214496 Ethnic Differences in Disaster Preparedness in Southern California: A comparison of Chinese and non-Chinese Asian Immigrants with Limited English Proficiency

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 4:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Akiko Sato, MPH, RN , Department of Community Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Megumi Kano, DrPH , School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Linda B. Bourque, PhD , Department of Community Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Daniel Ichinose, MA , Demographic Research, Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Leo Estrada, PhD , Department of Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Background: Despite the high risk of disasters and the large and diverse Asian immigrant population in Southern California, research addressing disaster preparedness among this population is limited.

Purpose: The objective was to identify associations between ethnicity and disaster-related perceptions and preparedness. This study focused on the differences between Chinese and non-Chinese Asian immigrants.

Methods: Data were collected using multi-lingual surveys at community-based organizations in Southern California. Data from 123 Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese immigrants were analyzed using bivariate statistical analysis and Geographic Information System analysis.

Results: All participants tended to live in high disaster-risk neighborhoods with high density and concentrations of foreign-born and low-income residents. Participants reported limited disaster educational opportunities in their native language, and were inadequately prepared for disasters. Chinese immigrants were more likely to have emergency supplies than non-Chinese immigrants (OR=3.25, 95% CI=1.49-7.08), but less likely to have an emergency plan (OR=.17, 95% CI=.05-.52). Chinese immigrants were also more likely than non-Chinese immigrants to think they know about disaster preparedness, but were more likely to rely on official agencies in a disaster (OR =2.71, 95% CI =1.26-5.85; OR =7.23, 95% CI =2.89-18.33). There was no significant ethnic difference in risk perceptions.

Conclusion: Disaster preparedness interventions for Asian immigrants should be tailored to the various Asian subgroups. There is an urgent need for the establishment of emergency networks among official agencies, ethnic organizations and neighborhoods to ensure disaster preparedness education and response services provide coverage for Asian immigrants in Southern California with limited English proficiency.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the level of disaster preparedness among Chinese and non-Chinese Asian immigrants with limited English proficiency in Southern California; 2) Explain predictors of disaster preparedness among Chinese and non-Chinese Asian immigrants; 3) Propose community-based interventions among Asian immigrants in Southern California.

Keywords: Emergency, Immigrants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I finalized the survey questionnaire for this project, acted as project coordinator for the survey and analyzed the data. I will also submit a manuscript for publication.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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