243252 Did levels and types of household hazard adjustment change in Los Angeles County over the past four decades?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Akiko Sato, MPH, RN , Department of Community Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Melissa M. Kelley, MS , School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Michael C. Stajura, MPH, MPP , Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Linda B. Bourque, PhD , Department of Community Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Background: Prior studies evaluated hazard adjustment—activities enhancing disaster readiness—in Los Angeles County, but only at one time point or over a short period. Furthermore, those studies evaluated overall hazard adjustment without assessing subtypes, such as survival, preparedness-planning, and hazard-mitigation activities.

Purpose: To assess changes in overall hazard adjustment and in the subtypes between 1977 and 2008.

Methods: A sample of 3,502 from four cross-sectional datasets collected in 1977, 1988-1989, 1994-1996 and 2008 were analyzed. Hazard adjustment was measured for 11 activities comprised of five survival, three preparedness-planning, and three hazard-mitigation activities. Relationships between adjustment and time, socio-demographic characteristics and the experience of earthquake-related property damage were analyzed.

Results: The levels of both overall hazard adjustment and each preparedness subtype have changed over time even after controlling for other variables (p<.001). Generally, people were more likely to adopt survival activities than preparedness-planning and hazard-mitigation activities. Among the different types of activities, more people stored water, food, a first-aid kit, and a flashlight (survival) or reinforced home structures, added latches to storage cabinets, and rearranged storage cabinet contents (hazard-mitigation) over time. The proportions of people having a family plan (preparedness-planning) and a neighborhood plan (preparedness-planning) increased after the Whittier Narrows and Northridge earthquakes, but declined afterwards.

Conclusion: Long-term monitoring of hazard-adjustment levels indicates fluctuations over time and substantial variations by activity types. Interventions tailored to households in Los Angeles County should emphasize sustained maintenance and continuous improvement in survival and hazard-mitigation activities, and increased attention to preparedness-planning activities.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Illustrate how the levels and types (i.e. survival, preparedness-planning, and hazard-mitigation activities) of hazard adjustment in Los Angeles County changed between 1977 and 2008 2. Explain which hazard-adjustment activities should be emphasized in interventions

Keywords: Disasters, Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in the project in several key phases
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.