Burnout in the disaster response workforce: The impact of work roles and the COVID-19 pandemic





burnout, COVID-19, disaster response


The coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic cor­responded with a record-breaking year for billion-dollar disasters. While the pandemic swept across the United States, the country also experienced a record-setting hurricane season on the East Coast and an unprecedented wildfire season on the West Coast. These co-occurring threats have placed unprecedented strain on our disaster response workforce with poten­tial long-term implications for turnover and disaster response efficacy. In this paper, we draw from the Job Demands-Resources model to address the influence of workers’ role stressors and community infection rates during the COVID-19 pandemic and job burnout and turnover in the disaster response workforce. 

Author Biographies

Kelsey L. Merlo, PhD

University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

Katrina M. Conen, BA

University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

Blake Scott, MPH

University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

Kayla Jones, MA

University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

Elizabeth A. Dunn, MPH, CPH

University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

Jennifer Marshall, PhD

University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida


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How to Cite

Merlo, PhD, K. L., K. M. Conen, BA, B. Scott, MPH, K. Jones, MA, E. A. Dunn, MPH, CPH, and J. Marshall, PhD. “Burnout in the Disaster Response Workforce: The Impact of Work Roles and the COVID-19 Pandemic”. Journal of Emergency Management, vol. 19, no. 9, July 2021, pp. 81-90, doi:10.5055/jem.0593.