Joe Lebeau/Hashmark Photography Keremeos and area residents were hard hit by both flooding and wildfires in 2018. A research team is delving into the psychological impacts of natural disasters.

UBC team tackles psychological impact of floods, fires in Okanagan

Researchers from UBCO are undertaking research on the impacts of flooding and fires on people

  • Feb. 13, 2019 2:13 p.m.

A research team from UBCO is looking into the long term impacts of flooding, and wildfires on communities using Keremeos and area as their test plot.

“We’ve been actually working in the Similkameen area the last few years looking at mental health concerns, gaps in service. Over the recent last few years with the frequency of flooding and wildfires we said, ‘let’s start looking at how those things are impacting the communities,” said Carolyn Szostak, the principal investigator from UBCO.

Szostak with a team of under graduates are undertaking the research project that could have an impact on communities throughout the province and farther.

Related: Breaking: Snowy Mountain wildfire jumps Similkameen River

“I think the reality is pretty clear, flooding and wildfires are not going to disappear, if anything they are going to increase with frequency and severity and it impacts us on so many levels. If we are better equipped psychologically that could help. We know that mental health impacts physical health and vice versa,” she said.

Although it’s early in the process to note any serious trends, Szostak said higher levels of anxiety and fear are expected among respondents. She also noted front line workers are experiencing a level of fatigue.

Research will study the impacts on the general population, but also zero in on front line workers from firefighters to municipal staff working in Emergency Operation Centres, to counselors in the community.

“We’re trying to learn as much as we can from everyone effected in their various roles. And then hopefully this can be used to identify what the gaps in services are and then movement will happen to fill those gaps,” she said.

Researchers need close to 100 responses to the survey to make their research viable.

Anyone interested in participating or who would like more information can contact by email at carolyn@szostak@ubc.ca or ali.caldwell@alumni.ubc.ca or by telephone 250-807-8736.

To report a typo, email:
editor@keremeosreview.com
.


@TaraBowieBC
editor@keremeosreview.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Heritage Surrey launches time-lapse mapping tool

It matches local historical images to modern-day locations

UPDATE: Delta man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside North Delta elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help finding missing 52-year-old

Police say William Michaels last seen on Feb. 19

Private school for hockey players pitched for Surrey’s Excellent Ice arena

Lark Group draws up expansion plan for facility built and operated by the Surrey company since 1999

From a drunk judge to Clifford Olson: George Garrett recounts a life in B.C. news radio

New book from ‘Intrepid Reporter’ George Garrett offers readers a glimpse behind the headlines

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Two boys saved after falling through ice in Coquitlam

RCMP say a Good Samaritan pulled the kids to safety

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Most Read