolitan counties have expected number of Red Cross needs per 1,000 households. In adjusted findings, there is a striking focus of Red Cross unmet needs to the disaster area, especially Jasper County and surrounding area. For Salvation Army, the highest volume of unmet needs is in largest metropolitan counties as primary evacuation destinations. There is an exception of Lubbock County which had a local initiative for a non-disaster Salvation Army program. When adjusted by population size, disaster area and evacuation destinations have expected levels of unmet needs for Salvation Army. Taylor (Abilene) and Lubbock Counties had high demand for access to Salvation Army for local programs. Less densely populated areas surrounding location of Hurricane Rita landfall were at "high-risk". More densely populated areas are better able to absorb needs of evacuees, while less densely populated communities are "high-risk" for unmet needs. For future disaster management possible recommendations include long-term recovery supplies in less populated areas near disaster sites, distribution of supplies along evacuation routes, and recovery centers located in surrounding communities to help evacuees return home.
Norman, Alexandria (2010). Unmet Needs for Emergency Organizations During Disaster: Red Cross and Salvation Army Referrals in Texas During Katrina-Rita, 2005. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from