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R Pepino, Jefferson College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.


Climate change continues to exacerbate the frequency and intensity of natural disasters such as extreme weather events and the resulting flooding. Vulnerable and older communities are at greater risk, due to limited knowledge and access to resources about how to cope with such events. Persistent flooding from human induced climate change in Mid-Atlantic region will impact these 100 -year and possibly 500- year, storm events making them more intense and frequent than expected. The purpose of this study was to examine the ways to strengthen community resilience by building social capital: bonding, bridging and linkages to services at local, regional and national level. The Eastwick Disaster Impact Survey was administered to the low-income older African-American members living in Eastwick, Philadelphia to identify their attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions threats regarding the severity of flooding specific to their area. Additional questions were included in the survey to address the immediate barriers and gaps in emergency preparedness including utilizing the current resources like accessing floodplain maps, ability to interpret them or lack of training to evacuate immediately in moment of crisis by developing effective communication at all levels of the governance from local to federal through trust and reciprocity. These surveys provided a snap-shot of the current state of services available within this community, suggested community specific interventions by incorporating culturally competent evidence-based information to build more resilient communities. Confounding factors such as socioeconomic strata, employment and health comorbidities may have influenced the results of this study.

Presentation: 21:01