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Impact of Disasters on Health Services Use and Costs among Veterans

Project Lead: Claudia Der-Martirosian, Ph.D.

When a disaster strikes and VA medical center services are disrupted, continuity of Veteran care may be impacted. By examining two large-scale disasters, this project aims to improve our understanding of:

  • Which Veterans are most affected by disasters
  • How closures and other disruptions of VA services impact the health care that Veterans receive

Hurricane Ike struck Texas on September 13, 2008, resulting in 112 U.S. deaths and costing an estimated $29.5 billion in damages.

Hurricane Sandy hit the northeastern U.S. on October 29, 2012, claimed 87 lives in the U.S., and caused more than $68 billion in damages.

Findings and importance

Findings will inform decisions by VA leadership and staff about how to better ensure continuity of health care for Veterans living in areas impacted by disasters.