225452 Who Responds to Emergency Preparedness Messages: The Story of Lions, Lambs, and Lone Wolves

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

David M. Abramson, PhD MPH , National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University, New York, NY
Background: Despite considerable investment of federal funds directed at increasing preparedness since the 2001 terrorist attacks, overall population preparedness has barely increased. In US survey data collected by Columbia's National Center for Disaster Preparedness between 2003 and 2008, the proportion of citizens who reported having a minimal family emergency plan has only increased from 37% to 43%.

Methods: In two national random-digit dial surveys of US residents conducted in 2007 and 2008, 2931 respondents were asked whether others would turn to the respondent to lead them in an emergency (the “Lions”), whether they would safeguard only themselves and their families (the “Lone Wolves”), or whether they would wait for others to help them (the “Lambs”).

Results: In the pooled cross-sectional surveys, 21% of respondents reported themselves as Lions, 57% as Lone Wolves, and 22% as Lambs. In a logistic regression analysis of the data, Lions were over twice as likely as Lambs to have complete family emergency plans, and Lone Wolves one and a half times as likely. A multinomial regression analysis revealed that individual self-efficacy was among the most salient factors associated with Lions, and prior CPR training and disaster experience was more prevalent among both Lions and Lone Wolves.

Conclusions: Given the difficulty of increasing overall individual or family preparedness beyond a fixed ceiling, preparedness strategies might be more effectively tailored to enhancing skills and situational awareness among the Lions, and by encouraging some proportion of the Lone Wolves and Lambs to be more skilled and more community-focused.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify population segments by anticipated preparedness behaviors 2. Understand leadership and "followership" preparedness roles 3. Consider preparedness messages most appropriate for specific population segments

Keywords: Disasters, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the principal investigator on this study and involved in all aspects of study design, data collection, and data analysis
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.