Graduate Project


Resilience Planning for Elderly Residents in Oregon Coastal Communities Public Deposited

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  • When a catastrophic event happens, senior residents who are physically or mentally disabled, are placed at a much greater risk of injury or death. Researchers in the aftermath of hurricanes’ Katrina, Sandy, and Harvey, consistently record elderly residents presenting the most difficult challenges for emergency personnel during evacuation and post trauma care. The focus of this research analysis is to target the population of senior residents who live in elderly care facilities along the Oregon coast. To ensure the best possible quality of life at the end of life it is critical to understand the special needs of the elderly care facilities in Oregon’s coastal communities who are potentially facing a catastrophic disaster from a major earthquake and tsunami. Timely evacuation of these residents may not be practical. Vertical evacuation will require adequate reserves of food, water, and medical supplies. Information on the number and location of adult residential care facilities is not identified in an easily accessible database, population numbers can only be teased from census and Department of Human Services records, there is no database on their special needs, or how to contact next of kin. This research was designed to discern the importance of coalescing location information along with the special needs of these residents and if the assisted living facilities are prepared to evacuate or shelter in place. Qualitative interviews were held with directors of assisted living facilities in five Oregon counties with low-lying coastal exposure to understand their level of preparation in the imminent threat of a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami.
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