The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

5188.0: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 3:15 PM

Abstract #70138

Emergency preparedness and planning for Head Start programs

Deborah D. Riopelle, MSPH1, Caroline Sauter, MPH1, Nicole Brzeski, MPH1, Kimberley Shoaf, DrPH2, and Steven J. Rottman, MD1. (1) UCLA Center for Public Health & Disasters, 1145 Gayley Ave Suite 304, Los Angeles, CA 90024, 310-794-0864,, (2) Center for Public Health & Disasters, University of California, Los Angeles, 1145 Gayley Avenue, Suite 304, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Background: The goal of this study was to obtain information on emergency preparedness knowledge, practices and needs in a sample of Head Start agencies that could be used to develop training and educational materials for Head Start programs nationwide. Methods: Assessment activities included a survey of National Head Start Association conference participants, focus groups, key informant interviews, site visits, and review of training and educational materials. Data were collected on current emergency preparedness and planning practices, perceived needs and priorities in this area, identification of special needs for agencies working with vulnerable populations (young children), and recommendations for training content and format. While most data were obtained from Head Start sources, non-Head Start organizations also provided site visit location, key informants, and training and educational materials for review. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was used to analyze the assessment data. Results: Additional training and education in emergency preparedness, assistance developing comprehensive emergency plans, and guidance on practicing and evaluating plans and procedures were key needs expressed by Head Start personnel participating in the assessment. Additionally, transportation, communication systems, and personal security are issues that need to be addressed at many sites. Discussion: These assessment findings support the need to develop emergency preparedness training and educational materials for Head Start based on: 1) the needs of Head Start programs; 2) best practices of Head Start and other childcare provider agencies; and 3) the knowledge and expertise of those who work and do research in emergency management and related fields.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Emergency, Head Start

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Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Various School Health Topics

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA