Eighteen months after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mississippi coastal community of Hancock County on August 29, 2005, volunteers and organizations assisting with recovery in the area found chaos, confusion, and a desperate need for leadership. This qualitative study reflects the efforts of two University of Southern Mississippi professors as they planned, organized, and facilitated a strategic meeting of 104 individuals representing 60 different social service agencies, organizations, faith-based groups, local and state governments, and volunteers assisting with recovery in Hancock County. The researchers used focus group methodology (a) to identify the various groups assisting with recovery in the area and the services they provided; (b) to facilitate collaboration and communication among the care givers and the citizens; and (c) to better understand the problems of recovery associated with a storm of this magnitude. The researchers used large group presentations; small group break-out sessions; and a large group summarizing and planning session. Data collection and analysis included scripting all segments of the of the meeting; organizing, sorting, coding, and calculating frequency distributions of responses; and identifying emerging themes and patterns of the data. Results revealed victims of the storm were weary, depressed, and losing hope; care givers were burning-out from emotional and physical exhaustion; the pool of volunteers and workers was dwindling; the number of qualified social and medical workers was insufficient to meet the needs of the community; available and affordable supplies were minimal; and leadership to establish a point of centralized communication, collaboration, and coordination of recovery efforts was desperately needed. Available at: http://cnx.org/content/m24632/latest/
Go to top
JSN Boot template designed by JoomlaShine.com