Fifty state public health emergency preparedness websites – vulnerable populations assessment
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Background: Public health EP (emergency preparedness) continues to lag for vulnerable populations, who are at the most risk during emergencies and disasters. State public health agency websites are crucial to public health EP, but assessments of vulnerable population access to websites are limited. We re-evaluated our 2007 study of state websites, to obtain and analyze longitudinal data. Methods: State public health EP websites were studied using a 193-element Survey Tool. We evaluated content regarding EP for children, elderly, non-English speakers, families, persons with disabilities, and community groups. Correlations were analyzed between content and related socio-demographic and state government factors that might encourage website development. Results: 49 states had functioning EP websites; of these 29 (59.2%) addressed vulnerable populations. 26 (53%) websites had a page/links for children; 20 (40.8%) had content for the elderly; 26 (53%) websites had content for non-English speakers; 29 (59.2%) websites had content for persons with disabilities; 35 (71.4%) websites had content for families; 40 (81.6%) had a page/links for access by community groups. Websites with content for one vulnerable population were more likely to have content for another. Socio-demographic and government factors associated with website vulnerable population content included percentages rural and minority, population density, PH preparedness funding, and state emergency preparedness rating (AmerCollEmergPhys) Conclusions: Content of state public health EP websites has improved for vulnerable populations since 2007, but over 40% of websites still lack critical content areas. The progress indicated that continued improvements are feasible.
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Describe the updated status of public health emergency preparedness (EP) websites of the 50 states regarding serving vulnerable populations.
Discuss factors requiring improvement regarding vulnerable populations among state public health EP websites.
Describe techniques to assess state public health EP websites.
Keyword(s): Vulnerable Populations, Bioterrorism
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am principal investigator, have worked in public health preparedness for 30 years and have presented earlier data from this database at previous APHA meetings.
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.