Needs and Experiences of Latinx Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Before, During, and After Natural Disasters in Rural North Carolina
Repository Usage Stats
Due to structural factors, migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFWs) in the United States experience heightened challenges surviving and recovering from natural disasters, which negatively impact public health. Climate change models predict North Carolina (NC) will face an increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters in the near future, making disaster preparedness for MSFWs an urgent issue. This study sought to answer: how do Latinx MSFWs in rural NC experience natural disasters and how can policies and programs better serve the unique needs of this population in emergency situations? This study used qualitative descriptive methods and key informant interviews with service providers and Latinx MSFWs. It used emergent theme analysis (coding with NVivo). Key informants reported that MSFWs are economically important to their communities, though also very marginalized. They face various barriers to preparing for natural disasters: economic constraints, low English proficiency, potential distrust of government institutions or fear of law enforcement, and geographic isolation. After Hurricane Matthew, which caused severe damages to NC’s rural counties in 2016, many MSFWs were left stranded in flooded trailers, exposing them to lasting mental and physical health risks. Flooding prevented most MSFWs from working for up to several weeks, which impacted their families financially. This study contributed to the literature by including both MSFW and service provider perspectives. Future studies should examine ways to (a) improve MSFWs’ access to preparedness information and emergency alerts, (b) help emergency services departments provide resources to MSFWs, and (c) better understand the impacts of natural disasters on MSFWs’ physical and mental health. Though local governments in rural NC are aware of their shortcomings in working with diverse communities, they will need further resources to improve their relationships with Latinx MSFW communities.
CitationNagler, Emily (2018). Needs and Experiences of Latinx Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Before, During, and After Natural Disasters in Rural North Carolina. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18157.
More InfoShow full item record
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers