Hurricanes and Health: Vulnerability in an Age of Climate Change

Part of the Respiratory Medicine book series (RM)


The prevalence and severity of hurricanes are increasing. This chapter examines the physical and mental health effects of hurricane exposure within our changing climate. We explore a range of physical health effects, including mortality, morbidity, injuries, infectious disease, chronic disease, and mold-related illnesses. We also examine several mental health consequences of hurricane exposure, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and risk factors for poor post-disaster mental health outcomes, as well as factors that protect against poor mental health. We use evidence from public health, sociology, psychology, and geography to highlight the health effects from the most recent, as well as most powerful, hurricanes to strike the continental United States. Our goal is to provide evidence of the wide-range health consequences caused by direct and indirect hurricane exposure, and bring attention to areas that need further investigation as the intensity of hurricanes grows due to our changing climate.


Climate change Hurricanes Disaster exposure Physical health Mental health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Global Public HealthNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Division of Policy Translation and Leadership DevelopmentHarvard UniversityBostonUSA

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