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Am J Public Health. 2019 Sep;109(S4):S309-S315. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305152.

Preparedness and Community Resilience in Disaster-Prone Areas: Cross-Sectoral Collaborations in South Louisiana, 2018.

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Miranda Joy Pollock, Ashley Wennerstrom, Gala True, Ashley Everett, Olivia Sugarman, Jennifer Sato, Jasmine Berry, Leah Riefberg, Nkechi Onyewuenyi, and Benjamin Springgate are with Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans, School of Medicine, New Orleans. Catherine Haywood is with Louisiana Community Health Outreach Network, New Orleans. Arthur Johnson is with Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, New Orleans. Diana Meyers is with St Anna's Episcopal Church, New Orleans. Kenneth B. Wells and Armen C. Arevian are with University of California Los Angeles Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Research Center for Health Services and Society, Los Angeles, CA. Michael Massimi is with Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary, Thibodaux, LA.


Objectives. To determine how community-based organizations (CBOs) define priorities for bolstering community resilience, challenges in addressing these priorities, and strategies to address challenges.Methods. The Community Resilience Learning Collaborative and Research Network (C-LEARN) is a multiphase study examining opportunities to improve community resilience to the threats of disaster and climate change in South Louisiana. Phase I of C-LEARN involved using the National Health Security Strategy and Implementation Plan for directed content analysis of key informant interviews with CBO representatives from 47 agencies within South Louisiana between February and May 2018.Results. CBO interviewees highlighted the importance of forging relationships and building trust through diverse cross-sector collaborations and partnerships before disasters. Such collaborations and partnerships were shown to tailor disaster response to the needs of particular communities and populations as well as address key challenges such as gaps in information, services, and resources.Conclusions. Our results encourage a culture of community resilience and community preparedness through partnerships and community-engaged strategies. C-LEARN will utilize the results of our interviews in the design of phase II of our agency-level coalition-building intervention.


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