Analysis of lethal and sublethal impacts of environmental disasters on sperm whales using stochastic modeling.
ABSTRACT: Mathematical models are essential for combining data from multiple sources to quantify population endpoints. This is especially true for species, such as marine mammals, for which data on vital rates are difficult to obtain. Since the effects of an environmental disaster are not fixed, we develop time-varying (nonautonomous) matrix population models that account for the eventual recovery of the environment to the pre-disaster state. We use these models to investigate how lethal and sublethal impacts (in the form of reductions in the survival and fecundity, respectively) affect the population's recovery process. We explore two scenarios of the environmental recovery process and include the effect of demographic stochasticity. Our results provide insights into the relationship between the magnitude of the disaster, the duration of the disaster, and the probability that the population recovers to pre-disaster levels or a biologically relevant threshold level. To illustrate this modeling methodology, we provide an application to a sperm whale population. This application was motivated by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that has impacted a wide variety of species populations including oysters, fish, corals, and whales.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Pharmacists are uniquely placed in the community to be of assistance to disaster-affected patients. However, the roles undertaken by pharmacists in disasters are identified based on their own experiences and networks. There is currently no definition or acknowledgment of pharmacists' roles in disasters. OBJECTIVE:To acquire consensus from an expert panel of key opinion leaders within the field of disaster health on pharmacists' roles in disasters throughout the four disaster phases-prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. METHODS:A Delphi study consisting of three rounds of online surveys was utilised. Twenty-four key opinion leaders were contacted, with 15 completing all three rounds. The 15 expert panellists were presented with 46 roles identified in the literature and asked to rank their opinions on a 5-point Likert scale. This study used an international, all-hazard, and multijurisdictional approach. Consensus was benchmarked at 80% and any role which did not reach consensus was re-queried in the subsequent round. The third round provided the results of the Delphi study and sought commentary on the acceptance or rejection of the roles. RESULTS:Of the 46 roles provided to the expert panel, 43 roles were accepted as roles pharmacists are capable of undertaking in a disaster. There were five roles for the prevention phase, nine for the preparedness phase, 21 for the response phase, and eight for the recovery phase. The experts were asked to prioritise the top five roles for each of the disaster phases. The three roles which did not make consensus were deemed to be specialised roles for disaster pharmacists and not generalisable to the broader pharmacy profession. CONCLUSION:This study identifies pharmacists' roles in disasters which have been accepted by the international disaster health community. The international key opinion leaders recommended that pharmacists could be undertaking 43 roles in a disaster, however, this is dependent on individual jurisdiction considerations. Pharmacy professional associations need to advocate to policymakers for legislative support and to ensure pharmacists are equipped with the training and education required to undertake these roles within specific jurisdictions.
Project description:The relationship between natural disasters and communicable diseases is frequently misconstrued. The risk for outbreaks is often presumed to be very high in the chaos that follows natural disasters, a fear likely derived from a perceived association between dead bodies and epidemics. However, the risk factors for outbreaks after disasters are associated primarily with population displacement. The availability of safe water and sanitation facilities, the degree of crowding, the underlying health status of the population, and the availability of healthcare services all interact within the context of the local disease ecology to influence the risk for communicable diseases and death in the affected population. We outline the risk factors for outbreaks after a disaster, review the communicable diseases likely to be important, and establish priorities to address communicable diseases in disaster settings.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:The response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill was impacted by heat. We evaluated the association between environmental heat exposure and self-reported heat-related symptoms in US Coast Guard Deepwater Horizon disaster responders. METHODS:Utilizing climate data and postdeployment survey responses from 3648 responders, we assigned heat exposure categories based on both wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) and heat index (HI) measurements (median, mean, maximum). We calculated prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) via adjusted Poisson regression models with robust error variance to estimate associations with reported heat-related symptoms. We also evaluated the association between use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and heat-related symptoms. RESULTS:Those in the highest WBGT median-based heat exposure category had increased prevalence of heat-related symptoms compared to those in the lowest category (PR=2.22 [95% CI: 1.61, 3.06]), and there was a significant exposure-response trend (P<.001). Results were similar for exposure categories based on WBGT and HI metrics. Analyses stratified by use of PPE found significantly stronger associations between environmental heat exposure and heat-related symptoms in those who did not use PPE (PR=2.23 [95% CI: 1.10, 4.51]) than in those who did (PR=1.64 [95% CI: 1.14, 2.36]). CONCLUSIONS:US Coast Guard Deepwater Horizon disaster responders who experienced higher levels of environmental heat had higher prevalences of heat-related symptoms. These symptoms may impact health, safety, and mission effectiveness. As global climate change increases the frequency of disasters and weather extremes, actions must be taken to prevent heat-related health impacts among disaster responders. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:561-569).
Project description:This data set contains a small sample data of livestock snow disasters in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, including historical loss, snow hazard measures, during disaster temperature and wind speed, and pre-disaster summer vegetation condition. This data set can be used to test/verify the method used in the method in the corresponding article published in Stoten, entitled "Linking livestock snow disaster mortality and environmental stressors in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau: quantification based on generalized additive models" (Y. Li et al. 2018). The data is supplied as a supplementary file attached in the research article.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Oil spill response and cleanup (OSRC) workers had potentially stressful experiences during mitigation efforts following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. Smelling chemicals; skin or clothing contact with oil; heat stress; handling oily plants/wildlife or dead animal recovery; and/or being out of regular work may have posed a risk to worker respiratory health through psychological stress mechanisms. OBJECTIVE:To evaluate the association between six potentially stressful oil spill experiences and lung function among OSRC workers 1-3?years following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, while controlling for primary oil spill inhalation hazards and other potential confounders. METHODS:Of 6811 GuLF STUDY participants who performed OSRC work and completed a quality spirometry test, 4806 provided information on all exposures and confounders. We carried out complete case analysis and used multiple imputation to assess risk among the larger sample. Potentially stressful work experiences were identified from an earlier study of these workers. The lung function parameters of interest include the forced expiratory volume in 1?s (FEV1, mL), the forced vital capacity (FVC, mL) and the ratio (FEV1/FVC, %). RESULTS:On average, participants in the analytic sample completed spirometry tests 1.7?years after the spill. Among workers with at least 2 acceptable FEV1 and FVC curves, workers with jobs that involved oily plants/wildlife or dead animal recovery had lower values for FEV1 (Mean difference: -53?mL, 95% CI: -84, -22), FVC (Mean difference: -45?mL, 95% CI: -81, -9) and FEV1/FVC (Mean difference: -0.44%, 95% CI: -0.80, -0.07) compared to unexposed workers in analyses using multiple imputation. CONCLUSIONS:Workers involved in handling oily plants/wildlife or dead animal recovery had lower lung function than unexposed workers after accounting for other OSRC inhalation hazards.
Project description:Research on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following natural and human-made disasters has been undertaken for more than three decades. Although PTSD prevalence estimates vary widely, most are in the 20-40% range in disaster-focused studies but considerably lower (3-5%) in the few general population epidemiological surveys that evaluated disaster-related PTSD as part of a broader clinical assessment. The World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys provide an opportunity to examine disaster-related PTSD in representative general population surveys across a much wider range of sites than in previous studies.Although disaster-related PTSD was evaluated in 18 WMH surveys, only six in high-income countries had enough respondents for a risk factor analysis. Predictors considered were socio-demographics, disaster characteristics, and pre-disaster vulnerability factors (childhood family adversities, prior traumatic experiences, and prior mental disorders).Disaster-related PTSD prevalence was 0.0-3.8% among adult (ages 18+) WMH respondents and was significantly related to high education, serious injury or death of someone close, forced displacement from home, and pre-existing vulnerabilities (prior childhood family adversities, other traumas, and mental disorders). Of PTSD cases 44.5% were among the 5% of respondents classified by the model as having highest PTSD risk.Disaster-related PTSD is uncommon in high-income WMH countries. Risk factors are consistent with prior research: severity of exposure, history of prior stress exposure, and pre-existing mental disorders. The high concentration of PTSD among respondents with high predicted risk in our model supports the focus of screening assessments that identify disaster survivors most in need of preventive interventions.
Project description:This article presents an overview of the Louisiana Community Oil Spill Survey (COSS), the dataset used in "Community Sentiment following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster: A Test of Time, Systemic Community, and Corrosive Community Models"  as well as elsewhere [2-6]. The COSS, administered by the Louisiana State University's Public Policy Research Laboratory, consists of five waves of cross-sectional trend data attuned to the characteristics and effects of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon (BP-DH) oil spill on those coastal Louisiana residents most affected by the disaster. Respondents were randomly drawn from a list of nearly 6,000 households in the coastal Louisiana zip codes located in Lafourche Parish, Plaquemines Parish, Terrebonne Parish, and the community of Grand Isle. COSS data were initially collected in June 2010 when oil was still flowing from the wellhead, with additional data waves, collected in October 2010, April 2011, April 2012, and April 2013. The respective response rates were: June 2010, 20%; October 2010, 24%; April 2011, 25%; April 2012, 20%; and April 2013, 19%.
Project description:The consequences of environmental change for human migration have gained increasing attention in the context of climate change and recent large-scale natural disasters, but as yet relatively few large-scale and quantitative studies have addressed this issue. We investigate the consequences of climate-related natural disasters for long-term population mobility in rural Bangladesh, a region particularly vulnerable to environmental change, using longitudinal survey data from 1,700 households spanning a 15-y period. Multivariate event history models are used to estimate the effects of flooding and crop failures on local population mobility and long-distance migration while controlling for a large set of potential confounders at various scales. The results indicate that flooding has modest effects on mobility that are most visible at moderate intensities and for women and the poor. However, crop failures unrelated to flooding have strong effects on mobility in which households that are not directly affected but live in severely affected areas are the most likely to move. These results point toward an alternate paradigm of disaster-induced mobility that recognizes the significant barriers to migration for vulnerable households as well their substantial local adaptive capacity.
Project description:Measurement is a community endeavor that can enhance the ability to anticipate, withstand, and recover from a disaster, as well as foster learning and adaptation. This project's purpose was to develop a self-assessment toolkit-manifesting a bottom-up, participatory approach-that enables people to envision community resilience as a concrete, desirable, and obtainable goal; organize a cross-sector effort to evaluate and enhance factors that influence resilience; and spur adoption of interventions that, in a disaster, would lessen impacts, preserve community functioning, and prompt a more rapid recovery. In 2016-2018, we engaged in a process of literature review, instrument development, stakeholder engagement, and local field-testing, to produce a self-assessment toolkit (or "rubric") built on the Composite of Post-Event Well-being (COPEWELL) model that predicts post-disaster community functioning and resilience. Co-developing the rubric with community-based users, we generated self-assessment instruments and process guides that localities can more readily absorb and adapt. Applied in three field tests, the Social Capital and Cohesion materials equip users to assess this domain at different geo-scales. Chronicling the rubric's implementation, this account sheds further light on tensions between community resilience assessment research and practice, and potential reasons why few of the many current measurement systems have been applied.
Project description:Natural hazards and climate-related disasters disregard political borders, where additional barriers can complicate mitigation, response and recovery efforts within and between the sectors of Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). The ESPREssO Project (Enhancing Synergies for Disaster Prevention in the European Union) aims to improve management of transboundary disasters by encouraging closer synergies between the CCA and DRR communities. Using targeted stakeholder interviews, questionnaires, Think Tank discussions and purpose-built serious games, ESPREssO draws on both CCA and DRR stakeholder experiences and informed perspectives in order to identify current gaps. Set within a fictitious border zone, ESPREssO's RAMSETE II serious game challenges CCA and DRR stakeholders in making coordinated decisions before, during and after a simulated disaster, in protection of population and critical infrastructure. Results highlight the essential role of local governance mechanisms as the sharp end of the policy wedge, with current examples of proactivity that require to be championed and supported at national level in order to thrive. These good practice examples reflect the fact that transboundary settings, despite their challenges, act as fertile ground for mutual growth, offering opportunities for CCA and DRR communities to find innovative ways to cooperate and unite in developing synergies and strengthening their mutual efforts towards resilience. Stakeholders emphasise a need to invest more resources in informal cooperation and call on policy makers to recognise that each border zone raises its own unique set of complex challenges that requires flexibility and special consideration by transboundary authorities in management of disasters.