Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

a map of the U.S. Gulf States region

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has created important health challenge for the entire Gulf region, specifically for the families most affected by the impact on their livelihoods and daily routines. In order to restore families and communities to healthy conditions, it is critical to use the tools of objective analysis to adequately identify and respond to community needs. This analysis can also ensure that resources are appropriately allocated for efficient and effective recovery. RAND's Public Health Systems and Preparedness (PHSP) initiative been doing work on these types of issues for many years and has a body of work which is relevant and applicable to the current situation in the Gulf. Selected publications can be found below. For further information, contact us at

Preparedness, Crisis Decision Making and Community Resilience

Readiness, decision making, and community resilience issues are at the heart of RAND PHSP's work. The stakeholders of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will likely want to assess response to the spill and develop lessons learned. Select RAND PHSP publications in this area include:

Understanding Community Resilience in the Context of National Health Security: A Literature Review — 2010

Chandra A, Acosta J, Meredith LS, Sanches K, Stern S, Uscher-Pines L, Williams M, Yeung D


Measuring Crisis Decision-making for Public Health Emergencies — 2009

Parker AM, Nelson C, Shelton S, Dausey D, Lewis MW, Pomeroy A, Leuschner KJ


Strategies To Enhance Emergency Preparedness Planning and Response For Special Needs Populations — 2009

Ringel J, Chandra A, Williams M et al

2009, The RAND Corporation

Initial Evaluation of the Cities Readiness Initiative — 2009

Willis, HH, Nelson, C, Shelton, SR, Parker, AM, Zambrano, JA, Chan, EW, Wasserman, J, & Jackson, BA

RAND Technical Report (TR-640)

Assessing Public Health Emergency Preparedness: Concepts, Tools, and Challenges — 2007

Nelson C, N Lurie & J Wasserman

Annual Review of Public Health. 28: 12.1-12.18

Decision-making competence: External validation through an individual-differences approach — 2005

Parker, AM, & Fischhoff, B

Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 18, 1-27.

Protecting Emergency Responders, Volume 2: Community Views of Safety and Health Risks and Personal Protection Needs — 2003

LaTourrette T, Peterson DJ, Bartis JT, Jackson BA, and Houser A

RAND Science and Technology Policy Institute, MR-1646-NIOSH, August 2003.

Regional Recovery Assessments-Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

RAND PHSP has been working in the Gulf since 2005, supporting hurricane recovery and long-term development in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Our health specific work provides objective analysis to federal, state, and local leaders in support of evidence-based policymaking and the well-being of individuals throughout the Gulf States region. Selected publications include:

Navigating the road to recovery: An assessment of the coordination, communication, and financing of disaster case management in Louisiana — 2010

Acosta J, Chandra A, and Feeney K

Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation (TR-849-LRA).

The Role of Nongovernmental Organizations in Long-Term Human Recovery After Disaster: Reflections From Louisiana Four Years After Hurricane Katrina — 2009

Chandra A, Acosta J

Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation (OP-277-RC).

Health of Medicare Advantage Plan Enrollees One Year After Katrina — 2009

Burton L, Skinner E, Uscher-Pines L, Lieberman R, Clark B, Leff B, Weiner J

American Journal of Managed Care, v.15, 2009: 13-22.

Rapid Community Participatory Assessment of Health Care in Post-Storm New Orleans — 2009

Springgate BF, Allen C, Jones C, Lovera S, Meyers D, Campbell L, Palinkas LA, Wells KB

American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 37, No. 6, Supp. 1, Dec 2009, pp. s237-s243

Lessons learned from the state and local public health response to Hurricane Katrina — 2007

Ringel J, Chandra A, Lim Y, Leuschner K, Lurie N, Ricci K, Schaefer A, Shea M, Shugarman L, Wasserman J

Report to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). RAND WR-473-DHHS, 2007

Disaster planning and risk communication with vulnerable communities: lessons from hurricane Katrina — 2007

Eisenman DP, Cordasco KM, Asch S, Glik GJ

American Journal of Public Health 2007;97:S109-S115

Environmental Health Issues

RAND has collaborated with public agencies and university researchers from around the world in a diverse array of projects relevant to environment and health. Representative publications from a much longer list of RAND environmental studies include:

Prioritizing environmental health risks in the United Arab Emirates — 2010

Willis H, et al., Cecchine G,

Risk Analysis, accepted, in press.

Concerns About Environmental Health Risks in the UAE — 2010

Willis HH, MacDonald J, Shih RA, Geschwind S, Olmstead S, Hu J, Curtright AE, Cecchine G, Moore M

Journal of Risk Analysis, in press.

Ambient Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Venous Thromboembolism on Two Survival Time Scales — 2010

Shih RA, Griffin BA, Salkowski, N, Jewell A, Eibner C, Bird CE, Cushman M, Liao D, Eaton CB, Margolis HG, Whitsel EA

American Journal of Epidemiology, 117(11, Supp), S332

National Strategy and Action Plan for Environmental Health: United Arab Emirates — 2009

Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi

State of Environmental Health in the United Arab Emirates — 2009

Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi

Cumulative Lead Dose and Cognitive Function in Adults: a Review of Studies That Measured Both Blood Lead and Bone Lead — 2007

Shih RA, Hu H, Weisskopf MG, Schwartz BS

Environmental Health Perspectives, 115(3),483-492

The Epidemiology of Lead Toxicity in Adults: Measuring Dose and Consideration of Other Methodological Issues — 2007

Hu H, Shih RA, Schwartz BS

Environmental Health Perspectives, 115(3), 455-462

Review of Literature Related to Exposures and Health Effects at Structural Collapse Events — 2005

Sloss EM, Castle NG, Cecchine G, Labor R, Willis HH, Bartis JT

RAND Technical Report TR-309-NIOSH

Asbestos Litigation Costs, Compensation, and Alternatives — 2005

Carroll SJ, Hensler DR, Gross J, Sloss EM, Schonlau M, Abrahamse A, Ashwood JS

RAND Research Brief RB-9155-ICJ

The Impact of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals on Wildlife A Review of the Literature — 1999

Geschwind S, Eiseman E, Spektor DM, Hudson A


Groundwater Recharge with Reclaimed Water: Birth Outcomes in Los Angeles County — 1999

Sloss EM, McCaffrey DF, Fricker RD, Geschwind S, Ritz BR

1982-1993. RAND MR-1077-WRDSC

Groundwater Recharge with Reclaimed Water: An Epidemiologic Assessment in Los Angeles County — 1996

Sloss EM, Geschwind S, McCaffrey DF, Ritz BR

1987-1991. RAND MR-679-WRDSC

Developing Methods for Studying Costs and Benefits of Federal Environmental Regulations for Small Community Governments — 1996

Bower AG, Meredith LS, Garber S, Geschwind S, Duan N

RAND Draft Document DRU-787-EPA

Small Communities and EPA Regulations: Developing a Research Strategy — 1993

Garber S, Duan N, Berry SH, Downes-Le Guin T, Drezner D, Geschwind S, Jacobson P, Moore NY

RAND Draft Document DRU-249-EPA

Risk of Congenital Malformations Associated with Proximity to Hazardous Waste Sites — 1992

Sandra Geschwind, Jan A. J. Stolwijk, Michael B. Bracken, Edward FitzGerald, Alice Stark

RAND Reprint. Originally published in American Journal of Epidemiology, v. 135, no. 11, 1992, pp. 1197-1207.

Psychological Consequences of War, Disasters and Other Traumatic Events

We have learned from past disasters that not all harmful consequences are visible. Events like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill can create a host of mental and behavioral challenges for everyone involved. RAND PHSP has deep expertise in mental and behavioral health policies, particularly in post-traumatic situations. Select publications include:

Making sense of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Illness perceptions among traumatic injury survivors — 2010

Wong EC, Kennedy D, Gaillot S, & Marshall GN

Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy, in press

Post-Katrina Project Demonstrates a Rapid, Participatory Assessment of Health Care and Develops a Partnership for Post-Disaster Recovery in New Orleans — 2010

Springgate B, Allen C, Jones C, Lovera S, Meyers D, Campbell L, Palinkas L, Wells KB

RAND Research Brief RB-9516

Capacity for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Delivery in Resource Poor Disaster Impacted Contexts — 2010

Ngo, V., Centanni, A., Wong, E., Wennerstrom, A. & Miranda, J.

Ethnicity and Disease, under review

Prevalence of PTSD and major depression following trauma-center hospitalization — 2010

Shih RA, Schell, TL, Hambarsoomian K, Marshall GN

Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection, and Critical Care, in press

Development of a Patient-Report Measure of Psychotherapy for Depression — 2009

Miranda J, Hepner K, Azocar F, Greenwood G, Ngo V, & Burnam A

Administration and Policy in Mental and Mental Health Services Research. Epub September 2009.

Health Effects of Relocation following Disaster — 2009

Uscher-Pines L

Disasters, v.33, 2009: 1-22

Schools Mental Health Responses After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita — 2007

Jaycox LH, Tanielian TL, Sharma P, Morse L, Clum G, Stein BD

Psychiatric Services, Volume 58 (10)

How Schools Can Help Students Recover from Traumatic Experiences A Tool Kit for Supporting Long-Term Recovery — 2006

Jaycox LH, Morse LK, Tanielian T, Stein BD

RAND Technical Report TR-413-RC

Integrating Behavioral Aspects into Community Preparedness and Response Systems — 2005

Reissman DB, Spencer S, Stein BD, Tanielian TL

Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma 10(3/4): 707-720