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

VIDEO: Chocolate smeared faces spoke to success of Fort Langley egg hunts

The historic site repeated its popular kids Easter celebration, complete with three candy scrambles

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

LETTER: Faster and easier for Willoughby residents to shop in Pitt Meadows

Writer frustrated with traffic nightmares that have and continue to plague her growing neighbourhood

VIDEO: Fan support almost deafening as Giants take Game 2 in finals

Vancouver G-Men cap comeback with thrilling third period to beat Spokane 4-2 on home ice in Langley

Bobcats, bears, and otters, oh my!

Critter Care Wildlife Society’s 20th anniversary gala set for next Saturday in Langley

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Police say ‘no major incidents’ at 4/20, Vancouver Park Board assessing

The first smoke-out held since legalization saw 60,000 people at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Most Read