JAMA Network Open; Dana Rose Garfin, PhD, Rebecca R. Thompson, PhD, E. Alison Holman, PhD, Gabrielle Wong-Parodi, PhD, Roxane Cohen Silver, PhD; Published June 16, 2022; DOI: doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.17251

Key points


What psychological outcomes are associated with repeated exposure to catastrophic hurricanes?


In this survey study of 1637 Florida residents, repeated direct, indirect, and media exposures to hurricanes Irma and Michael were positively associated with posttraumatic stress symptoms, generalized worries, global distress, and functional impairment. Individual-level factors (prior mental health ailments), storm exposure factors (loss and/or injury, evacuation), knowing someone directly exposed, and media exposure to the hurricanes were associated with ongoing symptoms.


The findings suggest that repeated exposure to hurricanes sensitizes people to respond with more psychological symptoms over time and may be associated with increased mental health risks.