Disaster preparedness among medically vulnerable populations
Methods: BRFSS data were obtained for six states which implemented the optional general preparedness module from 2006 through 2008. Three dependent variables were analyzed including presence of 4 preparedness items (i.e. food, water, flashlight, radio), emergency evacuation plan, and 3-day supply of medication. Primary independent variables included perceived health status, disability status, and number of chronic diseases. Four multiple logistic regression models were generated to examine the independent associations between the health measures and the three dependent variables, respectively.
Results: Respondents with fair/poor perceived health had a lower odds of having all 4 preparedness items (OR=0.76, 95% CI = 0.65, 0.89) and an emergency evacuation plan (OR=0.89, 95% CI= 0.75, 1.04), and a higher odds of having a 3-day supply of prescription medication (OR=1.34, 95% CI= 1.03, 1.74) than respondents reporting excellent perceived health. Similar results were found among disabled respondents. Results varied for number of chronic diseases.
Conclusions: Vulnerable populations were generally less likely to have household preparedness items but more likely to have medication supplies than their counterparts. Public health officials should target these groups to increase disaster preparedness and researchers can examine why these groups are not prepared.
Describe the level of disaster preparedness (natural or man-made) among medically vulnerable populations. Identify specific subgroups of the medically vulnerable population that are ill-prepared for disasters.
Keyword(s): Disasters, Chronic Diseases
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the Principal Investigator on projects examining household disaster preparedness in the U.S. and have expertise in disaster epidemiology.
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.