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The Texas flood registry: a flexible tool for environmental and public health practitioners and researchers

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Version 2 2024-06-03, 16:38
Version 1 2023-12-08, 22:58
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posted on 2024-06-03, 16:38 authored by Elena Craft, Joally M. Canales, Jocelyn Johnston, Joshua TootooJoshua Tootoo, Katherine B. Ensor, Loren Hopkins, Marie Lynn MirandaMarie Lynn Miranda, Max Grossman, Rashida CallenderRashida Callender, Umair Shah
BACKGROUND: Making landfall in Rockport, Texas in August 2017, Hurricane Harvey resulted in unprecedented flooding, displacing tens of thousands of people, and creating environmental hazards and exposures for many more. OBJECTIVE: We describe a collaborative project to establish the Texas Flood Registry to track the health and housing impacts of major flooding events. METHODS: Those who enroll in the registry answer retrospective questions regarding the impact of storms on their health and housing status. We recruit both those who did and did not flood during storm events to enable key comparisons. We leverage partnerships with multiple local health departments, community groups, and media outlets to recruit broadly. We performed a preliminary analysis using multivariable logistic regression and a binomial Bayesian conditional autoregressive (CAR) spatial model. RESULTS: We find that those whose homes flooded, or who came into direct skin contact with flood water, are more likely to experience a series of self-reported health effects. Median household income is inversely related to adverse health effects, and spatial analysis provides important insights within the modeling approach. SIGNIFICANCE: Global climate change is likely to increase the number and intensity of rainfall events, resulting in additional health burdens. Population-level data on the health and housing impacts of major flooding events is imperative in preparing for our planet’s future.

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