219355 Factors Predicting Individual Emergency Preparedness: A Multi-state Analysis of 2006 BRFSS Data

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Elizabeth Ablah, PhD, MPH , Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS
Kurt Konda, MA , Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS
Kurt Konda , Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS
The threat of disasters to every individual in the United States is real and pronounced. One way to mitigate the threat disasters pose is through personal preparedness, yet numerous studies indicate that individual Americans are not prepared for large-scale disasters such as an earthquake or bioterror attack. This study attempted to evaluate factors most likely to predict individual disaster preparedness and to identify any gaps in preparedness among minority or disadvantaged sub-populations. We used 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data from the 5 states that included the optional general preparedness module. Respondents were defined as being ‘‘prepared'' if they were deficient in no more than one of the actionable preparedness measures included on the BRFSS. Analyses were conducted comparing preparedness rates based on medical and demographic factors. Using logistic regression, a predictive model was constructed to identify which factors most strongly predicted an individual's likelihood of being prepared. Factors predicting an increased likelihood of preparedness included feeling ‘‘well prepared'' (OR 9.417), having a disability or health condition requiring special equipment (OR 1.298), being 55 to 64 years old (OR 1.794), and having an annual income above $50,000 (OR 1.286). Among racial and ethnic minorities, an inability to afford medical care in the previous years (OR .581) was an important factor in predicting a decreased likelihood of being prepared. This study revealed a pervasive lack of disaster preparedness overall and a substantial gap between perceived and objective preparedness.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
1. Differentiate levels of preparedness between groups based on race/ethnicity, gender, age, and education. 2. Discuss possible reasons for preparedness gap between Hispanics and non-Hispanics, between older and younger adults, and between those with less than a high school education and those with 3. Formulate potential solutions to address lack of preparedness among disadvantaged or minority sub-populations.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have experience evaluating emergency preparedness activities and experience conducting population-based research through data sources such as the BRFSS.
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.