The impending landfall of Hurricane Katrina on the Mississippi Gulf Coast resulted in large numbers of evacuees into the Jackson, Mississippi area. Many evacuees with chronic medical problems had been directed to the Mississippi Coliseum in the downtown area near the University of Mississippi Medical Center. As the storm passed through Jackson, serious damage occurred to the municipal infrastructure. In this article, we asked how that experience has affected health planning for the care of sheltered populations.
We reviewed the information accumulated in the course of operating a large medical clinic for evacuees at the Mississippi Coliseum. We also contacted representatives of disaster planning agencies and of healthcare planning organizations to determine changes that have occurred in strategic plans subsequent to Katrina.
Using the resources of our academic health center, we were able to effectively deliver healthcare to sheltered evacuees. A model has been developed for future use from this experience. Much progress has been made toward preparation for care of the chronically-ill who may be displaced by future disasters.
Hospitals and clinics on major evacuation routes for natural disasters can expect the sudden necessity to provide care to evacuees. Unless plans to care for chronically-ill individuals are incorporated into hospital disaster plans, local healthcare facilities may be unprepared to provide care. Many evacuees will have limited resources to pay for services. Academic medical centers have unique resources and capabilities to lead in the care plans for these populations.
KEY INDEXING TERMS
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to The American Journal of the Medical Sciences
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- A look at Hurricane Katrina. 2008 (Available at, Accessed March 21)
- Mississippians urged to take precautions for Hurricane Katrina. 2005 (August 28, Available at)
- 2005: 9A (Clarion Ledger [serial online: Available at] September 1, Accessed March 21, 2008) Katrina’s fatal blow.
- 2005: 1B (Clarion Ledger [serial online: Available at] September 6, Accessed March 21, 2008) Hurricane Katrina.
- A Katrina experience: lessons learned.Am J Med. 2006; 119: 986-992
- 1998: 16 Disaster Health Services ARC 30-3042.
- Mississippi Code of 1972 as amended, Emergency Management Assistance Compact of 2000. 2000 (Title 45, Chapter 18-3, Article 5. April 17)
- Mississippi Code of 1972 as amended, Emergency Management Powers of Governor. 2006 (Title 33, Chapter 15-11. March 20)
Accepted: May 23, 2008
Received: April 29, 2008
© 2008 Southern Society for Clinical Investigation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.