Tuesday, February 11, 2020 | 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern

How Mitigation Helped Houston Households in Hurricane Harvey


Sara Grineski
Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Center for Natural and Technological Hazards at the University of Utah

Webinar Description: Mitigating homes against flooding can have benefits far beyond keeping structures safe—they can improve the health outcomes of the people that live in them, as well. Join Sara Grineski as she discusses her research comparing preparedness before Hurricane Harvey with exposure, health effects, and recovery after. The research leverages a pre- and post-event sample of greater Houston households to establish baselines for disaster preparedness and flood hazard mitigation, explore household-level effects, and examine how preparedness and mitigation relate to health, event exposure, and recovery after disaster. Results revealed that greater pre-event mitigation was associated with fewer physical health problems, lower posttraumatic stress, and faster recovery times.

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Sara Grineski is a professor of sociology and environmental and sustainability studies at the University of Utah. She co-directs the Center for Natural and Technological Hazards and mentors undergraduate and graduate students researching human health and the environment. Her research interests are in environmental health disparities, children’s health, social vulnerability, and environmental justice. Her doctoral education was funded by a five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) fellowship in urban ecology at Arizona State University. As a master’s student, she collaborated in a community-based participatory research project on children’s environmental health at the neighborhood level; an experience that set the course for her career. After graduating in 2006 with a PhD in sociology and a minor in geography, she became an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). While at UTEP, she was a principal investigator on the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) award funded by the National Institutes of Health. Grineski has published in a range of outlets such as Social Science & Medicine, Social Forces, Environmental Research Letters, and Environmental Research.


Hurricane Harvey and Greater Houston Households: Comparing Pre‐Event Preparedness with Post‐Event Health Effects, Event Exposures, and Recovery

Center for Natural and Technological Hazards at the University of Utah

Additional Hurricane Harvey publications by the Center for Natural and Technological Hazards team:

Exploring the Environmental Justice Implications of Hurricane Harvey Flooding in Greater Houston, Texas

Hurricane Harvey and people with disabilities: Disproportionate exposure to flooding in Houston, Texas

Environmental injustice and Hurricane Harvey: A household-level study of socially disparate flood exposures in Greater Houston, Texas, USA