Job Stress in Disaster Case Managers Working with Hurricane Ike Recovery
Forman, Megan Hajecate
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Hurricane Ike struck the coast of Texas on September 13, 2008. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a branch of the United States Department of Homeland Security, implemented a Disaster Case Management Pilot (DCM-P) project to help residents of the impacted areas recover from the devastation caused by the hurricane. Disaster case managers employed by the three larger recipient organizations selected for the project by FEMA served as the link between the victims and the desired resources. The purpose of this study was to evaluate stress levels of the disaster case managers employed through the ten smaller faith-based organizations that make up one of the larger recipient organizations providing case management services to victims. Questionnaires based on the Job Stress Survey developed by Spielberger and Vagg were mailed to 145 disaster case managers employed by the faith-based recipient organization. Of the 145 questionnaires mailed out, 89 were completed and mailed back for data analysis. Based on answers selected by the respondents, frequency and severity scores for each of the thirty stressors identified through the instrument were calculated. Based on severity and frequency scores for the stressors, scores were calculated for the job stress index and two subscales, the job pressure index and the lack of support index. Findings showed that both the most severe and the most frequently experienced stressors were caused by aspects of the job itself that related to job pressure. Furthermore, many of the same items that were rated as having the highest severity of stress were also the most frequently experienced stressors.