Objective We aimed to quantitatively gauge local public health workers' perceptions toward disaster recovery role expectations among jurisdictions in New Jersey and Maryland affected by Hurricane Sandy. Methods An online survey was made available in 2014 to all employees in 8 Maryland and New Jersey local health departments whose jurisdictions had been impacted by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. The survey included perceptions of their actual disaster recovery involvement across 3 phases: days to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years. The survey also queried about their perceptions about future involvement and future available support. Results Sixty-four percent of the 1047 potential staff responded to the survey (n=669). Across the 3 phases, 72% to 74% of the pre-Hurricane Sandy hires knew their roles in disaster recovery, 73% to 75% indicated confidence in their assigned roles (self-efficacy), and 58% to 63% indicated that their participation made a difference (response efficacy). Of the respondents who did not think it likely that they would be asked to participate in future disaster recovery efforts (n=70), 39% indicated a willingness to participate. Conclusion The marked gaps identified in local public health workers' awareness of, sense of efficacy toward, and willingness to participate in disaster recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy represent a significant infrastructural concern of policy and programmatic relevance.
- emergency preparedness
- public health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health