To estimate the impact of Hurricane Ike of 2008 on local communities, service areas of hospitals and corresponding service populations were calculated at both the county and facility levels within the Houston metropolitan statistical area. A hospital access indicator was defined to measure the level of access to medical services when compared to the prestorm level. The result indicated that the hospital access indicator reached its lowest value on the next day after the hurricane landfall due to lane closures and hospital shutdowns before showing a steady comeback. However, the recovery was briefly interrupted around September 18, 2008, as a result of road closures to remove debris on State Highway 146. Access to hospitals nearly returned to the prestorm level by the end of October 2008. Simulations were then performed to identify priorities for repairing damaged roads in order to minimize storm's adverse impact. This paper offered a simplified method to measure, monitor, and analyze the effect of transportation network on access to healthcare facilities in the aftermath of a hurricane. Since only a small number of publicly available variables were required, the method could be applied to other catastrophic events in support of disaster response and recovery decisions.
|Journal||Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities|
|State||Published - Feb 1 2016|
- Access to medical services
- Hospital service area and population
- Hurricane Ike
- Transportation network