The focus group discussion provided rich input for the development of the risk communication strategy and workshop curriculum.
Five focus groups were held between April 2014 and February 2015 in coastal locations in Connecticut. Participants were from: 1) public health and emergency response personnel; 2) home owners, volunteers and local health officials; 3) construction workers; 4) faith organization workers; and 5) coastal residents.
The focus groups probed discussion under five areas:
- Experience with hurricane response
- Attitudes about personal safety and health
- Interest and knowledge about mold and moisture
- Experience with PPE/Personal Protective Equipment
- Information dissemination.
Themes that were discussed included:
- Concern over the burden on those most vulnerable - whether workers or families
- Information quality (much is available, but target groups’ access and ability to evaluate is variable)
- Distrust about illness severity, meteorological predictions, contractor practices, insurance, and government support
- Reliance on many different ways to get information